Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is a macronutrient, which means the body requires large quantities of it. It forms vital foundations of muscles, bones, tissues, and blood. It comprises amino acids, which are building blocks of the bones, muscles, blood, etc. Moreover, they are also used to build and repair tissues.
The amount of protein required by the body depends on the weight of the person, activity level, and calorie intake. The body can be furnished with these essential proteins by consumption of foods like beef, eggs, fish, dairy products, seeds, legumes, and nuts. Protein obtained from egg whites are known as egg proteins and proteins obtained from dairy products are termed as whey protein.
Egg White Protein
Eggs comprise egg albumin (egg white) that makes up about two-third of the total mass of the egg and the rest is the egg yolk. What's interesting is that this egg albumin contains great number of different types of protein. Protein types such as Ovalbumin, Ovotransferrin, Ovomucoid, Globulins, Lysozyme, Ovomucin, Avidin, and some others are present in the white of an egg. These proteins are responsible for different functions such as nourishment, blocking digestive enzymes, binding iron, binds vitamins, and many such functions. Egg protein is also called a 'perfect protein' because it contains all the building blocks of life, such as proteins, minerals, vitamins, and even good cholesterol.
It is this diverse protein makeup that enables the body to easily digest and absorb this protein. Egg white protein is one of the best sources of muscle gain protein. Those who want to gain muscle mass, this egg white protein serves as one of the most versatile, affordable, and complete foods available. Moreover, it contains all the essential amino acids required for optimal recovery after intense muscle building workouts. Today athletes and bodybuilders are seen taking egg white protein supplements to build lean body mass.
Whey protein is a dairy protein, basically present in cow's milk and is obtained as a by-product of cheese manufacturing. Also known as 'lactalbumin', it constitutes about 18% of cow milk and is a rich source of amino acids. It also contains cholesterol and minimal fats. This protein furnishes the body with high levels of amino acids like essential amino acids (EAAs) and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These amino acids help in protein synthesis and maintenance of muscle tissues. Whey protein provides quick nourishment to the muscles, which is why it is referred to as 'fast protein'.
Whey protein is known to play important roles in weight loss and maintenance of cardiovascular health. It also provides nourishment to cancer patients and improves memory. Moreover, it helps combat sarcopenia (associated with old age) and the consequent muscle weakening process. It also promotes protein synthesis and reduces loss of protein. Today, whey protein is a significant component in regular packaged foods. Moreover, since they have neutral flavor, they can be easily mixed with other food products and consumed.
Whey Vs. Egg White Protein
Since we now understand what egg white and whey protein actually are, we can now move ahead to know more about their differences. Proteins are measured by their bio-availability, which means the amount of protein retained after absorption, for use by muscles and tissues. This is measured by the biological value. Egg white protein has a biological value of 88, whereas, whey protein has a biological value between 130 and 160.
Refueling the body with these proteins helps build muscles and enables them to recover quickly after stress. As far as which protein type is better, one will have to check which suits one's body. Both these types of proteins can cause food-related allergies in people who are sensitive to dairy or animal products. People with a natural tendency towards high cholesterol needs to restrain the amount of whole egg consumption. However, in case of egg protein powder or supplement consumption, this problem should not arise.
Egg white or whey proteins need to be consumed in a limited amount. Consumption of more than 30% of daily calorie intake can prove harmful to the human body, and can place considerable amount of stress on the body organs and systems like kidneys, etc. Make sure the protein intake is only 15% of the daily caloric intake.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of an expert on the subject.