Whey Protein Isolate
Nobody can walk anywhere in gym these days without hearing the words “whey protein.” This has become the number one supplement for bodybuilders and gym rats around the world that are always on the lookout to develop more muscle in order for them to hit new personal records in the weight room. While whey protein has many benefits, there are actually different types of whey that you can take.
There are 3 forms of whey protein that are sold as:
Different Forms of Whey Protein
Whey concentrate is the most basic form of protein and is also the most widely consumed of the three whey proteins. Hydrolysate is the most expensive and more highly processed then concentrate or isolate. Finally, there is whey isolate. This is the middle child of the different whey forms, and is a fast absorbing protein used by supplement takers that want a higher quality protein then the concentrate. Typically the reason for this is because isolate has a lot of the carbohydrates processed out that concentrate does not. This makes isolate a much more lean and pure protein that helps those who strive for a low carb diet. Basically the isolate protein as a supplement is processed for those who are trying to build lean muscle, and not consume the lactose and fats that are in the whey protein concentrate.
How is Whey Isolate Made?
The filtration system that whey isolate protein goes through starts the same as the concentrate and the hydrolysate. Milk is taken from a dairy farm and then sent out to a cheese making facility. During the cheese making process the curd is separated from the liquid to create the cheese. The liquid that is left over is known as whey (hence where the term “whey” protein comes from). The whey liquid is then sent to a dehydration facility where the liquid is evaporated, and what is left is the protein powder.
This powder is then called “whey protein concentrate”. Whey protein concentrate contains about 25% to 89% protein (based on the quality of the processing), and the rest is lactose and saturated fats. At this point, the majority of the powder is ready to be bottled and shipped out. However, a small percentage is then taken to be processed again. The whey protein is then put through a micro filter and ion exchange process where most of the fats and lactose are taken out of the whey concentrate (but not all of it). This now is turned into whey protein isolate, which is a higher quality protein that is around 95% - 98% pure protein. Since it is a higher quality protein, it is more expensive for the consumer at market, and is not as readily available as the concentrate.
Why Should I Buy Isolate over Concentrate?
There are some significant benefits to taking whey isolate over concentrate. You have a higher quality protein that has had minimal denaturing of the quality ingredients that you want, and has preserved many of the best chemistries for supplementation purposes. Isolate also contains more calcium than sodium, which makes it healthier for you than the concentrate.