Whole Eggs for the Win

Which is better for building muscle — whole eggs or egg whites? Science weighs in.
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Purple Potato Egg Salad recipe

Purple Potato Egg Salad

If you’re looking to build more muscle from exercise, a new study has found that eating whole, unprocessed protein sources like eggs is crucial for seeing noticeable results. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of male participants consumed 18 grams of protein from whole eggs or from egg whites after partaking in resistance exercise. Compared to the egg-white group, the whole-egg group saw a dramatic muscle-building response that was 40% greater. These findings suggest that throwing away the yolk is counteractive, says lead researcher Nicholas Burd, PhD, a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Plus, he notes that egg yolk is richer in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients compared to egg whites – so when you throw out the yolk you also lose most of the nutrients. “This study suggests that 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 Burd in a press release. For your next post-workout snack, try some hard-boiled eggs or scramble up a veggie-filled omelette or some poached eggs.