With the merger of supplement companies and bodybuilding information sites, consumers can find any type of protein powder that they’d like and it seems that a new protein powder comes out almost weekly that touts certain differences over competitors products. This usually brings up talks on fitness discussion forums about which product is better.
Currently, there’s no hotter debate then whey concentrate vs whey isolate.
Now if you aren’t sure what that means, whey concentrate and whey isolate are the two most commonly used forms of protein powder. In most people’s eyes, since whey isolate is absorbed faster, whey isolate is better. Is it? Let’s take a deeper look.
In the beginning
The first run of whey concentrates(WPC) back in the day were about 30-40% protein and the rest was made of up inferior protein sources and fat. Presently, whey concentrates are as high as 70-80% protein lower numbers of fat and lactose. This does not make whey concentrate inferior for people looking to lose fat.
WPC does contain less protein on a gram to gram basis then whey isolate but a high quality whey concentrate will contain a bunch of other goodies such growth factors like IGF-1 and immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, which improve your immune system and increase your antioxidant protection.
While science has yet to improve the compounds found in WPC has any effect on muscle mass, science has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these compounds are very beneficial for overall health. We still care about that right?
The typical knock on WPC is that it has more fat and carbs then straight whey isolate (WI). While that does exist with certain brands, the only WPC brands that I use contain around 1-2 grams of carbs per servings and 1 grams of fat. You’re concerned about that for one of two reasons. You either over think things and need to stop worrying or you’re in the final week or so before a contest. If it’s option #2, I understand and think you should go with just isolate but, for everyone else, you can get straight ripped on a WPC-WI combination.
Also, if you have issues with lactose and get bloated with it then you might want to consider a isolate.
Well Isolates Are Better Right?
WI’s are typically about 90-95% protein. Now companies push whey isolates and the further detailed wheys as the best but is it? When research has shown that only whey in a undenatured state contains all the anti-cancer and immune boasting benefits of whey, it becomes increasingly important that whey isolate is manufactured with the greatest of care. Yes it has minimal lactose and fat but is that what you’re paying for?
Sum It Up
While WI is superior on a gram to gram basis, I don’t see, at this time, the benefits of going with a WI over a WPC. Most commercial brands are a blend of both(though they won’t tell you the amount of each so buy protein that listen’s WI first on the label) and that has some nice benefits. The WPC will make the protein absorb slower which can act as a meal replacement at times and you still get the benefits of the WI. If you can handle the lactose, just want to get rid of stomach fat and you aren’t on a bodybuilding contest diet and competing in the next two or three weeks then save some money and go with a blend.
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