Eggs: a critical component of a bodybuilding diet
Did you know that next in line behind water, protein is the most abundant element in our bodies? Indeed, protein provides loads of important benefits to overall good health and is a critical component of a healthy diet. If exercise is a big part of your lifestyle, it’s even more important to maintain adequate protein intake to keep your body performing at desired levels.
Now let’s say your sport of choice is bodybuilding. We know about protein’s role in building muscles; without it, muscles don’t grow. Simple as that. In what seems counterintuitive, however, bodybuilders must intentionally damage valuable protein fibers to initiate the muscle growth process. Heavier weights and more reps and a mix of challenging exercises is the name of the game to pack on muscle and as such, bodybuilders need to take in a much higher protein percentage than a traditional diet. What, then, is a healthy and efficient way to keep enough protein coming in on a regular basis?
The incredible edible egg
Eggs. One of the single most nutrient-complete and versatile foods out there. In fact, eggs are loaded with such quality protein, upwards of 6 grams, that they are seen as the “protein standard” among foods. They are rich in vitamins A, E, and K; as well as an array of B vitamins like the B12 energy shot, folic acid, and riboflavin.
Still not convinced? Eggs also include all eight essential amino acids which are key in building muscle strength and depth, recovery, and encouraging the presence of highly influential minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium.
Fat in the gym
New and amazing research in the fitness and bodybuilding world comes at us like a Minnesota blizzard and it is often difficult to even keep up, much less sift through it all and understand what’s legit and what is merely bunk.
But we do know that bodybuilders, or anyone else, looking to build muscle need sufficient fat intake to satisfy high energy requirements but limited appetites. Eggs to the rescue. Egg whites contain no fat at all, while the yolk is made of about 5 grams of fat. The good news if only about 1.6 grams of that total is saturated fat; the bad stuff. That makes an egg a nearly perfect food for a muscle-building training regime.
What about cholesterol? Yep, eggs have cholesterol and too much of it is a bad thing. But dietary cholesterol does not raise cholesterol in our blood and given the fact that eggs are also easily digested and absorbed, they become a very useful dietary tool to round out a balanced diet.
A day in the life of a bodybuilder’s diet
There are all kinds of ways to incorporate eggs into meals but for some people it’s challenging to recognize and understand how it all works. Let’s look at the numbers of a sample bodybuilder meal day:
Start the morning with 6 egg whites and 2 yolks and you get about 26 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat (of which almost 3 is good fat), 0 carbs and 153 calories.
Add a bowl of oats, a banana, and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil and you’re looking at 39 grams of protein, 78 of carbs, 48 of fat (only 4 grams of bad fat) and 900 calories. Eat that meal three times a day and you get 2700 calories packed with 132 grams of good fat and 117 protein grams.
Throw in a protein bar, 2 liters of milk throughout the day, a post-workout shake and 1 cup of broccoli with tuna and you end the day with more than 5,000 calories, nearly 200 grams of good fat, and 321 grams of protein.
There you have it. A highly nutritious and natural way to build muscle.
Egg prep options
You are not limited to one or two cooking methods when it comes to eggs. In fact, much of the fun with eggs is their versatility in preparation, some of which include boiling, frying, baking, scrambled, and steamed.
But let’s say you just don’t like how eggs taste but you still want their rewards. Add herbs or spices or sauce. Mix the eggs with oats, yogurt, milk, and peanut butter; toss it around in a blender, and you have all the egg benefit without the egg taste.