What's with the eggs?
November 10, 2006 7:49 AM   Subscribe

What are hard boiled eggs giving me to perk me up?

This summer, I went a long stretch being exhausted all the time, despite sleep, three workouts a week, and a decent, though not perfect diet. In an effort to fix the problem, I refined my diet more by drinking a lot less, eating lean chicken, the works. however, it wasn't until I started eating hard boiled eggs in the morning and afternoon that I started to see a dramatic shift in the energy level.

Worried about cholesterol, I recently went off the eggs, and the exhaustion came back. The difference between an egg/no egg day is dramatic. What is it that the eggs are giving me? Iron? Protein? Shouldn't I be getting enough iron from chicken/cold cut turkey? Should I be worried about cholesterol eating two hard boiled eggs a day?

I'm 28, female, no health problems, and haven't seen a doctor about this. I live in the US.
posted by sweetkid to Health & Fitness (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It's protein. If you're worried about the eggs, mix it up with some other protein-rich foods.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:55 AM on November 10, 2006

Best answer: In addition to the protein, eggs are a pretty good source of tyrosine, which is sometimes used as a naturopathic alternative to antidepressants.
posted by pdb at 7:59 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

Just for yuks... perhaps you should try going off the yolks, only for a few days.... see if the magic is in the whites (albumen)?

They are protein rich, and low cholesterol. That'll help you establish what egg components are of value to your particular metabolism, and if it works, you can pretty much ignore the impact on your blood lipids....

Anyway, it's a thought.
posted by FauxScot at 8:05 AM on November 10, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, the eggs make such a difference that I feel like it has to be something outside of "eat more protein." It must be something about the eggs, and the fact that they're hard boiled.
posted by sweetkid at 8:11 AM on November 10, 2006

Should I be worried about cholesterol eating two hard boiled eggs a day?

Maybe not.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:19 AM on November 10, 2006

Tyrosine supplements are fairly cheap if you want to test out that theory. But there ain't nothing wrong with eatin' eggs.
posted by GuyZero at 8:26 AM on November 10, 2006

I've been eating three egg whites per day for the last week, along with a good amount of vegetables for lunch, as a quick attempt to boost energy and drop a couple extra pounds I added to the waistline over the last month or so. I've done it before, and I'd be willing to say, at least in my case, the whites are enough to increase my energy levels significantly.
posted by irishkitten at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

Based on conversations with the two nutritionists I know, a protein bomb early in the morning eliminates the 'food coma' and other lethargies associated with mid to late afternoon. Like others have said, egg whites are high in protein. I actually think I might start giving this a try.
posted by spicynuts at 9:16 AM on November 10, 2006

So one of those Egg Council creeps got to you too, huh uncleozzy?
posted by condour75 at 9:21 AM on November 10, 2006

Are you on an extended-release medication? Some of them require a little bit of fat to trigger their release mechanisms.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:31 AM on November 10, 2006

Response by poster: No, i'm not on any medication. These are all great answers. The eggs are really boring, but I'm not so worried that i won't eat them.

I just think "egg as magic energy pill" is so funny/odd.
posted by sweetkid at 9:44 AM on November 10, 2006

I usually have a hard boiled egg in the morning...I swear by it, even though others think it's way too much cholesterol. But, I rarely eat read meat (like one hamburger every couple of weeks) and perhaps once a week I indulge in bacon on a Sunday brunch). So what I'm saying is that if you're generally eating right and avoiding the heavy cholesterol and processed foods in other meals, you should be fine. But get your cholesterol checked by some non- quack or HMO/Medicare bleeding doctor (who will call for all sorts of unnecessary BS tests) just in case.

Also I find Soy milk in the morning with coffee or with a small bowl of cereal is a pretty good way to get protein. (If you shake the soy box really vigorously before and the add it to your coffee you got a pretty decent soy latte.)

Also Smoked Salmon and egg whites alone and w/ toast for breakfast is fantastic.
posted by Skygazer at 9:49 AM on November 10, 2006

There are so many ways to eat eggs, how could you get bored?

(just finished an egg salad sandwich)

eggs + eggsercise = health
posted by unSane at 10:20 AM on November 10, 2006

Don't skip the yolks- they have vitamins B12, E, & D and a lot of other good vitamins and other good nutrients.

vaguely related trivia: I read a study (okay, a summary of a study) that said that if you eat the whites and yolks together, your body handles the cholesterol better than if you were to just eat the yolks alone. Also, here's an article, whose credentials I don't know, that says cholesterol from eggs isn't so bad. via wikipedia
posted by small_ruminant at 10:34 AM on November 10, 2006

Cholesterol in eggs is not the problem it is (actually, was) made out to be. The old myths that a couple eggs a day will kill you are dying. (see PubMed). As small_ruminant pointed out, yolks contain a lot of good stuff including healthy fats (yes, your body needs some saturated fat). I'm curious if your non-egg diet is low/no fat and the eggs give you some healthy fats that your body is lacking.
posted by Durin's Bane at 11:26 AM on November 10, 2006

Two hard boiled egg whites for breakfast every single morning for at least the last six years. It is the one component of my diet that I am happiest about.
posted by bukvich at 11:31 AM on November 10, 2006

Is it the egg whites or the yolks that give the poster this feeling?
posted by onepapertiger at 11:35 AM on November 10, 2006

This thread makes me very happy -- I love eggs in all forms, but didn't realize that hard-boiled eggs (which I dont' have often, but will now!) might provide an extra benefit!

Oh, and condour75 wins. "Oh, no, Homer, it's not like that at all!"
posted by davidmsc at 11:41 AM on November 10, 2006

why are you convinced their being hard boiled has any impact? I mean, did you try eating them in other forms and not have the same experience?

I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian, so I eat a fair amt of eggs as a source of B12 & protein. I began to crave them at a time when I had started increasing my exercise regimen, around which time I also started liking coconut, and enjoying the taste of nuts. I figured it was my body saying I needed certain fats & proteins.

My advice in general is just to really pay attention to what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse, and develop the habits that have positive outcomes, rather than relying on generalized statistical expectations. Honestly, we don't understand the chemistry of food and nutrition all that well yet - there are plenty of minerals that we've only barely identified, and we really don't know how necessary they are, or how potentially harmful, or whatever. Information is good, but just remember it is limited and conclusions are judgments not facts (ie, the facts may be this happened when we injected that into so many rats, blah blah, but the actual recommendations should be considered guidelines and informed judgments, but not as automatically trumping your own experience).
posted by mdn at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2006

mdn:...pay attention to what makes you feel better and what makes you feel worse...

Uh, that's pretty much what she did, I believe...she's just looking for possible reasons for the differences.
posted by davidmsc at 12:28 PM on November 10, 2006

Response by poster: it seems to be the whole egg giving me the energy feeling. I wonder if it's somewhat psychological. And yes, eggs in other forms don't have the same effect.
posted by sweetkid at 1:25 PM on November 10, 2006

Wow, I had no idea eggs could provide energy like this. More eggs for me, baby!
posted by o2b at 1:37 PM on November 10, 2006

If you're worried about cholesterol, there are several foods you can add to your diet that may have anti-cholesterol effects:

Orange juice or marmalade — be cautious with marmalade however if you ever are on antibiotics, the peel of Seville oranges has similar properties to grapefruit.

Red wine or grape juice from red grapes.

Turmeric is gaining a reputation for a number of healthful properties. There is some anecdotal evidence that it may have a beneficial effect on triglyceride levels.

In moderation, none of these should hurt, at least.
posted by Araucaria at 2:24 PM on November 10, 2006

i agree with the poster further up its the timing of the protein thats having such a huge effect.

in a morning i have a 5 egg omelette [2 yolks 5 whites] along with a protein shake for an ultimate protein breakfast. then mid morn slow releasing carb snack.

protein for lunch and afernoon snack.

then im ready for the gym!
posted by moochoo at 2:54 PM on November 10, 2006

I'm quite curious about the tyrosine angle. I wonder, since you've brought it up, whether if you got some tyrosine supplements from a health store and took them for a few days instead of the eggs, if you'd have the same effect. This is rather interesting.
posted by WCityMike at 7:45 PM on November 10, 2006

About them being hard boiled... I drink smoothies made with raw egg and it affects me the same way, 'spesh if it's first thing in the morning.

(Raw egg seems kind of yuk, but it's mixed up with fruit and honey and soy milk so I can't actually taste it.)
posted by t0astie at 12:43 AM on November 11, 2006

Yeah, A raw egg in a hot cup of coffee is great actually, (the coffee poaches the egg), add some milk (soy or not) and a bit of sweetner and you're in business, but this works best with really good organic eggs.

(Anyone ever notice the difference between eggs from a small farm diet (Organic or not) as oppossed to eggs from an egg factory? The yolks are a rich flourescent yellow and the taste is amazing. It makes you realize how bland supermarkert eggs are...)
posted by Skygazer at 8:03 AM on November 11, 2006

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