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Whey protein isolate vs. whey protein concentrate

Whey protein isolate vs. whey protein concentrate
0 6 June 2013

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

Bottom line:

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.