Are Eggs Good Before a Workout? (3 Benefits You Should Know)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: July 18, 2024
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As a certified personal trainer, I’m often asked if eggs are a good pre-workout meal.

To provide a concise answer, I sat with my dietitian to determine the nutritional value of eggs, their importance to the body, and whether they make a sufficient pre-workout meal.

Keep reading to know what I’ve learned.

Quick Summary

  • Consuming eggs before a workout is beneficial due to their high protein content, which aids in muscle growth and injury prevention.
  • For the best results, it's recommended to eat eggs one to two hours before a workout, ensuring they provide energy without causing digestive discomfort.
  • Research from the PubMed website indicates that consuming 16–30 grams of high-quality protein, like that found in eggs, along with 20–90 grams of carbohydrates, can significantly enhance muscle recovery and growth post-workout.
  • I've consistently found eggs to be an excellent source of pre-workout nutrition, offering the perfect balance of protein and energy for enhanced performance and muscle development.

Why Should You Eat Eggs Before You Workout?

Close up shot of cooked eggs on a pan

You should eat eggs before your workout because they contain proteins that help you grow muscle and avoid injuries and tears.

The meals you consume before working out greatly impact your fitness routine and health objectives.

Fasting before an intense workout can cause dizziness and drowsiness, but fueling your system with nutritious carbs or protein may offer optimum power for the greatest performance.

“A whole egg can be had before a workout along with a source of carbohydrates like cereals or a fruit, an hour prior to a workout so that it gives energy during the workout.”

– Ms. Geetanjali, Dietician

If you do frequent endurance workouts, like weightlifting, you should make protein an important element of your pre-workout snack.

Eggs are a great complete protein source, with around 7 g of high-quality protein, which has been demonstrated to aid muscle recovery and rebuilding after a strenuous workout.

According to one of the studies found on the PubMed website, you should ingest 16–30 g of high-quality protein with 20–90 g of carbs to speed your recovery, recharge energy stores, and boost muscle building [1].

I usually consume protein-rich pre-workout meals that help me recover after my workouts.

When Should You Eat Eggs to See Better Results?

A person holding an egg to a camera

You should eat eggs one to two hours before your workout to see better results.

Eating your best pre-workout snack at the appropriate time will improve your performance while avoiding stomach stress.

It is important to schedule your meals so as to ensure that blood aids your digestive process rather than going to your muscles during your exercises.

If you exercise in the morning, get up early and eat your hard-boiled eggs one hour before your workout.

On the other hand, if you want to work out later in the day, eat a smaller meal to avoid feeling bloated throughout your workout.

I usually consider the time I exercise to figure out approximately when to take my egg pre-workout snack. This allows me to obtain its full potential and avoid distress during my exercise.

Are Eggs Healthy?

Close up shot of eggs beside weights

Yes, eggs are healthy because they contain low calories, high protein, essential amino acids, and high vitamins and good fats to help you get on with your workout.

Hard-boiled or sunny-side-up eggs are a great nutritional protein source before your workout.

Below are the advantages of consuming eggs as high-quality protein before working out:

1. Eggs Are High in Protein and Low in Calories

A big hard-boiled egg has 78 calories and essential amino acids.

These include the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which maintain good vision; vitamin D, which is important for bone health and immunological function; and choline, which increases metabolism and aids in fetal neurodevelopment.

They can help with weight loss when consumed as pre-workout meals since they suppress hunger and limit the number of calories ingested [2].

Moreover, consuming eggs before working out is excellent for increasing strength and healing tiny rips in muscle tissue.

"One large egg has about six grams of high-quality protein, making them a good choice as part of an eating pattern that supports a healthy weight."

- Allison Knott, CSSD, Registered Dietitian

2. Eggs Increase Your Metabolism

Close up shot of a tray of eggs held by a muscular person

Eggs are one of the best pre-workout meals because they are high in all the essential amino acids required by your body.

This implies that your body may easily use the protein contained in eggs for upkeep and metabolic activity.

According to the study found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, consuming high-protein pre-workout meals leads to increased muscle metabolism by up to 85–100 calories per day via a mechanism known as the thermic impact of food [3].

The thermic impact of meals is the amount of energy the system requires to metabolize foods. That said, your body requires more energy to process proteins as opposed to other nutrients.

This means that high-protein meals, such as hard-boiled eggs, may aid you in burning extra calories, which can promote weight loss.

3. Eggs Are Quite Filling

Eggs are extremely nutrient-dense as well as satisfying, owing to their high protein levels.

A high-protein pre-workout meal has been shown to lower hunger and promote fullness when compared to a low-protein diet.

Studies have consistently demonstrated that egg breakfasts, particularly when combined with a source of fiber, improve feelings of satiety and lower food consumption. This is especially the case when compared to other diets with the same caloric value [4].

Aside from the outstanding nutritional profile, eggs have some other valuable benefits, including:

  • Eggs are inexpensive – One egg costs roughly 15 cents, which is a lot of nutritious value for a small amount.
  • They are easy to prepare – Cooking eggs for 10 minutes allows you to have your pre-workout ready just in time before your exercise.
  • Eggs go well with almost everything – You can combine them with pasta, oats, cereals, vegetables, whole grain bread, and more.

In addition, egg yolks and whites are the best protein sources before and after a strenuous workout.

Consuming egg whites alone is okay, but a study suggests that eating a whole egg may aid produce higher amounts of protein and muscle regeneration [5].

7 Easy Egg Pre-Workout Recipes

Try these delicious, protein-rich egg recipes before exercising:

1. Egg Wraps

Close up shot of egg wraps

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a small pan, or spray the non-stick pan with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat the pan.
  3. Break one egg into a dish and stir well.
  4. Pour it into the heated pan and rotate to distribute the egg into a circle on the pan's surface.
  5. Allow cooking for 30 seconds.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve.

Now you can wrap meat or vegetables of your choice or simply eat the eggs on their own. This way, this dish could also serve as a good post-workout meal.

2. Curried Egg Salad

Instructions:

  1. Add enough water to a saucepan to cover the eggs by one inch.
  2. Heat the water at medium-high till it starts to boil.
  3. Put the cover on the pan and turn off the heat. Set it aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour out the hot water, then run cold water over the eggs to cool them. Peel the eggs.
  5. Mix mustard, greek yogurt, curry powder, mayonnaise, salt, cayenne, and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  6. Gently mix in the peeled eggs, and serve when ready.

You can eat this salad on a piece of bread or in a wrap. For a healthier version, use a leaf of romaine lettuce.

3. Curried Egg Salad

Close up shot of Curried Egg Salad

Instructions:

  1. Add enough water to a saucepan to cover the eggs by one inch.
  2. Heat the water at medium-high until it starts to boil.
  3. Put the cover on the pan and turn off the heat. Set it aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour out the hot water, then run cold water over the eggs to cool them. Peel the eggs.
  5. Mix mustard, Greek yogurt, curry powder, mayonnaise, salt, cayenne, and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  6. Gently mix in the peeled eggs, and serve when ready.

You can eat this salad on a piece of bread or in a wrap. For a healthier version, use a leaf of romaine lettuce.

4. Basic Scrambled Eggs

Instructions:

  1. Mix your eggs, salt, milk, and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Thoroughly mix the egg yolks and egg whites for puffy scrambled eggs.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized pan over moderate heat and rotate to cover the whole surface.
  4. Add the eggs and allow them to remain in the warm pan for 2–3 minutes.
  5. As the edges begin to form, use a spatula to carefully bring the eggs toward the middle.
  6. Serve once cooked.

For an additional source of protein, add a bit of cheese to your meal. They make for a great combination.

5. Simple Fried Eggs

Close up shot of a fried egg on a pan

Instructions:

  1. Heat two teaspoons of butter in a pan.
  2. Break your eggs into the pan one at a time.
  3. As they start to fry, the egg whites will gradually solidify.
  4. Lower the heat and fry until the whites are firm and the egg yolk becomes slightly runny.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite spices or garnishes.

6. Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese Frittata, and Sweet Potato

Instructions:

  1. Steam sweet potatoes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet and add an onion and a pinch of salt.
  3. Stir them in the pan till browned, and add a tablespoon of water.
  4. Transfer the potatoes and onion to a mixing bowl and stir well.
  5. Oil the pan used for the onions and place over moderate heat.
  6. Mix the eggs in a second dish and season with pepper and salt.
  7. Add the veggies and garnish with goat cheese.
  8. Cook until the sides are golden brown, then put under a broiler.
  9. To consume, cut into slices.

This recipe makes for an excellent pre-workout meal as it contains lots of proteins, as well as nutrients found in potatoes.

7. Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes and Poached Eggs

Close up shot of Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes and Poached Eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven and coat a non-stick baking tray with frying spray.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on the tray.
  3. Spray the potatoes, and add pepper and salt to taste.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  5. Bring a medium-sized pan of water to a simmer and add a teaspoon of vinegar.
  6. Stir the water and gently crack the eggs into the pan.
  7. Boil for 3 minutes and drain.

Serve the poached egg on top of the sweet potatoes, and let the yolk cover them. You will definitely love this recipe!

FAQs

Do Eggs Build Muscles?

Yes, eggs build muscles. Eggs are one of the best muscle-building foods that can build muscle mass fast due to their high amount of proteins. Protein is essential for muscle development since it aids in the repair and growth of muscle tissue.

Are 4 Eggs Enough Protein Before a Workout?

Yes, 4 eggs are enough protein before a workout. You require 20–30 grams of proteins a day for muscle growth,  and one large egg provides around 6.5 grams.

Does Frying an Egg Destroy the Protein?

No, frying an egg doesn't destroy the protein. However, proteins from powdered eggs are much easier to digest.

Should I Eat Eggs Before or After a Workout?

You should eat eggs before a workout. You should eat your eggs at least one to two hours before you start your exercise.

What Are the Alternatives to Eggs for Pre-Workout Nutrition If I Have an Egg Allergy?

If you have an egg allergy, the alternatives to eggs for pre-workout nutrition are Greek yogurt, whey protein, or plant-based proteins like quinoa and chia seeds. These alternatives provide essential amino acids and energy, similar to eggs, making them effective for pre-workout nutrition.

What Nutritional Benefits Does the Egg Yolk Offer for Pre-Workout Meals?

Nutritional benefits that the egg Yolf offers for pre-workout meals are that they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, making them a valuable part of pre-workout nutrition. They contain nutrients like Vitamin D, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids, which support energy production and overall health.

How Should I Prepare Eggs for My Pre-Workout Meal?

You should prepare eggs for your pre-workout meal by boiling or poaching them or making an omelet. These methods preserve their nutritional value and ensure easy digestibility. Boiling or poaching is particularly effective as it avoids the addition of extra fats or oils.

What Foods Pair Well with Eggs for a Balanced Pre-Workout Meal?

The foods that pair well with eggs for a balanced pre-workout are whole-grain toast, avocado, or a fruit smoothie to create a balanced pre-workout meal. This combination ensures a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for sustained energy and muscle support.

When Is the Best Time to Eat Eggs Before a Workout?

The best time to eat eggs before a workout is 1-2 hours prior to allow sufficient time for digestion and energy utilization. This timing ensures that the protein and energy from the eggs are available during your exercise session.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19164770/
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/14/2904
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51053901
  5. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/106/6/1401/4823156
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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