Turns out, what you eat after you workout can be just as important as the work you’re putting in at the gym – Who knew lol? BUT your regular post-workout protein smoothie or shake might not be doing you or your muscles as much good as you think it is! Consuming protein along with other nutrients in WHOLE FOOD sources may actually be more effective at growing those muscles than just eating protein alone.
A new study from the University of Illinois showed that when people consumed 18 grams of protein from (three) whole eggs post-workout instead of the same amount of protein from just the whites (the equivalent of the amount of egg whites from 6 eggs), they saw a 40% increase in their body’s muscle building response (called muscle protein synthesis). In the study, researchers had 10 healthy, young men who regularly lift take part in two separate trials. In one, they ate 3 whole eggs, totaling 18 grams of protein (and 17 grams fat) within 5 minutes after a leg workout. In the other, they consumed the equivalent amount of protein from egg whites (with 0 grams of fat). The discovery, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggested that the widespread practice of throwing away egg yolks to maximize dietary protein intake from eggs is actually counterproductive since the yolks not only contain protein but contain other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are not present in the whites.
The researchers discovered that eating eggs whole actually sparked a significantly greater amount of protein fiber repair and recovery than just eating the egg whites alone. And that’s important, since that process is key to building bigger and stronger muscles!!!
This study suggests that eating protein within its most natural food matrix tends to be more beneficial to our muscles as opposed to just getting one’s protein from isolated protein sources. Bottom Line: If you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, or make some real gains – keep those yolks a part of your everyday breakfast!! Easting eggs in their natural, whole-food form may help your body utilize their protein better, as yolks are full of fatty acids (like the omega-3 fatty acid DHA), vitamins (like A, D, E, & K), and minerals (like phosphorous and iron) that help with absorption.