Whey protein is the most commonly used protein powder that is currently available on the market. This is largely due to its incredible digestibility rating in humans, as well as its great taste, superior mixability, and wide range of purchasing options. Whey protein isolate is a more refined form of whey protein that goes through an additional processing method to arrive at a finished product that is even higher in protein than a standard whey protein concentrate.
Whey protein is produced as a byproduct of milk or cheese manufacturing. The material is extracted using a cold-water filtration method to remove excess fat and carbohydrates. At this point, the material may be pasteurized and dried to produce a standard whey protein concentrate powder, which will typically contain about 80% protein by volume. Additional filtration methods may be applied in order to further reduce the amount fat and carbohydrate content in the formation of a whey protein isolate. These filtration methods include:
- Cold-Filtration and Microfiltrated: Methods which force protein particles through a fine mesh using water pressure in order to block fat and carbohydrate particles.
- Ion-Exchange: A method which uses hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide to separate protein from fat and carbohydrates based on their molecular charge.
Once the fat and carbohydrate contents have been thoroughly screened, the liquid whey is then pasteurized and dried to produce the finished powder. Most whey protein concentrates and whey protein isolates will be spray-dried with an additional agglomerating agent such as soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin in order to improve the mixability of the finished powder in liquid. These materials are typically used at less than 1% total volume:
Whey protein isolate is considered a superior source of protein over many other options due to its high rate of digestibility and complete range of essential amino acids, providing a protein efficiency ratio (PER) of 100% and the highest rating (1.0) on the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). Whey protein isolate is also rich in branch chain amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which are often considered the most important building blocks in muscle repair and muscle building.
Whey protein isolates will typically contain >90% protein by volume, but will also contain very little carbohydrate or fat content (if any). As a result, the decrease in lactose (a milk sugar) has been helpful for many individuals that suffer from lactose-intolerance, and who may experience digestive issues when using other milk or dairy ingredients. Another major benefit of using a whey protein isolate in place of a standard whey protein concentrate includes a decrease in the gas and bloating that are commonly experienced while using a whey protein concentrate. Individuals that are following a low-carb diet, or that are looking to lower their overall fat, carbohydrate, and calorie intake may also prefer a powder of this sort. Whey protein isolate is also gluten-free, for individuals that may be sensitive to gluten.
In addition, a new option has recently been added to appeal to users with additional dietary limitations:
*This material is certified as rBGH-free, and will be instantized using hypoallergenic sunflower lecithin.
Whey protein isolate has a clean, refreshing taste that mixes easily in to almost any drink. Many users prefer to mix it with one of our many great-tasting flavor options, including the Natural Premium Flavors, which are derived from natural flavoring and sweetening ingredients. Whey protein isolate can also be consumed on its own with a light, milky taste, or it can be mixed into any number of baked goods or smoothies.
*DISCLAIMER: The above description is provided for information only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your physician or the appropriately licensed professional before engaging in a program of exercise or nutritional supplementation. No information in this site has been reviewed by the FDA. No product is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease.