Are Eggs Good Before a Workout?
Eggs are a staple of any bodybuilding or athlete's diet. From Arnold’s scrambled egg breakfasts, to Rocky’s pre-workout raw egg drink. Even Michael Phelps packs a ton of fried eggs into his olympic diet.
We all know eggs are good for us.
They’re packed with protein, good cholesterol, viatmins & minerals and are quick and easy to make.
But do eggs make a good pre workout snack, or should they be eaten post-workout?
The answer might surprise you. Read on to discover the best ways and times to eat eggs as part of your muscle building or weight loss diet.
Are Eggs a Good Pre-Workout Meal?
Eggs are a staple in most diets, and for good reason. They're loaded with protein and other essential nutrients, making them an ideal breakfast option for anyone looking to build muscle or improve their health.
But what about eggs as a pre-workout meal?
One egg contains about 72 calories and 6 grams of high-quality protein, but also carries 5 grams of fat (1.6 saturated) and iron, vitamins and minerals. However, one egg contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates which is also an essential for pre-workout nutrition.
Eggs are also rich in vitamins A and D, which help maintain healthy bones, important for anyone engaging in high-intensity physical activity such as weight lifting or running.
So, if you're looking for a nutritious pre-workout meal, eggs probably aren't going to cut it on their own.
If you want to eat eggs before working out, consider combining them with other foods that will provide carbohydrates and fat as well as protein.
Should I Eat Eggs Before or After a Workout?
Eating Eggs Pre-Workout
If you want to work out or exercise, avoid eating large, heavy meals that are difficult to digest. Try eating at least an hour before any physical activity.
A light meal, consisting of easily digested foods such as scrambled or poached eggs on toast with a banana or some yoghurt is ideal.
Eating Eggs Post-Workout
To help repair and grow muscle, you need protein and carbohydrate after exercise. Muscles naturally rebuild themselves, but for effective results, you should consume protein within the first hour after training, together with carbohydrate and fluids.
After a workout, your meals should be based around protein-rich foods such as eggs, milk or chicken. Combine these with carbohydrates to make an excellent recovery meal for example, boiled eggs ad toast or Spanish tortilla omelette and potato.
Eggs are also a rich source of leucine, which research suggests may be responsible for increased muscle metabolism when consumed after exercise.
The Best Way to Eat Eggs Before a Workout for Muscle Building
When planning your workouts, consider the timing of your meals or snacks before and after exercising. Eating at the right time can help improve your performance and prevent cramping or an upset stomach.
Eggs contain protein, vitamins and healthy fats that will help you power through your routine. Eating too close to the start of your sweat session can lead to stomach cramps, so make sure to eat at least one to two hours before starting your workout. Your blood will also flow to your muscles instead of assisting in food digestion.
If you usually exercise in the morning, eat your eggs an hour before you exercise. If you plan to work out after breakfast, enjoy a lighter meal so you don't feel uncomfortable during your workout.
After your workout, it is important to refuel your body within one to two hours. Eating a meal with carbohydrates along with your eggs can improve muscle recovery.
Some Simple Meal Ideas Including Eggs Could Be:
Check out the full recipe from the Mediterranean Dish
Saturated Fat: 2.1g
Scrambled Eggs on Toast
Total Fat: 15.4 g
Saturated Fat: 7.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 40.9 g
Fibre: 6.6 g
Protein: 6.6 g
Avocado Bagel with Poached Egg
Check out the full recipe from Get Cracking
Saturated Fat: 14g
Sweet Potatoes and Poached Eggs
Eating Eggs Post-Workout
Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein and other nutrients and vitamins.
The Benefits of Eating Eggs After Your Workout Include:
- Thanks to their protein content, eggs help rebuild muscle tissue after exercise. This makes them an ideal food to eat after a workout.
- Eggs are rich in vitamin D, which is needed for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Calcium helps build strong bones and muscles while phosphorous contributes to stronger bones and teeth. Both nutrients help prevent osteoporosis by strengthening bone density.
- Vitamin B12 plays an important role in supporting brain function, red blood cell production and energy metabolism and it also helps prevent nerve damage related to low levels of this vitamin.
The Drawbacks of Eating Eggs After Your Workout
- Eggs have a high cholesterol content which some people try to avoid because they believe that high cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.
Can You Eat Eggs Every Day?
If you don’t have any health issues such as high cholesterol or heart disease, it is fine to have anywhere from 1 to 4 eggs a day as long as they are consumed alongside a healthy balanced diet.
However, it wouldn’t be recommended for this to be your only source of protein.
Side Effects of Eating Eggs Every Day
- Increases chances of heart disease
- Higher blood cholesterol
- Increase your risk of diabetes
Is 4 Eggs a Day Too Much?
This depends entirely on the individual themselves and their overall health. If you do not have any health issues and don’t experience side effects, it would be fine to consume up to four eggs in a day.
However, if you suffer from health conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol you may want to reduce this amount to 1-2 eggs per day.
Do Eggs Help Muscle Growth?
Muscles need protein to repair and grow. The high-quality amino acids in eggs make them perfect for post-workout meals, when muscles are rebuilding.
Muscle mass and calorie burn are linked, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. Eating foods rich in nutrients such as protein can help build muscle efficiently.
If you want to build bigger and stronger muscles or become fitter generally, don't skimp on recovery time. Recovery is just as important, if not more so, than your workouts themselves because it allows your body enough rest for injuries to heal, helps prevent muscle aches and pains due over-exertion during exercise.
To aid in post-workout recovery, protein along with carbohydrate-rich foods and fluids is essential. As part of a balanced diet, eggs can help provide you with many of the nutrients your body needs to recover muscles efficiently.
Should You Drink Raw Eggs Before or After a Workout?
The answer to this question isn’t crystal clear, as this can depend on your goals. For example, if you are performing strength training then drinking raw eggs before may be beneficial because it will help to stimulate muscle growth and repair.
However, if you're doing cardio then drinking raw eggs after may be better because it will help to replenish nutrients lost during exercise and allow for more rapid recovery.
Whatever your goals, you should be very cautious when drinking raw eggs as they can carry unhealthy bacteria and heightens your risk at catching Salmonella.
There are many arguments to support cooked eggs over raw eggs, for example Saunders eggs say on their blog, ‘Aside from wanting to avoid harmful bacteria, you should always choose cooked eggs over raw ones because you’ll consume more useful protein that way. When you cook eggs, it breaks down their proteins, which aids with digestion and provides your body with more protein it can use.’
Alternatives to Eggs
Although eggs are a great source of protein, can be paired with other ingredients to create a nutritious pre or post workout meal and are easy to make, there are many other pre-workout alternatives on the market.
Other options could be:
Protein Bars- Protein bars are one of the quickest and easiest snacks to grab and enjoy before your gym session. bars contain a large amount of protein to fuel your workout and boost your energy levels.
Protein Shakes- If you want to fuel your workout with a protein shake, drinking one before a trip to the gym is easy. Just pick one that packs all of the nutrients and energy you need in one bottle, so there’s no need for another snack later on!
Porridge- If you are an early riser and prefer to get your workout out of the way on a morning, porridge is a brilliant pre-workout breakfast. If you don’t have much time to prep, you could always grab a porridge pot, add water and you are ready to go.