If you want to build muscle, you are probably considering taking a protein powder. It is very hard to get enough protein into your diet to replenish your muscles after a strenuous workout without using a supplement. Whey protein is one of the most popular types of protein powder across the board, but many people don't know exactly what whey protein is.

What is Whey?

Whey protein is derived from milk when cheese is made. Whey separates from the curds as the cheese is being made. It's the same liquid at the top of a yogurt container.

To make whey powder, the whey is filtered and dried. Whey is such a good workout protein because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which means that it is a complete protein.

Whey Protein Isolate

This extremely filtered variety of whey protein reduces the amount of lactose in the powder. That means that it may be more tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant.

As it is, whey protein only contains about 1% lactose. Whey protein isolate filters it even further until it has virtually no lactose at all. Whey protein isolate is also free of carbohydrates, calories, and fat.

For anyone dieting, whey protein isolate is generally a better option since it doesn't introduce any additional fat or calories. High-quality whey protein isolate is also the more concentrated form of whey protein, with at least 90% protein.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is a much more complete version of whey than whey protein isolate. It is rich in the biologically active components that come from whole milk.

Why protein concentrate has more lactose than whey protein isolate but is still relatively low in carbohydrates and fat. How much protein is in whey protein concentrate varies depending on how concentrated the mixture is.

You can generally expect to find a little bit less protein than you find in whey protein isolate. Between 70 to 80% is average.

Whey Protein Concentrate Verse Whey Protein Isolate

Which whey protein powder is better for your needs? The option that is best for you will depend on your dietary and workout needs, as well as your personal preferences. Here are some considerations in choosing between whey isolate vs concentrate.

Whey Protein Concentrate is Best if:

  • You are committed to whole nutrition. Whey protein concentrate has all of the benefits of whole milk in a powder form, so if you want total nutrition in your protein powder, it might be a better choice
  • You want a good-tasting whey protein. The fat and calories in whey protein concentrate make it a delicious addition to protein shakes and smoothies.
  • You're looking for affordable protein. Whey protein concentrate requires fewer steps to process and is generally less expensive while still offering the same benefits in protein.

Whey Protein Isolate is Best if:

  • You are lactose intolerant. There are still trace amounts of lactose in protein isolate, but considerably less than in protein concentrate and too little to bother most people.
  • You are on a strict diet. If you want to control every calorie and ounce of fat and carbohydrates going into your body, you'll choose the more pure version of whey protein isolate.
  • The most bang for your buck. Whey protein isolate contains more protein, so if you want to consume as little as possible for the most protein, it's probably best for you.

Choose the Right Whey Protein for You

Whey protein is an excellent strategy for making sure that you have plenty of protein to grow strong muscles and recover after a workout. Consider your lifestyle, diet goals, and personal preferences to choose which whey is right for you.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.