Whey and Whey Isolate: What’s The Difference?

Whey protein is a popular supplement that many people turn to for muscle growth, weight loss, and healing, especially post-workout recovery. But whey isolate protein powder is not whey. It’s whey concentrate with most of the fat and carbs removed.

Is whey isolate better than whey? It depends on your needs!

What is Whey and Whey Isolate?

Whey is the liquid left after milk has been curdled and strained.

It mainly comprises whey proteins but contains some lactose and fat, two things many people wish to avoid in their whey supplements.

Whey proteins include:

  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lactoferrin
  • Lactoperoxidase
  • Glycomacropeptide
  • Lysozyme

On the other hand, whey isolate has most of its non-protein components like sugars and fats removed. The whey protein content of whey isolate is at least 90% and often exceeds 95%.

According to Legion Athletics, “whey isolate protein powder is the highest quality whey protein powder you can buy and is at least 90% protein by weight, which means it contains minimal calories, carbs, and fat.”

Whey proteins are high in the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re also rich in glutamine, an amino acid that plays a crucial role in protein synthesis.

Whey and whey isolate are rich in quality, complete proteins that provide all the essential amino acids your body needs to perform optimally.

Benefits of Whey and Whey Isolate

Whey and whey isolate have numerous benefits, particularly due to their high levels of BCAAs.

Here are the benefits of whey and whey isolate.

Weight Loss

A good deal of whey protein users turn to whey as a weight loss supplement. Whey increases satiety and reduces appetite, making you eat less without feeling deprived or restricted. It also helps burn fat by increasing resting energy expenditure (REE) — the calories your body burns at rest, maintaining normal functions like breathing, blood flow, and organ function.

Muscle Growth

Whey protein helps you build muscle by increasing protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is how cells create proteins, crucial macronutrients for building muscle tissue.

Healing and Recovery

Whey protein is a popular post-workout supplement, but whey isolate might be even better. Because whey isolate contains little to no fat and carbs, it’s absorbed quickly into the body for fast muscle recovery after physical activity.

Some studies indicate that it increases levels of glutathione — one of your body’s most powerful antioxidants.

Besides, if you’re hurt or recently underwent surgery, whey isolate can help you recover faster.

Health & Immunity

Our immune system benefits from whey’s high content of glutamine, an amino acid that boosts immunity. Glutamine also helps heal and protect the gut lining.

What’s the Difference between Whey and Whey Isolate?

The main difference is that whey isolate has most of its non-protein components removed. This makes whey isolate a purer form of whey protein — it’s lower in carbs and fat.

Whey isolate is also higher in BCAA content than whey. This can be important if you’re looking for a whey supplement that will help you build muscle.

Whey is an excellent source of protein for athletes, people trying to lose weight, seniors, and anyone looking for an edge in their health and fitness journey.

Final Words

Overall, whey and whey isolate are both ideal choices for people who want to increase their protein intake. But if you have dietary restrictions or are looking for a cleaner, purer source of whey protein, then whey isolate is the better choice.

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