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Football champions reach for the (egg) cup

12/06/2014

Diet is crucial for an optimum sporting performance and one thing all the World Cup teams from the Socceroos to the Three Lions have in common is that eggs are likely to feature in their match day meals. While raising the World Cup may be a distant dream for some teams, lifting the egg cup is a regular occurrence as the teams scramble to get in shape.

Eggs are being increasingly recommended by dietitians to our footballing heroes as they are a high protein food, and protein is key to building and maintaining muscle. Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, supply amino acids which are used for muscle growth. While carb-loading and sports drinks may grab all the attention, the quiet star on the menu this World Cup is nature’s original functional food, packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and B vitamins, it is easily digestible and can help rebuild muscle after match time injuries.

Registered Dietitian Jane Griffin said: “With previous limits on egg consumption lifted, footballers will be pleased to know that eggs represent one of the highest quality protein foods and can usefully add to their intake of essential nutrients. From vitamin B2 which helps release energy from carbohydrates, to vitamin D for bone health and heart function, eggs are beneficial for sportsmen but can also help the wider public towards a healthy balanced diet.” 

  • A winning pre-match meal: Toasted bagel with spinach and eggs - helps sustain power and energy output during exercise thanks to its high content of carbohydrate, which is combined with protein (from the eggs) to lower the meal’s glycaemic index (GI)
  • A champion post-match meal: Baked eggs with Mediterranean vegetables - an excellent way of getting at least two of a player’s 5-a-day fruit and vegetables. It is a good natural source of vitamins A, C and E - important antioxidants that promote recovery after exercise

Egg facts:

  • The previous limits on egg consumption due to their cholesterol content have now been removed. Eggs are a healthy fast food, especially if combined with vegetables and salads as part of balanced meals
  • Sports nutritionists advise that 10-20g protein is considered the optimal amount for aiding recovery after exercise and a simple two-egg dish will provide this 
  • A medium egg contains less than 80 calories
  • Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12 and vitamin D
  • It’s important to remember to look for eggs bearing the British Lion mark, which guarantees that they have been produced to the highest standards of food safety