I saw ‘Rocky’ the Hollywood blockbuster many years back and saw Sylvester Stallone eating 6 raw eggs in the morning before his workout. So I decided to follow the same. I practiced this for a few weeks when I started having more mucus and postnasal drip. Also a few days, I had a stomach upset which I thought was because of something else. I researched and found eating raw eggs could be a reason. Hence I stopped eating raw eggs and continued with other sources of protein. During my courses on fitness and sports nutrition, I asked this question to many instructors and sportspersons. I got different answers. A year back my son started having raw eggs before his workout. It is now many months and he is regular in the intake of eggs. He has faced no problem to date. So it was time to understand the subject well, more scientifically.
Eggs are an Excellent Food
Raw eggs and cooked eggs are the same when it comes to nutrition. Both are well packed and rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, absorption is different in both. There are some changes which happen when we cook. Few changes are positive and few are not. Also, effects vary from individual to individual.
We all know that eggs are one of the best protein sources available to us in our diet. Besides that, it contains nine essential amino acids. However, researches have shown that raw egg is difficult to absorb. Protein in cooked eggs was more digestible. Although protein is better in cooked eggs, however, we slightly lose some other nutrients in cooking. These include Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Potassium, and Phosphorus.
Biotin is also known as Vitamin B7 and is a water-soluble vitamin. This vitamin is responsible for the body’s production of glucose and fatty acids. This vitamin is extremely essential for the development of a child in the pre-natal stage.
Egg yolks are a good dietary source of biotin. However raw egg white also contains a protein called Avidin. Avidin binds to biotin and prevents its absorption in the small intestines. While cooking, the heat destroys Avidin, hence cooked eggs should be preferred if this is the aim.
Contaminations in Raw Eggs
Raw and uncooked eggs may have harmful bacteria. These bacteria are present on the shell as well as inside the egg. The bacteria are initially present only on the shell but somehow find their way inside for various reasons not yet known. These bacteria may cause different symptoms in different people.
These days pasteurization of eggs is being done. This process uses heat treatment to reduce harmful bacteria and other microorganisms on the eggs. These pasteurized eggs are safe to be eaten raw.
Eating raw eggs reduces cooking time to almost nil. People who consume raw eggs before or after a workout generally consume eggs in large quantities (four to six eggs at a time). Cooking generally takes a long time and more effort which many want to avoid.
A boiled egg is also a wonderful option where all benefits are restored and yet a limited effort is required in cooking. Now a day’s special vessels and appliances have come to facilitate single button operations to boil eggs.
Raw eggs should be avoided in people having lower immunity, such as the elderly and young children.