There's no doubt that properly prepared egg whites are a superb bodybuilding food as they contain almost no fat or carbohydrate while delivering a whopping 50% of pure protein.
However, some athletes misguidedly eat them raw - often blended with fruit juice, believing they are drinking a quick, easy, and cheap protein-packed supplement.
Indeed the slightly old-school idea was popularised by Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky movie.
What Rocky probably didn't realise was that:
a) Eating raw egg whites HALVES their protein value
b) Continued consumption of raw egg whites can lead to Biotin Deficiency Syndrome, a nasty condition which can result in hair loss, severe dermatitis, loss of muscle coordination, exhaustion, muscle pain, and eventually death.
Biotin is part of the B-vitamin family and the human body requires a small amount to remain healthy.
Biotin helps the body utilize other B vitamins and aids the synthesis of fats & proteins and cell reproduction – what we bodybuilders call muscle growth!
However, a medical study (snappily titled 'The effects of actithiazic acid on egg white-induced biotin deficiency and upon the microbial formation of biotin vitamers in the rat') revealed that egg whites have a huge amount of a substance called 'avidin'.
And avidin immediately bonds to Biotin, preventing the body from using it and leading eventually to full or partial Biotin Deficiency Syndrome.
Luckily there is an easy solution – cook your egg whites.
Cooking your eggs (or egg whites) will quickly denature the protein avidin and will allow you to absorb 98% of the protein.
So be a smart bodybuilder (not a dead one) and always cook your eggs.