Researchers in a new study have found the post-workout muscle-building response to eating whole eggs is greater than consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites.
“Eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to getting one’s protein from isolated protein sources,” said scientist Nic Burd from the University of Illinois who led the research.
“By using labeled eggs, we saw that if you ate the whole egg or the egg whites, the same amount of dietary amino acids became available in your blood,” Burd said.
“In each case, about 60 to 70 percent of the amino acids were available in the blood to build new muscle protein. That would suggest that getting one’s protein from whole eggs or just from the whites makes no difference, as the amount of dietary amino acids in the blood after eating generally gives us an indication of how potent a food source is for the muscle-building response.”
Burd and his team of researchers found a very different response when they measured protein synthesis in the muscle.
“We saw that the ingestion of whole eggs immediately after resistance exercise resulted in greater muscle-protein synthesis than the ingestion of egg whites,” Burd said.
The scientists took blood and muscle biopsy samples to assess the protein synthesis in the muscles before and after a group of young men lifted weights and consumed eggs. The post-workout muscle-building response in men eating whole eggs was 40 percent greater than in those consuming an equivalent amount of protein from egg whites.