Eggs are a rich source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and other nutrients that have many benefits to runners. But many people still consider eggs to be unhealthy because of their cholesterol levels. How often and how many can we have without harming our health? Don’t worry: having an egg a day is not bad!
Nutrients in an egg
Eggs help sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day. One egg of 50 grams counts 70 calories, and it contains 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fats, and zero carbs. Additionally, an egg offers nine of the essential amino acids and many beneficial vitamins.
What about the high amount of cholesterol?
The fat in the egg yolk contains 180 mg cholesterol, which is 62% of the Daily Value. In the past many people were worried about harming their hearts. But based on recent studies, nutritionists now say dietary cholesterol isn’t as lethal as we thought some 40 years ago. Scientific research has shown no or little effect between dietary cholesterol and cardiac outcomes. When you are healthy, it is perfectly safe to have up to 1 whole egg a day. Please note that if you have any dietary restrictions or if you are suffering from any health issues, please ask for personal recommendations from your healthcare professional.
Too much fat?
Fat is a type of macronutrient, and just like protein and carbohydrates, your body needs some fat for energy, to absorb vitamins, and to protect your heart and brain health. Eggs contain the “good”, healthy fats. It’s good to fuel your run with healthy fats, instead of the fast-burning carbs. Eggs are actually ideal if you are on a diet, as they are low in carbohydrates (zero sugar!) and their proteins will help you feel full and eat less. So if you run to lose weight, eggs can actually help you.
Eggs have great health benefits – especially the yolk!
For a number of reasons, eggs are a great choice for runners. They can help maintain a lean body weight, fight inflammation, and promote bone strength. Eating egg whites is popular among many athletes because of their rich and high-quality level proteins. But 43% of the egg’s protein is in the yolk. Eating the whole egg will result in greater muscle protein synthesis than the egg whites alone.
The yolk offers many nutritional benefits for runners. It is the richest source of the B vitamin choline (30 percent), which is associated with reducing inflammation and better brain function. The egg yolk carries fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D (which contributes to bone health and the immune system), Vitamin E, and A. And its unsaturated fat helps to absorb these egg components. Additionally egg yolks are good for the eyes because they are a significant source of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Eggs before or after a run?
Having a pre-workout meal of eggs has many benefits compared to meals that are full of carbs, like cereals or bread. The protein and healthy fats help sustain your energy levels and you won’t suffer that blood-sugar dip later on.
If you’re feeling hungry after a long run, it can be tempting to opt for something sweet like a muesli bar or biscuits, or maybe even a plate of pasta. But eggs are a much more satisfying post-workout meal.
Egg recipe tips
To incorporate eggs into your daily pre- and post-run meals, you may think of the traditional egg preparations like boiling, scrambling, frying or poaching. But there are many other ways to introduce eggs into your training diet.
A few easy egg recipes:
- Vegetable omelet: chop up whatever leftover vegetable that you have, and stir-fry them in a pan with onion, garlic, pepper, and salt. Crack a few eggs in a bowl and add a tablespoon of milk, whisk all until yolk and egg white are mixed, and then add them to the vegetable pan. Season with some pepper and salt. You may add grated cheese on top.
- Egg Muffins: stir-fry some vegetables, whisk some eggs in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Mix the veggies with the eggs in the bowl. For variation, you might add extra fillings such as smoked salmon or sun-dried tomatoes and olives. You could vary in flavors by using different spices and herbs such as curry powder, basil, cumin, fresh coriander, etc. Pour the egg/veggies mixture into a muffin tray (each cup should be about two-thirds full). Bake in the oven at 200C (180C for a fan oven) for around 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Egg wrap: whisk some eggs and season with pepper and salt, add a thin layer of the mixture into a frying pan and fry until cooked through. Let them cool down. Make a filling of grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and salad and put it into the egg wrap.
‘An egg is always an adventure; the next one may be different.’ (Oscar Wilde)
An egg a day is OK, yay!
Looking at the nutritional facts, the recommended daily values, and all benefits that eggs have to offer, it is not bad at all to eat an egg every day. Not only are they a perfect way to start the day, but they are also a great post-workout option for muscle recovery.
I hope this article cleared up some worries about having too many eggs. Please share this post by hitting the social media buttons below. Thank you! If you have any questions or nice egg recipes, please send me an e-mail at an*******@mo*********.com or leave your comment below.
That’s a fantastic and quite informational article.
It sheds a light on an important topic – are eggs unhealthy when taken in large quantities.
As an egg lover I really appreciate all that information and especially the fact that I can stop worrying about the cholesterol! 🙂
Thank you! Break another one I would say! 😉
The egg debate will rage on forever! I usually eat three per day, as I saw an article saying that eating three showed much better gains in muscle than if I were to eat none. I guess one a day would also be very helpful. I’m definitely going to try making the egg muffins 😀
Thanks Chris, Three eggs a day! Wow, you are an egg-fan! Good luck with the egg muffins. Let me know how they tasted and which toppings/fillings you’ve used.
Hi – I am a big fan of eggs and i loved your post as well. Let me add, the nutrients in eggs like folic acid and vitamin B 12 are linked to immune system health. This means that eating eggs can help you keep illnesses at bay. The only that you should be careful is if you do not cook or prepare eggs carefully, you may be putting yourself at risk of food poisoning. Eggs that are not fully cooked are at high risk of salmonella. This will result in vomiting and other stomach problems.
True! Thanks for the additional nutritional information. And also for your advice on proper cooking. It’s good to know that most of the eggs we buy were pasteurized to limit the risks of Salmonella. But being carefull is never a bad idea!
Yay! Thanks for all those informations. There’ve been contradictory opinions, especially about cholesterol, as you said. Moderation is the key.
Great article! Thanks for sharing.
All the best to you
Absolutely true! Thanks for your comment.
Found the article really interesting! Actually, eggs are my favourite sources of protein. I do eat meat but there’s just something that I like more about eggs.
As for any food high in fats, we should not consume too much of it. But definitely, I find that one egg a day is reasonable.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment Adam! Enjoy your next egg!