Whey Protein Buyers Guide: What's the difference and which should I be using?

Whey Protein Buyers Guide: What's the difference and which should I be using?

Posted by Bulk Nutrients on Jan 02, 2019

Estimated reading time: 4mins

If you're looking for more information on the differences between WPI and WPC, check out our deep dive article which has a detailed comparison.

One of the most common questions we get is whether you should take WPI or WPC as your base protein.

This is a great question - and the answer is much simpler than you may think!

What is WPI and WPC?

To put it simply, whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process. After you make the cheese, the liquid that strains from the curds is called whey. You could consume it as-is (although the taste would be interesting), but you can concentrate the protein levels by dehydrating the whey liquid and forming it into a fine powder.

There are many different ways to filter the whey and dehydrate, and at Bulk we prefer using why that has been  low-temperature ultra-filtered - meaning it hasn't been subjected to high temperatures that might damage the protein profile, and has been finely filtered to retain as many nutrients as possible.

This end result - the powder - is whey protein. And if you ever buy 'Raw' WPC - that's what you're buying.

Flavoured WPCs have had small additions to make them taste better, without ruining the nutritional value.

WPI takes the raw whey protein and processes it further to reduce sugars, carbohydrates, fats and sodium. 

This means the end product is more expensive, but contains at least 90% protein (compared to ~80% with WPC - but WPCs can vary, so make sure you always check the protein content of what you're buying!)

So - WPI and WPC both come from the same source, but have different levels of processing applied.

Myths about WPI and WPC

So now we know they come from the same source - a few myths can easily be busted!

  • WPI and WPC are both rapidly absorbing proteins (many people falsely claim WPC is slow digesting)
  • Both WPI and WPC are great to consume directly after training.
  • Both are low in fats and carbohydrates too!

As there is so much confusing info out there, we've put together a quick check list to find the most suitable product for you.

I want a protein with very high levels of Amino Acids: (including GlutamineBCAAsEAAs etc)
I want a rapidly absorbed protein, that is great for building muscle and great for recovery.
My goal is to lose weight, so the protein must be lean.
I am very sensitive to lactose, so I want as little lactose as possible.  
I want a product that mixes very well with no lumps.
I am very fussy about taste and want a product that tastes like flavoured milk.
I want the best value for money product and have a limited amount to spend each month on supplements, so I want maximum ‘bang for my buck’.  

So there it is

Forget about it being complicated, it simply isn’t. The key difference is that WPI is simply a more refined version of WPC, but both having advantages depending on what you need.

If you are fussy about taste or want as little lactose as possible, go the WPI.

However if you want maximum value for money, WPC can’t be beaten when compared dollar per protein gram.

If, however, you are looking for a protein which is released very slowly and offers a ‘sustained’ delivery, then Micellar Casein (Milk Protein Isolate) would be the best choice. Our flavoured Micellar Casein mixes well, has a great creamy texture and taste, so it is perfect before bed or at times when getting regular meals in is difficult - but that's quite literally a whole other blog post!

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