Many fitness consumers don’t realize that whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate are slightly different protein blends. So what’s better for your fitness goals and which one should you be consuming for your muscle building needs? We are going to look into the differences between these two kinds of protein blends and help you make an informed decision.
The biggest difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate is whey isolate undergoes a more thorough processing method. So what does this mean for cost, muscle building capability, quality, etc? We are going to break it down into 5 categories for you.
Since whey isolate undergoes more processing than whey concentrate it predictably will cost more money to manufacture meaning it will cost the consumer more money to purchase. A typical whey protein isolate will cost anywhere between 15-40 percent more than a whey protein concentrate per serving. Whey isolate brands like Isopure can get very costly for the average consumer who drinks protein shakes regularly.
One of the biggest advantages to taking a whey isolate over a concentrate is that all of the carbohydrates and fats have been stripped giving you a much higher protein percentage. Some of the cheaper whey concentrate protein powders contain a protein percentage under 80 percent, while the top-notch whey protein isolates like Natures Best Isopure have a protein percentage close to 100 percent. If you are counting calories and your main goal is fat loss whey protein isolate is a better choice.
Whey protein isolate is very rapidly absorbing and has been stripped of most of the lactose so it is an ideal protein powder for post workout consumption. Your body will be able to absorb the protein and amino acids very quickly without any fat or other ingredients slowing it down. Whey protein concentrate makes for an ideal protein shake for meal replacements. It will be slightly slower digesting and contains more carbohydrates and fat per serving but still makes for a great post workout shake.
If you are one of the many consumers who have lactose intolerance you will want to avoid whey protein concentrate as this has a significantly higher amount of lactose. Whey protein isolate has had most of the lactose stripped from it due to the extra processing requirements, so it will be easier on your stomach.
The Final Verdict
If you are not lactose intolerant and can afford to purchase a whey isolate we actually recommend that you incorporate both into your diet. It’s not uncommon for consumers to use a whey protein concentrate with a protein percentage of at least 80 percent for meal replacements, and use a whey protein isolate for post workout consumption. This is a great way of combining the two into your diet.
Since whey concentrate contains a few additional grams of carbohydrates and fats we find that it keeps us fuller for longer and makes for a delicious meal replacement shake as well as a post workout shake. Optimum nutrition and GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Whey-Bolic Extreme 60 among many other brands make some delicious whey protein concentrate shakes. Find a flavor that you enjoy and you can make meal replacement shakes anytime of the day.