Over the last several years, there has been a growing interest in functional foods—that is, foods that can be used not only to sustain life, but to decrease the risk of certain diseases or even cure them. Thanks to their easy availability, low cost and high nutritional content, eggs have made their way quite easily into the “functional foods” category. There’s even evidence that suggests eggs can help prevent certain chronic or infectious diseases.
Eggs have long been lauded for their high protein content and host of micronutrients. Now, with the continued growth of the $12.4 billion protein powder industry, the demand for quality protein powders is on the rise. To meet this demand, manufacturers are tapping into a variety of sources to create protein options for athletes and non-athletes alike. Egg white protein does a phenomenally good job at meeting those needs.
Aside from containing 6 grams of quality protein per egg, and all the essential amino acids, eggs are also a quality source of vitamins A, E and K, and many B vitamins too—including B12, riboflavin and folic acid.
Eggs have become the golden child of the fitness world. Here’s a quick primer on eggs in the health industry, egg white protein and beyond.
A raw history of eggs in the health industry
Eggs haven’t always been considered healthy. In fact, even as recently as the 1970s, they were considered a nearly off-limit food due to their saturated fat and cholesterol content. During that time, U.S. egg consumption dropped significantly.
But a number of studies since the disco decade have solidified the humble egg’s place in good nutrition and fitness. One of the main takeaways of those studies was that dietary cholesterol isn’t as bad as it once seemed. High cholesterol has been more closely linked to trans fats and added sugars than naturally occurring cholesterol. Since that groundbreaking finding, eggs have taken their rightful place in our minds as a powerhouse of health benefits.
Benefits of egg protein powders
University studies have shown egg protein to be effective for muscle growth and muscle protein synthesis. The egg’s high content of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is largely responsible for this.
Egg protein is also quickly and fully absorbed and utilized by the body, making it the standard for measuring protein effectiveness. One study showed that egg protein could prevent overtraining by increasing testosterone and hemoglobin.
Eggs are also particularly high in the amino acid leucine, which stimulates muscle synthesis after eating. Egg protein contains 10-20% more leucine than many other protein-rich foods.
Egg white protein is also gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free, making it a great alternative to whey and casein proteins, or plant-based products that incorporate wheat. Egg protein powder does away with the sulfuric smell that eggs are known for. It doesn’t have a distinct taste, so you can blend it easily into any drink, or even your morning oatmeal.
A study of 134 popular protein powders conducted earlier this year showed high levels of heavy metals and toxins present in a majority of the tested products. However, egg white protein powder came out of the study as the cleanest of them all, with no traces of lead.
How does egg protein weight up against whey protein?
Egg protein’s recent emergence onto the supplement scene means that there’s less scientific research on how it affects muscles in comparison to whey. But here’s what we do know.
Both egg and whey proteins are considered complete proteins, as they contain all the essential amino acids for building and repairing muscle. A quick look at their nutrition labels will yield similar numbers. Calorie-wise, they both come in around the 120-130 calorie range. With 24 grams of protein in a scoop of egg protein and 20-30 in a scoop of whey protein, the difference is negligible.
Egg white protein, unlike its whey counterpart, is completely fat-free, making it a good option for those concerned about fat intake. However, a study in the Nutrition Journal found whey protein was better at staving off hunger.
Should you take it?
Egg protein provides massive benefits for most people. You don’t have to engage in weight training or intense physical activity to take it. But if you do, you’ll see even more results, like faster recovery thanks to its fast absorption. That means you could be ready to push yourself harder with less downtime from sore or torn muscles.
Even though egg protein is generally safe, some people are egg-sensitive. If you find yourself feeling queasy or experiencing GI discomfort (or gas and bloating) after consuming eggs, then egg white protein is likely not your best option. Check out these reviews on top-rated protein powder products to find the one that’s right for you.
Egg white protein is generally considered safe for most people, so unless your doctor has specifically told you to stay away from it, feel free to add it to your supplement routine.
Are you ready to dive into the world of protein powders and meet your health and fitness goals? Explore the best options on the market today with our unbiased supplement reviews.