Whole Eggs resulted in greater strength, testosterone, and lower bodyfat despite similar protein intake. Whole foods contains other ingredients which increase protein synthesis.


  • In a recent study on protein from egg white vs whole egg for muscle growth found that 6 whole eggs resulted in greater strength, testosterone, and lower body fat despite similar protein intake.
  • Ingredients in the yolk or the cholesterol were suggested to be more anabolic.
  • A previous study found that whole eggs resulted in greater protein synthesis than egg whites.

Bodybuilders often get their protein from a variety of food sources, such as chicken, beef, fish, and dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and eggs. Eating whole eggs has long been the breakfast choice of champions because of the high vitamins, minerals, low carbohydrates, and protein in whole eggs.

The typical American will have 2 whole eggs or more at breakfast. 2 whole eggs’ protein content is 13 grams. To gain muscle, it’s recommended that you consume at least 20 grams of protein. A recent article in the New York Post interviewed a fit grandmother who eats 150 eggs per month to stay in shape!!

There are a variety of ways to cook eggs, such as scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, and raw eggs. A recent video by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger said he put raw eggs in his protein shakes with the shells.  Why with the eggs shells? Arnold stated he consumes the shells for the extra calcium in the egg shells.


1 whole egg protein content is 6 grams of high-quality protein, 77 calories, 5 grams of fat, and trace amounts of carbohydrates. It’s very important to realize that a majority of the nutrients are contained in the yolk, and the white contains only protein. Most fitness enthusiasts have avoided whole eggs in the past because of high cholesterol, excess saturated fat, and extra calories. However, whole eggs have additional health benefits such as being a great source of soluble vitamins, an excellent source of choline, and beneficial effects on the immune system.


Eating egg whites has been the traditional breakfast source of protein for bodybuilders’ muscle building. Egg whites are high in protein, low in fat, and contain all 20 amino acids (i.e., building blocks of protein needed for muscle growth).


A serving size of a large egg contains about 4 grams of protein and only 17 calories. A single egg white also offers 1.3 micrograms of folate, 6.6 mcg of selenium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, and 4.9 mg of phosphorus and 53.8 mg of potassium.

Egg whites have also been advocated over whole eggs because of the cholesterol in eggs. Protein rich foods such as egg whites have been advocated as a lower calorie food for weight loss. On a gram-per-gram basis, egg whites have more protein(91%) than chicken breast (79%). Some bodybuilders believe raw eggs are better for protein synthesis, but this is a myth.

In the past few years, scientists have learned that there are more than just amino acids in foods that stimulate muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. Most people often assume leucine content is the driving factor for increasing protein synthesis, but other biologically active ingredients in foods can increase protein synthesis.

For example, whole eggs resulted in greater protein synthesis than egg whites (no yolk) following an acute bout of resistance-trained males. Interestingly, both eggs and egg whites had similar leucine and essential amino acid content. This suggests other ingredients in whole foods stimulate protein synthesis(1). Researchers have suspected that the fat and cholesterol can contribute to a greater anabolic environment.

Whole egg vs egg white nutrition is different. Egg yolks contain various ingredients and components that may increase the anabolic response, such as vitamins, minerals, phosphatidic acid, palmitic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, bioactive peptides, etc. (2).


Eggs have traditionally just been eaten at breakfast, but they can also be used as a post workout snack. Researchers compared the effects of whole egg vs. egg white consumption in resistance-trained young men for 12 weeks. The subjects performed their workout immediately and received either 3 scrambled whole eggs or 6 egg whites’ post-workout.

The was an equivalent amount of protein for both groups, ~20 grams for protein for both eggs groups, and leucine content was the same, ~1 gram. Both groups consumed roughly .7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

At the end of 12 weeks, the 6 whole egg protein group had greater increases in leg strength and handgrip strength, testosterone, and greater loss of body fat than the egg white group.

There was a trend towards greater increases in muscle growth for the whole egg groups as well. The whole eggs group experienced a 1.98-pound increase in lean mass compared to the egg white group.(3)




1.         van Vliet S, Shy EL, Abou Sawan S, Beals JW, West DW, Skinner SK, et al. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of postexercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(6):1401-12.

2.         Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N, Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):684.

3.         Bagheri R, Hooshmand-Moghadam B, Ashtary-Larky D, Forbes S, Candow D, Galpin A, et al. Whole Egg Vs. Egg White Ingestion During 12 weeks of Resistance Training in Trained Young Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2020.

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