Whey Concentrate vs Whey Isolate? Which one should you choose?

Author: Tyson Matthews   Date Posted:15 June 2017 

In this blog I discuss the key differences between Whey Concentrate and Whey Isolate and their uses. I use Dymatize Elite Whey and ISO 100 as examples of each type of protein.

A key Question I get asked every day is "whats the difference between whey concentrate and whey isolate?". Yes they are both types of whey protein but they have very different properties and very different price points! Put simply:

WHEY CONCENTRATE: The by product of cheese products, once upon a time whey was discarded or fed to animals until the world became aware of its many great properties. Whey concentrate can be as low as 30% protein per weight or as high as 90% protein by weight. A good test of this is to simply divide the protein amount per serve by the actual serving size and multiply by 100 to get a %. Yes, concentrates are higher in lactose, cholesterol, fat and carbohydrate, but realistically not in amounts liable to throw out your macros.For me, taking in around 300g of carbs and 90g of fat this isn't an issue: Dymatize Elite whey has 3g of carbs and 1.5 of fat, with a protein amount by weight of 71%. Realistically, those "extra" carbs and fat comparative to a whey isolate not really important. Most whey proteins such as Elite whey are a blended whey anyway, so they have a % of whey isolate already in them.

WHEY ISOLATE: Whey concentrate that has been processed to increase the protein % by weight (as much as 96%) and also had almost all the carbs, fat and lactose removed. While this sounds great in theory, there is science that suggests many of the good components of whey can be lost during the process. Also, there is a fair chance that your body simply can not absorb the full 26g of whey protein in one serve in the 30-60 minute period it takes to be absorbed and digested. Finally, you are paying a premium for whey isolate, usually 20-30% more than WPI/WPC blends: is it worth it? 

MY VERDICT: Whey isolate is really only perfect for two types of people: those who genuinely can not handle lastose or those looking to control their macros down to the finest detail. Otherwise save your coin and grab yourself a good quality whey concentrate!


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