Eggs are a staple of many athletes’ diets, and for good reason: They provide an excellent amount of protein, contain amino acids helpful for rebuilding tired muscles, and are easily portable, making them a great go-to snack after a workout.
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One needs to spend only a few minutes on social media to see that eggs are a go-to meal for pro athletes in just about every sport. The Instagram accounts of many notable pros are packed with pictures of athletes’ egg meals, showing scrambles, omelets and wraps galore.
Because we wanted to get a better idea of how the best athletes fuel for optimal performance—and because we were interested in finding some delicious new recipes—we tracked the egg-related postings of more than 100 professional athletes. Then we did the math to see which preparation styles were the most popular.
By a wide margin, the egg meal most frequently eaten by athletes is a veggie scramble—a smart choice, since vegetables are the food many of us need the most but often consume the least. The omelet came in second place, with many also including veggies. Scrambled eggs—the version that often results from an omelet misfire—was also a popular choice among big leaguers, often adorned with an extra protein source like ham or cheese.
One once-popular egg preparation that didn’t show up much in the athletes’ posts was egg-white-only dishes. People once thought that egg whites alone were a way to get extra lean protein, but today’s athletes seem to recognize that if you ditch the yolk, you lose out on important nutrients and protein—not to mention taste.
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The most common egg accompaniments were whole wheat toast, pancakes, a hearty side of potatoes or fruit (or in some cases, all of the above).
We’ve selected a handful of the best looking dishes, including a variety of preparations representative of our sample size. Take a look at the food pictures below and start cooking!