Experienced athletes know that the highest quality protein products consist of whey protein. Whey is a form of milk and has the highest bioavailability of any protein powder out there, meaning your body will absorb more of it and use it to build muscle. Whey protein consists of whey isolate, the purest type of whey, or whey concentrate, also a highly bioavailable protein source that is slightly less pure than isolate. The best whey product for you will depend entirely on your exercise and dietary needs: do you need it strictly post-workout or do you need it for any time of day?
whey protein isolate
Whey Isolate is a form of whey in which impurities, such as fat and lactose, have been separated from the powder through the treatment process. Therefore, it is a purified or ‘isolate’ whey product. The result of this is a protein powder with an exceptionally high protein percentage (typically 80-90%), which is quickly digested and ideal for building muscle and rapidly increasing nitrogen levels in the bloodstream. Whey isolate is the best source of whey to use first thing in the morning, or immediately before or after training, due to the purity of the product and the super fast absorption time.
whey protein concentrate
The next purest form of protein to WPI is WPC, or whey concentrate. This is generally a bit lower in protein content than whey isolate (usually 70-80%) but it certainly has its uses for weight trainers and athletes. Whey concentrate is a perfect “complete” protein, as it digests at a fairly rapid rate (approximately one to three hours of digestion time), but not so quickly that you need to take multiple servings to feel satiated. Whey concentrate is the best whey powder to take during the day, or when there are a few hours until your next meal.
hydrolyzed whey protein
This is the purest form of protein on the market today, and is the fastest absorbing full spectrum protein powder available. The protein fractions in whey isolate are predigested, which means there are additives during processing that further break the bonds between amino acids, causing the rate of digestion to increase rapidly! By weight, hydrolyzed whey proteins are typically over 90% protein, which means you need less in each serving to get the same amount of protein into your bloodstream. You can expect whey protein hydrolyzate to digest within an hour, making it the best source of whey for your workouts. However, this isn’t a great protein to take outside of workouts, as the super-fast absorption rate means you’ll be continually hungry.
What is the best whey product for me?
If you’re only using a whey product for your workouts, opt for a WPI or hydrolyzed whey (budget permitting). This will ensure that your nitrogen levels are at their highest, providing your body with the ideal situation to build muscle!
If you are looking for a meal replacement whey powder, go for a primarily WPC product. This will ensure that your nitrogen levels stay high for longer periods of time, meaning your body stays anabolic.
If you’re looking for a whey protein that covers all the bases, why not look for a blend of all three types of whey? This will ensure you receive fast and medium-absorbing protein to power your post-workout recovery, reduce hunger, preserve nitrogen levels, and build new lean muscle.
Here’s a quick rundown of whey protein and which whey proteins are best for you. In short, you should look for a whey powder that suits your needs: hydrolyzed whey isolate or WPI to fuel training, whey concentrate for protein consumption throughout the day, or a protein blend. of buttermilk to cover all the bases.