How Eggs are Beneficial to Endurance Athletes
Eggs have gotten a bum wrap in the last few decades, due to the fear of the saturated fat they contain and the potential for increasing your cholesterol, increase risk of diabetes and obesity.
However, the most recent studies indicate that there is ever increasing evidence that it actually increases your HDL – the heart-protective ‘good’ cholesterol. Also, everyone is pretty much in agreement now, that the real problem with diabetes and obesity is eating too much processed food.
Image via Scott Anderson
So, what does that mean for an athlete? It probably means we really do not have anything to worry about. Whatever potential risk we ‘may’ have from, maybe, genetic factors, is grossly out weighed by the health and nutrition benefits of eggs.
Bang For Your Buck
At 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per egg, it is one of the best ‘bang for the buck’ foods you can eat for your nutrition and muscles. Eggs have an exceptional quality of protein because it is based on the mixture of all the essential amino acids. Basically, we need to consume these essential amino acids because our bodies cannot make them on their own. Thus making the egg a ‘complete’ protein source.
Egg yolks also have a high concentration of omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are thought to play an important role in reducing inflammation throughout the body – in the blood vessels, the joints, and elsewhere. Each egg has a different value of omega-3 fats due to what the individual hens had been eating.
The BCAA (branch chain amino acids) in eggs are the building blocks of muscular growth. This is especially true with Leucine, which triggers muscle growth. It’s basically like throwing fuel on the fire for your muscles to recover faster and more efficiently.
Eggs should be added to most endurance athletes’ diets. Making a batch of hard boiled eggs once or twice a week, so that you can eat one after a workout, for breakfast, a snack or in green salads is a simple and a great time saving way to get them in your diet. Try to purchase from local farms that have free-range chickens, as they are more nutrient dense with their brighter orange yolks.
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