Are Raw Eggs Good for Muscle Gain?


One of the most popular questions on the bodybuilding
forums, is about raw eggs. Trainees want to know whether it is okay for them to drink
a bunch of raw eggs, Rocky-style, for convenience. And, it makes sense why they would ask this.
Bodybuilders, and strength trainees want to get a lot of protein, and, as well, a lot
of calories, at times. It’s easier to gulp down a bunch of raw eggs than it is to consume
the same amount cooked. They see this as an easy shortcut to getting a bunch of high quality
protein, and perhaps, they see it as a good alternative to protein powders, which in addition
to whey, and casein from milk, come in egg protein powders too. Invariably, the answer
is tha we get when we ask this question about raw eggs, is that it’s not only OK, but that
it’s even better: You’ll get more protein. This answer comes from the idea that cooking
denatures proteins, and therfore ruins them for the body, making raw egg whites more available
and better for you. I’ve already discussed this in another video, and a link to that
vid should appear on your screen, and in the description. But, in fact, the opposite is
true. Here is where you need to separate hare-brained theories from cold, hard, fact. The fact is
that cooked egg whites are much more digestible and you’ll get LESS protein from eating raw
egg whites. There have been studies carried out to test the availability of egg proteins.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition way back in 1998 – yes, that’s how long we’ve
had answers, but nobody bothers too look – anyway, the study was called the “Digestibility of
Cooked and Raw Egg Protein in Humans as Assessed by Stable Isotope Techniques.” I’ll give you
a link to that in the description. The study found that while the digestion of cooked egg
whites is not 100% efficient, it’s a heck of a lot better than for raw egg proteins.
For cooked egg protein, the study found true ileal digestibility of cooked egg proteins
is 90.9 plus or minus 0.8. On other other hand, the true ileal digestibility of raw
egg proteins was found to be 51.3 plus or minus 9.8%. So, thinking that raw eggs are
a great source of protein compared to cooked eggs? Wrong! You will get much less protein
from raw eggs than from cooked eggs. You’re wasting protein, in fact, almost half of it.
But, the trouble with raw eggs whites doesn’t end there. Because of avidin binding, in fact,
raw egg white diets can induce biotin deficiency and this binding CANNOT be released by the
gastrointestinal tract. So, in this case, cooked eggs make more protein available to
the body and uncooked eggs mean LESS nutrients, in the form of biotin. So, nothing is simple
and pat. Now, since this may be news to you, I’ll go ahead and go a bit more in-depth about
egg white protein, and explain about this avidin thing. The main type of protein found
in egg whites is albumin. Spelled with an M-I-N at the end. And, you may also hear that
pronounced AL-bumin. So, albumin is a class of proteins found in egg whites, and milk,
blood, and various plant and animal tissues. In egg whites, it is the most abundant type
of protein, and also in normal blood plasma. Albumins dissolve in water and they form a
semi-solid mass when heated, just like your eggs do when you cook them. The term albumin,
with an M-I-N, refers the abundant type of protein found in egg whites, but can easily
be confused with the term albumen, with an M-E-N, which is a name for the egg white itself,
and could be described as a solution of protein and water. Egg whites are up to 88% water.
The two terms are often used interchangeably. Albumen comes from the Latin word albus, meaning
white. Albumen, and the albumin protein it contains, performs many complex functions
in the eggs, including protection against microorganisms and providing water and cushioning
to the growing chick. And, in human nutrition, egg albumen is described as a complete protein
because it contains all the essential amino acids needed for human health and also has
good digestibility, provided it’s cooked. The albumin in egg whites is specifically
known as ovalbumin, which makes up 50 to 70% of the total protein in the egg white, but
sources vary on exactly how much. And then there are several other proteins, including
the protein avidin. Avidin is an inhibitory substance with a large affinity for binding
with biotin. When consumed, avidin’s binding with biotin can prevent its absorption, so
eating large amounts of uncooked egg whites can interfere with biotin nutrient status,
and perhaps even cause a deficiency of biotin. Cooking the egg whites denatures avidin; so
prevents its binding with biotin. Ah, makes cooked egg whites safe to eat. So, here’s
a case where the denaturing of a protein that all the raw food people are on about, is a
good thing. In milk, albumin is found as lactalbumin,
and that’s one of the proteins contained in the whey protein. Humans produce albumin too.
It’s produced by the liver at up to 10 grams a day. In the blood, its main function is
to help maintain colloidal osmotic pressure which prevents plasma from being lost through
the capillaries, and so it regulates the distribution of fluid in the body. Albumin is also a carrier
molecules, transporting many substances such as bilirubin, fatty acids, calcium, hormones,
and some drugs.

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