Which is better for muscle gain, the egg white or the yolk?
How about … both?
Eating only egg whites is no better or worse for muscle gain than eating the whole egg, according to a new pre-print review in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
In this review, researchers looked at several studies on whole eggs’ effect on muscle gain, revealing that the evidence is simply too scarce to declare it as the best way to have your eggs.
There are many reasons why some people prefer to eat egg whites over whole eggs, particularly if they’re watching cholesterol or calorie intake, but according to the study, they’re not missing out on any gains compared to those who prefer to have their egg and eat it whole.
Now, there are benefits to eating whole eggs over egg whites, as referenced by the study, including increased microRNAs for better muscle development, additional vitamins and minerals like B12, calcium, magnesium, and choline for brain function.
As far as protein goes, three whole eggs have anywhere from 18 to 20 grams depending on size. However, there’s no evidence that ingesting whole eggs alone is going to get you any bigger than those eating just the egg whites.
One thing to note is that those in the study who ate whole eggs did have improved muscle protein synthesis, aka, muscle repair post-workout compared to those who only ate egg whites.
In short, if your main goal is muscle mass over muscle recovery, egg whites aren’t a bad choice, especially if you’re excluding egg yolks for a specific reason. If not, go ahead and have a yolk or two.
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