Are Duck Eggs Better For Bodybuilding? A Coach Answers

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I’ve written extensively about how eggs and egg whites should be part of a bodybuilder’s diet.  But, I recently got a question from a client about whether duck eggs can also be beneficial and how they compare with chicken eggs.  Here’s my breakdown.

Key Takeaways

  • Duck eggs are good for bodybuilding because they contain adequate protein (9 grams per egg) to help build and repair muscle. They also provide 10 grams of healthy fats to keep you full for longer periods, which is essential during a cut.
  • Duck eggs have a thicker, creamier consistency and are generally tastier than chicken eggs. However, they are more difficult to find in stores and typically cost 2X more than chicken eggs, which is not ideal considering the number of eggs bodybuilders may need.
  • Duck eggs can be part of a pre-workout meal, but you should eat them at least two hours before to avoid stomach discomfort due to the high-fat content. For a balanced post-workout meal, you can pair duck eggs with carbs (e.g., oats) and lean protein (e.g., low-fat cottage cheese).

Duck Eggs: Overview

duck egg vs chicken egg

Calories In Duck Eggs

One duck egg has 130 calories, 50-60 more calories than a chicken egg. The calories are higher because of the higher amount of yolk.

The calories in duck eggs come primarily from fats and, to some degree, protein.  

Duck eggs are not that energy-dense, but the calories add up if you eat two, three, or four.

Macronutrients In Duck Eggs

A duck egg has 10 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 1 gram of carbohydrate.

Duck eggs have more protein than chicken eggs, even with size factored in (9 grams vs 6 grams of protein).

Duck eggs also have four more grams of fat than a typical chicken egg (10 grams vs 6 grams of fat).

The fat in duck eggs is of higher quality than processed foods, so just because you see that it has more fat doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy.

Also, eggs contain almost no carbohydrates, which makes them an excellent option for those trying to limit their carb intake when dieting.

Micronutrient Content Of Duck Eggs

Duck eggs are high in micronutrients: folate, iron, and, most of all, vitamin B12.

For instance, iron is a component of hemoglobin, a type of carrier protein that transports oxygen to all body parts, including the muscles. This is crucial for overall performance and muscle recovery.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for cell metabolism, which involves turning food into usable energy for your body.

Here are a few words from Registered Dietitian Jill Corleone about B12:

“Vitamin B-12 assists in metabolizing protein and fat. As a bodybuilder, you need the amino acids from the protein metabolism to repair and build your muscles and the fat as a source of energy.”

Duck eggs also have more omega-3s than chicken eggs. omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for overall health and play a role in reducing inflammation.

This could have a favorable impact on muscle recovery, but more research is needed.

Pros of Eating Duck

pros of eating duck

Duck Eggs Are High In Protein

Duck eggs are a great source of protein (9 grams per egg), making it easier for bodybuilders to get the recommended minimum of 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight

Protein is one of the most important nutrients for bodybuilders to recover after training, build muscle, and retain it while dieting. 

Duck Eggs Are A Healthy Source Of Fat

Duck eggs have many micronutrients that are good for your health and contain healthy fats that help you absorb these nutrients better.

The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) must be eaten with fat to be absorbed by the body efficiently. So, having a healthy source of fat in the eggs is helpful to get the best micronutrient absorption.

Dietary fats are also crucial for hormonal health, with research linking low-fat diets with reduced testosterone levels.

Duck Eggs Are Tastier and Creamier

Duck eggs have a larger yolk, making them thicker and creamier. This is perfect when making a simple bodybuilding meal, such as scrambled eggs.


“Baked goods made with duck eggs tend to be moist and fluffy, rise better, and hold their shape well.”

Kathleen M. Zelman, registered dietitian and nutritionist

Because of that, duck eggs can be an alternative to regular eggs and add variety to your diet, making it easier to eat more calories when bulking.

Cons of Eating Duck

cons of eating duck

Duck Eggs Are Low In Carbohydrates

Duck eggs are low in carbohydrates, which could be good when dieting, but you need a certain amount of carbs for energy. 

Therefore, if you want to eat duck eggs before training, pair them with carbohydrates like whole-grain bread, oats, or potatoes to perform at your best. 

Duck Eggs Are High In Fat

Duck eggs contain more fat (10 grams per egg), so reaching your fat targets doesn’t take much. 

For example, if your fat intake is around 50 grams daily, you’ll reach the halfway point with just three eggs.

This means you should include lower-fat protein sources (e.g., chicken breast, low-fat cottage cheese, and whey protein isolate) to reach your protein target more easily without overshooting your fats.

Read more about foods that have high-fat content: 

Duck Eggs Are More Expensive And More Difficult to Find

Chicken eggs are inexpensive (a dozen large, organic eggs cost less than $5 at Walmart) and are found in every store.

In contrast, duck eggs are more ‘exotic’ and not as easily found, especially in smaller stores. For instance, Metzer Farms is one of the few brands I found when searching for duck eggs for sale.

The cost for 20 duck eggs is $40.

Can You Eat Duck Eggs Before Workouts? 

Duck eggs can be eaten before a workout, but they must be paired with some carbohydrates for energy and eaten around two hours before the workout.

Otherwise, you may experience some digestive discomfort.

Can You Eat Duck Eggs After Workouts? 

Duck eggs are a great option after a workout because they are high in protein, which you need to recover from your workouts and grow.

However, once again, you will need more carbohydrates to replenish your energy after training. So, you must pair the duck eggs with some carbs for the best results after training.

You may also want to limit the number of duck eggs you eat after training because their high-fat content can slow digestion, increasing the time it takes for the protein to enter your bloodstream and kickstart muscle recovery.

For example, you can eat two duck eggs and include a leaner protein source, such as chicken breast or low-fat cottage cheese, to reach the recommended 0.3-0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight after training.

Do Duck Eggs Help Muscle Growth?

duck egg bodybuilding

Duck eggs can help muscle growth by contributing to the caloric surplus you need (consuming more calories than you burn) to increase your potential to build muscle.

However, you still need an adequate training stimulus for muscle growth.

In addition, duck eggs don’t provide you with energy for training, so they don’t necessarily help fuel training efforts either.

Duck Eggs vs Chicken Eggs: Does It Matter For Bodybuilding? 

Duck eggs are more protein than chicken eggs, which could be better for bodybuilding. The more protein you consume, the higher the muscle gain and retention potential.

That said, the nutritional value of duck and chicken eggs is so similar that it doesn’t matter which you choose for bodybuilding.

I suggest sticking with whichever egg type you prefer because you’re more likely to adhere to your nutrition plan if you’re including foods you genuinely enjoy.  

Also, consider your food budget, as duck eggs are a premium product. 

Read more about eggs: 

Duck Egg Recipe For Bodybuilding

Open-Faced Duck Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

open-faced duck egg breakfast sandwiches recipe for bodybuilding

The open-faced breakfast sandwich is quick and easy but provides all the nutrients needed for a solid workout. This sandwich has less fat, so you can eat it one to two hours before a workout and be ready to roll.

Makes one serving.

  • For one serving: 530 Calories with 32g Carbs, 43g Protein, and 24g Fat


  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • ½ cup spinach
  • ¼ cup low-fat cheese
  • 2 slices deli meat
  • 2 duck eggs


  1. Spray a pan with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat. Add the spinach to the pan and saute until wilted. 
  2. Add the eggs to the pan and cook until the whites are solid and the yolk is at the desired consistency.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the whole grain bread in the toaster or under the broiler in the oven.
  4. On each piece of toast, layer the deli meat, the cheese, the spinach, and then the egg—season with salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

What To Read Next


Abbaspour N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J Res Med Sci. 2014 Feb;19(2):164-74. PMID: 24778671; PMCID: PMC3999603.

Kavyani Z, Musazadeh V, Fathi S, Hossein Faghfouri A, Dehghan P, Sarmadi B. Efficacy of the omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers: An umbrella meta-analysis. Int Immunopharmacol. 2022 Oct;111:109104. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2022.109104. Epub 2022 Jul 30. PMID: 35914448.

Stokes T, Hector AJ, Morton RW, McGlory C, Phillips SM. Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training. Nutrients. 2018 Feb 7;10(2):180. doi: 10.3390/nu10020180. PMID: 29414855; PMCID: PMC5852756.

Hämäläinen EK, Adlercreutz H, Puska P, Pietinen P. Decrease of serum total and free testosterone during a low-fat high-fibre diet. J Steroid Biochem. 1983 Mar;18(3):369-70. doi: 10.1016/0022-4731(83)90117-6. PMID: 6298507.

Kerksick C, Harvey T, Stout J, Campbell B, Wilborn C, Kreider R, Kalman D, Ziegenfuss T, Lopez H, Landis J, Ivy JL, Antonio J. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Oct 3;5:17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-5-17. Erratum in: J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5:18. PMID: 18834505; PMCID: PMC2575187.

Slater GJ, Dieter BP, Marsh DJ, Helms ER, Shaw G, Iraki J. Is an Energy Surplus Required to Maximize Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy Associated With Resistance Training. Front Nutr. 2019 Aug 20;6:131. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00131. PMID: 31482093; PMCID: PMC6710320.

About The Author

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker is an author, nutrition coach, and Certified Naturopath.  She works with bodybuilders, Olympic weightlifters, and powerlifters to increase performance through nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

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