Both whey vs egg protein has its own advantages. Whey protein contains more leucine, has a more appealing taste and is perfect for shakes and smoothies. Egg protein is also high quality protein suitable for people with milk allergy or lactose intolerance, and is the perfect ingredient to add to omelets or baked goods.
What's Egg Protein
As the name implies, this is a type of protein, which is found in eggs. Egg protein is known for its great amino acid profile and digestibility, which has been used as the standard for comparing other dietary proteins. In a powder form, egg protein is made from egg whites. It is a concentrated source of high-quality protein, with a high content of the most anabolic amino acid - leucine.
What's Whey Protein
This is one of the proteins found in milk. Whey protein also has an excellent amino acid profile and highest concentration of leucine of all other protein sources! Whey protein powder has replaced egg protein powder, which used to be the most popular protein supplement.
Whey vs Egg Protein Detailed Comparison
Let's take a closer look at the key differences between these two types of protein.
The process of producing egg protein powder is quite simple. The egg whites are separated from the yolks, dehydrated and finely ground to form a powder. Of course, in order for the product to be safe, the egg white is pasteurized. This minimizes the risk of salmonella infection.
As for the whey protein, it is actually a by-product of the cheesemaking process. The milk is tested for quality and pasteurized to kill pathogenic bacteria. Enzymes are added to it, which help separate milk into whey and casein. As a result, we get a liquid part (whey) and a solid part that resembles cottage cheese. At the next stage, the liquid part is filtered from fats, lactose, some minerals and then dried to a powder form. Depending on the methods and stages of filtration, we get a whey protein powder with more or less fats and lactose, as well as a different percentage of protein from the total weight of the product.
As you can see, the production of egg protein vs whey protein is quite different, but overall we get both proteins of very high quality.
Average Macro Breakdown (Per Serving)
As for protein from egg whites, the range of macronutrients is very narrow no matter which brand you buy it from. One serving usually contains 23-25 g of protein, 0 grams of fat and 1-2 grams of carbohydrates. However, some products contain 0.5-1 g of fat per serving and no more than 3 g of carbohydrates. The caloric value of one serving is usually 100-120 kcal.
The situation is slightly different with whey protein, because the range of macronutrients breakdown is wider. One serving can contain 24-30 g of protein, from 0 to 4 g of carbohydrates and from 0 to 3 g of fat. Hence the wider range of calories per serving, which is 90-140 kcal.
The amount of carbohydrates and fats in a serving of whey protein depends on whether the protein went through an additional filtration loop. Whey protein concentrate undergoes the least filtration, therefore it may contain a significant amount of fats and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. Whey protein isolate goes through additional filtration, which allows to significantly reduce the amount of lactose and / or fat in the final product. It is for this reason that isolates are better suited for people with lactose intolerance.
Micronutrients (Per Serving)
If you ever wondered which product looks better in terms of mineral content - egg white protein or whey protein, whey protein looks more attractive. First, it contains around 100-150 mg of calcium per serving, while egg protein can contain anywhere from zero to about 60 mg (but usually less).
Second, egg protein contains much more sodium - an average of 350-400 mg per serving, compared to an average of 120-250 mg in whey protein. This is something to watch out for, especially if you're on a low-sodium diet.
Due to the high sodium content of egg protein powder, I would not recommend using it in large quantities for the average person. While it may not be a problem for professional athletes who sweat profusely (long-distance runners, cyclists, triathletes, American football players etc.), a large amount of sodium in egg powder may be too much for the average person. Therefore, if one serving is enough to ease the task of consuming the needed total amount of protein, egg powder may be a good option. However, if you want to get more than 25-30g of protein from a protein supplement consuming 2 servings of 25-30g per day, this may not be the best option due to the high sodium content.
Always keep in mind that the key and primary source of protein should be whole foods, regardless of which product you choose - egg white protein or whey protein. If your protein needs are not very high and you can easily meet them from high-protein whole foods, there is no need to consume multiple servings of protein in supplement form!
The advantage of egg protein is a much higher amount of potassium per serving - 280-400 mg, while whey protein has only 160-250 mg.
See the summary table below:
The cost of one serving of whey protein is ~$1.2-2. Whey protein concentrate is closer to the lower end of this range, while isolate is closer to the upper end.
The average cost of one serving of egg protein is ~$1.9-2. However, below we recommend a great product at $1.55 per serving.
Taste and Versatility
Is egg protein better than whey in the context of taste and versatility? In general, egg protein powder has a fairly sharp taste, although this can be subjective and can also depend on the individual product. On the other hand, the taste of whey protein attracts more consumers.
Egg protein powder is best used for omelets or pancakes. It can also be used in baking instead of liquid egg whites. In this context, it has an advantage over pasteurized egg whites in liquid form, because the powder has a much longer shelf life and does not require refrigeration. If you're regularly throwing out leftover liquid egg whites because they've gone bad (and throwing away the money you spent on them), egg protein powder can be a great alternative.
You can mix protein shake with egg protein, but it is better to combine it with other ingredients to improve the taste, and not just mix it in water. On the other hand, whey protein is more versatile, as it can be used in baking, in pancake mix, as well as in delicious shakes or smoothies.
Allergies and Intolerances
Egg powder is a great option for people with allergies to milk proteins, including whey. It is also an excellent source of high-quality protein for people with lactose or milk protein intolerance. And vice versa, whey protein is suitable for people with an allergy to protein found in eggs, provided there are no problems with lactose and milk protein, of course.
Keep in mind that if you have an allergy to milk proteins, milk-based protein powders and other dairy should be avoided! This also applies to allergies to egg proteins, soy proteins and other products.
Whey vs Egg Protein: Summary
High-quality protein with an excellent amino acid profile and digestibility
Contains the highest amount of leucine of all protein sources
More calcium per serving
Contains significantly less sodium per serving than egg protein
A more appealing taste for most people
A versatile product, better suited for making shakes or smoothies
Lower price per serving
Could be better:
Not suitable for people allergic to milk proteins
Not suitable for people with severe lactose intolerance (although isolate causes less problems)
Contains much less potassium per serving
Contains more fat and carbs per serving
A concentrated source of protein of high biological value
A great alternative for people with allergy to milk proteins
Great for those with lactose intolerance
Most often contains zero fat
Great for baking and as a substitute for liquid egg whites
Contains much more potassium than whey protein
Could be better:
Not suitable for people allergic to egg proteins
Contains much more sodium per serving
Less calcium per serving
Less attractive taste (less suitable for a protein shake)
Egg White Protein Powder vs Whey: When to Use Each
Products We Recommend
This protein definitely deserves to be at the top of the whey protein rankings. A serving contains 28 g of the highest quality protein, with plenty of BCAA and leucine. Zero to 1 grams of fat, minimal lactose (may be great for those with lactose intolerance), and 8 flavors to choose from.
You can't ask for better than this whey protein! Despite the relatively high price per serving, it is worth considering that you get not 24-25 g of protein (as in most whey proteins), but 28 g.
If you want to try egg white protein, I don't see competitors for this product from Naked Nutrition. It contains 25g of easily digestible protein per serving, including more than 2g of leucine. You will also find 300 mg of potassium and a noticeable amount of calcium. And all this at the price of $1.55 per serving. You won't find better value for money!
Is Egg Protein Better Than Whey?
Both types of proteins hold high positions in terms of amino acid composition and digestibility, and each of them has its own advantages. Choose the supplement that does not cause gastrointestinal problems, tastes good and is more affordable for you.
Can I Replace Whey Protein With Eggs?
Yes, as the whole eggs are an excellent source of high-quality protein. You can also eat both eggs and whey protein on the same day, as long as you don't have allergies and / or digestive problems after consuming protein powder.
Does Egg Protein Powder Build Muscle?
Absolutely, because it is a source of essential amino acids, including leucine, which our body uses to build muscle mass.
Both types of protein supplements - egg protein vs whey protein - have their own advantages. Whey protein contains more BCAAs and leucine, tastes better (although this is subjective) and is more versatile. On the other hand, egg protein is also high-quality protein, great for baking and can be an alternative for people with milk protein allergies and / or lactose intolerance.
Have you tried both types of these protein supplements? Which do you like more? Let me know in the comments!
- Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season // National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6680710/
- Milk & Dairy // Allergies: https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/food/milk-dairy/
- International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise // Bio Med Central: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8#Sec17
Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.