Protein powders, protein drinks, and protein bars are popular dietary supplements that commonly all have whey, which comes from dairy. Whey protein comes in the form of whey isolate and whey concentrate.
Let’s outline the differences between these two common forms of whey protein and whether one is better. After you finish your workout and are looking for that protein to help your muscles repair, which should it be between whey protein isolate vs. concentrate protein?
Whey Protein Defined
Much of the protein in protein bars, protein drinks, and protein powders come from milk. When milk is processed to transform into cheese or yogurt, the remaining liquid is called whey, which possesses the fast-digesting proteins, generally referred to as whey protein.
Before being processed, about 20% of the protein in milk is whey, and the other 80% is composed of the slower-digesting casein proteins, which are both considered high-quality proteins due to the fact that they contain all the amino acids needed by your body.
Whey is considered particularly beneficial for enhancing the production of new protein in your muscles. Two of the most common forms in supplements are whey isolate and whey concentrate.
Differences Between Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate
Whey isolate has a higher amount of protein content and lowers fat and carbohydrate content per serving. But the types of amino acids found in both forms of whey are basically the same because they are derived from the same proteins.
In a 1–calorie serving of whey isolate and whey concentrate, here are the differences:
Whey isolate has 23 grams of protein compared to 18 grams in whey concentrate.
Whey concentrate has more carbs and lactose, with 3.5 grams of both compared to the 1 gram of both in whey isolate.
Whey isolate has no fat, while whey concentrate has 1.5 grams.
Despite the subtle differences in nutritional content, there is not strong evidence that whey isolate and concentrate have different effects on your body.
One of the key factors is your total daily intake, and the majority of daily protein intake comes from high-quality sources such as poultry, eggs, and dairy.
Both whey isolate and concentrate are considered to be high-quality proteins. Many nutritional supplements contain a blend of proteins that includes both whey isolate and whey concentrate. But for those who are limiting their fat, carbohydrate, or lactose intake may prefer whey isolate.
The Final Word
Whey protein is full of several fast-digesting proteins and is a typical ingredient in dietary supplements. Two general forms are whey isolate and whey concentrate.
Whey isolate has to go through a different processing routine than whey concentrate, which results in the isolate containing more protein and fewer carbs and fat per serving.
These nutritional values are small, and there is not strong support for the different effects of these two types of whey protein.
Whey isolate can be a good choice for individuals who are carefully setting limits on their fat, carb, or lactose intake. But aware that whey isolate is normally a more expensive form of whey.
If you feel that whey concentrate is the direction you want to go in, but you still want to get some of the same benefits as whey isolate, you can take a slightly higher dose of whey concentrate to get the same total amount of protein as you would get from a whey isolate.
No matter if you use whey isolate, which ultimately contains more protein for the same serving size as whey concentrate, whey is a premium protein that can help you reach your daily protein intake goals.