For hardcore athletes, supplementation comes very easy. It’s like written at the back of their hands.
They know what to do and which supplements to take like creatine and BCAA for pre-workout and whey protein and omega 3 plus among others for post workout.
Pre-workout drinks are not hard to figure out. Most pre-workout supplements come packaged with caffeine, creatine, and BCAA.
However, whey proteins are totally distinct and come in different formulations altogether. You have whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and one that’s begging a comeback is hydrolysed proteins.
Although there are only 3 kinds of choices for whey protein to choose from, choosing which one to take can be quite confusing. So what exactly are whey proteins and which one is best to choose?
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Whey protein for the fitness enthusiast is a common supplement taken to reduce oxidative stress and promote general well-being. It is made by pushing portions of milk fluid through a filter to remove water and casein.
The substance left behind from this process, which is then dried is what we call a whey protein concentrate (WPC).
Despite the fact that milk has been refined to extract protein, WPCs still contain fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose.
The first kind of WPCs ever produced contained only 30 to 40 percent of protein, had a massive amount of lactose, fat, and undenatured proteins and were mainly used in baking.
Fast forward today, the concentrates we have now had around 70 – 80% protein with reduced amounts of lactose and fat.
On a gram for gram basis, concentrates have less protein content. Nevertheless, great concentrates have high levels of growth factors (IGF 1, TGF 1, TGF 2), phospholipids and conjugated linoleum acid (CLA), which studies show can help improve immunity and intestinal health.
Whey Protein Isolate
Compared to whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates (WPI) which undergoes a process called cross-flow microfiltration, have as much as 90-96% protein content. They also contain very little amount of lactose and zero percent fat due to this process.
Whey Protein Concentrate VS Whey Protein Isolate
Basing on the facts above, one might deduce that WPIs are better than whey protein concentrates due to their high protein content, but depending on a person’s goals, one might be superior to the other.For one, not everyone has the budget for a whey protein isolate which is more expensive than whey protein concentrates as they undergo more processing.
In relation to this, they also lose valuable health promoting compounds like glutamine and BCAAs, which you would normally have in a concentrate.
Moreover, in an article “Protein Intake: Effect of Timing” written by Dr. Jay R. Hoffman, states that the glucose found in the carbohydrates derived from WPCs help keep energy levels high during and after a workout.
The carbohydrates in it also help your muscles absorb more amino acids, which in effect can help you save more as your WPC can help double as your pre-workout supplement rather than just being utilized as your post-workout supplement.
On the other hand, whey protein isolates are ideal for those who desire to bulk up rather quickly while maintaining a low percentage of body fat.
It is also beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant since whey protein isolates contain fewer carbs, fat, and cholesterol compared to whey protein concentrates that have around 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
That is like having half an apple for every 2 servings of WPCs for those who are calorie restricting.
The key to choosing a good whey protein then really boils down to one’s goal, budget and allergy restriction.