Protein is one of the three macronutrients. The other two are carbohydrates and fats. Protein can be made into supplements of different components including whey.
Whey protein is an animal-based type of protein and it contains all the amino acids the body can need. Similarly, dietary supplements of protein are of different forms including protein bars, powders, and drinks.
Whey protein is also of different types, but the main ones include whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. Each has different nutritional values but the same health benefits.
This article explains the contrast between whey isolate and whey concentrate, and whether one is better than the other.
What Is Whey Protein?
Milk is the main source of protein in many protein products such as bars, powders, and drinks. According to the Dairy Processing Handbook, whey is the liquid that remains after milk has been processed to form cheese or yogurt.
Whey protein which is contained in this liquid is rapidly digested in the digestive tract. According to the National Institutes of Health, total protein in milk before it is processed contains 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein which digests slowly.
Several study findings consider both whey protein and casein proteins high-quality proteins. This is because they are loaded with all amino acids that are needed by the body.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the rate at which your muscle produce new proteins can be increased by consumption of whey protein. When making supplements, several types of whey proteins can be used. In most cases, whey isolate and whey concentrate are the main ones used.
Due to different processing techniques, both whey isolate and whey concentrate can have a slight difference in nutritional content.
Nutritional Differences Between Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate
As mentioned earlier, whey isolate and whey concentrate have numerous differences when it comes to nutritional content. According to the Dairy Processing Handbook, liquid whey is normally collected specifically as a leftover produced by the production of cheese or yogurt. The protein content in whey liquid is then increased by passing it through a series of processing steps.
After achieving the needed protein concentration, the whey liquid then undergoes the last processing step to dry so as to obtain whey concentrate powder. This powder contains up to 80% of protein by weight and the remaining 20% consist of carbs and fats.
Different steps of processing whey liquid can be followed to reduce the content of carbs in whey concentrate powder. When this happens, according to the Dairy Processing Handbook, whey isolate powder is produced and it contains 90% or more protein by weight. This means that whey isolate powder will contain a higher content of protein, lower fat, and lower carb per serving.
It is worth noting that the processing techniques and steps do not change or reduce the number of amino acids in either whey concentrate or whey isolate powder. This is because they are derived from one thing – whey liquid.
Nutritionally, in 100 –calorie serving of whey isolate supplement, there is 23 g of protein, 1 g of carb, and up to 1 g of lactose. On the other hand, the same amount of calorie serving of whey concentrate supplement contains 18 g of protein, 3.5 g of carbs, and up to 3.5 g of lactose.
Additionally, whey isolate powder can be a good choice for those who are intolerant to lactose since it contains lower lactose content and carbs. However, both whey concentrate and whey isolate are still good for lactose intolerant people as lactose content in them is too low to cause any significant effects.
Before purchasing any of them, it is worth noting that apart from having nutritional differences, the two types of whey powder have cost differences. Whey concentrate is cheaper than whey isolate. This is because whey isolate is highly pure due to its processing techniques, but still, increasing your consumption of whey concentrate can as well offer you the same dosage of protein in fact, at a lower cost.
Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate Have Similar Health Benefits
Successful studies published by Biomed Central have shown that physically active people can benefit from using whey protein.
One study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined 192 exercising individuals. They were given whey protein supplements especially whey isolate and whey concentrate. The findings indicated that their muscles became leaner and their strength improved.
In as much that they can have nutritional differences, no study has shown that whey isolate or whey concentrate can have different effects on the body.
When it comes to matters with protein, the most important thing to consider is your total daily intake. Additionally, it is also important to ensure that most of the protein you take comes from high-quality sources like eggs, poultry, and dairy.
Whey isolate and whey concentrate powders are both proteins of high quality. It is thus expected that they will produce the same dietary effects if the same dosage of protein is taken.
If you are into protein and would like to eliminate or want to take lower carbs, fats, or lactose, then whey isolate is just the best choice for you. In addition to that, some manufactures of whey proteins sometimes mix both whey isolate and whey concentrate into one thing.
Proteins are essential in your body and are one of the macronutrients together with carbs and fats. When processing yogurt and cheese, the remaining liquid collected is called whey. This liquid is usually made to undergoe several processing procedures to make it dry so as to achieve the desired amount of protein. This gives rise to whey concentrate powder which contains 80% protein and 20% carbs, fats, and lactose. Whey isolate powder is produced by following a different procedure that increases the amount of protein in it up to 90% or more. Both of these whey proteins have similar benefits in the body but whey isolate is more expensive than whey isolate.