Types of Whey Protein

Types of Whey Protein

IMG_0730I always have my personal training clients that are strength training or looking to improve their physique use a good quality whey protein.  It is a great source of protein due to its biological value meaning that a large portion of the protein can easily be absorbed by the body and used for building muscle.

Whey is a milk protein that is processed and filtered to separate the protein from the lactose and fat in the milk.  There are different degrees of filtration resulting in three different levels of quality of whey protein available in supplement form.  These are whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate.  Sometimes my personal training clients find it easier to understand when I compare protein with fuel.  Regular gas(whey protein concentrate), unleaded gas(whey protein isolate), and supreme unleaded(whey protein hydrolysate).

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)

Whey protein concentrate is created by filtering milk through a process called micro- or ultrafiltration. In micro- or ultrafiltration, milk is pushed through a small filter separating the protein from water, minerals and other materials and then dried into powder form.  This process results in a product that is 70% to 85% whey protein and up to 5% lactose.  It is the most economically priced of the whey proteins because it has the least processing.

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)

Whey protein isolate adds another step in the filtration process called ion exchange or cross flow microfiltration.  Due to this extra step, protein isolates have lower levels of carbohydrates and fat and result in a product that is greater than 95% protein.  This extra step in filtration also removes all or most of the lactose making it a good choice for people with lactose intolerance.  Because WPI is both easily digested and absorbed in the body it is an excellent choice of protein for pre- and post- workouts.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)

Whey protein hydrolysate breaks the protein down even further into smaller peptide fragments in a process called hydrolysis.  This process pre-digest the proteins making it even easier for the body to absorb in the muscle than whey protein isolate. It is the most highly processed of all proteins making it the most expensive.

Regardless of which whey protein form you use, whey is optimal for anyone looking to supplement their protein intake for increasing their strength and improving their physique.  For more information about supplements, weight training, or personal training, contact us.

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