I get asked all the time about the difference between Whey Concentrate and Whey Isolate.
First, let’s look at what Whey Protein is and then we will break it down.
What Is Whey Protein?
In case you didn’t know, whey is one of the primary constituents of milk. It is the liquid part which gets separated from curds during the cheese-making process.
Whey contains minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Its ease of absorption and strong acid profile makes it a popular nutrition supplement.
It is a lot more than merely a source of high-quality protein, it also offers a number of beneficial nutrients, including amino acids, immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, and lactoferrin.
Whey Has Many Benefits
I’ve written about the benefits of whey before.
Here’s a list of some of the important ones:
- Enhance muscle protein synthesis
- Reduce appetite
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Boost the immune system
- Encourage fat burning
- Enhancing bone density
- Protect against cancer
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce symptoms of depression and stress
Related: Want a flatter stomach? Try The Protein Bedtime Belly Buster.
Concentrate vs. Isolate Vs. Hydro-isolates
Whey Protein Supplements come in three main forms – hydrolysate, concentrate, and isolate.
They are beneficial in their own ways but are also different in many ways as well. Let’s look at the differences.
Whey Protein Concentrates
The proteins are separated from the whey and made into protein powder.
This process pushes the whey through tiny filters which allow minerals, water, and other organic materials to pass thru as well.
In this first filter process, the protein powder yielded contains almost 5% lactose and 70% to 85% protein.
It keeps higher levels of bioactive compounds in the form of lactose
Whey Concentrate is said to enhance the glutathione production which is the master antioxidant in our body.
Concentrate might not be suitable for lactose intolerant individuals but that also depends on the brand.
Whey Protein Isolates
Protein Isolates are created in the next step.
The whey goes through a second filter process using methods known as cross-flow or ion-exchange microfiltration.
These Isolates have extremely low amounts of fats and carbohydrates but this could mean it loses some of its nutrients.
The whey could be used by individuals who are lactose intolerant or need a protein that dissolves in water.
Some say that Isolates lose more of the healthy compounds typically found in whey concentrate and that the process denatures the protein.
This protein is processed even further so it cost is more but it is less allergenic than the other forms of whey.
However, this is by far the most processed and proteins have been denatured in the process which makes it the worst protein for most people to use.
Which Type Should You Use?
If you found this post you probably have some knowledge about Whey Protein.
The information in regards to what to use can be confusing. It depends on who you listen to and your fitness goals.
Based on what I’ve researched, Whey Concentrate appears to be the best option as it is less expensive, has the highest amount of beneficial nutrients, and tastes better.
I’ve also noticed that Whey Concentrate is richer and smoother when it’s made into a drink. The Whey Isolate I’ve used in the past was really thin.
Whey Isolates do have more protein as compared to Whey Concentrates but when you consider the other qualities Concentrate still wins.
Quality Protein Matters
Whatever you decide to use be sure to consider the quality of the product.
You can easily purchase a tub of protein at Walmart for really cheap but most likely it contains a lot of fillers and artificial sweeteners.
Most of the cheap protein supplements I’ve seen contain Sucralose (Splenda). Look for ones with Stevia instead of sucralose or aspartame.
Look for a protein supplement that is:
- Free of GMO’s
- Free of Artificial Sweeteners
- Free of Toxins and Heavy Metals
- Free of Fillers
- Free of Soy
- Sourced From Grass Fed Cows
- Free of Hormones
What Protein I Use
I always have a protein shake in the morning to break my fast.
I’ve used a variety of proteins over the years. Some isolates and some concentrate.
I used to make my own concoction mixing different ingredients into my “shake” every day but I switched to a meal replacement shake because it was faster.
When I switched to it I lost 5lbs the first week. Evidently, the switch was right for me.
The meal replacement is from Isagenix called Isalean (get it here). If you prefer just a straight whey supplement then try Isagenix IsaPro (get it here).
You tell me, what protein do you use?
Protein supplements can have their place in your diet. Just select wisely so you are feeding your body the best nutrients possible.
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