Protein shakes are often the "meal" of choice for everyone from bodybuilders to people trying to lose weight to those who are looking for an easy way to get some nutrients in. There are many pre-made shakes out there, but if you want to make your own, adding egg to a shake is one way to get protein.
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However, unless it's pasteurized, using a raw egg presents a risk of salmonella. If you want egg protein, a better choice is egg white protein powder, which is properly cooked and then dried, so that you don't have to worry about getting sick.
Egg Smoothie Protein Choices
While the movie "Rocky" made it seem like the best way to increase your speed and agility was to down a glass full of raw eggs, that's not the ideal way to make an egg smoothie with protein. For starters, raw eggs carry a risk of salmonella. But another important reason is that the protein in cooked eggs is a lot more digestible than the protein in raw eggs, according to Corrie Staff, RD, a dietitian at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin.
Staff notes that while you can absorb about 50 to 60 percent of the protein found in raw eggs, that number jumps to 90 percent once the eggs have been cooked. But throwing scrambled eggs or a hard-boiled egg into your blender with some milk doesn't really sound like something that would tantalize the taste buds. So how do you get in some quality egg protein without the risk of food poisoning? By using egg white protein powder.
Egg white protein powder is simply dried egg whites that have been processed into a shelf-stable powder so that you can easily and effortlessly incorporate the high-quality protein into your egg shake.
Making a Healthy Egg Shake
While you can make a protein shake with just egg white protein powder and milk or water, that might not be the best way to do it. Instead of including only high-protein ingredients in your protein shake, Harvard Health Publishing points out that shakes and smoothies are a great way to sneak in some fruits and vegetables that you otherwise may not eat during the day.
Start by choosing a base of either water, milk or a milk alternative, like almond milk, cashew milk or hemp milk. Next, add either your pasteurized egg or egg white protein powder and then top it with a combination of berries, leafy greens like baby kale or spinach and chia or hemp seeds.
You can also add other ingredients like unsweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon that not only boost the flavor of your shake, but also have health-promoting properties of their own.
Once you've got everything in your blender, puree it until smooth. If you want to thicken up your protein shake, you can add a little ice, too. Another trick is to use frozen fruit, which helps thicken the shake's texture without diluting the flavor.
Meeting Your Protein Needs
While protein is important, you don't want to overdo it. If you're eating a lot of protein-rich foods, it's possible that you're getting too much protein. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to how much is too much, Harvard Health Publishing notes that a good rule of thumb is to avoid getting more than 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, your protein cap should be about 136 grams per day.
To put that into perspective, a single large egg contains about 6.3 grams of protein, while a tablespoon of egg white protein powder offers 5.8 grams, according to the USDA. If you're adding either of these ingredients to your protein egg shake, keep an eye on your portions and make sure you're not going overboard.