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Eggs not protein powders

05/05/2015

Top nutritionists claim that those looking to get ‘beach body ready’ could be wasting their money buying specialist protein powders, when they could be getting the same benefits for less cash by eating natural foods containing protein, like eggs.

Anita Bean BSc RNutr, a registered nutritionist specialising in sports nutrition, said: “Excessive protein consumption is unnecessary, and won’t produce faster or greater muscle gains. A couple of eggs after a workout provide all the protein required for muscle recovery without the need for expensive specialist powders and shakes, and they are also 100% natural.”

While protein bars and shakes are marketed as a convenient and quick fix for getting a good body as well as refuelling after exercise, they are invariably more expensive* than ‘real’ food, and there are concerns that the public are paying the premium unnecessarily. Eggs are one of the highest quality protein foods that you can buy.

Sports nutritionists advise that 15-25g protein is considered the optimal amount for aiding recovery after exercise, and this can be found in simple dishes like omelettes and scrambled eggs. Eating protein along with carbohydrate after finishing your exercise session improves muscle recovery and increases the efficiency of muscle glycogen storage.

Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein compared to protein powders and shakes*, as well as being cheaper than other protein alternatives such as chicken breasts and fish fillets.

Research suggests eating eggs can help with weight control as they help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Research** published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition followed women eating either an egg or bagel-based-breakfast of equal calories. The researchers found that the women eating the eggs felt fuller and had less desire to eat other foods within the following 24 hours. A second study*** by the Louisiana State University found that by giving two eggs a day for breakfast, overweight women lost more weight than women eating a similar breakfast without eggs. The researchers believe that it is testament to the satiating quality of eggs that led the egg-eating women to lose 65% more weight than the bagel group.

Eggs are not just rich in protein, they are a natural source of many nutrients; rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12 and vitamin D as well as containing vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus, iodine and selenium.

Notes to editors

Nutritional Comparison of popular recovery meals and products:

Meal/product Calories    Protein (g) Carbohydrate (g) Fat (g) Cost*   
1 boiled egg and 2 slices of toast + 10g margarine 320 15 31 17 21p
2-egg plain omelette with 200g potatoes 325 19 35 14 44p
Scrambled eggs (2) on 1 toasted bagel (60g) 334 20 35 14 54p
60g Maxinutrition Promax Meal Bar Blueberry Smoothie 210 21 18 6 £1.95
Maxi Milk chocolate 500ml bottle 339 50 30 1.5 £4.20
40g serving Protein World 'The Slender Blender' protein powder 150 31 2 2 £1.07

*Based on prices from Tesco.com and a box of 12 free range medium eggs, Ocado.com, Proteinworld.com accessed on 29 April 2015, excluding special offers.

** Vander Wal JS et al (2005). Short term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 245: 510-515.

*** Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, Dhurandhar NV (2008) Egg breakfast enhances weight loss (link is external). International Journal of Obesity 32: 1545 - 1551