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Advice: Eat Cholesterol to Gain Muscle


Whole eggs were a post-workout staple for bodybuilders in the 1990s. While the old school guys were incorrect about many things, they were correct on many others. A new study shows the importance of yolks in getting yoked (1,2).

The Scientific Method

Young males who had been strength-trained were given 12 weeks to lift. After the activity, one group ate three whole eggs, while the other ate a protein-matched breakfast of around six egg whites. They examined muscle-regulating indicators, strength, and body composition after 12 weeks.

The level of fibroblast growth factor-2 was much greater. Follistatin levels were also elevated. The whole-egg group also saw a higher decline in myostatin, a muscle growth inhibitor, which is a favorable thing. The lower your myostatin level, the greater muscle development potential you have.

There were even clearer patterns showing the whole-egg group grew greater muscle beyond the molecular level. Leg extension strength, grip strength, anaerobic power, testosterone levels, and body fat were all improved.

Eating entire eggs provided all of these advantages.

What Does This Imply for You?

Many important muscle-building and health-enhancing elements are found in the yolk. What's the main reason for these anabolic effects? Cholesterol in the diet. In comparison to its caloric content, a whole egg has a high disproportionate amount of cholesterol.

One of the most misunderstood compounds is dietary cholesterol. People confuse it with blood cholesterol, which has nothing to do with the cholesterol you eat (3). Based on the nutrient's food intake, your body manages blood cholesterol properly.

So the goal of consuming a lot of cholesterol isn't to block your arteries. The mechanism is found within the cells of the muscles.

“Lipid cholesterol is unimportant here,” says Dr. Andy Galpin, one of the study's authors. You're engaged in a signaling exercise.”

Dietary cholesterol, as well as other micronutrients such as folate found in egg yolks, signal muscular growth (4,5). In general, more is better.

As a result, vegan diets will always be slightly less effective for hypertrophy than diets that include animal proteins. Plant sources can match animal sources for protein and amino acids, but only animal sources contain dietary cholesterol.

Some shellfish, such as shrimp and sardines, have a considerable quantity of cholesterol, but they still don't compare to whole eggs when it comes to animal sources in the grocery store. Eggs are very inexpensive and practical.

I'm not sure how many I should eat.

I recommend that women eat at least two and men eat four meals each day, although this can be adjusted based on personal preference and caloric requirements. If you're feeling particularly daring, try organ meat, which is even more nutrient-dense and high in cholesterol.

But, in the end, the major conclusion is this: If you want to maximize your benefits, don't skip the yolks and don't be afraid of dietary cholesterol.