Written by Julie Germaine
If you want to be healthier and get amazing results from your fitness program, you are smart to incorporate whey protein into your diet. The question then becomes, should you choose to use whey protein or whey protein isolate?
The protein content of each option is virtually the same per serving. This can vary from one brand to another, but generally a scoop of protein powder is between 20g to 25g. The difference between whey protein (or whey protein concentrate) and whey protein isolate is found in the carbohydrate and fat content per serving. Here are some examples below (scoop serving size may not be the exactly the same):
MACROs Whey Concentrate Whey Isolate
Protein: 24 g 20 g
Carbs: 11 g 2 g
Fats: 3 g 0 g
As shown above, the products are quite similar except for the zero fat content in the isolate, and the fact that there are virtually no carbohydrates.
Whey protein concentrate is a basic form of protein, whereas whey protein isolate is put through a process to become more pure for the consumer. It is easier to understand if you compare more exact quantities, for example, 100g of isolate whey protein powder has over 90g of protein, when the same amount of whey protein concentrate would have only 35 to 80g of protein.
To help you make the right choice for you, here are some of the benefits and downfalls of both whey protein and whey protein isolate.
Whey Protein Isolate:
- Contains over 90% pure protein content with under 1% lactose or milk fat.
- Lower levels of lactose make it a good choice for anyone who has issues digesting dairy products.
- Appropriate for a calorie-restrictive diet to get lean.
- A more expensive option.
- Some find it less flavourful and thinner when mixed than concentrates.
Whey Protein Concentrates:
- More affordable.
- Contains slightly more carbs and fats, which can be beneficial if bulking.
- Equally great for muscle development, maintenance and growth.
- Contains slightly less pure protein than isolate, at <80% rather than 90%.
- May cause bloating due to the lactose and carbohydrates.
It is also crucial that you read the powder ingredients and avoid those with additives, sweeteners, or list “special blend” or “special propriety blend”, which is a secret way to add whatever they want to the product without having to disclose it.