Frequently asked questions about whey protein

Why is whey protein a best seller?

First, whey protein is a higher quality protein than regular whey, milk, egg or soy. And because whey is packed full of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) - leucine, isoleucine, valine - it may help preserve lean muscle tissue between workouts or when dieting.

Second, whey protein is low in carbs, fat and calories which makes it perfect for dieters. Many use it first thing in the morning, between meals or right before bed. Others use it as a post-workout drink and mix it with carbohydrates like juice, fresh fruit or a high-carb powder.

Third, whey digests easier and much faster than all other proteins. 

Fourth, since most of the lactose has been removed, it's popular with lactose-intolerant individuals.

Finally, it tastes pretty good, even in water. Most brands mix instantly with a spoon, making them popular at the office.

All types of people drink whey, from young to old, active to inactive.


What is the difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate?

Can't decide which one to try? Here's some help. Whey concentrate and isolates go through a process to remove most of the carbs, fat and lactose from "regular unprocessed whey" from whole milk. This process is called "ion exchange" or "filtering." Both result in an almost pure protein.

A "concentrate" is 80% protein and an "isolate" is 90% protein. There is no other real difference between the two, except that isolates go through an extra filtering step to remove more fat and carbs. The protein quality is identical.

Concentrate Advantages

Concentrates are more economical per gram of protein. They have a low lactose level that is well tolerated by most lactose-sensitive people. They have trivial amounts of fat and carbs relative to your overall nutrient intake. This is our best-selling category of whey!

Isolate Advantages

Isolates are virtually fat-free for those wishing to eliminate as much fat from their diet as possible. They are typically lactose free for those few individuals who are very sensitive to the low-lactose levels found in whey concentrates. Isolates tend to taste slightly better than concentrates, too, yet their consistency is a little thinner, without the fat.


If a whey concentrate is 80% protein, why do some products say 100% whey protein?

The answer is simple, but read this carefully. The 80% refers to the concentration level of the protein that is in the ingredient - whey protein concentrate.

If a product is called 100% whey protein, this usually refers to the protein source used, meaning only whey protein is used, not egg, soy or milk protein. Therefore, a product that is named 100% whey protein (if it's from a concentrate) would contain about 80% protein.


If a whey protein concentrate is 80% protein, what is the other 20%?

Good question. Every protein powder, whether it's whey, soy or something else, has moisture. In fact, 5% of the total formula is water. Another 3-5% is made up of naturally occurring minerals in whey. The remaining 10-12% is a combination of carbs and fat.


But wait! If I do the math, my favorite product has more fat and carbs than 10%?

You need to take into account the flavoring system, which adds a small percentage of fat or carbs. Also, formulas with glutamine peptides, which are half carbs, can contribute to the carb category.


Why do chocolate flavors have less protein than vanilla?

To achieve a rich chocolate taste, cocoa must be added along with a chocolate flavor. Vanilla only requires flavor for a good taste. The added cocoa, about 1 gram per serving, displaces some of the protein in a formula. Various brands deal with this lower protein situation in one of two ways. Either their chocolate product will have slightly less protein and slightly more carbs, or the serving size is increased to make the protein level constant between flavors, but there will be fewer servings.

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