Research Suggests Whole Eggs Better for Muscle Building Compared to Egg Whites

The day and age of eggs getting a bad rap in the public eye seems to be coming to a close. In the strength world, eggs are often called the “perfect protein” because of their natural bioavailability, full list of amino acids, and their nutrients.

Both whole eggs and egg whites have proven to be useful when upping one’s protein consumption, but is one better than the other at building muscle? One might be. New research suggests that consuming whole eggs immediately after a workout impacts muscle protein synthesis better than egg whites themselves.

The New Research

For this study, researchers took 10 young resistance trained men and had them perform a single bout of resistance exercise. Following their session, researchers administered the consumption of either 18g of protein from whole eggs (18g protein & 17g fat) or egg whites (18g protein & 0g fat).

[How else can eggs benefit the strength athlete? The answer may surprise you!]

Prior to the resistance training, after, and post-egg consumption, researchers took multiple muscle biopsy and blood samples to accurately track amino acid profiles in the blood/muscles. With the blood samples and muscle biopsies, researchers tracked three things: whole-body leucine kinetics, intramuscular signalling, and myofibrillar synthesis.

Following the resistance training session, researchers found that both the whole eggs and egg whites increased the whole-body net leucine balance and were similar in intramuscular signalling. The difference was in the whole egg, as it promoted a greater myofibrillar protein synthesic response, aka showed increased signs of muscle building potential. 

Why Was This?

Despite the protein amounts being evenly matched, muscle protein synthesis was still higher in the full eggs. Researchers suggested this is due to the whole egg being more nutrient dense and protein dense, as opposed to only being protein dense (egg whites). This is interesting research that can help direct further studies regarding full unaltered protein sources.

Full egg fans rejoice, yet another reason why eggs continue to be muscle building powerhouses.

Feature image from @musickfarm Instagram page. 

Editor’s Note: BarBend Reader, CPT, and Nutrition Krystal Goodman had the following to say after reading the above post:

“Although people seem to try to cut out the yolk to reduce their intake of extra fats and cholesterol I do believe those are the least of your worries. It is important to get the whole egg when you consume them to benefit from the entirety of the egg white and yolk. The yolk is filled with vitamins for energy and muscle production. There are several sources of protein out there but all are not created equal, therefore it is important to get the variety you need to achieve all essential amino acids. In my opinion I think egg consumption is essential for a well balanced diet. Not to mention the whole egg tastes better if you ask me! So next time you make an omelette or a healthy baked good don’t ditch the good stuff savor every bite!”