Protein powders can benefit all types of people, from bodybuilders sculpting every last detail of their physique, to casual exercisers looking to refuel after bootcamp class, to just about anyone wanting to gain muscle, lose fat, and/or nourish their body on busy days. Yep, protein powder covers a lot of ground.
But, as you’ve probably noticed, there are lots of protein powders out there, coming from seemingly every source under the sun. You’ve got plant-based powders made with ingredients like soybeans, peas, and hemp, as well as animal-based proteins made from milk sources (think whey or casein), collagen, and even beef. And, now, though they’re not totally new to the game, egg white protein powders are climbing the ranks of popular options.
Whether you’re looking to switch up your routine or are just curious about protein powder made from your favorite breakfast food, here’s the scoop on egg white protein powder, how it compares to other protein supplements, and whether it’s a good fit for your personal health and fitness goals.
What Is Egg White Protein Powder?
The process of making egg white protein powder is simpler than you might think. It’s produced by separating egg whites from the yolks, pulverizing them, and drying them into a powder, explains The Vitamin Shoppe nutritionist Brittany Michels, R.D.N., L.D.N., C.P.T. (ICYMI: The protein in eggs is concentrated in the whites, hence why they’re used to make protein supps.) Egg white protein powder is unique in that it’s animal-based but free of whey and lactose, which many people are sensitive to, according to Michels.
Read More: 9 Easy Ways To Up Your Protein Intake
As with other protein powders, the dried egg white protein then becomes a blank canvas for added flavors, sweeteners, and other nutrients (such as basic vitamins and minerals), Michels notes. The tubs or bags of egg white protein you see on store shelves may contain different flavorings or sweeteners, though most typically maintain a pretty concise ingredient list.
How Does It Compare to Other Protein Powders?
When it comes to protein content, egg white protein powder is fairly comparable to whey and plant-based supplements, says dietitian Kim Yawitz, R.D., owner of Two Six Fitness. (You’ll often find around 24 grams of protein per serving.) That said, egg white protein is slower to digest and contains slightly less leucine (a branched–chain amino acid linked with muscle-building) than whey. However, it is faster-digesting and higher in leucine than most plant-based products, she notes.
“On paper, it has all the features I’d want in a protein supplement,” Yawitz says. “It’s high in protein and leucine, low in calories, and easy on the belly. As someone who tries to avoid artificial ingredients and additives as much as possible, I also appreciate how easy it is to find minimally processed egg white protein powders.” Many egg white supplements contain just a few ingredients, while whey or plant-based proteins may often contain more, she points out.
With all that said, egg white protein hasn’t been studied as extensively as whey or casein. “Some studies suggest that whey protein is slightly better for muscle growth than egg white protein, but the evidence is sparse overall,” Yawitz says. This doesn’t mean that egg white protein isn’t a solid option, but that whey and casein still take the cake when it comes to being research-backed.
Who Should Consider Trying Egg White Protein Powder?
As you can probably guess, egg white protein powder is a wonderful option for those with allergies or sensitivities to whey, Michels says. The same goes for those who have trouble digesting plant-based alternatives. “If you experience negative digestive changes with whey or plant-based options, give egg white protein powder a try,” Michels suggests. “You may find a blend your body loves.”
In addition to people with dairy allergies or intolerances, egg white protein powder can be a solid option for those who follow a Paleo-style eating pattern, in which dairy and legumes are off the menu, Yawitz adds.
“I also recommend egg white protein powder to clients who struggle to get enough protein but don’t love drinking protein shakes, simply because it’s easy to mask the flavor of it in foods and drinks,” Yawitz says. So if you struggle with the consistency of some plant-based proteins or don’t want the creaminess of a dairy-based option, this egg-based powder could be for you.
Tips for Buying Egg White Powder
As with any type of protein powder, not all egg white proteins are created equal. It’s good to know where your protein is being sourced from, and to consider what other ingredients are being added to the final product, Michels says. Added sugars and flavors, in particular, are something to be mindful of.
Yawitz typically recommends looking for a powder that’s free of artificial flavors and colors and that has been tested by an independent third party like NSF, Informed Choice, or ConsumerLab. A quality brand will be transparent about its manufacturing process and testing. (All of The Vitamin Shoppe’s private brand products are third-party tested for quality and potency to ensure a top-notch experience.)
The Bottom Line
Egg white protein powder is an easy-to-digest option for anyone who needs or wants to avoid milk- or plant-based proteins because of allergies, digestive complaints, taste preferences, or any other reason. BodyTech’s Vanilla Egg White Protein Powder is naturally flavored and contains just four simple ingredients, making it a versatile go-to that provides the amino acids necessary for supporting muscle-building, exercise recovery, and overall health and vitality.