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Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: A Detailed Comparison

 Detailed comparison of Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey Protein Isolate

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: what are they?

Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate are both made from whey, a thin high-protein liquid leftover from the process of converting milk into cheese.

The whey is processed into powder and will either be produced into an isolate or concentrate. What sets these two apart is how they’ve been refined.

If you’d like to learn more about what whey protein is before diving into a Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate comparison, you can find out all about it in this comprehensive article: What is Whey Protein?

What is Whey Protein Concentrate?

Whey Protein Concentrate is the best value-for-money protein supplement, though it is less refined than whey protein isolate.

WPC has low levels of lactose, contains complete amino acids and fat-soluble vitamins, and has a high protein content of about 80%.

Whey Protein Concentrate contains a higher quantity of fats and carbohydrates and less protein than Whey Isolate, but still contains the same amount of amino acids and vitamins.

Because of this, Whey Protein Concentrate is more affordably-priced than Whey Protein Isolate.

What does Whey Protein Concentrate do?

Whey Protein Concentrate, alongside Isolate, comes with a range of health and fitness benefits.

Whey protein in either form has a high biological value, which makes all of the nutrients and properties of whey protein easy for our bodies to absorb.

The benefits are threefold; whey protein helps our bodies and muscles recover after an intense workout, it helps us put on muscle mass while also avoiding muscle atrophy, and it helps us get the most out of our workouts.

It has also been linked to weight loss and protein synthesis support, making it a powerful tool in your fitness toolkit.

What is Whey Protein Isolate?

Whey Protein Isolate is more refined than Whey Protein Concentrate.

Because of this, it has lower lactose, carbohydrate and fat content, while also carrying a higher protein content (it sits at around 90%).

Just like Whey Protein Concentrate, it contains complete amino acids.

Because the quality of the protein is slightly higher, you’ll often find Whey Protein Isolate priced higher.

Whole milk is made up of about 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein.

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

What’s the difference between Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate? Which one should you begin with? Which is best for your goals?

Let’s explore some differences below.

Where you are in your fitness journey

Where you’re at in your fitness journey may impact whether Whey Isolate vs Whey Protein Concentrate is right for you.

Beginning your fitness journey

If you’re just starting out with protein supplements and have no intolerances to dairy products or lactose, then Whey Protein Concentrate offers excellent value for money.

Bulk Nutrients WPC is naturally rich in amino acids, particularly Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are important for optimal muscle growth. It’s also derived from the same type of cheese production for each batch which gives it a premium flavour profile.

Whey Protein Concentrate also contains the most protein for your money and has a more complete nutritional profile – that is, a blend of protein, fats and carbohydrates – due to the fact it hasn’t been processed as significantly as Whey Protein Isolate.

The science of whey protein

Deep into your fitness journey

If taking protein supplements isn’t new to you, then you may want to consider Whey Protein Isolate.

As it’s the most highly refined version of whey protein, Whey Protein Isolate has the highest level of protein compared to its counterpart, and a host of other advantages that may work for people with certain health needs or very specific goals.

Whey Protein Isolate is a better choice for people trying to reduce carbohydrates and fat intake, as it’s been processed to have less of these macronutrients and more protein.

It also has high levels of BCAAs and essential amino acids, with a thorough helping of both conditional and non-conditional amino acids.

Bulk Nutrients WPI is sourced from grass-fed, hormone-free dairy cows. It’s ultra-high in protein and easily mixed with water for a smooth, satisfying way to replenish protein after a workout.

Nutritional differences

Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional differences that separate Whey Isolate vs Whey Protein Concentrate.

Lactose content

For people who want a powerful protein source but struggle with lactose sensitivity or a mild intolerance, Whey Protein Isolate is the recommended protein powder.

Because of the refined process Whey Protein Isolate undergoes, more lactose is stripped from the powder, making it more suitable for those with any sensitivity.

Protein content

As we’ve touched on above, there’s a 10% protein content difference between Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate.

However, because both powders are considered a high-protein source, it is still likely that they’ll produce a similar result if taken regularly and at recommended doses.

It’s the carbohydrate and fat content that may impact the results you see.

Carbohydrate and fat content

Whey Protein Isolate has less carbohydrate and fat content than Whey Protein Concentrate, which may be beneficial depending on your goals.

If you’re working towards a calorie deficit and looking to consume less carbohydrates or fats, then Whey Protein Isolate may be the perfect protein supplement for you.

Fat-soluble vitamin content

Because there is a lower fat content in the Isolate form as opposed to the Concentrate form, there are fewer fat-soluble vitamins.

If the Isolate form is your preferred supplement but you still want that full-nutrient profile, then you can include a serving of nut butter to your whey protein.

If you don’t want to add nut butter to a protein shake, there are a few delicious alternates. These include adding both the nut butter and Whey Protein Isolate to oats, yoghurt or cereal.

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: The Takeaway

So, which is right for you? It really depends on what you’re looking for.

Whey Protein Concentrate is the best value-for-money protein supplement with low levels of lactose. It contains fat-soluble vitamins and has a well-rounded amino acid profile.

Whey Protein Isolate is a better choice for those who are lactose intolerant. It’s also lower in fats and carbs and boasts a higher protein content due to it being more highly refined.

Both Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate provide great benefits if you’re looking to enhance your fitness journey.

At the end of the day, whey protein in either form is one of the key ingredients to your success.

Both contain all of the amino acids and protein you need to ensure you’re maximising the results of your hard work.

Any whey you choose, Bulk Nutrients has the best range of high-quality supplements that are free from sugar, artificial colours and flavours.

Mason Brezinscak

Mason Brezinscak

Meet Mason! He's on the Marketing Team here at Bulk Nutrients and is an amateur basketball player who loves the game.

He's tried many supplements to help him on the court and in general health.

More about Mason Brezinscak



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