Protein is the main organic component of our muscles, an essential macronutrient to the process of repairing and building muscle. For those reasons, one of the main concerns of the athletes is to ingest the correct amount of protein and amino acids throughout the day, without forgetting the ingestion of controlled amounts of carbohydrates and healthy fats, necessary to promote the protein synthesis and a good functioning of the organism.
Read also: Six myths about protein shakes
Albumin is a high biological value protein naturally present on egg whites, milk and blood. There are different types of albumin: serum albumin (the protein of blood serum, naturally produced by the organism by using meat, milk and egg protein); ovalbumin (albumin from egg whites); lactalbumin (milk albumin).
It’s been some time since eggs, and in particular egg whites, were used as the main source of protein for elite athletes, weightlifters, bodybuilders and even amateur athletes. Some of them even consumed raw egg whites. However, this may present some risks to our health because they may contain undesirable substances. So, it is quite common to use egg whites as a food supplement. But what are its advantages?
– The albumin extracted from the egg goes through a process of dehydration and filtering which eliminates part of the carbohydrates, cholesterol and fats it contains, besides going through a thermic treatment against salmonella;
– Albumin presents a wide variety of essential amino acids (predominance of Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid and Leucine) and non-essential to accelerate the muscular recovery and hypertrophy. It also contains complex B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus and iron;
– Albumin is a good alternative for lactose intolerant individuals and for everyone who needs high protein values to complement his diet and avoid eating meat and eggs all the time. These sources of protein didn’t suffer a filtering process and, therefore, offer good nutrients but also substances that may compromise your diet;
Note: Egg protein is a good source of Leucine (most important amino acid for stimulating protein synthesis after meals), but whey protein contains more (9% vs. 11%). However, World Health Organization affirms that 1% to 4% of the adults are allergic to dairy products. Those individuals and everyone with lactose intolerance may use albumin as a replacement and prevent unnecessary problems.
– Albumin may be used on a diet to lose weight, as well as to build and strengthen muscles and accelerate the regeneration of muscular fibers.
Note: Researchers from St. Louis University have proven that the consumption of egg protein extends the feeling of satiety, an indicator that prevents you from eating the wrong things.
– Albumin is cheaper than other protein sources.
– Albumin is very practical. You can consume it with skimmed milk or water as a base for your culinary recipes, which lets you consume it in different times of the day. It can work as a replacement or as a protein complement.
Tip: Pure albumin contains no additives to improve its taste, but you can easily improve this aspect if you mix the albumin shake with fruits and skimmed milk, for instance.
How much albumin do I need?
The quantity of albumin you can take depends on many factors, namely: body weight; daily values intake of protein; if you consume it with other sources of protein. However, to build muscle mass, you should ingest 2g to 3g of protein per kg of bodyweight. For example, if you weight 70k, you must ingest 140g of protein per day, from foods or supplements, and then you just need to take small amount throughout the day.
You can consume between 30 and 50 of albumin a day. These numbers change from person to person according to body weight and nutrition.
When should I take albumin?
Albumin may be consumed any time of the day, in any meal, to replacing the protein lost by your organism.
– When you wake up. Depending on your availability, you can use whey protein or albumin. Your body is thirsty for high quality protein and essential amino acids, being that albumin is a good answer to the fasting period; add maltodextrin, because in the morning your body also needs carbohydrates to produce more energy.
– Before working out. Some people prefer to ingest albumin 30/40 minutes before the workout, adding maltodextrin to improve abortion and increase energy during the workout.
– After working out. Some prefer to take it after the workout, but it is not as easily absorbed as whey protein. If you don’t have whey protein, take albumin with dextrose or maltodextrin.
– Before bedtime. Albumin has a moderate/slow absorption power and it is adequate for long periods without eating since it prevents muscular catabolism during sleep. It is a good alternative to casein which is more expensive.
Albumin supplements (egg white protein):
Egg white protein supplement with a fusion of whey isolate and concentrate and also casein:
Many supplements manufacturers mix egg protein and whey protein with slow-digesting proteins such as casein. The objective is to create a protein mixture that offers a constant release of amino acids into the bloodstream, extending the periods of satiety and preventing the eventual loss of muscle mass.
If you have any questions regarding the use of albumin seek medical advice.
Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., CSCS, & Layne Norton, Ph.D., Egg Protein: Unscramble The Science With Our Expert Guide, December 2011, adaptation of the original version
N/d, Albumina – O que é, efeitos e como tomar, n/d, adaptation and translation of the original version
Aline, Albumina – o que é, quando e como tomar, 2013, adaptation and translation of the original version
Tarsis, Albumina: Como usar, efeitos e o que! Tudo sobre albumina!, 2011, adaptation and translation of the original version