Nutrition Tip for Runners: Eggs Are Eggcellent

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eggs

The incredible, edible egg.

More than just a breakfast food.

Eggs are so much more than just an over-medium breakfast side at Denny’s. With nearly a trillion (we counted) ways to prepare and cook with eggs, I’m led to believe that there is something for everyone. When it comes to refueling after a run, it’s true that you may have your tried and true, go-to post-run favorites; recovery drinks and bars are convenient nutritional options that we carry here at Running Warehouse. But if you have the time and means, cooking up something eggy is a wonderful, nutritious (keep reading) real food recovery option to consider.

The controversy.

For a long time, eggs were deemed as unhealthy because of their high cholesterol content. But after years of research, eggs are back on the “good list” again after the FDA declared them so in 2000. You see, though cholesterol content should still be monitored with care and consumed in moderation, the real danger is the saturated fat content in our foods. These bad fats have a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol, triggering the body to produce it. Since eggs are low in saturated fat with only approximately 1.6 g per egg, even though one large egg contains over 200 mg of cholesterol, in moderation, the benefits (see below) outweigh the danger to your cholesterol*.

The protein.

eggs_2Along with milk, eggs provide us with the “gold standard” for protein. With only 75 calories, one egg packs in 7 grams of high-quality protein. Providing all nine essential amino acids that you need from your diet, egg protein is considered a complete protein.

The other benefits.

Eggs not only provide you with complete proteins, but also with iron (a mineral that contributes to healthy circulation), B vitamins, selenium (a mineral that helps you maintain your metabolism), and carotenoids. Caro-te-whats? Carotenoids are disease-fighting nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The choline content in eggs may also enhance brain development and memory.

Running specific.

As runners, we are endurance athletes, and therefore we require more protein than the average, more sedentary human being. We need more protein to help replace the protein that we break down in our bodies during our running. Protein helps us build lean tissue and also helps our muscles recover from workouts so that we are ready to hit the road again ASAP. Adding more protein to your diet does not automatically mean you will perform better, but if your intake of protein is too low, you may notice adverse affects, like fatigue or loss of muscle mass. And when your body is more rundown, you increase your risk of injury, too.

 

*Please consult your doctor or dietitian with any concerns, or if you have high cholesterol.

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