Whey Protein vs Isolate?
Written by Ben Carlisle
Last updated on: Sep 27, 2022
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What's the difference between whey protein and whey protein isolate? And does it matter which one you choose? In this post, we'll break down the differences between these two types of whey protein and help you decide which is right for you.
This will include a detailed look at the scientfic researc into which type of whey is best (1).
Spoiler alert: there is no one-size-fits-all answer—it depends on your individual fitness goals! But we'll do our best to help you make the right decision for your needs. Ready to get started? Let's go!
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a type of protein that is derived from milk. It is considered to be a complete protein, as it contains all of the essential amino acids that the body needs. Whey protein is a popular choice for athletes and bodybuilders, as it helps to build muscle mass and promote recovery from exercise (2). Whey protein is also low in lactose, making it a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant. As a milk protein, whey also proves valuable for the health of seniors and leads to great results in a weight-loss program (3, 4).
What is Whey Isolate?
Whey Isolate is a more pure form of whey protein. It is made using a process that removes much of the lactose and fat, leaving a protein powder that is 90%+ protein by weight. Whey Isolate is also generally lower in calories than other whey protein powders. Whey Isolate is a good choice for those who are looking to increase their protein intake without also increasing their fat or lactose intake.
Whey Protein Vs. Whey Isolate: What are the Key Differences?
Whey protein contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle mass. In fact, it's one of the highest quality proteins available. A single scoop of whey protein powder contains around 25 grams of protein.
On the other hand, whey isolate is a more concentrated form of whey protein. A single scoop of whey isolate powder can contain up to 90% protein. A 10-week study conducted in 2006 revealed that taking whey isolate drinks led to much greater strength improvements, reduced mat mass, and increased lean mass compared to another group that consumed casein (5).
Fat and Carbohydrate Content
No doubt whey protein is a great source of protein and has many health benefits. But, it's also relatively high in fat, with about 5-8 grams of fat per serving. However, most of the fat in whey protein is healthy, unsaturated fat.
Although whey isolate features a higher protein concentration, it has lesser fat and calories (6). But at the same time, it's also lower in some important nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium. However, whey isolate still has many of the same health benefits as whey protein.
Absorption is a huge factor when choosing between whey protein and whey isolate (7). Whey protein is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body for muscle growth and repair. Whey isolate, on the other hand, is a partially hydrolyzed form of whey protein. This means that some of the amino acids have been removed, making them less effective for muscle growth and repair.
However, whey isolate is still an excellent source of protein and can be used to supplement the diet of people who are unable to get enough protein from their diet alone.
So, which one is better for protein absorption? Whey protein is the better choice for protein absorption, as it is a complete protein and contains all of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Whey isolate, while still an excellent source of protein, is less effective for muscle growth and repair due to the removal of some of the amino acids.
Well, the biggest difference between whey protein and whey isolate is that whey isolate is a more purified form of protein. This means that it generally costs more to produce than whey protein. As a result, whey isolate typically costs more than whey protein.
However, it's important to note that there is a wide range of prices for both whey protein and whey isolate. So, if you're looking to save money, you may want to opt for whey protein. On the other hand, if you're looking for the highest quality protein powder, you'll likely want to go with whey isolate.
The brand you're interested in also plays a role in the price of whey protein and whey isolate. For example, some brands may charge more for their whey protein because it's organic or grass-fed. On the other hand, other brands may charge less for their whey protein because it's not as pure.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out how much whey protein or whey isolate costs is to compare prices from different brands.
In the end, it really comes down to your personal preference. Do you want to save money or get the best quality protein powder? And which brand do you trust?
Digestion is a critical yet commonly ignored factor when choosing between whey protein and whey isolate. If you have a sensitive stomach or are lactose intolerant, whey isolate is probably the better choice for you. This is because whey protein includes lactose, which can be difficult to digest for some people (8).
Whey isolate, on the other hand, has had the lactose removed and is, therefore, easier on the stomach. If you don't have any digestive issues, however, whey protein is a perfectly fine choice.
So, what's the verdict? Whey protein isolate is definitely a better choice if you want to avoid any unnecessary carbs and calories. If you don't mind paying a bit more for your protein supplements, then you might want to go with whey protein isolate – you won't regret it! But if you're on a tight budget, whey protein will still do the trick. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our other posts for more health and fitness advice.