An inquiry recently crossed my desk about whey protein. Specifically, I was asked, between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate, which product is better-quality.
Let’s look at the facts first.
- Whey protein is produced via a filtration process.
- Whey protein is superior to all other protein sources in its ability to be digested, absorbed and utilized.
- Whey protein is rich in branched chain amino acids.
Whey Protein Isolate
- Contains a ≥ 90% concentration of whey protein
- Undergoes the most rigorous filtration process to remove carbohydrates and fats
- Contains little to no lactose, meaning it is often able to be tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals
- Cost is higher than that of whey protein concentrate
Whey Protein Concentrate
- Contains a ≈ 80% concentration of whey protein
- Undergoes a less rigorous filtration process and contains a greater amount of carbohydrates and fat than whey protein isolate
- Contains lactose, meaning it is often unable to be tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals
- Cost is lower than that of whey protein isolate
Both forms of whey protein – isolate and concentrate – contain the same quality of protein. The difference lies in the macronutrient make-up: proteins, fats and carbohydrates.