Whey Protein Concentrate vs. Whey Protein Isolate
There’s a lot of terminology floating around in the whey protein market. You hear how whey is cross-flow microfiltered, ion exchange filtered, nano-particle, cold processed, and all sorts of other technical sounding jargon for how the whey is processed.
Whey is what’s leftover after cheese is made and the curds separate out. It’s also the liquid that separates out when yogurt is made. The bottom line is that whey consists of protein, fat, and lactose (milk sugar).
The goal of microfiltration is to remove the fat and lactose, leaving only the protein. The purest form is whey protein isolate. It’s usually 90% or more pure. The somewhat less pure protein is whey protein concentrate, which is usually 70% or more pure.
Both are very healthy and highly bioavailable. This means that they both contain 100% of the amino acids required by the human body to build and repair muscle tissue (as well as many other functions). Whey protein isolate is typically much more expensive, but it does deliver more protein with less fat and sugar. Whey protein concentrate is more reasonably priced and still delivers a solid source of protein.
Most whey protein supplements today consist of a mixture of whey protein concentrate and some whey protein isolate. Those who are sensitive to lactose may find it worthwhile to spend a little more on whey protein isolate, but for most people either will do just fine.
My top pick for natural whey protein is a blend of whey protein concentrate and isolate. Optimum's Natural Whey tastes good, mixes well, and is made from high quality whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. It's also very affordable.
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