Whey protein is probably the most well know type of protein on the market and it’s therefore no surprise that is has been around for years. ‘Whey’ is the bi-product that is derived when making
cheese and was accidently discovered years ago when someone noticed that whey and curds
separated naturally from goat’s milk.
Most of the containers of protein in the supplement stores are either Whey Protein Isolate or Whey Protein Concentrate – or a blend of the two.
In this article I’ll give you the low down!
What is Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) is one of the fastest absorbing proteins and has around 90% protein
content. It is usually more expensive vs. Whey Protein Concentrate because of this high protein
content. WPI is quickly absorbed into the muscles and it can supply them with the necessary
nutrients needed to help them to recover from the workout, but also grow (which is why you often
see people in the gym drinking a protein shake after their workout). WPI is suitable too for those on
a low carb/sugar/fat as many brands on the market are very low in all values.
What is Whey Protein Concentrate?
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) is filtered in a different way to WPI and is not heated to produce
ultra-pure protein. WPC has a protein content of anywhere between 30% and 80% meaning it is
cheaper than WPI. Unfortunately, when you purchase your WPC you can’t tell what percentage of protein will be in your tub – it usually just says ‘Whey Protein Concentrate’. Whey Protein concentrate also tends to have higher lactose and higher levels of fat.
What are the differences between WPI and WPC?
- WPI has a higher protein value
- WPI tends to be lactose free although WPC has low levels of lactose too
- WPI is virtually fat free whereas WPC sometimes has a small amount of fat present
- WPI is faster absorbing (slightly) than WPC
- WPC is usually more economical and cheaper to purchase
What is better – WPI or WPC?
Essentially, there is not one that is better than the other and it really depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to maximise muscle growth, I would recommend choosing a WPI as the protein content is higher. However if your goal is to increase your protein intake, a WPC is a great and slightly cheaper option. Essentially, both WPI and WPC are cost effective and convenient ways of increasing your protein intake.