Ranking the best egg white protein powders of 2020

Ranking the best egg white protein powders of 2020

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Egg white protein is a highly pure and complete source of protein that’s great as a part of a supplementation program for athletic performance or weight loss, especially if you follow a paleo, ketogenic, or low-carb diet.

Egg white protein is low in carbs, very high in protein, and since it’s derived from only the egg white and not the yoke, it is also free of fat and cholesterol.

Unlike dairy-derived proteins like whey and casein, it isn’t heavily processed, so it fits better into paleo diet plans. If you want all the advantages of egg white protein, you’ll want to check out our rankings of the best products on the market.

Rankings

1. Judee’s Gluten Free Paleo Protein

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Judee’s is a great choice if you want bulk egg white protein in large amounts. Their pasteurized egg white protein includes a small amount of natural soy lecithin, which helps it blend up easily in a shake or smoothie compared to other products with no emulsifiers.

It comes in bags of up to four pounds, so it is a particularly good pick if you go through a lot of protein on a regular basis. The resealable plastic bags are not as easy to work with as a plastic tub, but that’s about the only downside to this egg white protein powder, making it our top pick.

2. Julian Bakery Paleo Protein Egg White Protein

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Julian Bakery makes a sweet-tasting egg white protein that’s free of soy and free of artificial additives. It’s a good product if you don’t like the taste of unflavored egg white protein, but don’t want artificial flavoring agents either.

This chocolate-flavored protein powder uses only cocoa powder, monk fruit extract, and natural chocolate flavors to improve its taste, and it blends or mixes up easily thanks to the sunflower lecithin. Of the flavored egg white proteins, this is one of the best.

3. Smart138 Egg White Protein

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Smart 138 uses American-raised eggs and only one other ingredient (sunflower lecithin, for easy blending) to make this egg white protein powder.

It’s an excellent choice if you just want pure and unadulterated egg white protein that’s not flavored, but will mix up easily into a smoothie or shake. The lack of flavoring means that it will go well with fruit smoothies or other mixes that already have their own flavors included.

4. It’s Just Egg White Protein

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It’s Just Egg White Protein is another super-simple egg white protein powder that’s got one single ingredient: egg white protein powder. The resealable bag is a little smaller than some of the competition, but it’s easy to use and couldn’t be better when it comes to purity.

5. Source Nutrition Egg White Protein

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Formulated for athletes in training who want a good-tasting egg white protein source that’s easy to blend into a shake or smoothie, Source Nutrition makes an egg white protein that’s flavored with cocoa powder and includes a high-tech creamer blend. 

This results in a smooth and frothy shake, even when mixed into nothing but water. It’s a bit too sweet for some people, but the stevia and luo han guo make it an excellent sugar-free protein source if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

6. Now Sports Egg White Protein

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Now Sports has a pretty solid egg white protein that is pure and pasteurized. It’s been vetted by third-party labs to ensure that it’s free of banned substances in NCAA and professional sports, so it’s a good choice for serious athletes who need to be sure their supplements come from vetted sources.

It may not be the best choice if you don’t like the taste of plain egg white protein, but if not, it’s a good pick.

7. MRM Natural Egg White Protein

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MRM makes an egg white protein powder that’s a good balance between purity and usability. It’s flavored with natural vanilla flavor, stevia, and monk fruit extract, while including a couple of emulsifiers to make blending into a shake easier.

Unlike many other competitors, it also includes digestive enzymes to help with absorption. These extras do make the protein content somewhat lower per serving, however, so that’s a trade off you’ll have to live with if you go with this egg white protein powder.

8. BulkSupplements Egg White Paleo Protein Powder

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BulkSupplements is usually a good source for large amounts of pure and simple protein powders.

While this is also the case with their egg white protein powder, other manufacturers have a leg up when it comes to verifying the source of the eggs used and providing small amounts of emulsifier to make the protein easier to blend up.

Still, if you just want pure egg white protein with zero additives in large amounts, BulkSupplements is the way to go.

9. Less Naked Egg

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Less Naked Egg is a naturally flavored egg white protein that uses only natural flavoring and coconut sugar as a sweetener.

While this does mean that this protein powder is free of any non-caloric sweeteners, the coconut sugar does give it a significant amount of carbohydrates compared to other egg white protein powders.

While it’s only got four grams of sugar and eight grams of carbohydrates per 25 grams of protein, this might be enough to put off strict low carb, low sugar, and ketogenic diet adherents.

10. Jay Robb Egg White Protein

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Weight loss guru Jay Robb has a very popular line of egg white protein that’s well-liked for its sweet, frothy taste. The downside is that it uses xylitol, a sugar alcohol, as one of its non-caloric sweetening agents.

Like other sugar alcohols, xylitol can cause digestive issues in some people, especially when consumed in large amounts.

Some users also have problems getting the zipper-top bag to stay closed, which could result in the protein powder being exposed to the air (not to mention the more practical issue of spills).

Who should buy egg white protein?

Egg white protein is a great source of supplemental protein for your diet if you are looking for protein that is high-quality, cost-effective, offers a complete amino acid profile, and is very low in carbs and fat.

While protein sources like whey protein or pea protein powder are more popular, egg white protein is becoming better-known thanks to its compatibility with low carb and paleo diets, as well as its cost-effectiveness.

Egg white protein is often far cheaper than whey protein, because eggs are so cheap at the industrial level. This also means it’s far easier to get organic or non-GMO egg white protein powder for a reasonable price compared to other sources of supplemental protein.

Egg white protein is a favorite among people who do paleo or low-carb baking, since it deals well with high temperatures (as you might imagine from an egg-derived product). While it’s not a vegan-friendly protein powder, that does make it a complete source of amino acids.

Proteins that are complete amino acid sources tend to have a slight edge when it comes to both building muscle and losing weight. If you are specifically interested in the benefits of branched chain amino acids (which include reducing muscle soreness and boosting post-exercise immunity) but don’t want to take a dedicated BCAA supplement, egg white protein powder is also a great option.

That’s because egg white protein is very high in leucine, isoleucine, and valine, the three essential branched chain amino acids. Additionally, these branched chain amino acids naturally occur at approximately a 1.3:0.8:1.1 ratio, which is not far off from the 1:1:1 ratio you’ll find in some prepared BCAA supplement.

The fact that egg white protein powder is not derived from dairy (as opposed to whey or casein protein powder) may be useful for people with dairy allergies, too. It’s completely lactose-free, and won’t have any of the potential allergens in a dairy-based protein powder.

Egg white protein fills a particular niche in the supplemental protein market, and for many people, it’s exactly the source of high-quality protein that they are looking for. 

How we ranked

Since egg white protein powder is so highly prized for its purity and quality, we put these criteria at the top of our list. We only examined egg white protein powders that used egg whites as their sole source of protein.

We also put a strong emphasis on quality by excluding products with too many additives, and scrutinizing the degree to which each product on our list provided details about how the eggs used to make it were sourced.

One detail that was unique to egg protein was its mixability. Because of the chemical composition of egg white protein, it can be more prone to forming clumps than other types of protein. This can be particularly troublesome if you are looking to use egg white protein powder in baking recipes, as opposed to just in protein shakes.

To address this issue, we awarded extra points to egg white protein powders that used small amounts of soy lecithin to help emulsify the protein mixture when it is in a solution.

We recognized that not everybody wants soy-based compounds in their egg white protein powder, so we made sure to include some of the best products that included no emulsifiers as well. Flavoring posed a similar challenge—egg white protein is not the tastiest kind of protein, and it can share the same chalky, bland taste that turns many people off from protein powder products.

The products we ranked the highest were either unflavored (which are great for minimalists and purists, as well as people who are using egg white protein powder for baking) or that used only natural products like cocoa powder, stevia, and monk fruit extract, as opposed to artificial flavorings and sweeteners. 

After weighing each of these different criteria in turn, we made our final rankings. These are the best options on the market right now if you are looking for a high-quality egg white protein powder. 

Benefits

Egg white protein is keto and paleo friendly. Among people looking for natural, unprocessed, low-carb protein that’s keto and paleo friendly, egg white protein is a very popular choice. Its protein content is high, and unlike whey protein, it is not highly processed.

It’s low in fat, cholesterol, carbs, and sugar, thanks to the fact that the protein is derived exclusively from the egg whites.

Because it comes from an animal source, it provides a complete amino acid profile too. For these reasons, it’s a particularly effective source of protein when you are trying to lose weight.

Egg white protein can increase your metabolic expenditure. Highly concentrated protein has a powerful thermogenic effect on your body: after consuming a meal high in protein, your baseline metabolic rate increases substantially, meaning you burn more calories even at rest.

One study published by researchers at Arizona State University East in 2002 compared the relative increase in caloric expenditure after a high protein diet or a high carbohydrate diet (1).

Using a group of female subjects, the researchers tested the effects of a day-long series of high protein meals versus a day-long series of high carbohydrate/low-fat meals. All of the subjects completed both diets, in random order, to prevent any within-subject differences from affecting the results.

The researchers found that the high protein diet resulted in a post-meal caloric expenditure increase that was twice as high as the increase from the high carbohydrate/low fat diet.

As a complete amino acid source, egg white protein is more effective at burning calories than plant-based proteins. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, animal sources of protein results in a more potent thermogenic effect compared to a similar amount of protein from a plant source (2).

The authors propose that this has to do with the quality and balance of the amino acids contained in the protein source. Because animal based proteins contain a balance of all of the essential amino acids, they appear to result in greater energy expenditure increases than plant based proteins, even when the total amount of protein consumed is the same.

Egg white protein can help you burn fat. A review article published by Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga at Maastricht University in the Netherlands examined some of the biological mechanisms behind the increase in energy expenditure that follows intake of a protein supplement (3).

One of these is an increase in short-term fat oxidation; the body appears to burn more fat following a high protein meal, thanks to changes in circulating hormone levels that occur after a high protein meal. These benefits apply even when you are just trying to maintain your current weight instead of losing more weight.

According to Westerterp-Plantenga, studies on weight loss maintenance show that intake of foods high in protein results in a muscle-sparing and fat-targeted metabolism.

In other words, when your body needs to burn energy, it goes after fat cells and spares muscle cells. This is great, because it means that you’re not only bringing the number on the scale down; you are shifting your body composition towards more muscle and less fat.

Egg protein in the morning can help you eat fewer calories later in the day. In addition to helping burn more calories, a highly concentrated source of protein can help you take in less energy as well, assuming you consume it fairly early in the day.

One of the other remarkable biological effects of protein is its ability to induce a feeling nutritionists call satiety, which is the “full” feeling after a large meal.

This pushes off hunger and makes you eat fewer calories at your next meal. A clever study published in 2000 by researchers at the University of Surrey studied the effect of progressively higher dietary protein intake on the self-reported appetite of a group of experimental subjects (4).

The authors found an inverse relationship between dietary protein intake and levels of hunger, i.e. more protein means less hunger—even when your overall caloric intake is the same.

Of course, to reap these benefits you should be consuming protein early in the day, so it results in less caloric intake at your subsequent meals.

Egg white protein is a particularly good source of branched chain amino acids. Research into egg white protein powder has lagged behind some of the more popular types of protein, such as whey, casein, or soy protein, but it is becoming more commonly researched thanks to the fact that it is inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

According to one study on egg white protein powder for building muscle mass that was published in 2012 in the journal Nutrients, one serving of egg white protein has over a gram of leucine and valine, as well as nearly a gram of isoleucine (5).

These three amino acids are the branched chain amino acids, and are implicated in several of the important health and performance benefits of protein powder. Branched chain amino acids may help reduce muscle soreness after tough workouts, and help prevent decrements in the function of your immune system after hard training sessions. 

Egg white protein may not be quite as effective at building muscle mass compared to whey protein. The comparative efficacy of different types of protein powder is a hot topic in the fitness and nutrition community, and now we are finally starting to get some solid science on the relative benefits of different protein sources.

Since one of the primary applications of protein powder is building muscle mass, it’s natural to compare egg white protein powder to whey protein, which is most often considered the “king of protein.”

A study published in 2015 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition considered exactly this question (6). The researchers tested their research question with some fascinating methods: they split groups of rats into several groups which received different ratios of whey protein to egg white protein, but all with the same total protein content.

The researchers looked at specific biomarkers in the muscles of the rats to identify which cellular signalling pathways were up-regulated compared to a control group that took in no protein, and tried to correlate these changes to the proportion of the protein in the rats’ diets that was made up of whey versus egg protein.

The researchers found that greater amounts of whey protein was associated with increased activation of cellular signalling pathways associated with muscle growth.

If we extrapolate from these results, they might mean that egg white protein won’t be as beneficial for growing muscle strength and muscle as whey protein, though whether these results are significant in a real-world sense is still unclear.

Moreover, it’s important to keep in mind that findings in animal studies often do not translate into the same results in humans, so interpret the findings from this study with a hefty amount of skepticism. 

Side effects

Since egg white protein is derived directly from egg whites, with only a minimal amount of processing (it’s heated slightly to pasteurize it, then sprayed to powderize the liquid), egg white protein powder are just as safe as egg whites themselves.

Obviously, if you are allergic to eggs, you shouldn’t be eating egg white protein either, but aside from this, there are very few restrictions on who can take egg white protein powder.

Compared to other sources of protein, they are somewhat higher in sodium, so if you are sharply restricting your dietary sodium intake, you may want to check out other protein powders, but egg white protein is a great choice for just about anyone else.

Recommended dose

If you are an athlete in training, you should aim for 1.2 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day.

Endurance athletes can stick to the low end of that range, while strength, speed, and power athletes should be on the high end. This is according to research by Peter Lemon, an exercise physiologist at Kent State University (7).

For weight loss and weight loss maintenance, supplementing your usual diet with at least 50 grams of additional seems to be the best course of action.

This increases your baseline metabolic rate and helps you eat fewer calories later in the day (assuming you take it in the morning or early afternoon).

FAQ

Q: Is egg white protein better than whey protein? 

A: While egg white protein is not as popular as whey protein powder, it does have a few key advantages. First off, it is lower in carbohydrates, making it a better choice for people who are on low-carb diets.

Egg white protein powder is also less processed than whey protein powder, which makes egg white protein powder a good choice for people who are on the paleo diet. Egg whites are also devoid of potential dairy allergens, so egg white protein powder is a very good option for people who have milk allergies.

Whey protein has a lot more research supporting its use both for weight loss and for building muscle strength and size. In principle, egg white protein should be close in terms of its efficacy, because it also has a full spectrum amino acid profile.

One final advantage of egg white protein powder is cost: pound per pound, egg white protein powder is often cheaper than whey protein, thanks to the wide industrial availability of eggs. 

Q: What can you substitute for egg white protein powder? 

A: If you don’t want to use egg white protein powder, whey protein powder is an easy substitution that also has a similar texture, taste (when unflavored, at least), and full spectrum amino acid profile.

Swapping in whey protein for egg white protein is great for baking, since they’ll both behave more or less the same way in the oven.

The same may not be necessarily true for plant-based proteins, but any good vegan protein powder is a great substitute if you aren’t going to be cooking with your egg white protein powder. Pea protein, for example, is a great substitute for egg white protein if you want something that is vegan-friendly. 

Q: How much protein is in egg white protein powder? 

A: One serving of egg white protein is about 31 grams, of which fully 25 grams (81%) is pure protein. Egg white protein powder has a very well-balanced amino acid profile, with significant amounts of all of the essential amino acids.

In particular, egg white protein is a notably good source of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which comprise the branched chain amino acids. These BCAAs occur in egg white protein powder at approximately a 1.3:0.8:1.1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

Another detail that is also relevant is the carbohydrate content: less than two grams per 31 gram serving, as well as the fat content (zero grams). These aspects make egg white protein powder a favorite among people on low carb and keto diets. 

Q: Is egg white protein powder a good source of choline?

A: Eggs are one of the best single sources of choline that you can get. However, the choline content of eggs is contained almost entirely in the yolk, which is bad news if you are hoping to get your choline from egg white protein.

Choline may have substantial benefits for memory function and the function of the central nervous system, and it has well-known benefits for fetal development (hence its presence in many prenatal vitamins).

As such, if you are cutting out whole eggs in favor of egg white protein, you may want to opt for a choline supplement, or seek out other dietary sources of choline like cheese, dairy, and salmon. 

Q: Is egg white protein powder bad for you?

A: Eggs have historically gotten a bad rap, primarily because of their high cholesterol content. High blood cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and a long line of research connected high dietary cholesterol intake with high blood cholesterol levels.

Newer research has found that the connection between dietary cholesterol, blood cholesterol, and heart disease is far more complex, but all of this is besides the point for egg white protein powder. That’s because pretty much all of the cholesterol in eggs is contained in the yolk.

The yolk also contains some desirable nutrients, like choline, but the bottom line is that egg whites alone, and therefore egg white protein powder, are very low in cholesterol, so it is not likely to present a threat to your blood lipid levels.

However, egg white protein is a bit higher in sodium than other sources of protein—One serving has just shy of 400 mg of sodium in it. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your sodium intake below 2300 mg per day, and an even lower threshold of 1500 mg per day for adults with high blood pressure (8).

So, other protein options are a better choice if you are trying to control your dietary sodium intake. Reasonable amounts of egg white protein won’t put you over the edge of too much sodium intake by themselves, but along with other sources in your diet, egg white protein may contribute to a diet that’s too high in sodium for optimal heart health. 

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Recap

Egg white protein is an excellent source of protein that has a complete amino acid profile, is low in sugar and carbohydrates, and is minimally processed, which makes it a great candidate for people on a ketogenic, low carb, or paleo diet.

Egg white protein powder can help you burn fat, increase your metabolic rate, and feel more full, which leads to more caloric expenditure and less caloric intake.

On top of that, it shifts your body’s energy preferences towards fat and away from muscle, leading to a leaner and more athletic physique.

For BodyNutrition‘s #1 egg white protein powder recommendation, click here.

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