View Full Version : Why did Rocky drink the eggs?

06-13-2004, 03:29 PM
I know this was in a movie, but I want to know the factual stuff. I know he did it for his workout, but what is it supposed to do? Why didn't he hard boil them or eat them over-easy? Do you get more nutrients if you drink them raw, or was it so he could take more? How unhealthy was it?

06-13-2004, 03:51 PM
Drinking raw eggs was kinda of an old school bodybuilding/gym thing. You drink them as an easy to get lots of protein. There are still raw egg proponents out there but they tend to be of the "quackier" variety.

I don't think there was anything unhealthy about raw eggs. The danger now is salmonella.

In the last 20 years or so, S. Enteritidis has become the single most common cause of food poisoning in the United States. S. Enteritidis causes a disease almost identical to the very closely related S. Typhimurium. S. Enteritidis is particularly adept at infecting chicken flocks without causing visible disease, and spreading from hen to hen rapidly. Many people have blamed the recent increase in the rise of S. Enteritidis infections on the use of mass production chicken farms. When tens or hundreds of thousands of chickens live together, die together, and are processed together a Salmonella infection can rapidly spread throughout the whole food chain. A compounding factor is that chickens from a single farm may be distributed over many cities, and even states, and hence Salmonella infections can be rapidly dispersed through millions of people. [url=http://salmonella.org/info.html[/url]

06-13-2004, 03:56 PM
Do you get the same proponets from cooked as raw eggs?

06-13-2004, 04:10 PM
Yeah, the protein content is the same. The reason the gym guys liked raw eggs is 'cause it was really easy to just crack open a few and slurp them up. No time spent cooking and chewing. Nowdays, most people who want extra protein use protein powder mixes (not generally available when Rocky was filmed) which are higher in protein than raw eggs.

100 grams of eggs contain 12.58 grams of protein. By contrast, 100% Egg Protein Powder (http://muscledriver.com/opnut100eggp.html) is all protein.

06-13-2004, 08:48 PM
When I was in school sports back in the 70's drinking eggs was all the rage, and I'm certain it was because of Rocky.
I tried it, but couldn't get those slimy things down. So I'd put them in a little milk and chocolate syrup and mix it up in a blender. (my dairy allergy wasn't as bad then as it is now.)

I'll tell you this: it was a lot eaiser getting protien that way than to drink some of protien drinks (like Joe Weider Muscle Builder) that was sold back then.
They were awful.

06-13-2004, 08:58 PM
You get more biotin from cooked eggs than raw however because a compound called avidin, found in raw eggs whites, binds with biotin making it unavailable to the body.

Larry Mudd
06-13-2004, 09:26 PM
The other, earlier Rocky film is quite clear about the rationale:

He'll eat nutritious high protein
And swallow raw eggs
Try to build up his shoulders, his chest, arms and.... legs.
Such an effort! If he only knew of my plan-
In just seven days
I can make you a man. --Frankenfurter

Bryan Ekers
06-13-2004, 10:40 PM
There are still raw egg proponents out there but they tend to be of the "quackier" variety.

Soooo, they promote eating raw duck eggs?

06-13-2004, 11:14 PM
Soooo, they promote eating raw duck eggs?

Heh. Yeah, I realized I made an inadverdent pun. But, seriously, if you wanted to eat raw eggs, I bet duck eggs would be safer. I think there's much less salmonella in the duck population.

06-14-2004, 02:16 AM
This isn't medical advice but...

There is actually a miniscule amount of Salmonella contamination in chicken eggs in the US. It's really blown out of proportion. Almost all the risk comes from commercial preparation (where bad one egg may be mixed with a 12-100 good eggs, and inspection for individual cracks may not be very rigorous) or infrequent seriously out-of-bounds transport or storage. However, having seen unrefrigerated shelves of eggs standing in the aisles (apparently for hours) in my travels, caution might be warranted -- you can judge your local shops yourself, but the quality of the egss and handling you see there. [I now buy mine from a tinyl farm under 300 yds from my home -- cheaper and vastly better than the best local supermarkets)

At the time Rocky was filmed, properly handled eggs were considered to be bacteriologically sterile, one of nature's little miracles. Salmonella wasn't seen in commercial chicken ovaries until the late 1980s.

I definitely second the warning about avidin in raw eggs. According to articles in the NEJM, it can bind biotin in the intestines -depriving you of the vitamin- for days after you eat a raw egg. We used a variant, streptavidin, in molecular biology, and while I forget the exact value of the binding constant, it was quite impressive.

06-16-2004, 01:09 PM
... I definitely second the warning about avidin in raw eggs. According to articles in the NEJM, it can bind biotin in the intestines -depriving you of the vitamin- for days after you eat a raw egg. We used a variant, streptavidin, in molecular biology, and while I forget the exact value of the binding constant, it was quite impressive. ... cite/more information? how about half-boiled eggs?

06-16-2004, 02:13 PM
You must be [relatively] new. Most dopers are sick of my long posts, and would never ask for more!

The original study I cited was over 20 years old (and it turns out there were earlier nutritional studies in Europe), so I couldn't find an on-line copy. Unfortunately, I'm on vacation, catching up with a few domestic matters before the (*gasp*) interns arrive on July 1, and I'm not able to login to my usual database for some reason. The public Medline database doesn't even have abstracts for articles that old, just titles (Frankly, my subscription service probably doesn't, either.) Still, if you're up for a trip to the library, you'll find studies going back to 1975 if you search for [ avidin biotin deficiency ] on PubMed (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=Display&DB=pubmed)

Here's a cite on avidin (http://affiland.com/avidin.htm)'s source and properties. You'll also find more info if you google for "avidin", such as this USDA project to grow a strain of corn that expresses avidin, in order to deprive insects of essential biotin (http://ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/aug00/egg0800.htm). Personally, I'd worry what would happen to humans who ate that corn. Presumably, cooking would denature the avidin.

I really do wish I did have a copy of the paper on-line, because IIRC, it specifically addressed soft-cooked eggs (which, IIRC, it felt were not much of a risk). On the other hand, even I was not aware that even dried whole egg posed a risk, if uncooked (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=3367239). There is apparently, also a biotin-binding protein in egg yolk (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Display&db=PubMed&dopt=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=962874) (to keep the embryo's biotin in the yolk, away from the avidin) Personally, I use only dried whole eggs or whites to do certain "special effects" in cooked dishes, so the risk would be no different than using raw eggs in a cooked dish .

Biotin deficiency caused by avidin has been shown to cause birth defects in mice (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6484856&dopt=Citation)
In rats, biotin deficiency induced by dietary avidin interferes with amino acid metabolism (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=1619476&dopt=Citation)
Here's a case study of a boy who got biotin deficiency from eating raw egg whites (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=7322688)
(Even uncooked eggs are probably fine for occassional consumption. Deficiencies would only occur from long-term regular consumption. I just found it ironic that the 1970s raw egg milkshake, which often touted the biotin of egg yolk and brewer's yeast, actually contained something that blocked its absorption]

06-16-2004, 02:27 PM
I realize that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data", but here's my input: when I went on a higher-protein diet during a phase of increased activity (including weightlifting and long runs) I would follow up all of my afternoon workouts with a filet of steak. All of my breakfasts were smoothies, made with a banana or two, some frozen strawberries, a splash of rice milk, and at least one raw egg (two if I was returning from a morning workout). Now, the raw eggs were always purchased at a grocery store with a health food focus; they were always hormone/steroid-free, free range, and so on. With that caveat in mind, I kept up this routine for about two years, eating approximately 300 raw eggs a year. The only times I have had stomach ailments in that time were on days that I didn't eat breakfast (three occurrences, each unrelated). My fiancée also switched to these smoothies for breakfast, using different fruits, and also has not been ill in that time.

Does it prove that you won't get sick? Nope. But it was cheap and easy, seemed to deliver enough protein to keep me active until lunch, and the incidence of illness from those eggs appears to be dwarfed by other causes (bad curry, forgot to wash hands after riding public transport to dinner, and bad lamb).

06-16-2004, 02:28 PM
heh. i'll er.., go read.

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