The Many Sides of Whey Protein
Posted: Thu 25 Apr 2013 at 3:14:19 PM by Jana Mathews
You may have noticed when shopping around for protein that there are a plethora of options to choose from. So let's talk Whey. Whey protein has many times, been singled out as the ultimate source of protein on the basis of its excellent amino acid profile and digestibility. It can be found in several forms including whey protein powder, concentrate, isolate and hydrolysates. So what's the difference and which should you choose to compliment your nutrition and training plans?
The many forms whey protein takes on are the result of various processing techniques used to separate the protein. The primary difference between whey protein and its isolate form is the amount of protein, lactose and fat present. Whey protein powder can contain anywhere from 11 to 14.5 percent protein, 63 to 75 percent lactose and 1 to 1.5 percent milk fat. On the flip side, whey protein isolate is over 90 percent protein and contains roughly 0.5 percent of lactose and milk fat (because of the significant removal of fat and lactose during processing). Isolates are the purest protein source available. So if you have an intolerance to lactose this would be the whey protein for you. Now don't get us wrong the isolate form does have it's flaws including the fact that it often contain proteins that have become denatured due to the manufacturing process (those proteins being less effective) and it tends to be more expensive. Worth the price? That seems to be a matter of opinion.
When it comes to the concentrated form, it is less processed, has a higher carbohydrate content but is lower in protein (29-89%). Compared to whey isolates whey concentrate typically contains more biologically active components and proteins that make them a very attractive supplement for the athlete. If you don't have a lactose allergy, this will likely be the protein we would direct you to.
Hydrolysates are whey proteins that are predigested and partially hydrolized for the purpose of easier metabolizing and they are virtually free of any potential allergens. This is the most expensive form of whey protein and although this form provides maximum protein absorption, whey protein is generally easily absorbed by our bodies. So in our opinion it may not be worth the price tag attached.
Studies have shown that subjects who incorporated protein supplementation into their diet and during training saw significantly greater gains in protein synthesis and body mass in subjects due to this greater protein intake. So no matter which whey protein you choose, you will be happy with the results.
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