I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?

  • Thw white part is more digestible when cooked. The yellow part is more disgestible when it's raw.
    – Luc M
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 4:18
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    I'd also be curious if it's helpful. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 13:21
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    That makes no sense. He should eat them after running instead of before. Eggs contain a lot of protein (i.e. the whites contain a lot of protein) which the body need for rebuilding, which it will commence after strenuous exercise. It is a good idea to eat protein rich food no later than one hour after exercise. Eating them before training just makes the stomach full.
    – Pete
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 14:58
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    Also, since some people are allergic to raw egg whites, an allergy common in kids, better to avoid it.
    – zanlok
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 19:27
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    Your friend should quit getting exercise advice from movies. Eating a bunch of protein before a run simply causes his digestive system to compete with his legs for blood flow. He needs to begin his run with easily digested carbohydrates a couple hours before, and then consume protein within an hour after the run when the body can use it to repair muscle. Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 13:38

8 Answers 8


Bearing in mind the salmonella statistics given above., yes it is safe to eat raw eggs so long as you are not very young, very old, or immunocompromised in some way--e.g. HIV, chemotherapy, leukemia, etc.

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    Should there be a link here, or was "above" referring to another answer which is now below?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 16:18

Food safety experts and government organizations target their recommendations to what's safest for everyone, and would recommend against this. However, "safe" is a subjective term. It's all about managing risk levels. The odds of a given egg containing salmonella or other food-borne illness are pretty low. A healthy adult with a normal immune system can probably fend off any nasties, or at least recover from illness.

The source of the eggs has an effect on the risk levels as well, I believe. Organic free-range eggs are probably less risky than supermarket brands.

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    Last time I looked at the numbers, I was as likely to get Salmonella from eggs as I was from fruits. So I continue making my mousse and tiramisu with raw eggs. There are in shell pasteurized eggs.
    – papin
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 4:06
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    Your stats are a bit wrong. at one raw egg a day, you have a 25% chance of getting sick in 25 years, a 50% chance of getting sick in 50 years... Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 15:17
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    @chris: Well, no, actually. Neither calculation is right. If we make the assumption that 1/40,000 eggs is salmonella-positive, and that consuming a raw salmonella-positive egg always results in getting sick, the chance of getting sick (at least once) after n eggs is 1-(39999/40000)^n. So, 20% after 25 years, 37% after 50, 60% after 100, etc. The chance exceeds 50% around the 76th year. The calculations using n/40000 are clearly wrong, as you can get absurd results of over 100%.
    – derobert
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 18:21
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    According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA, there is no scientific proof that organic or free-range eggs are less risky than the others. Actually, I may even be prone to think of the opposite...
    – nico
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 15:47
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    @nico - I agree, and that should be an important caveat to this answer. The "organic" label says nothing about food safety, which in this case will depend in a significant part on the living conditions of the chicken. "Free-range" is relatively meaningless, since all that is required by law is "access" to some small open area, not that chickens actually go there (they usually don't). If you actually know the farmer and living conditions of the chicken, that's one thing, but the labels don't guarantee greater safety.
    – Athanasius
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 20:28

If you're worried, you can dip the eggs into boiling water for, say, 10 seconds to sterilise the outside of the shell. As Robert Cartaino points out above, though, there might still be bacteria inside.

FWIW I've made mayonnaise many times without any ill effects.


I'd say it's as safe as eating any other food generally consumed rare or raw (beef, fish, oysters). It's certainly edible. I use raw egg whites in many things, but I buy them in bulk, ultra-pasteurized. I also prefer my eggs very runny. Yes there's an increased probability of food-borne illnesses but so does a rare steak or a medium hamburger.

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    A medium hamburger hey? lol. Most people throw out or send their hamburgers back if it is even slightly pink where I'm from! Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 19:18
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    I used to. A medium/medium-well burger is so much better though.
    – hobodave
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 19:49
  • ic ic. not sure if you can ask for that in restaurants where I live.. I think they would look at you as if you were crazy.. lol. Commented Jul 28, 2010 at 19:08
  • This has so much to do with what kind of ground beef we are talking about. If it's ground mixed beef (what you get in the store) then it should be well cooked to be safe. E. Coli can cause paralysis!! If it's ground sirloin from a good butcher then pink in the middle should be fine.
    – jcollum
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 20:16
  • @iheartgreek: and the restaurant could get a health code violation for serving it
    – jcollum
    Commented Aug 4, 2010 at 20:17

It is relativly safe as long as you pay attention to some points:

Eggs should be as fresh as possible, so a possible salmonella contamination has no time to spread. Also organic or free range eggs should be preferred. In some egg-producing farms using battery cages up to 30% of the chickens are contaminated with salmonella and so the eggs.

Although other people here mention the improbability to get salmonella from eggs it is still possible. I myself got them from scrambled eggs hat I had not cooked properly (I think the eggs were about a week old, stored in the fridge and free range). I had the worst diarrhea in my life, fever up to 41°C/106°F and was in hospital for a week (read: not fun).

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    Salmonella contamination occurs on the outside of the egg, not the inside: doesn't really help, since it's nearly impossible to get the inside out without having the inside touch some part of the outside. And there is certainly no guarantee that your organic eggs are going to have any lower incidence of bacterial contamination (often it's actually a bit higher, due to lower use of antibiotics). Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 17:16
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    @Santanicpuppy: That is no longer true: "The inside of an egg was once considered almost sterile. But, over recent years, the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (Se) has been found inside a small number of eggs." (source: incredibleegg.org/egg-facts/egg-safety/eggs-and-food-safety) Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 17:46
  • @Santanicpuppy I propably expressed myself incorrectly, but I did not meant that necessarily the inside of the egg has to be contaminated. But when the egg gets older bacteria are able to invade. I read somewhere a while ago, that chickens in battery cages are more likely to be infected because they come into contact with the feces of already infected chickens because of the narrowness in the cages. You're probably right though, that missing antibiotics can lead to a similar percentage of infected chickens. So in terms of salmonella, maybe non-organic free-range eggs are the way to go?
    – Diskoking
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 18:47
  • @Diskoking - "free-range," according to the U.S. government, just means that chickens have access to some small outside area (generally gravel or dirt, not pasture). The vast majority of the time, the chickens choose not to visit it. "Free-range" says nothing about the average living conditions that the chickens spend most time in. Unless you've seen the farm, there's little guarantee that the eggs will be any better or safer.
    – Athanasius
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 20:35

In the UK it is safe from a salmonella standpoint (assuming the eggs are lion branded).

The lion branch mark (applied to each individual egg) means that the chickens they come from are salmonella free (I assume they have been fed the antibiotic or anti viral or whatever it is)

I agree with the others that other things will have a bearing - age of egg in particular


There are pasteurized raw eggs that are safe to eat. One brand is http://www.safeeggs.com/

Or egg beaters I think

  • Egg beaters? Can you expand on that please?
    – nico
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 6:37
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    Egg Beaters is a brand of egg white based egg substitute in the available in the US.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 11:04

No egg is safer when it’s raw. It will give you SALMONELLA POISONING AND THE INFECTION which is in the ENTEROBACTERIACEAE family and in the GAMMAPROTEOBACTERIA class Your friend may have gotten it but he just did not know because it does not affect you right away after you consume it. Please be safe: he runs the risk of contracting it while drinking it raw. Please be aware not to eat RAW MEAT/POULTRY, AND **RAW EGGS** DO NOT HESITATE AT ALL TO SEND YOUR FOOD BACK TO THE CHEF WHEN YOU FIND THAT YOUR MEAT IS PINK ON THE INSIDE. That is dangerous food that you don't want to be eating. Cut into it to make sure it is not pink before hungrily devouring it.

I have seen patients that have this and families who have all been affected by this. Despite what my username may say, I am a family doctor. I have seen too many cases too count where children and their families were effected. It has become ridiculously paining to watch and it needs to end. Please do not encourage this because it affects 1.2 million Americans each year and it continues to encourage the number of people affected in American. This number alone of people in America affected by salmonella will quickly increase. Your kids can be affected by this. They will miss going to school for weeks and continue to not get educated. Also you will have to take off of work for sick days if your children fall ill or if you do so, too.

Please protect your friends and family and everybody else around the world by not doing this and finding different ways to get the maximum protein you need for running and training for that marathon.

All I wish for is that you and everybody stay safe. You cannot be safe when you are consuming six raw eggs every time you run, which runs the risk of containing this horrendous bacterium that could give you severe diarrhea, vomiting, and eventually kill you. Look up above at the person who has experienced this, and had an absolute miserable time after contracting this from eggs that were not worth the one week in the hospital. I have seen patients that have this and families who have all been affected by this. Despite what my username may say, I am a family doctor. I have seen too many cases too count where children and their families were effected. It has become ridiculously paining to watch and it needs to end. This is dangerous and threatening to people’s lives. If you were to contract this bacterium and infection, it would be at least a week less of training time for your marathon. Think about how others will be affected by this if they get into the habit that you are in and how you will be effected. This can be spread to other people and you for sure do not want to harm anybody that you may have seen, may have touched, or may talked too. Please think about what’s at risk here.

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    Please limit yourself to one answer. You have two copies of this, and an additional one about pasteurized eggs. Since this is the one you edited most recently, and it does address the question, I'm going to leave it and delete the others.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 9, 2015 at 5:26

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