How Much Protein Is In An Egg? (2024)

Protein is a crucial macronutrient that repairs and creates new cells in the body. It helps build muscle mass, maintain healthy weight and metabolism, regulate immune response and more.

The exact amount of protein you need depends on your overall calorie needs, but according the National Library of Medicine, protein should generally make up around 10% to 35% of one’s total daily calories[1]Protein in diet. Medline Plus. Assessed 11/30/23. . Some individuals may need more than others, like older adults and pregnant people.

One way to start the day with a protein boost is through a filling breakfast of protein-rich foods like eggs. Below, learn precisely how much protein an egg contains, and get expert-approved recommendations for other nutrient-rich breakfast foods.

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How Much Protein Is in an Egg?

“Eggs are considered a very good, and high-quality, source of protein,” explains Maddie Pasquariello, a registered dietitian based in Brooklyn, New York. Eggs also contain other important nutrients and are relatively low in calories.

“How much protein you get from consuming an egg will depend on the egg size,” explains Laura Purdy, M.D., a family physician based in Nashville. The following chart compares the average protein of different egg sizes available in the grocery store.

Egg SizeProtein Content
Small egg (38 grams)4.79 grams
Medium egg (44 grams)5.54 grams
Large egg (50 grams)6.3 grams
Extra large egg (56 grams)7.06 grams
Jumbo egg (63 grams)7.94 grams

Additionally, the protein content in eggs may be more digestible than other sources of protein. According to the World Health Organization (WHO,) egg protein has a 97% digestion rate, which refers to the body’s ability to use the protein it is ingesting. That’s slightly higher than other animal-based protein sources, like dairy (95%) and meat (94%.) Egg protein may also help manage appetite and support healthy immune function[2]Puglisi MJ and Fernandez ML. The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients. 2022;14(14):2904. .

Protein Content in an Egg Yolk

Both egg yolks and whites consist of protein, with one large egg yolk containing around 2.7 grams of protein. Additionally, the majority of other nutrients in an egg are concentrated in the yolk, such as lipids, vitamins and minerals.

Protein Content in an Egg White

One large egg white contains around 3.64 grams of protein. The white mainly consists of water, and though it has fewer nutrients than the yolk overall, it also has no fat. However, egg whites do have higher concentrations of vitamin B3 (niacin.)

Other Health Benefits of Eggs

“Eggs are great for you because they are nutrient-dense, contain lots of recommended vitamins [and] contain a low level of calories relative to other foods,” says Dr. Purdy. In fact, eating just two eggs per day could supply 10% to 30% of one’s daily vitamin requirement, according to 2019 research published in Nutrients[3]Réhault-Godbert S, Guyot N and Nys Y. The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health. Nutrients. 2019 Mar;11(3):684. .

Other nutrients in eggs include:

  • Vitamin A. This vitamin is “essential for growth and development, playing a role in immune, reproductive and visual system functioning,” Pasquariello says. However, the vitamin A content in eggs seems to decrease when the egg is hard boiled.
  • B vitamins. Eggs contain all eight B vitamins, each of which serves a different function, such as transporting oxygen throughout the body and releasing energy from carbohydrates.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D can help regulate the immune system, says Pasquariello. It can also reduce inflammation and aid in the absorption of other nutrients, like calcium and phosphorus.
  • Selenium. Eggs contain around 27% of the Daily Value (DV) of selenium, a trace mineral that helps build enzymes and proteins called selenoproteins, which protect against infections and cell damage.
  • Lutein. One medium egg provides 221 micrograms of lutein, an antioxidant that promotes eye health and may protect the retinas from damage.
  • Choline. One medium egg contains 129 milligrams of choline, an essential nutrient that’s “important for brain and eye health, as well as the regulation of memory and mood,” Pasquariello explains.

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More High-Protein Breakfast Foods

Beyond eggs, plenty of other plant or animal-based foods can add protein to your breakfast. Pasquariello and Dr. Purdy list the following options as good sources of breakfast protein aside from eggs.

FoodApproximate protein amount per 100 grams
Whole milk Greek yogurt8.78 grams
Black beans6.91 grams
Pinto beans6.69 grams
Kidney beans 7.8 grams
Quinoa4.4 grams
Tofu (fried)18.8 grams
Cottage cheese11.6 grams
Turkey breakfast sausage16.7 grams
Whey protein powder58.1 grams
Almonds21.4 grams

How Much Protein Should I Consume Each Day?

Anywhere from 0.7 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is typically recommended for most people, according to Pasquariello. “Aiming for 25 to 40 grams of protein at every meal is a great place to start,” she says.

The exact amount needed depends on individual variables, like a person’s age, muscle mass, overall health and activity level, according to Dr. Purdy. When in doubt, consult a physician or dietitian for personalized guidance.

Protein is a crucial nutrient to repair and create new cells, and eggs are an excellent source. A single egg can contain anywhere from 4.79 to 7.94 grams of protein, along with other nutrients, like vitamins A and D. They can provide an ideal foundation for a nutritious breakfast, especially when eaten with other high-protein foods, like breakfast sausage, tofu or Greek yogurt.

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How Much Protein Is In An Egg? (2024)
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