How Many Grams of Protein Are in an Egg?

Aiming to build muscle? Protein powder isn’t the end-all-be-all. A high-protein breakfast is part of the deal. Whether you like to eat before or after training, eggs are a quick and easy choice. Here’s how many grams of protein are in an egg, as well as everything else you need to know about your breakfast. Vegan? No worries. We’ll also give you the scoop on high-protein foods you can swap in. Let’s get into it.

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Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

How Much Protein Is in an Egg?

Eggs are excellent (we might even say egg-celent) sources of high-quality, complete protein. Complete protein sources contain all nine essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle (and other health functions).

[Read More: How Much Protein Do You Actually Need Per Day?]

Eggs are considered a high-quality protein because they are highly bioavailable, quickly absorbed, and also pack a high nutritional value. (1)

Protein Content of Whole Eggs

Eggs come in different sizes, each containing a slightly different amount of protein. Here’s how it breaks down. (2)

A small egg (38 grams) contains 4.79 grams of protein.

A medium egg (44 grams) contains 5.54 grams of protein.

A large egg (50 grams) contains 6.3 grams of protein.

An extra large egg (56 grams) contains 7.06 grams of protein.

A jumbo egg (63 grams) contains 7.94 grams of protein.

[Read More: How Much Protein Do You Need for Bodybuilding?]

An egg can contain 4.79 to 7.94 grams of protein, depending on size. Sure, one cooked egg will not meet your protein intake goal. Combining a few eggs, adding other high-protein foods to omelets, or a fried egg scramble can boost protein content. Having a few hard-boiled eggs also makes an excellent high-protein snack.

Protein Content of Egg Whites and Egg Yolks

Let’s crack the egg a little more. Egg yolks contain most of the nutrients and a lot of the protein. Some people prefer eating egg whites, so they’ll combine a few to increase the protein content.

One large egg white (33 grams) contains 3.6 grams of protein. (3)

One large egg yolk (17 grams) contains 2.7 grams of protein. (4)

Substitutes for Eating Eggs

Vegans and some vegetarians don’t eat eggs, and others may not like them. Here are some plant-based, high-protein foods you can substitute for eggs in your omelets or other meals. 

The protein content for these egg substitutes comes from the FoodData Central database on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. (5)

A one-cup serving of lentils contains 17.9 grams of protein. Other types of legumes are also an excellent source of plant-based protein.

One cup of chickpeas has 14.5 grams of protein.

One three-ounce serving of tempeh yields 15 grams of protein. 

A one-cup serving of black beans packs 15 grams of protein

One 28-gram serving of pumpkin seeds has 5.27 grams of protein.

A 200-gram serving of low-fat Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein. Vegans can opt for non-dairy Greek yogurt.

Although it’s best to get most of your protein from whole food sources to ensure that you’re getting all the micronutrients you need, you can also opt to add a supplement like whey protein powder to your daily routine. The best vegan protein powders typically contain 20 to 26 grams of protein.

Not sure what all this means for your daily protein needs? Check our BarBend’s protein intake calculator to help get you closer to your goals.

Protein Intake Calculator






Activity Level

Do you know your body fat percentage?


Total Calories: 1699 Per Day

Daily protein intake recommendation:



Generally recommended


Exercise: 15-30 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
Intense exercise: 45-120 minutes of elevated heart rate activity.
Very intense exercise: 2+ hours of elevated heart rate activity.

[Read More: 18 Ways to Eat More Protein to Pack on Muscle Mass]

The Benefits of Eating Eggs

In addition to being a good source of protein, there are a few other egg health benefits to consider. Here are the top reasons they make a great addition to a healthy eating lifestyle.

High Nutritional Value

Eggs are rich in multiple vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, are in the egg yolk, but you’ll still benefit from eating egg whites. Eggs are an excellent source of the following: (1)

Vitamin A

Vitamin B

Vitamin D







Each nutrient has health benefits and helps prevent chronic diseases. The benefits of vitamin D include better bone health and a strong immune system. Choline contributes to metabolic health and liver function. Vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin help protect eye health. (1)(6)

May Help With Weight Loss

Eating eggs can help with weight loss or weight management if those are your goals. One large egg contains about 70 calories and six grams of protein, which gives you a good ratio for filling up with low calories. 

[Read More: How to Lose Weight Fast, According to Science]

Eating plenty of protein when trying to lose fat is helpful in a few ways. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, meaning it helps you feel fuller for longer. If you’re decreasing your portion sizes or calorie intake, feeling full helps you stick to your plan. (7)

Credit: Lenasirena / Shutterstock

[Read More: 7 Benefits of Protein for Health and Performance]

Protein also has a higher thermogenic effect, meaning your body needs to work more to digest it, slightly increasing your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Eating a high-protein diet during weight loss also helps your body to maintain muscle as you lose body fat. (8)(9)

Muscle-Building Protein Source

Eggs are a great addition to a healthy diet for bodybuilding or anyone trying to build muscle. To build muscle, you need to do resistance training and eat enough calories and protein. The type of protein matters — complete protein sources, like eggs, contain all the essential amino acids your body needs for muscle hypertrophy to occur. (10)(11)

[Read More: 20 High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods Worth Subbing Into Your Diet]

Whole eggs and muscle-building go hand in hand. You can even opt for an egg protein powder among all the different types of protein powder.

What the Science Says About Eating Eggs

You might have heard that eggs can be bad for you in terms of their cholesterol content. Let’s review the current research on the health benefits and potential risks of eating eggs, and do some egg myth-busting while we’re at it.

Heart Disease Risk: Since the USDA removed the limit for daily cholesterol in 2015, multiple studies on people with and without certain health conditions suggest that eating eggs as part of a balanced diet does not increase the risk of heart disease. (1)

Cholesterol Levels: In 2022, an 11-week study was done on healthy young adults in China. One group did not eat eggs, one ate one egg daily, and the third ate two daily. The egg groups had higher cholesterol levels. However, results showed that eating up to two eggs daily did not increase markers indicating a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. The egg groups also felt fuller after eating eggs for breakfast. (12)

Stroke Risk: In 2020, a meta-analysis and systematic review was published on studies investigating the link between eating eggs and the risk of stroke. Eating one to four eggs per week was associated with a lower risk of stroke, more than six eggs per week had a higher risk, and more than ten eggs per week was associated with the highest risk. (13)

Lower Risk of Heart Disease: A nine-year study was done on 0.5 million healthy Chinese adults. It found that eating up to one egg daily was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the American Heart Association notes that these people were not following a typical Western diet and may be eating healthier food overall. (6)(14)

Type 2 Diabetes: A 2018 study on people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Two groups followed a weight loss program for three months, a weight maintenance program for three more months, and attended follow-ups for six additional months. One group consumed more than 12 eggs per week. The other group consumed less than two eggs per week. Both groups had similar weight loss results. The high egg group did not have higher markers of increased cardiovascular disease risk. (15)

Weight Loss: A 2020 study was done on 50 people with obesity. One group ate eggs and toast for breakfast. The other ate cereal and milk. Both breakfasts had the same caloric content. The egg group consumed significantly less food throughout the rest of the day than the cereal group and reported higher feelings of satiety. The study concludes that eating eggs can promote satiety and help people with weight loss to consume less. (16)

Your Takeaways

Depending on the size, an egg can have about four to eight grams of protein. 

Eggs contain vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They’re a great protein source and a nutritious choice for an overall healthy diet. 

Recent research shows that eggs alone don’t contribute to dangerously high blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. However, many studies are done on people in China who may follow an overall healthier diet than Americans. 

Context matters in terms of your overall diet, but eggs should be a safe option if you eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle.


Lingering egg questions? We’ve got answers.

Are two eggs enough protein for a day?

No. Even if you eat two jumbo eggs (7.94 grams of protein each), you’ll only get around 16 grams of protein. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a minimum of 50 grams of protein daily, and active people need even more. (17)

How many eggs make 100 grams of protein?

About 12 jumbo eggs (at 7.94 grams of protein each) make 100 grams of protein.

What is the protein content of a single large egg in grams?

One large egg contains 6.3 grams of protein.


Puglisi MJ, Fernandez ML. The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients. 2022 Jul 15;14(14):2904. 

Egg, whole, raw, fresh. USDA. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Egg, white, raw, fresh. USDA. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Egg, yolk, raw, fresh. USDA. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

American Heart Association (2018, August 16). Are eggs good for you or not? 

Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1558S-1561S. 

Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Nieuwenhuizen A, Tomé D, Soenen S, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Annu Rev Nutr. 2009;29:21-41. 

Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020 Sep 30;29(3):166-173. 

Camera DM. Evaluating the Effects of Increased Protein Intake on Muscle Strength, Hypertrophy and Power Adaptations with Concurrent Training: A Narrative Review. Sports Med. 2022 Mar;52(3):441-461. 

Stokes T, Hector AJ, Morton RW, McGlory C, Phillips SM. Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training. Nutrients. 2018 Feb 7;10(2):180. 

Ma Z, Wu W, Zhang D, Wu P, Guo Y, Li D, Yang F. Daily intake of up to two eggs for 11 weeks does not affect the cholesterol balance of Chinese young adults. Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Jan 17;10(4):1081-1092. 

Tang H, Cao Y, Yang X, Zhang Y. Egg Consumption and Stroke Risk: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Front Nutr. 2020 Sep 8;7:153. 

Qin C, Lv J, Guo Y on behalf of the China Kadoorie Biobank Collaborative Group, et alAssociations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adultsHeart 2018;104:1756-1763.

Fuller, N. R., Sainsbury, A., Caterson, I. D., Denyer, G., Fong, M., Gerofi, J., Leung, C., Lau, N. S., Williams, K. H., Januszewski, A. S., Jenkins, A. J., & Markovic, T. P. (2018). Effect of a high-egg diet on cardiometabolic risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: The Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) Study—Randomized weight-loss and follow-up phase. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 107(6), 921-931. 

B Keogh J, M Clifton P. Energy Intake and Satiety Responses of Eggs for Breakfast in Overweight and Obese Adults-A Crossover Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 3;17(15):5583. 

USDA. Current dietary guidelines. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

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