When it comes to building muscle your body needs a continual supply of protein. Protein is used to repaired damaged muscle fibers after working out, but you need this protein not only following a workout but throughout the day.
Additionally, protein has fewer calories per gram than either carbs or fats, which means you can eat more solid protein than the other options. Of course, there are all kinds of protein options out there.
Egg white protein is one such option. Egg whites come with minimal calories per gram of protein, but going out and buying eggs, trashing the yolk and eating just the white is not only expensive but wasteful. That is one reason why you should consider egg white protein powder.
But is it the best option when compared to other proteins and protein powders? Here is everything you need to know about egg white protein powder.
Looking At The Protein Options
When considering egg white protein powder you need to consider all the options and then decide which is best for you (there’s no right or wrong answer as it completely depends on your personal health goals, your budget, and your current dietary requirements).
The most commonly used form of protein powder is whey. This is because it is the least expensive and one of the better options regarding the amount of calories you intake per gram of protein. Casein is similar to that of whey in that both are derived from milk. Of course, this may also mean that both whey and casein proteins are off-limits for you if you are allergic to lactose.
Pea protein is one option if you are a vegetarian or vegan. It does have a BCAA profile but it isn’t as high as the lactose options and egg white protein (more on this later). Pea protein has a higher calorie to gram of protein, so keep this in mind. Hemp protein will fall under this same category as it is plant based.
The main benefit of hemp is it is higher in omega-3 fatty acid, although it is also higher in calories per gram of protein.
Egg white protein powder is often the very best in terms of calories per gram of protein and it allows you to remain vegetarian (as there is no yolk within the powder) while avoiding lactose, which is another major benefit (Healthline, 2018)
Diving Into Egg Whites
Eggs have long been seen as a great source of protein. You can grab a standard large egg and net six grams of protein for just 71 calories.
However, with that same egg you’re also consuming five grams of fat and 211 milligrams of cholesterol. That’s rather significant if you’re looking to pack on muscle while stripping your body of fat. This is where switching to just the egg white is beneficial.
According to Healthline (2018), a single egg white contains just 16 calories, and with it you receive four grams of protein (and no fat of cholesterol).
This means if you consumed the equivalent 71 grams of an egg, but in just egg white form, you’d eat around 18 grams of protein without the fat and cholesterol.
This instantly makes it one of the best bangs for your buck when it comes to the amount of protein you receive and the limited calories you intake.
What Are the Heath Risks Of Egg Whites?
Egg whites, in general, come with very few health risks. The biggest health risk you might have when consuming egg whites is if you’re allergic to eggs. The vast majority of egg allergies come from young children, but egg allergies are typically outgrown.
Now, if you do suffer some kind of allergic reaction during the consumption of eggs you should stop eating eggs. This also means egg white protein powder is likely off limits to you as well . Should you experience any kind of egg white allergic symptoms such as swelling, itchy eyes, rashes, or hives, you should consult your doctor (Healthline, 2017).
Protein Packed In Egg White Protein Powder
When it comes to the amount of protein you receive from egg white protein powder when compared to other options, it’s right up there at the top. While it does depend a bit on the brand you purchase you can expect to consume around 25 grams of protein per 30 grams of protein powder (meaning almost all of the powder is made up of egg whites).
In general, if you were to compare the average egg white protein powder to white protein powder (which is the most commonly consumed form of protein powder), you’ll find egg white powder has fewer calories, fewer fat, and fewer cabs.
Now, if you’re simply consuming protein to help bulk up and gain the most size, there are benefits with each. While whey does have additional carbs and fat over what egg white does, you might find this desirable for optimal size growth.
However, if you’re interested in adding some muscle mass without significantly bulking up, egg whites can be the better option because it has fewer calories and zero fat.
But What About Branched-Chain Amino Acids?
Just about every nutritionist out there will tell you if you’re serious about lifting weights and putting on muscle that you need to go with animal protein over plant protein. Why is that, exactly? 10 grams of protein is 10 grams of protein, regardless of the source, right? Well, not exactly.
The vast majority of plant based protein comes with an incomplete amino acid configuration. This means plant based proteins are not absorbed by your body as easily or as quickly.
Basically if you’re relying on plant based protein you’re cutting yourself short and not allowing your body the full ability to absorb the protein (so in this instance, 10 grams of most plant protein is not as beneficial as 10 grams of meat protein).
Now, there are a handful of plants out there that do have the full makeup of amino acids, but in general, if you’re consuming protein powder you probably are doing so to repair your muscles, and the best way to repair your muscles is through meat and meat derived protein.
So where does that leave egg white protein powder? A single egg white has about 0.8 grams of BCAAs. Compare this to a six ounce chicken breast, which has 6.6g of BCAAs (Walton Feed, 2018).
You’ll need to do a bit of math to figure out the comparison, but the white of a single large egg is about 1.25 ounces. Which means about four egg whites has the same ounce size as a six ounce chicken breast, It also means you’ll consume about 4 grams of BCAAs per six ounces of chicken breasts.
This has two different meanings. First, you are consuming BCAAs with egg white protein (some egg white proteins may add BCAAs or other ingredients to the mix, so you want to make sure and read the packaging prior to purchase). That already is an advantage over what you receive through a plant based protein powder (such as pea protein powder).
With that said, you will likely not consume as many BCAAs as you would with whey based protein powder, so you’ll want to keep this in mind and adjust accordingly.
Additional Supplement Considerations
Something you’ll want to keep in mind are the additional supplements that are often included in other proteins (such as whey).
Many whey protein manufacturers will include not only additional BCAAs into the powder but some will have at least some form of creatine within the powder. You’ll need to keep all of this in mind when shopping around for protein powders.
Your egg white protein powder will likely not have these kinds of additions (although you still want to check the label). So if you want to add creatine to your dietary regimen you’ll need to purchase it separately. If you’re counting calories and comparing all kinds of proteins you’ll want to add this to the equation.
Dietary Benefits of Egg Whites
Beyond packing a slight protein advantage per calorie over whey, there is another desirable benefit of egg white protein powder over whey: zero lactose.
If you are lactose intolerant, or at the very least you tend to feel a bit bloated after consuming a dairy based product you’ll be happy to know that egg white protein powder doesn’t contain any lactose.
This way, if you’ve been looking for a solid protein powder but you are allergic to dairy and you don’t like the inferior plant based protein, egg white protein powder is by far the best option available for you.
Consider Mixing and Matching
There’s a common ideology with protein powder users that you need to remain true to one kind of protein. Those who use pea protein only use pea protein powder and those who use whey will only use whey protein powder. That doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, there are often different times where you might want to consider one form of protein over the other.
Egg whites are great for a morning protein drink, especially if you don’t have time to make breakfast. Additionally, egg white protein powder is a solid option before heading off to the gym.
It gives you almost 100% egg white protein, so if carbs tend to slow you down or if additional fat calories make you sleepy, going with egg white protein is the way to go.
Now, if you’re looking to bulk and increase size it is a good idea to consume a glass of protein powder prior to bed. Your body will perform much of the muscular repair at night, while you are sleeping. Due to this you will want to give your body something to work with.
However, you will want something that is lighter and easier for your body to digest while sleeping. This is where using a whey protein is beneficial. Whey is easy on the stomach (as long as you are not allergic to lactose) and is easy to break down.
This makes it the best protein option prior to bed (and the dairy can actually help promote sleep)(Dairy Nutrition, 2018). Egg whites are a bit harder to digest. This will force your stomach to work harder, and when this happens while you’re sleeping it can lead to some indigestion. That’s why if you do decide to add protein to your pre-sleep routine it is best to go with the whey option.
Who Should Use Egg White Protein Powder?
Egg white protein powder is an excellent source of protein with one of the lowest levels of calories around. If you are someone who is looking to build lean muscle and potentially increase your muscle mass, egg white protein powder is one of the best options around.
While it doesn’t have as higher of a BCAA profile as whey and in some instances you might want to increase your fat and carb intake, in terms of the best bang for your calorie to protein ratio, nothing else can really compete.
So if this sounds like you, or if you’re allergic to dairy and have been searching for something other than whey as a go to protein source, egg white protein powder is one of the better viable options.
Whether you’re interested in building muscle and increasing your size or you want sustained energy with the lowest calorie profile, egg white protein powder is one of the very best options around.
It is also a fantastic option for protein if you are allergic to dairy and have been searching for a way to increase your quick protein intake that still has the full BCAA profile.
So whether you’re interested in switching over completely to egg white protein powder or you want to mix and match your protein powder throughout the day based on the time and your activities, now is an excellent time to bring egg white protein powder into the fold.