Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate – Everything You Need to Know!

When it comes to protein, you have a lot of options. Walk into any supplement store without a plan and you might feel overwhelmed by all of your protein choices. 

One of the biggest decisions you need to make is whether you want whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate. Once you understand the difference between the two, you can choose the right product for your workouts and gains. By looking at a comparison of whey protein concentrate vs isolate, you can resolve your internal dilemma and make the right decision!

What is Whey Protein?

Before looking at the difference between types of whey protein, you should know more about whey itself. Whey is a form of protein that comes from milk. The only other type of protein found in milk is casein. If you scour the shelves of a supplement shop, you’ll find some protein powders that contain casein.

To get whey or casein from milk, manufacturers must heat the milk. Then, they add special enzymes to it. This allows the protein to separate from the liquid in the milk. When they separate the protein, manufacturers can dry it to make the protein powder that you know and love. 

People use whey protein for many reasons. Some individuals incorporate it into their diet as a meal replacement. More commonly, people use it to improve the results of their workouts. It promotes muscle growth, which could give you the gains you want. In research, it was found that whey outperformed casein and soy protein when it came to muscle protein synthesis.

Other benefits to supplementing with whey protein include the following:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Treat heart disease
  • Reduce inflammation

What are the Differences When it Comes to Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate?

The difference between whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate comes down to two things. To understand those differences, you need to know where the two come from. 

Both proteins are made from milk. However, each form of protein goes through a different filtration process. For isolate, the process is much more thorough. This gives isolate protein fewer calories, fats, and carbohydrates than concentrate. The intense process does not do much to affect the protein content.

Isolate also has a lower content of lactose. Therefore, people who are on a dairy-restricted diet can opt for isolate. That said, whey protein concentrate comes with its own benefits. It is low enough in calories, fats, and carbohydrates that it won’t affect a normal diet or waistline. And it tends to be more affordable than isolate, which could keep you from busting your budget.

The differences between protein concentrate and isolate are pretty straightforward. But some people want to know all of the facts before finding the perfect supplement. Let’s delve into what each type has to offer.

Whey Protein Concentrate

After whey protein is removed from the milk, it needs to be processed. To make concentrate, the protein goes through a micro-filtering process. The result is a protein powder that is pure and effective. 

Because the protein is filtered and not heated, the amino acids in it remain strong and intact. It also makes the powder smooth and easy to blend in with the other ingredients of your protein shakes. 

The percentage of protein you can get per serving varies depending on the quality of the product. However, it typically varies from 30% to 80%. Even the higher quality protein tends to be more affordable than whey isolate. 

Whey Protein Isolate

 Although whey protein isolate supplements are less common than concentrate, they aren’t any less effective. In fact, isolate contains about 10% more protein than concentrate.

This is all a result of the manufacturing process. Whey isolate goes through a cross-flow microfiltration process. The protein is separated from lactose, fat, and cholesterol. By ingesting fewer carbs and calories, you don’t have to worry about your protein shakes hurting your diet. Athletes who are on a strict diet usually favor whey isolate. While some athletes can spare a few calories or carbs, some count every one. 

There’s also the issue of lactose. If you’re sensitive to lactose, your stomach might not react well to whey protein concentrate. Unfortunately, this doesn’t only cause discomfort. It can also impact your workout. 

Pros and Cons of Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate 

This break-down of whey protein concentrate vs isolate makes it easy to see where each type excels.

Whey Isolate Pros

  • Pure form of whey protein
  • Very few carbs, calories, and fats
  • Low in lactose, making it a great option for people who are sensitive to lactose
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Comes in many great flavors

Whey Isolate Cons

  • More expensive than concentrate
  • Not as popular, so not as many brands or options as concentrate

Whey Concentrate Pros

  • Effective source of protein
  • Relatively low in calories and carbohydrates
  • Smooth texture when mixed in shakes
  • Available in many flavors
  • Affordable 

Whey Concentrate Cons

  • Contains more carbs and calories than isolate
  • Has lactose in it

The Best Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate on the Market

If you want to reap all of the benefits from your supplemental protein, you need to use a high quality product. The comparison of whey protein concentrate vs isolate means nothing if your protein is ineffective. Check out these two products and you can know you’re getting a quality product that does what it’s supposed to:

Opportuniteas Grass Fed Whey Protein Concentrate

This product only contains one ingredient, and that ingredient is whey protein concentrate. It comes from milk that originates from hormone-free cows in Wisconsin. Even more importantly, your purchase comes with a money-back guarantee. 

Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Isolate - Unflavored & Low Carb - Cold Processed &...
  • PREMIUM PROTEIN POWDER - Our grass fed whey protein is unflavored and we truly mean it. We don’t add any sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, colors, or flavorings. The lack of a distinct taste makes it ideal for people who don't like flavored protein powders.
  • MADE THE RIGHT WAY - Our pure whey protein isolate starts as cold processed milk from grass fed, hormone-free cows. Low-temperature drying techniques give it a better taste and texture compared to ordinary whey protein. Because we instantize our protein with sunflower lecithin it’s incredibly easy to mix and you won’t experience clumping in your drinks and recipes.
  • 27g PROTEIN - Each serving gives you 27 grams of all natural protein to replenish your body. Support strong muscles and fast recovery from exercise. Whey protein isolate is the perfect pre or post workout booster for your next shake, smoothie, drink, juice, cooking, or baking recipe.
  • ONLY 2 INGREDIENTS - Our ingredient list is 99% pure grass fed whey protein isolate, and for easy mixing, we add <1% lecithin from non-GMO sunflower. You get exactly what you need, pure protein, without any artificial fillers or flavors to get in the way.
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - We are so proud of our premium grass-fed whey protein, we back it with a no questions asked, 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t love it for any reason just contact Opportuniteas and we will send your money back.

Native Promix Whey Protein Isolate Powder

The Native Promix protein isolate is processed in a way that gives you more bioactive ingredients. It’s made with grass-fed cows and contains no hormones or additives.

Grass Fed USA Whey Protein Isolate Powder I Native & Cold Processed I PROMIX...
  • MORE ANTIOXIDANTS & NATIVE FACTORS: Promix whey is undenatured and cold processed to protect vital naturally occuring factors so you get more bioactive ingredients: lactoferrin, CLA’s, L-­Carnitine and L­-Glutamine
  • BETTER NUTRITION: ­ Our unflavored protein powder has 30g protein, 2g sugar & 6.9g BCAAs per serving; men & women choose Promix to cleanly body build, regain energy, balance their diet and lose weight
  • ALWAYS GRASS FED: Unlike other isolate whey proteins our seasonal production ensures you get grass ­fed whey; Promix brings years of pure GMP certified whey protein quality you can trust
  • HIGHER TESTING STANDARDS: Promix whey protein tests higher quality than any other company; all­ natural, corn free, soy free, gluten free, non GMO, hormone free and no chemical bleaching or additives
  • MORE THAN JUST WHEY ­ Our formula has 0.75% sunflower lecithin for extra nutrition and to make PROMIX easier to blend than any other whey; add it to a shake, a smoothie bowl or homemade protein bars. Clean, light taste perfect for any recipe.

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder

This is a hydrolized whey protein isolate, which means it was treated with acid and high heat. The treatment makes it easier for your body to absorb the protein. Because of this, the product can get you great results. It’s made by a reputable company, so you can trust that the company has high standards.

Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrowhey Protein Powder, 100% Hydrolyzed Whey...
  • One’s most advanced whey exceeding all expectations
  • Faster delivery advanced hydrolyzed whey protein isolates
  • 30 grams ultra-pure protein per serving supports your muscle building goals
  • 15.5 grams naturally occurring & added EAAS supports muscle recovery and growth
  • Great any time protein source perfect for post workout recovery, between meals, or anytime additional protein is needed in your diet
Danielle Gallagher
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Whey Protein Concentrate vs Isolate - Everything You Need to Know!