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Health & Fit The NFL's strongest running back drinks a raw egg smoothie every morning because he's afraid he'll get sick from eating cooked ones

15:10  14 october  2021
15:10  14 october  2021 Source:   insider.com

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  • NFL running back Austin Ekeler is afraid to eat cooked eggs, and doesn't take supplements
  • But he wants the protein from eggs, so he now adds raw eggs to his morning smoothie.
  • However, raw eggs do not pack as strong a protein punch as cooked eggs, and could carry salmonella.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler has earned the reputation as the NFL's strongest running back - and his teammates marvel at his workouts, which include a 500-lb squat set and a bench press of nearly 300 lbs, according to an NFL.com feature.

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Unlike some players in the league, however, Ekeler, 26, is pretty picky about where he gets his protein.

He doesn't take supplements, instead preferring to get his protein hit from food like eggs.

But he's afraid to eat cooked eggs, he told Men's Health. Instead, he said, he drinks his eggs raw every morning.

"I love the nutritional value of eggs, but I've never been known to eat them," Ekeler said. "I had a bad experience back in high school and I was just like throwing up after eating eggs, and ever since then it's scarred me. So now I just crack them in, Rocky style."

Ekeler puts raw eggs and either regular milk or almond milk in his breakfast smoothies for protein, along with oats and fruit.

For Ekeler, the raw eggs are a personal choice that falls in line with what he's comfortable with, but that doesn't mean he's getting any additional health benefit out of drinking them raw - and raw eggs carry a risk of salmonella, which can cause food poisoning.

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Raw eggs can offer less protein than cooked eggs, and carry a higher risk of salmonella

One egg contains about six grams of protein, but those proteins are locked into a tight ball when raw, and our bodies may have a hard time absorbing protein in this form, according to one study cited by Healthline. When the egg is cooked, the proteins unfold and combine with one another.

Eggs also contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs, but they are locked in the egg's proteins. Cooking the eggs and unfolding those proteins makes those acids more accessible for absorption.

Additionally, you are more likely to get salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause serious illness, from raw eggs than cooked ones. About one in 20,000 eggs contains salmonella, and it is typically in the yolk of the egg, but can also be in the whites as well.

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It is possible to get salmonella from cooked or undercooked eggs, but it is much less likely, as the heat kills most of the bacteria in the yolks and whites.

Avoiding supplements might be helpful for Ekeler's body

Ekeler doesn't take any supplements - he told Men's Health he tried them in high school after seeing his teammates take them, but it didn't do anything for him.

A post shared by Austin Ekeler (@austinekeler)

"When I saw other people doing them I thought 'oh that's what you're supposed to do,'" Ekeler said. "But then I didn't really see any more results from just eating normal food, so I said 'I don't need that in my diet' I can still get all of my nutrition from actual food."

Supplements can help people meet calorie thresholds and ofer protein with those calories according to registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, creator of BetterThanDieting.com - but they don't directly lead to bigger muscles.

Additionally, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means they can contain ingredients and doses that don't appear on the label.

Fitness influencer Stephanie Sanzo told Insider's Rachel Hosie she stopped using supplements because it was causing digestion issues, and it wasn't really making a big enough difference in her gains to justify it.

"I struggle with irritable bowel syndrome and find that many supplements tend to cause stomach upset (for me personally)," Sanzo told Hosie. "For those who are incorporating supplements into their diet, my biggest advice is to always prioritize your nutrition as no supplements can ever make up for a bad diet."

Read the original article on Insider

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