The Importance of Choline for Athletes
Choline is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including brain development, liver function, and muscle movement. It is a water-soluble vitamin-like nutrient that is necessary for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate memory, mood, and muscle control [1-3].
For athletes, choline is particularly important as it can enhance physical performance, improve cognitive function, and aid in muscle recovery[12-14]. Studies have shown that athletes who consume adequate amounts of choline may have a lower risk of developing fatigue, muscle damage, and inflammation [11,15]. Choline is found in a variety of foods, including eggs, liver, and soybeans. Eggs, in particular, are an excellent source of choline, with one large egg containing approximately 147 mg of choline. Athletes who consume eggs as part of their daily diet may benefit from improved muscle function, increased energy levels, and reduced risk of injury[9-12].
Choline is also critical for brain function [4-5], particularly for athletes who need to maintain focus and concentration during training and competition. Choline helps produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for cognitive function, memory, and attention [4,8]. By consuming adequate amounts of choline, athletes may improve their reaction time, decision-making ability, and overall mental performance . Choline is involved in every muscle movement through mind-muscle connectivity [9-11].
In addition to its cognitive benefits, choline also plays a crucial role in muscle recovery[9-10]. When muscles are damaged during exercise, they require choline to repair and rebuild. Athletes who consume adequate amounts of choline may experience reduced muscle soreness, faster recovery times, and improved muscle strength [9-10].
Despite its many benefits, many athletes may not be consuming enough choline in their diets, leading to a choline deficiency. Symptoms of choline deficiency can include fatigue, muscle weakness, and liver damage. To combat this, athletes should aim to consume foods high in choline regularly.
One option for athletes looking to increase their choline intake is Ovation Food's chicken strips and chicken sticks. These products contain one whole egg per serving, providing athletes with a convenient and delicious source of choline. In addition to being an excellent source of choline, Ovation Food's products are also high in protein, making them an ideal post-workout snack or meal.
Choline is an essential nutrient for athletes, providing numerous benefits for physical and cognitive performance . Eggs are a great source of choline, but many athletes may not be consuming enough of this nutrient in their diets. Ovation Food's chicken strips and chicken sticks provide a convenient and delicious way for athletes to increase their choline intake and fuel their bodies for optimal performance.
- Zeisel SH, Corbin KD. Choline. In: Erdman JW, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 10th ed. Washington, DC: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012:405-18.
- Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.
- Zeisel SH. Choline. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. London and New York: Informa Healthcare; 2010:136-43.
- Choline, Memory & Cognitive Development. The Choline Information Council website. http://cholinecouncil.com/consumer/cognitive_development.php. Accessed May 23, 2019.
- Nurk E, Refsum H, Bjelland I, et al. Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. Br J Nutr. 2013;109:511–51
- Schwarzenberg, S.J. and M.K. Georgieff, Advocacy for Improving Nutrition in the First 1000 Days to Support Childhood Development and Adult Health. Pediatrics, 2018. 141(2).
- Caudill, M.A., et al., Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double-blind, controlled feeding study. Faseb j, 2018. 32(4): p. 2172-2180.
- National Institutes of Health. Choline: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. 2021; Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/.
- Van Vliet S, et al. Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;106(6):1401-1412.
- Burd NA, et al. Food-rst approach to enhance the regulation of post exercise skeletal muscle protein synthesis and remodeling. Sports Med 2019;49;Supplement 1: 59-68
- Michel V, Singh RK, Bakovic M. The impact of choline availability on muscle lipid metabolism. Food Funct. 2011 Jan;2(1):53-62. doi: 10.1039/c0fo00069h. Epub 2010 Dec 7. PMID: 21773586.
- Poly, Coreyann et al. “The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 94,6 (2011): 1584-91. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.008938
- Lopez Sobaler A.M., Aparicio Vizuete A., Ortega R.M. Role of the egg in the diet of athletes and physically active people. Nutr. Hosp. 2017;34:31–35. doi: 10.20960/nh.1568.
- Layman, Donald & Rodriguez, Nancy. (2009). Egg Protein as a Source of Power, Strength, and Energy. Nutrition Today. 44. 43-48. 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181959cb2.
- Zeisel SH, Klatt KC, Caudill MA. Choline. Adv Nutr. 2018 Jan 1;9(1):58-60. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmx004. PMID: 29438456; PMCID: PMC6008955.
- A US national survey, NHANES 2007-2010, which surveyed 16,444 individuals four years and older, reported a high prevalence of inadequacies: 91.7% for choline