The Difference Between Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate

The Difference Between Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate


100% Whey is perhaps the most popular supplement on the market. Whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate are two of the most popular versions of whey. There are countless brands creating both of these supplements.

Protein is important for the body and especially for building muscle. In addition, proteins are important for the immune system, tissue regeneration, and oxygen transport in the blood, and it also transports various substances such as hormones and vitamin C through the body. Athletes who take shakes often turn to whey protein as a concentrate or isolate. But what are the differences – and which one is better?

Whey Protein

If you are looking for the right protein, you will notice that there are different variants. The two most popular are known as concentrates and isolates. First, every whey protein powder starts with the whey from cow’s milk – the eponymous protein is extracted from this. Both products are suitable for building muscle.

The amount consumed is individual but depends on the daily protein requirement and how it is covered. If you have problems covering this, there is theoretically no upper limit to the amount of protein shakes consumed. Manufacturers recommend a maximum of three servings on the packaging – this corresponds to approx. 60-85g protein, depending on the whey variant.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is far more common than whey isolate because it is cheaper to produce, easier to find in stores, and has a great taste. Whey concentrate contains all eight essential amino acids that humans need from their diet while whey isolate only contains the three branched chain amino acids.

In the case of the concentrate, this is done through a filtration process. The protein content of the product is then between 70 and 80% per gram. A ‘quicker’ filtration processĀ  yields less protein per gram that whey isolate, but also leaves a higher percentage of carbohydrates and fat.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is a highly filtered form of whey that contains almost no lactose. Isolates are mostly used by professionals and advanced users because they are easier to absorb and have a higher protein content. Isolates are made through processes that refine the protein. As a result, not only is the protein content in the powder higher (90-96% without additives) – it also has almost no carbohydrates and fats.

Whey protein isolate supplements are whey proteins that have been isolated using another method, which yields a purer product that has more concentrated whey than whey protein concentrate. The result of these processes is that whey protein concentrate contains about 80% carbohydrates and 15-20% proteins, while whey protein isolate contains only 0.5-2% carbohydrates and up to 90, sometimes 95% peptides (protein).


In summary, it can be said that whey isolates are of higher quality than concentrates. They are suitable for frequent use. They are also a better choice for people with allergies and sensitive stomachs, as they contain little lactose.

Whey concentrates contain a percentage (often significantly) less protein per shake, also contain some carbohydrates (including lactose) and fats, and are less soluble in water. They are particularly suitable for occasional use – the slower absorption in the body can also be an advantage, especially if the shake is consumed in the evening to support the feeling of satiety. Whey concentrate is typically cheaper and more widely available. In the end, it depends on your goals. Both are suitable protein sources, but it is always best to know the difference.


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