Albumin is a protein present in greater quantity in the plasma, constituting more than half of the liquid part of human blood.
It is mainly responsible for giving the blood its viscous appearance, as well as balancing the amount of liquid within the blood vessels. Thus, albumin is also used in medicine to treat burns and severe bleeding.
In addition, albumin is found in foods such as eggs and milk. Extracted from the egg white, it is possible to find the protein in supplement form, due to its ability to rebuild muscle tissue.
For those looking to increase lean mass , albumin can be a good option.
In this article we will detail the use of albumin as a supplement. Read on and find out if it’s right for you!
What is albumin?
Albumin is a protein present in our blood that transports nutrients and maintains the osmotic balance (passage of water through membranes), necessary for the nutrition of all cells.
When dealing with the protein present in the blood, the name given is seroalbumin . It is produced by the liver.
In the human body, it has the important function of keeping the blood level in the vessels balanced by controlling pH and osmotic pressure.
In addition to seroalbumin, protein is also found in foods of animal origin. The lactalbumin and ovalbumin are the proteins found in egg and milk, respectively.
Albumin has all the essential amino acids – those that the body needs but cannot synthesize. Due to this constitution, albumin is a complete protein and a great muscle supplement.
Thus, supplements made with albumin work as a source of energy to prevent muscle catabolism, that is, the process of losing lean mass obtained through hypertrophy.
Albumin is found in greater amounts in egg whites. For this reason, ovoalbumin is the main protein used for this purpose, since egg whites are essentially made up of water and proteins.
As a result, albumin is known as the “egg protein”. It is the oldest of the supplements available on the market. Usually, the supplement is found in powder, but it is also sold in capsule and tablet versions.
As albumin provides significant amounts of amino acids, it effectively contributes to the replacement of the protein content of the muscles and to the process of muscle hypertrophy.
Due to its efficiency, it has been widely consumed since the beginning of bodybuilding, mainly by those who want to achieve muscle definition.
What is human albumin?
Human albumin is the active substance in albumin extracted from the blood. It can be used in serious situations, such as bleeding or burns.
The application must be made intravenously, and performed exclusively by a health professional.
The medicine that contains this active ingredient should be used only for this purpose, not as a supplement.
How is albumin made?
Albumin as a supplement is made mainly with ovoalbumin, the protein extracted from the egg. Thus, the commercialized albumin supplements are composed of pasteurized egg white, which results in a powder soluble in water or other cold liquids.
Pasteurization occurs when the temperature of the egg white rises and, shortly thereafter, it cools. The process can also be called dehydration.
The supplement can also be found in tablets or pills, which is just the condensation of the powder.
Albumin or whey: what’s the difference?
Albumin and whey are proteins with different properties, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The use depends on the individual goal.
Albumin is made exclusively from egg white, which makes it a source of proteins with a lot of biological value. Whey, in turn, is derived from the extraction of whey proteins.
Because it has no sugars or fats, albumin is considered a slow-absorbing supplement. Thus, the intake of the supplement can occur at different times of the day, in order to constantly release energy.
Whey, in turn, has a much faster absorption. This contributes to post-workout hypertrophy, as the instant release of the protein cures the microlesions created in the muscles during training.
Thus, the ideal time to ingest whey protein is right after training.
Albumin, on the other hand, contributes to the maintenance of metabolism, in order to continuously provide energy. So it is common that it is ingested right after waking up. This protein provides good reserves for physical activities during the day.
The difference is also in the prices. Albumin, in general, has a simple composition and can be found at lower prices than whey protein.
In addition, depending on the way whey is produced, it may contain lactose. For people with lactose intolerance, albumin is a more viable option.
Although they are commonly seen as similar, each of the supplements has different goals, and with it, different advantages. To add them to your diet, be sure to consult a nutritionist.
Function: what is albumin for?
Albumin has the essential function of maintaining and building muscles and tissues. Protein is also responsible for osmotic function, balancing the level of nutrients in cells. Due to its high biological value, albumin derived from egg whites is widely marketed as a muscle supplement.
Increased muscle mass
The albumin supplement has the main function of helping to gain muscle mass.
Due to its high biological value, the protein provides an energy reserve that helps to rebuild the microlesions that occur in the muscles during training.
That way, when the muscles are repaired, they become bigger and stronger.
Source of nutrients
In addition to the muscle repair function, albumin is also a good source of nutrients. Combined with a portion of carbohydrate, the intake of albumin contributes to the proper functioning of the metabolism.
Supplementation with albumin also ensures nutrition of zinc, iron and magnesium for muscle fibers, which contributes to tissue regeneration and prevents catabolism, making the repaired muscles more developed and stronger.
Greater feeling of satiety
In addition to being a good source of nutrients, albumin also contributes to a feeling of satiety. As its digestion is slower, due to its protein properties, albumin is an ally to keep you satisfied and avoid the consumption of very fatty foods.
Treatment of patients
Another function of albumin, not related to sport, is its supplementary application for patients in specific situations.
Albumin can assist in the treatment of patients with severe liver diseases, such as cirrhosis , and also in cases of liver transplantation.
For cases where there is a lot of blood loss, albumin can also be used. It would be the case with heart surgery.
For patients who have suffered severe burns, causing the loss of fluids, electrolytes and albumin, albumin supplementation can also be performed.
Albumin is fattening?
The consumption of albumin is not fattening . The proteins that make up the albumin supplement are not transformed into fat and the supplement is formed exclusively by protein components, that is, without fats or sugars. Used correctly, albumin will not cause an increase in body fat.
However, since the supplement aims to increase lean mass through hypertrophy, it is normal for there to be an increase in consumer weight.
However, this increase in weight does not represent an increase in the amount of fat, but in the amount of lean mass present in the muscles.
Also due to the increased feeling of satiety when ingested, albumin can contribute to a decrease in the consumption of high-calorie or fatty foods throughout the day.
It is important to remember that your protein intake must be balanced with the amount of carbohydrates as well. Thus, for the effect to be as desired, it is essential that an adequate diet is followed, as well as the practice of physical exercises.
Albumin can help with weight control, but it needs to be used in the right way for each person’s purpose. For this, before using supplementation, consultation with a nutritionist is essential.
How and when to take?
Albumin, like any supplementary protein, should be taken in the correct amount according to the individual’s weight and physical activity routine. The consensual recommendation of sports nutrition is that exercise practitioners ingest 1.2 to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight.
As needs vary from person to person, it is essential that a nutrition professional is consulted, adapting the diet to your needs and routine.
The albumin supplement is found in powder, resulting from the dehydration of the egg white. This powder should be dissolved in any cold liquid, such as water or coconut water. It is still possible to find the supplement in the form of tablets or pills.
The taste of albumin may be unpleasant for some. To get around this, it is also possible to ingest it with shakes, with carbohydrates and even with juices, so that the taste becomes more pleasant.
Ingestion of the albumin supplement can be performed at different times of the day.
When ingested in the morning, it will have the property of providing a good protein reserve for physical exercises that are performed during the day, in addition to providing satiety.
When ingested at night, before sleeping, albumin will provide your body with a gradual release of proteins. As sleep is a period of fasting, the action of albumin contributes to the maintenance of muscles and prevents the loss of muscle mass (catabolism) during sleep.
Some care must be taken in relation to albumin, if the person has an allergy , for example.
Since protein is made exclusively from eggs, egg allergies react negatively to albumin.
In addition, it is necessary to take into account the high sodium content present in the supplement (around 18%). Therefore, the product may not be suitable for hypertensive patients.
The supplement can also cause bloating in the abdomen and gas , causing flatulence. For people with intestinal, liver or kidney problems, albumin can be a bad option.
Albumin can be a risk to everyone when consumed in excess. If you have any clinical health condition, it is important to consult a nutritionist or doctor to check the risks in using the supplement.
Price and where to buy
The albumin supplement is relatively inexpensive compared to other proteins, such as whey.
Albumin can be found in supplement stores, pharmacies or even online markets and stores. Most brands have options with 500g of the product for less than R $ 50.
Supplements: brands and products
Since it is a well-known supplement and widely used by athletes, albumin can be found in several products from different supplement brands.
The price varies a lot according to the quantity and the brand. Below, we have separated the main albumin products and the average price at which they are found:
Albumina Naturovos Natural
Naturovos Natural Albumin is a supplement made in powder, exclusively with dehydrated and pasteurized egg white. It is available in packs of 500g and there are flavor options such as natural, chocolate, vanilla, banana and strawberry.
Price *: R $ 38.90 to R $ 40.49.
Albumina Sports Nutrition
The albumin Sports Nutrition is a supplement also made clear with the pasteurized egg and dehydrated with the addition of sucralose. It is available in 500g packaging and in the flavors of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Price *: R $ 31.90 to R $ 47.88.
Albumina Health Labs
The Albumin Health Labs is the powder supplement, fully derived from egg white and highly protein. The packaging has 500g and the flavored versions have the addition of sucralose, including chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with banana.
Price *: R $ 35.90 to R $ 36.95.
Pure Sina albumin
The Sina Chef brand produces a pure version of Albumin , with no added sugars and available only in natural flavor. It is also available in 500g packaging.
Price *: R $ 26.20 to R $ 33.50.
* Prices were consulted at Consulta Remédios in August 2019. Prices may change.
Is it worth taking albumin?
Overall, albumin is highly recommended for athletes looking for lean muscle growth and muscle hypertrophy.
Albumin is a slow-release protein (different from whey protein) and, in addition to helping prevent muscle catabolism from happening, it provides good energy reserves for the day.
Albumin can also be combined with other supplements that have different effects, as long as indicated by a nutrition professional and adequate amounts.
A positive point is that the albumin supplement can be found with lower values than other supplements. That is, it is possible to have good results without weighing your pocket!
Albumin performs essential functions for the proper functioning of our metabolism.
In addition, it works well as a dietary supplement for exercise practitioners.
If you use albumin to improve your results, leave a comment for us telling your experience with the supplement!
Thanks for reading!