With hundreds of different proteins and supplements available on the market today, it is easy to get overwhelmed and confused as to what the best additions to your diet may be. Dishonest nutrition companies using fancy packaging and misleading names do anything to bulk up their bottom line, and do so at YOUR expense! If there’s one supplement that continues to have a cloud of confusion looming over it, it’s whey protein. Over the years, different methods have been developed to produce this popular supplement in varying concentrations while simultaneously creating a blurry and difficult to understand marketplace. Enough is enough. It’s time to look beyond the surface and bring to light the truth behind your whey proteins.
What Is Whey Protein?
From a high-level view, whey protein is derived from the liquid component of cow’s milk, which is filtered to remove fats, lactose, carbohydrates and other unwanted materials. The industry has progressed and numerous filtration processes have been developed to produce a result very high in protein content.
The three main types of whey proteins are concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed.
Simply put, the difference between a whey protein concentrate and a whey protein isolate is the amount of protein per gram found in each. Isolates endure a more rigorous filtration process in order to have a higher protein content than concentrates. Hydrolyzed proteins add an additional step in processing, in which the protein itself is treated with enzymes to further break down the protein bonds.
Whey Protein Concentrates
When whey protein was first concentrated, the gram for gram protein content was relatively low and the somewhat primitive refining process left the end product fairly high in fat and lactose. Today, high-quality whey protein concentrates contain around 80% protein and are produced using various filtration methods to maintain the protein’s integrity. Because whey protein concentrates do not undergo the extensive filtration that isolates do, more natural compounds (fats, lactose, carbs) are left in the product. These compounds have been shown to have health benefits and aid in immune system strength, however those looking to avoid any lactose or fat may want to consider isolates. Whey concentrates have a very mild flavor and mix well in a shaker bottle.
TrueNutrition.com offers a variety of quality whey protein concentrates including several sourced from grass-fed and pastured raised cows.
Whey Protein Isolates
When the whey protein filtration process is taken a step further, the end result is whey protein isolate. Where whey protein concentrates are ~80% protein, whey protein isolates are typically 90%+ protein. The extra filtration, which may include cold-filtration and/or microfiltration, removes nearly all fats, carbs, and lactose from the product leaving a higher gram for gram protein concentration. For those who experience bloating, have a lactose intolerance, or simply can’t fit the extra calories of a concentrate in their macros, whey protein isolates are a great choice.
TrueNutrition.com offers a variety of quality whey protein isolate options including those that are cold-filtrated, microfiltrated, and/or sourced from certified hormone/antibiotic free cows.
Hydrolyzed Whey Proteins
Hydrolyzed whey protein is another name you’ll see when eyeing the different protein options available on the market. When a protein is hydrolyzed, it is treated with enzymes to produce amino acids, peptides and polypeptides. This process, which normally takes place in the body, leaves the protein “pre-digested”, allowing for a very fast absorption rate. This makes hydrolyzed whey proteins ideal for post-workout recovery shakes! By itself, Hydrolyzed whey protein tends to have a bitter taste compared with other whey types, so we recommend adding extra flavor and/or mixing with a juice or almond milk.
TrueNutrition.com offers a variety of quality hydrolyzed protein options with various levels of hydrolysis in order for you to find the right combination for both your goals and your taste!
Which Whey Do I Go?
Concentrate? Isolate? Hydrolyzed? With mounds of misinformation readily available and dishonest supplement companies trying to get your money, we hope this article helps you make an informed decision about which whey protein is right for you. Depending on your fitness and health goals, supplementing with the right whey protein can be really beneficial when trying to hit your protein and macro intake.
Our goal from day one has been to bring clarity and honesty to the supplement market, and we do so by producing products with no fluff or fillers, no BS ingredients to scam you of your hard earned money and no fancy packaging to mislead you. Just high quality products for the True Athletes we know you are. Keep up the hard work.
Yours in health,