Milk and raw eggs are favorite foods of bodybuilders and athletes due to their high protein content. Although both of these foods have their respective benefits, they should be eaten at proper times and in proper quantities depending on your specific workout goals. There are also some alternatives on the market presently for those hoping to add more protein to their diets.
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Most people agree that raw eggs are not extremely palatable, but some choose to eat them plain or in a health drink for added protein. Whether they are safe or beneficial for consumption is up for debate. Dr. Mercola of “Healing Daily” states that raw eggs are safe, and eating them in their raw form prevents the alteration of the natural proteins and B-vitamins found in eggs. He believes that cooking the egg depletes some of the nutritional value. However, the USDA discourages the consumption of raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella. Salmonella is a form of food poisoning contracted from raw eggs which causes diarrhea, vomiting, fever and severe illness in people with underlying health issues.
Milk is a good option for added protein and nutrients before and after a workout. The type of protein found in milk is a blend of whey and casein proteins. Whey protein is quickly used by the body for muscle repair and casein protein absorbs slowly, providing the body with long-term muscle recovery. GotMilk.com suggests drinking chocolate milk after a workout because it provides not only protein and nutrients from the milk, but the chocolate provides necessary carbohydrates as well. In a 2006 study by the "Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism," chocolate milk proved to be very sufficient for muscle repair and energy replacement and increased athletic endurance.
How to use Protein for Workouts
The 2006 study by the "Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" recommends consuming protein and carbohydrates within 45 minutes to one hour after working out. This provides your muscles with adequate protein to rebuild, leading to stronger muscles and decreased muscle soreness. Delaying consumption of carbohydrates and protein after a workout can significantly reduce the health benefits. If you are working out on a consistent basis, it is beneficial to consume more protein throughout the day as well, even before a workout. Protein is a good way to keep your energy levels high and to provide your body with essential nutrients. Drinking a glass of milk or eating raw eggs a couple hours prior to a workout are also beneficial, but it is more important after a workout.
Protein bars and shakes, nuts, yogurt and lean meats are also good sources of protein after a workout and are less risky than raw eggs. Protein shakes made with milk can provide up to 40 g of protein per serving, and can be purchased pre-made from many retailers.
- GotMilk.com: Get Help Rebuilding Muscles; 2011
- "Healing Daily"; Raw Eggs for Health; Dr. J. Mercola; 2002
- "USDA Food Safety" Raw and Undercooked Eggs: A Danger of Salmanellosis; J. Lin, R. Morales, K. Ralston; January 1997
- "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism"; Chocolate Milk as a Post-Exercise Recovery Aid; J. Karp, et al.; 2006