Often when people talk of what kind of whey protein they take, the usual answer is something along the lines of, “I take Brand X.” While that is not necessarily a wrong answer, it is not a complete answer. What many people fail to realize is that within the classification of whey protein, there are three different sub-categories, each of which has their own benefits and drawbacks. The three types of whey protein are:
• Whey Protein Concentrate
• Whey Protein Isolate
• Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest to manufacture of the three whey proteins, and it is the most widely used. To be considered whey protein concentrate, the substance can be anywhere from 29% to 89% protein by weight, the remainder being lactose and fat. The thing about whey concentrate is that no matter the percentage of protein, it’s all labeled as concentrate. This is how many companies can use inferior grades of protein but still sell it at a higher price.
Whey protein isolate is made up of 90% and higher protein by weight. The higher percentage of protein gives it a higher manufacturing cost, but this is much better than paying for cheaper protein and not knowing what you’re getting. Whey protein isolate has a biological value of 159, higher than any other protein. Whey isolate is my personal favorite when it comes to whey protein options.
Whey protein hydrolysate is the most expensive of the three whey protein
. It is a pre-digested form of whey protein isolate, done through an enzymatic process, which leads to a much better absorption rate. Whey hydrolysate also has an extremely bitter taste that it difficult to mask by flavoring agents. The bitter taste and high manufacturing costs have led many companies to stay away from whey protein hydrolysate.
Most people are unaware of the different grades of whey protein
, but this should clearly be an issue when it comes to choosing your protein. Not all whey proteins are created the same, and with a little more attention to labels, you can see which proteins are worth spending the money on.