Nutritionists often refer to eggs as the gold standard for protein because they are one of the highest quality and most biologically available sources of protein. Eggs are perfect for people who cannot digest lactose because they are lactose free and easily digestible. If you have trouble digesting milk based protein powders, such as whey or casein, egg protein may be the perfect answer for you.
Eating Whole Eggs
Many people worry about eating too many egg yolks because of their high cholesterol content. Discarding egg yolks and eating only the egg whites leaves you at a disadvantage because half of the protein and vitamins are within the egg yolk. Egg yolks are about 15% higher in protein than egg whites per weight. Vitamins A, E, D and Leutin are found only within the yolk. Egg yolk contains a high concentration of leutin, which is important for eye health. Cholesterol is a necessary nutrient and the body produces more of it than you consume in your diet. Eating a couple egg yolks a day is not going to hurt you. In fact, cholesterol is an essential nutrient for life that is required to build and maintain membranes. Human breast milk contains significant quantities of cholesterol.
Egg Whites and Egg White Protein Powder
With that being said, egg albumin (egg white) is still a nutritionally complete, high quality source of protein that contains B vitamins and various minerals. Egg protein powders usually only contain egg albumin. Egg protein powders are known as one of the best sources of protein available because they are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids. If you’re eating actual eggs my advice is to eat the whole egg. However, if you’re buying egg protein powder rest assured that you’re making a good purchase because there are not many sources of protein that can compete with egg albumin.
Below are the biological values comparing eggs and egg whites, along with some other foods for a frame of reference. The scale is from 1-100; 100 being a perfectly complete protein. The more complete a protein is the more useful it is to the body, particularly for protein synthesis and building muscle.
whole egg 97
egg white (albumin) 93
whole milk 92
whole wheat 67
As you can see, both eggs and egg white are highly complete proteins, with scores in the nineties. Overall, whole eggs are the best choice in my opinion, but egg whites and egg white protein powder are still great alternatives, especially for those who cannot digest milk based protein powders.
For those who already take whey and/or casein, egg protein powder will provide you with further benefits. Getting your protein from multiple sources is important because every source of protein has it’s own unique amino acid profile. So, if you’re already taking whey protein or casein protein it does not mean that you won’t get any additional benefits from taking egg protein. It is highly beneficial for those who are trying to build muscle to diversify their protein sources. One smart and easy way to do this is to buy a high quality protein complex like Optimum Pro Complex that includes whey, casein, egg and milk protein. This gives you all of the most complete sources of protein combined in a single blend.
If you’re simply looking for a top quality egg protein powder, Optimum Gold Standard %100 Egg is one of the best and most reasonably priced available. Each scoop of Optimum’s egg protein powder contains as much protein as seven whole eggs. This is the reason I believe it makes sense to buy egg white protein powder. Most people don’t want to consume seven eggs everyday to get this same level of benefit. Adding an egg white protein powder to your diet and supplement regiment is a smart move for anyone.