Posted By Allison Koziol
When adding a protein powder to your nutrition regimen, you have the choice of a plant-based or animal-based protein. While there are additional options out there, let’s compare pea protein (the base of Nuzest’s protein products) as a vegan choice to egg protein as a vegetarian, yet animal-based choice. It helps to take a look at these protein powders side by side to see which one is best for your own needs and goals. Read below to help you settle the pea protein vs egg protein debate.
Table of Contents
What is Egg Protein?
Like other animal products, eggs provide a healthy source of protein, with both the white and the yolk acting as protein sources. Nonetheless, egg protein powders tend to be made up of egg whites alone, so the protein composition is different from eating a natural egg. This type of protein powder gives you an animal-based protein that fits a vegetarian lifestyle but not a vegan one.
What is Pea Protein?
The pea protein in Nuzest’s line comes from European golden peas, also known as yellow split peas. The soluble pea protein is extracted from the peas and made into a plant-based, vegan protein powder that’s easy for your body to use. That's because it's simple for your body to digest this type of protein, and it's very bioavailable. If you're not familiar with pea protein, get a more in-depth picture with this guide.
How Do They Compare, Nutritionally?
Egg white protein and pea protein can both give you about 16-25 grams of protein per approximately 100-calorie serving. Whole eggs contain 6 grams of protein along with 5 grams of fat. Both pea protein and egg protein are lower in fat, cholesterol, carbs and sugars than some other proteins; good sources of potassium and calcium; and gluten-, dairy- and soy-free. Egg white protein fits keto and Paleo diets. Both types fit a vegetarian diet, while only pea protein is vegan. These both give a quality source of protein even if you’re not on a specialty diet.
Pea vs Egg Protein: Which is Better?
Egg and pea proteins are both sources of vegetarian protein, and both provide complete protein with the full amino acid profile. Egg protein gives optimal amounts of the essential amino acids, while pea protein offers slightly lower levels of methionine. Nonetheless, pea protein is a complete protein that fits a vegan diet, and it’s easy to make up for the methionine in your diet. Research published in Amino Acids showed that pea protein isolates are one of the plant-based sources with the highest protein content, at 80 percent. In this study, pea protein isolate had a higher protein content than oat, corn, hemp, and lupin protein isolates, and was higher than the 51 percent protein content found in egg protein isolates.1
However, the protein content of pea and egg protein isolates has varied depending on the study. Pea protein isolate also meets the WHO/FAO/UNU amino acid requirements with 30 percent amino acid content, while certain other plant-based proteins do not. This is comparable to egg protein isolate with its 32 percent amino acid content, which is on the lower end compared to other animal-based proteins. Other research found that pea protein worked better than other proteins, including albumin like that found in eggs, at creating satiety before a meal, especially when taken 30 minutes in advance.2
Is Egg Protein a Complete Protein?
Because it’s an animal-based product, egg protein gives you a complete protein source that includes the nine essential amino acids your body needs. You don’t need to add anything else to egg protein to get a complete protein for your diet.
Is Pea Protein a Complete Protein?
Pea protein is a vegan protein source that gives your body all the essential amino acids it needs. It has less of the amino acid methionine than required, yet this amino acid is simple to add to your diet through other vegan food sources such as rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, or oats.
Benefits of Egg Protein
Egg protein is beneficial because it provides a complete source of protein while still fitting a vegetarian diet. Eggs give a high-quality source of protein. They are highly digestible and filled with nutrients, including B vitamins that help stimulate energy production.3 However, egg allergies are common, which is a downside of egg protein for impacted people.
Benefits of Pea Protein
Pea protein has so many benefits, and even better, is an environmentally conscious protein that fits a vegan or plant-based diet, which takes less of a toll on the planet than animal-based protein. It avoids the problematic nature of the egg industry. Conventional eggs are produced from chickens in ethically questionable and unhealthy conditions, while pasture-raised eggs are not cost-effective. According to a study published in Food & Nutrition Research, pea protein was effective at creating satiety, comparable to whey protein.4 The study also found that this plant-based protein was quickly bioavailable to the body. Also, pea protein is a good choice for people with an allergy to eggs, which is one of the most common allergies.5
How Do the Tastes Compare?
Pea protein tends to have a neutral taste most people don’t notice, especially when it’s mixed with other flavors or within other food recipes. The taste of egg white protein varies. Some egg proteins are made to have no taste, while some people complain that some types have a bitter or otherwise unpleasant flavor.
Which Do I Choose?
Both pea and egg proteins offer a complete source of protein that fits a vegetarian lifestyle. The main difference is that egg protein is an animal-based product, while pea protein is a plant-based option that can fit a vegan or otherwise environmental- or health-conscious lifestyle. Choose the one that better suits your taste, and lifestyle preferences. You can get pea protein from a variety of products that are easy to add to your diet. Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest provides a plant-based, vegan pea protein that has environmentally friendly values and free from common allergens. It offers 18-21 grams of high-quality protein for every 25 gram serving and is offered in a variety of flavors.
Athletes know that consuming enough dietary protein is essential to building muscle and retaining it when dieting for fat loss. However, with ever-increasing demands for our time, we simply don’t always have enough time in the day to prep, cook, clean, and eat all the food that’s required to meet our physique and performance goals along with doing everything else that needs to be done before day’s end.
That’s when having a high-quality protein powder comes in handy.
Protein powder provides a cost-effective, delicious, and no-prep way to help make sure you always hit your protein goals for the day.
The “problem” is deciding what is the right protein for you?
Much like trying to pick the best Pre-Workout, selecting the best protein powder for your needs can be confusing, especially if you’ve never used protein powder before.
To put it simply, there are hundreds and hundreds of options available when it comes to selecting a protein powder. And to make things just a bit more complicated (as if they weren’t complicated enough already), not all protein powders are the same.
Just take a cursory glance at any retailer, and you’ll find”
Whey protein powder (concentrates, isolates, and blends)
You’ll also find a number of plant-based protein powders including brown rice, pea, soy, hemp, chia, and pumpkin seed.
Given all of these options, how are you supposed to know which one is right for you?
Sure, the sales clerk at the store will try to push one on you (but that’s likely because he’s getting a premium commission on every tub of that particular product sold). The simple truth of the matter is that you don’t need a sales clerk or “digital assistant” to help you find the best protein powder for your needs, you just need to answer a few simple questions.
Before we get to those, let’s briefly review the different types of protein you’re most likely to purchase.
Common Types of Protein Powder
Whey protein is far and away the most commonly consumed protein powder on the market. It is derived from milk and it’s rich in BCAAs, particularly leucine (the “anabolic trigger” of muscle growth).
Whey accounts for 20% of the protein content in milk, with casein (the next protein powder on our list) making up the other 80%.
The reason whey protein is so popular is due to its high leucine content, but also its fast rate of digestion, making it ideal as a post-workout shake.
Now, whey protein can typically be found in one of three forms:
● Concentrate — the least refined form of whey, containing anywhere between 35-80% protein by mass. The remaining percentage is composed of a mix of carbohydrates (lactose) and milk fat. Concentrates tend to be thicker mixing than isolates and have a better “mouthfeel”, but they may contain too many calories or lactose for those sensitive to dairy.
● Isolate — a step up from concentrate that must contain a minimum of 90% protein by mass. This means isolate is both higher in protein on a per gram basis compared to concentrate as well as lower in carbohydrates, lactose, fat, and calories. This is the go-to option for those who want a whey protein powder, but may be sensitive to the more lactose-heavy concentrates.
● Hydrolysate — the most refined form of whey protein. Hydrolyzed whey is “pre-digested” by chemical enzymes which break down the peptide bonds in whey protein allowing for ultra-fast digestion. It’s also extremely low in lactose and fat, but the extra manufacturing comes at a cost as whey hydrolysates tend to mix thinner and have a bit of a chemical-like taste. For this reason, hydrolysates are usually incorporated into whey protein blends to capitalize on their higher protein content while also benefiting from the superior taste and texture of isolates and concentrates
● Whey Blend — usually contains a proprietary mix of at least two, and sometimes all three, forms of whey protein. Using a blend of whey proteins allows for a high protein content along with a very satisfying mouthfeel while keeping carbs, calories, lactose, and fat in check.
The other major protein in milk, casein accounts for 80% of the protein content of milk. As opposed to whey protein, which is incredibly fast digesting, casein protein is very, very slow digesting, taking up to 7-8 hours to digest.
Related – Protein and Slow Digesting Foods
This makes it ideal as a pre-bed snack to provide a steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream to support muscle growth and recovery while you sleep. Casein also works well as a between-meal snack since it may have a greater impact on satiety, than the faster-digesting whey protein.
Casein is incredibly thick mixing and tasting, which also helps make it feel more indulgent when consuming.
Red meat is an excellent source of protein, complete with all the essential amino acids needed to build muscle, and it’s even got creatine in there to.
However, your beef protein powder likely isn’t made from dehydrated, pulverized, and separated filet mignon. The vast majority of beef isolate protein powders on the market are made from hydrolyzed gelatin and/or collagen. d think beef would be a great source to use for protein, as it delivers a complete amino acid profile, including BCAAs, plus other muscle-builders like creatine and glutamine. 
While gelatin and collagen might offer support for joint health and the appearance of your skin, it’s not the best protein if your goal is muscle building. The reason for this is that collagen protein is high in glycine, proline, arginine, and hydroxyproline, but it’s relatively low in leucine.
Eggs are often touted as nature’s “perfect” protein due to the fact that they score a 100 on the protein bioavailability scale, which means our bodies can efficiently absorb the protein in eggs. 
Egg protein powders are made from dehydrated egg whites that are pulverized and separated into a fine powder, which typically mixes very easily. Egg protein is also a great option for those who may have dairy sensitivities or allergies.
The one issue with 100% pure egg protein powders is that sometimes they can taste rather eggy.
As the name implies, plant proteins encompass all of the protein powder options derived from plant sources. The products have experienced a tremendous surge in popularity in recent years as consumers have begun embracing more plant-heavy diets for several reasons.
Common sources for plant protein powders include pea, brown rice, soy, hemp, quinoa, and a number of seeds, including pumpkin and chia.
The minor “issue” with plant protein powders is that they may not offer a complete source of protein as not all plants contain sufficient levels of all the EAAs. Brown rice for example is an incomplete protein, but quinoa, pea, and soy are all considered complete proteins.
For this reason, if you’re interested in purchasing a plant protein powder, it’s generally a good idea to purchase one that contains a variety of plant-based proteins, so that you can ensure you’re getting a complete EAA profile to support protein synthesis, muscle growth, and recovery.
This is why Nutrex’s brand new, all-natural Plant Protein contains a mix of FOUR different plant protein sources, including pea protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seed.
Now, a common issue with plant proteins is that they tend to mix up rather thick, and can sometimes taste a bit like grass or dirt. To work around this problem, Nutrex Plant Protein includes MCT powder.
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) are a type of saturated fat that supply the body with a type of quick-burning energy (similar to glucose but without the insulin spike) that can also help the body increase fat burning and energy expenditure! 
Furthermore, MCT powder also helps improve the mouthfeel of the product, since it’s soluble in water. This helps plant protein to have a creamier, more pleasing texture, similar to that of whey protein as opposed to the traditionally chalky texture of other plant proteins.
Important Questions to Consider When Choosing Your Protein Powder
Now that you’ve got a grasp on the different options you’ll encounter when purchasing your next protein powder, it’s time to give you some additional pointers for how to select the right powder for your needs.
All you need to do that is to answer a few simple questions:
1. Are you sensitive to lactose or allergic to dairy?
If so, you will want to bypass the concentrates and try either a whey protein isolate (like Nutrex IsoFit), egg protein, or a Nutrex Plant Protein.
If not, feel free to try any whey protein powder as it supplies the body with highly bioavailable, fast-digesting protein rich in BCAAs.
2. Are you allergic to eggs?
If you answered yes, then you’ll want to opt for any milk-based protein powder (whey, casein, or whey blend) or a plant-based protein.
3. Are you vegan?
If you answered yes, then this makes it pretty simple — you’ll need to go with plant protein
4. Are you looking to diversify your diet?
Most athletes and recreational lifters already consume a fair amount of dairy products, either from milk, yogurt, cheese, or whey protein. If you’re interested in expanding your horizons and diversifying your diet a bit, then you’ll want to check out plant protein powders.
In addition to supplying a complete protein source that’s comparable to whey , pea protein also has some research suggesting that it may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thereby supporting cardiovascular health.  
There are a tremendous amount of options available when it comes to choosing your protein powder. Use the information and tips in this guide to help you find the one that’s best for you.
Not all types of protein powder are created equal. Learn how to find what’s right for you.
Walk into any supplement shop or grocery aisle and you’ll find dozens and dozens of protein powder options in any flavor you can imagine. So how do you choose? What is the best protein powder? It’s a common question, but like most aspects of nutrition, the answer is complicated. Read on to learn more about some popular protein powder sources and what to look for on the label when you’re buying protein powder.
The Benefits of Protein Powder
It’s best to get most of your macronutrients from a variety of whole foods such as legumes, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. If you’re strength training consistently or very active, though, you may want to supplement what you eat with some additional protein. Research suggests you should aim for around 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and that can be difficult to get from food alone—particularly when life gets busy.
“Athletes need more protein than people living a sedentary lifestyle in order to repair damaged muscle tissue after strenuous exercise,” says registered dietitian and certified strength coach Ryan Maciel. A protein shake or simply adding a scoop of powder to your usual oatmeal, yogurt, or stew are quick, easy ways to help your body recover.
How to Choose the Right Type of Protein Powder for You
There are a range of factors to consider when choosing a protein supplement, from activity level and frequency to age and food sensitivities. It’s also important to choose a protein powder that you enjoy so you’ll actually consume it, advises Ryan D. Andrews, a registered dietitian, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and principal nutritionist at Precision Nutrition.
Protein is derived from a variety of sources, including both animal- and plant-based options such as cow and goat milk, peas, hemp seeds, rice, soybeans, and so forth, says Andrews.
Animal-based protein sources provide complete protein (meaning they supply all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs to get from food). Many individual plant sources may not supply complete protein or have a low quantity of some essential amino acids. That’s why you’ll often see a blend of plant-based protein sources, such as pea protein and rice protein, in order to deliver a complementary amino acid profile.
Types of Protein Powder
With so many protein sources, it can be difficult to decipher ingredients and know what’s right for you. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to walk you through some of the pros and cons of a few common protein sources.
Whey: Whey is the liquid part of milk and is a protein-rich byproduct of cheesemaking. It’s a complete protein that is quickly digested, which makes it a great pre- or post- workout option so your body can use it to build and repair muscle right away. Typically, you’ll find the following types of whey in your protein powder: whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey hydrolysate. Whey isolate and whey hydrolysate are the easiest to digest and contain less lactose, so they may still work for people with lactose intolerance. Goat whey may be another alternative, as goat milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk and may be easier to digest. For some, any form of dairy causes gas, bloating or inflammation, so they’ll need to choose alternate options.
Casein: Casein, like whey, is also derived from milk and is the byproduct of cheesemaking. It’s the curd that’s left when the liquid whey is removed, and what gives milk its white color. Casein is also a complete protein, but it digests slowly, which means it will help you stay fuller, longer. It’s a good option to have alongside breakfast or dinner, or if you’re turning your protein shake into a meal, and it’s also great to have before bedtime, helping your muscles repair while you sleep.
Egg white: Egg white protein powder comes from dehydrated and ground egg whites. Egg whites are a complete protein, and high in leucine, the amino acid that’s critical for muscle repair. Unless you have an allergy, they are easily digested. There are several brands that offer egg white protein powder with few or no additives. Because there is no fat, this protein powder can leave you feeling unsatiated if taken on its own; it’s great for recovery, but may not be filling as a snack.
Soy: Soy protein isolate comes from soybeans that are dried and defatted. While populations around the world have enjoyed soy as part of their regular diet, it’s become a somewhat controversial food due to inconclusive studies on its impact on hormone levels. In terms of protein, it is a source of complete protein, but compared to whey, it contains a lower quantity of essential amino acids per gram—which means you may need to consume more soy protein than whey protein to have the same effect. One recent study concluded that soy helped beginning strength trainers increase lean body mass and strength at the same rate as whey protein when the soy protein dosage was slightly increased.
Pea: Pea protein is made from dried, ground yellow peas. Peas are a complete protein, though they are low in methionine, one of the nine essential amino acids. If you’re consuming a variety of protein sources in your diet, though, or using a blend with other protein types, this shouldn’t be an issue. One study found that there was no significant difference between how pea protein and whey protein impacted participants’ strength, body composition, and muscle thickness, and another study found that pea protein greatly impacted muscle thickness among strength trainers. It’s a great option for people who may be allergic to dairy or soy, or practice a plant-based lifestyle.
As for other animal-based protein powders such as collagen, bone broth, and beef, Maciel says they “may be beneficial, but they haven’t been well-studied for use as a protein supplement. In addition, they tend to be expensive and are incomplete protein sources.”
What to look for on the protein powder label
In addition to the protein source, there are a few other things to look for on the label to determine whether the protein powder you’re looking to buy is high quality or not. Here’s what to consider:
Verify the quality
Because protein powders are a supplement, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Be wary of wild claims and look for brands that are third-party tested.
Use a brand that has a USP, Informed Choice, or NSF stamp of approval—all signs of quality control. “You also want to make sure the brand has records of testing for contaminants, as some protein powders contain heavy metals and/or pesticide residues,” Andrews says.
You can also look up a brand you are considering on third-party testing sites such as Consumer Lab and LabDoor, not only for potentially harmful additives, but for actual protein content when every gram counts. You may be surprised how many brands underdeliver.
“Third-party testing helps ensure that what’s on the ingredient label matches what’s in the supplement,” Maciel explains.
Make sure the first ingredient listed is a protein source, since ingredients are listed from most abundant to least.
Keep it simple
Both Andrews and Maciel advocate for simplicity when it comes to selecting protein powders. If the ingredient list is as long as a drugstore receipt, back away. Try to avoid protein powders that contain a lot of additives and artificial flavors. Also, keep a lookout for stimulants like caffeine, taurine, and guarana, which you may want to avoid if you’re going to consume it later in the day.
Many protein powders include additional supplements like creatine and probiotics, but Maciel suggests taking those separately, so you can find the best quality for those supplements and customize the dosage to your needs.
“We don’t know how well they will work when formulated along with protein powder,” he says.
Go low on sugar
If you’re drinking protein shakes to support your gains, you don’t want to overdo it on added sugar. Make sure to check out how many grams of sugar are in each serving, and look for options under five grams. Consider an unflavored or lightly flavored option that you can sweeten to taste by blending with fruit.
While there isn’t a simple answer to “what’s the best protein powder for you,” know that all protein powder is not created equal. Read labels carefully, think about your protein intake holistically, and be open to trying a few options to find what works best for you.
Some manufacturers offer samples or single-serving packets you can pick up at your local supplement shop. Try some out with different protein sources to see how your body reacts before investing in a large tub of protein powder.
Vidya Rao contributed to this story.
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