Protein intake for muscle growth is possibly one of the most researched and discussed subjects in the fitness world. We are all familiar with the standard powders like whey, and possibly casein supplements, but what about egg protein and its ability to build muscle? Building lean muscle is the holy grail of gym goers, but how good is egg protein in this endeavour?
The Biological Value of Egg Protein and Muscle Building.
To aid muscle growth, the body must receive sufficient amounts of amino acids (the building blocks of muscle) and be able to utilise them effectively. The measurement of how well the body can do this is called the ‘Biological Value’ (BV). On the BV scale, egg protein comes out on top, with a score of 100. The amino acid profile of egg protein is so effective, that when comparing other types of protein, egg protein is considered ‘the gold standard’ to measure against. A high BV is essential for muscle growth, as this ensures the body digests and utilises the maximum amount of the ingested amino acids, which in turn begin the recovery process, leading to enhanced muscle growth.
Amino Acid Content of Egg Protein and Muscle Building.
So what else makes egg protein so good for muscle building? Well, not only is egg protein a ‘complete protein’ (meaning egg protein contain all the essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenyalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine), but egg protein is also high in the three Essential Amino Acids that comprise ‘Branch Chain Amino Acids’. These must be ingested as they cannot be manufactured by our body.
BCAA’s are comprised of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. During intense training, BCAA’s allow the body to maintain lean muscle and also build new, lean muscle. BCAA’s also aid in fat burning, improve recovery from training, leading to decreased soreness. Egg protein, being high in EAA’s and BCAA’s, is an optimal source of protein for muscle growth. Recovering between training sessions allows us to maximise intensity in the next session, promoting greater muscle growth.
Egg Protein, Leucine and Muscle Growth
Leucine is especially beneficial in helping protein synthesis. Leucine, found abundantly in egg protein, is an essential amino acid which helps the body recover after training and serves as a nutrient signal to initiate muscle protein synthesis.
Egg Protein, Sulphur and Muscle Building.
Eggs and egg protein contains sulphur, which has a vital relationship with protein, since sulfur is found in the amino acids methionine, cystine, and cysteine. Thus, these amino acids are known as the ‘Sulfur bearing amino acids’ which are considered the building blocks of protein. A high abundance of these aminos in egg protein therefore makes egg protein an ideal choice for those looking for muscle growth