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Whole Eggs for the Win!

Whole Eggs for the Win!

Improved muscle growth with whole eggs vs. whites


Are you partial to egg whites over whole eggs, or vice versa? Whole eggs are one of the most versatile kitchen staples, from boiled to poached they’re a delicious punch of protein for almost any dish. However, for many reasons, it’s become common to toss out the yolks in order to limit calories, cholesterol, and fat due to dietary or health reasons.  If you’re interested in building muscle though, your preference could make or break your progress, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign worked with 10 fit men in a crossover trial to understand how their bodies responded in terms of muscle growth after eating protein from whole eggs or only egg whites after exercise. Muscle changes were assessed with biopsies and blood tests before and after eating and exercise to see how amino acids from the eggs appeared in muscle and blood. They found that after eating the 18g of protein from whites or entire eggs, the same amount of amino acids (think of these as protein building blocks), became available in the blood. Yet there was a significant difference (40%!) in muscle growth with the whole egg. While whole eggs do have more fat, researchers believe that it's the synergistic effect of the whole food—meaning all of its parts, including the vitamins, minerals, and yes, the fat—that results in maximal muscle growth.


If it’s been your practice to enjoy egg white scrambles or omelets after your workouts, you may want to enjoy a whole poached egg, egg drop soup or frittata instead. Another victory for whole foods as part of your diet!


Published September 1, 2023

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