A recent meta-analysis of more than two dozen protein studies, has concluded that the “high-quality” proteins found within eggs, have unique and profound benefits for active individuals.
These high-quality, “all-natural,” proteins found in eggs, were seen to have significant benefits for muscle strength, energy levels, and appetite control. These high-quality proteins, according to the researchers, are loaded with amino acids, such as leucine, which promote the growth and structure of muscles. One egg is said to contain approximately 13% (six grams) of the daily recommended high-quality protein value.
Most Americans, in fact, were observed in the meta-analysis, to reach or exceed recommended amounts of daily protein consumption, primarily through eating meat, but it was found that these proteins were not nearly as high-quality as those found in eggs. Study author Dr. Donald Layman states that “while many Americans may be getting enough protein, they need to focus on consuming sources of higher-quality protein. Our review of the science suggests that eggs are an ideal protein choice, plus, they are very affordable,”
Muscle strength, sustained energy, and what’s referred to as “satiety,” or a contentedness of food intake and hunger, were the three primary benefits found through the consumption of eggs.
For muscle strength building and maintenance, it was found that egg consumption helped young individuals build muscle mass, and more quickly recover muscle strength following muscle-intensive exercise. For elderly individuals, though helpful in building and recovering muscle mass as well, the most profound effects of egg consumption were that they helped prevent the common loss of muscle mass that comes with age.
High-quality proteins in eggs are also a source of energy production in the body, through B vitamins. B12, B6, riboflavin, folate and thiamin, are all examples of B vitamins found in eggs, which work not only to create, but sustain energy, as well. This is in contrast to some other types of proteins, which increase insulin and sometimes blood sugar levels, leading to an initial energy spike, but subsequent energy “crash.”
Finally, eggs were seen to “satiate” peoples appetites, lessening the likelihood of overeating. Most notably, it was seen that individuals who ate eggs at breakfast, were likely to both have more energy throughout the day, and have a lessened likelihood to overeat during lunch and dinner. Says Dr. Layman, “individuals should focus on when they consume high-quality protein. Most protein consumption occurs in the evening, even though there are significant benefits to consuming more protein at breakfast, such as stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and long-lasting satiety.” Egg consumption is not as firm a recommendation for individuals living a sedentary lifestyle, but the energy boosts provided by the food could potentially add the natural motivation needed to become more active.
Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Layman, Donald. Nutrition Today news release. February 2009.