Baseball caps, stadium snacks, crowded stands and cheering for the home team. As a spectator, nothing brings summertime nostalgia flooding back more than a good old American baseball game.
However, for our beloved players, these dog days of summer baseball make for a challenging time. As a professional baseball player, the month of August signifies the unofficial backend of the regular season where they are scheduled to play through the year’s hottest and most humid days. This last stretch is a test of stamina and perseverance, as players continue to strive toward positioning their teams to qualify for postseason playoffs.
They’re figuratively nearing the seventh inning stretch of the season, so what food can power athletes through this challenging point in the season? Eggs, of course!
Egg Nutrition and Athletes
Eggs are perfect for athletes because they are a great-tasting source of easily-digested, high-quality protein and other key nutrients, including all the essential amino acids to maintain strong muscles.
In addition to protein, eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D, an important nutrient for bone health. Research suggests adequate vitamin D may reduce the risk of stress fractures, inflammation, illness and impaired muscle function , which are all important factors to consider for an athlete, especially one nearing the latter stages of the season.
Other key nutrient found in eggs are lutein and zeaxanthin (252 mcg/large egg). Research shows these nutrients may be important to eye health. Baseball players only have a matter of milliseconds to decide if and how they are going to swing at a pitcher’s throw. Lutein in the eye may help athletes with visual performance and protecting the retina from damaging light , which they are often exposed to during games. This provides another great reason to eat eggs so that players can power through inning after inning! Because baseball players are exposed to high levels of damaging light, eating eggs is particularly important to protect their retina and maintain cognition, allowing them to power through inning after inning.
Want to eat like the pros? Katie Hayes, RDN, Director of Nutrition Communications with Egg Nutrition Center, shares some delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time that are sure to hit it out of the park in both flavor and nutritional value!
Breakfast: Brown Rice Breakfast Bowls
Start the day off with an out-of-the-park breakfast full of high-quality protein, like eggs, to help provide sustained mental and physical energy throughout the day. These Brown Rice Breakfast Bowls pack 15 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates. High-quality protein, like the protein in eggs, is easily digested and has all the essential amino acids to maintain muscle!
Did you know that one large egg provides six grams of high-quality protein? This can help athletes or active individuals both build and preserve muscle. Our Caesar Egg Salad Wrap only takes 10 minutes to prepare, making it a surefire grand slam for your next lunch.
For the ultimate post-workout recovery snack, look no further than this Super Frozen Protein Smoothie! Hayes recommends this nutrient-packed snack because it provides 29 grams of protein and is a good source of fiber and potassium. Research shows that eating meals with 20-40 grams of high-quality protein after exercising, such as egg protein, is an optimal way to rebuild muscle.
Finish strong with dinner! To power through the bottom of the ninth, try our tasty Diver’s Below the Sea Salmon with Egg recipe for dinner. This recipe boasts an excellent source of protein and choline, and a good source of vitamin A and folate. Better yet, it’s plain old tasty, too!