When it comes to egg white protein powder vs. whey protein, the debate essentially hinges around whether eggs or milk are a better source.
While Gaston would have us believe his impressive muscles are products of high egg consumption, the facts and science of the argument are a little more complex.
In this article, we're going to look at the benefits each provides as a protein supplement, how they differ, how they match, and which is better for different fitness goals.
Read on to find out more...
How Is Egg White Protein Powder Similar To Whey Protein?
When it comes to nutritional statistics, egg protein powder and whey stack up fairly similarly. Both contain all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs but cannot make for itself.
This means they are both complete proteins, which may put them ahead of some other protein supplements on the market.
Eggs are all-natural and provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food available. One egg provides more than six grams of protein or 13 percent of the recommended Daily Value
- Dr. Mitch Kanter, Executive Director At The Egg Nutrition Center
They also provide a comparable serving in grams of protein per scoop with egg white protein powder, usually giving 24g of protein per scoop, and whey protein powders serving up around 20g to 30g per scoop, depending on the types of whey chosen
How Are They Different?
Egg white protein powder and whey protein are more similar than they are different, with pretty similar calorie counts and nutrients per scoop for both.
Egg white protein powder can be considerably higher in cholesterol than whey, with almost three times as much at around 15g per scoop.
Fat content, however, is much lower (read non-existent), as egg white powder has 0g of fat compared to the up to 4g of fat per scoop found in whey.
Egg white protein is also typically lower in carbs than most forms of whey, although purer forms of whey, such as hydrolyzed whey, will be lower still than egg white.
Egg White Protein Powder
1. More Allergy-Friendly
If you consider that 65% of the world population is allergic to dairy products vs. only 0.1-2% being allergic to egg,, you can see a major contributing factor as to why when they provide such similar benefits, one may have the edge over the other.
Egg allergies are incredibly rare, and even when found in childhood, they are often grown out of. Lactose intolerance, however, is much more common, especially in those of East Asian descent at almost 90%.
If whey gives you a gripey tum, you should probably give egg white protein powder a go and see if it improves.
Eggs are much easier to source and cost a lot less to produce than milk, so it should come as no surprise that the proteins derived from these foods pass on those savings or lack thereof.
Egg white protein powder costs significantly less per scoop than whey protein on average.
The cheaper production and lower cost to produce also means that egg whites are a better option for those with a bit of a green streak.
While it's not permitted on a strict vegan diet, egg protein may benefit those looking to reduce their meat consumption or those looking to avoid the dairy industry as much as possible.
3. Low In Fat And Carbs
For those looking to supplement protein as a way to aid fat loss, the fact that egg white protein powder has literally no fat and is also very low in carbohydrates may be a deciding factor.
This can make it a very attractive protein choice when building a meal replacement shake or a breakfast protein boost.
Eggs have long been considered part of a healthy breakfast, but recent studies have singled out the yucky yellow middle as a problematic ingredient. By choosing egg white protein powder, you get the best of the egg without having to separate it yourself.
1. High In Cholesterol
For those watching their cholesterol intake, egg white protein powder may be a very poor choice indeed.
As mentioned above, egg white protein clocks in at around 3x more cholesterol per scoop than whey protein, and measures poorly against other protein sources on the market for the same reason.
If you are leading an active lifestyle with lots of exercise and using your protein supplements to improve your diet and move further towards health and fitness, this should come as little to no worry.
If, however, you're using it to lose weight or already suffering from high cholesterol, it may be problematic.
2. Less Effective At Appetite Suppression
Another reason egg white protein might not be the best choice for fitness goals is the fact that one study has shown it to be less effective at appetite suppression when compared to whey.
Whether your goal is building muscle mass, improving performance, or purely to get in better shape and burn some fat, watching your calories and taking supplements that reduce feelings of hunger is a big part of that.
One study is far from emphatic proof, and unfortunately, there have not been many comparing the two popular supplements. It is, however, something to note.
1. Proven Track Record
Whey protein supplements have been a top of choice for a while now. So it comes with a certain amount of scientific studies and guarantees of efficacy, such as a proven reduction in appetite, a correlation to bone regeneration and strength, and a definite link to growing muscles when used alongside a fitness regime.
Is it the best choice because of these studies, or have all these studies been conducted because it's the most popular choice?
The jury is out, and hopefully, we'll soon have more studies to compare for its competitors. For now, whey protein is definitely the most science-backed option.
Owing again to its longevity and prevalence as the number one protein supplement choice, whey protein has a truly staggering amount of choice when it comes to different flavors and options to put in your morning shake or post-workout smoothie.
Even when using a plain, unflavored powder, it is inoffensive and lowkey. Egg white protein powder, on the other hand… well, it's hard to remove that inherently eggy flavor, and no matter how you mix it, that pungent and powerful presence will always be felt.
1. Value And Cost
Whey protein is more expensive. We covered this in the pros for egg whites and notched it up as a win for the chicken ovulation variety (gross). However, there are further problems that stem from whey protein's domination of the market that are knock-on effects of this.
Namely, that while you might be paying more, you may be getting less. A cheap whey protein may be filled with all kinds of nonsense (more on this in a second) while not actually being any more effective than the more affordable options available.
2. Calorie Count
Let's dig through some of the filler, flavoring, sugar, and fats that get shoved into the lower-end of the whey protein market, shall we? Well, we can't.
While most whey proteins are honest and transparent with the ingredients that go into their supplements, others hide behind "proprietary blends" -- meaning we'll never know what we're putting into our bodies.
Even the ones that do list their ingredients can often be jam-packed with unwanted additives, so you should keep a close eye on the label. Egg white protein, on the other hand, is usually just that, pure and simple.
Can You Take at the Same Time?
You can take both egg white protein powder and whey at the same time, there is no reason not to do so, but there is also no reason for doing so.
They both provide fundamentally the same benefits, and both being animal-derived proteins, have much the same amino acid profile and nutrient profile, too.
If you wanted to take both, you could mix up your morning whey protein smoothie with some egg, even separating out the yolks, if so inclined for a cheaper, whole food variant.
Otherwise, you could take both separately with whey being your workout shake and egg white protein powder used to add protein to your cooking or meals.
Should I Take Egg White Protein Powder Or Whey Protein?
Ultimately, it comes down to choice. There is not enough research or studies done at the time of writing to indicate a clear favorite.
Egg white does chalk up some wins in terms of fat content but then loses out in regards to appetite suppression.
Whey protein has a proven record of performance but is also much more widely harmful to those with allergies. It's also not as environmental and wallet-friendly.
They provide comparable benefits with little to separate them.
Have you tried egg white protein powder as a replacement to whey yourself?
Why don't you let us know how it went in the comment section below.