Protein is such an essential macronutrient that everyone should pay close attention throughout their life.
Whether you are looking for ways to increase your protein intake, or simply to obtain more of a variety of protein in your diet, it is crucial to consider the source of dietary protein with its accompanied digestion and absorption rates1.
Whey protein isolate has recently gained more attention in the world of health and fitness for being quickly absorbed by the body and easily digested.
Continue reading below for some of our answers to commonly asked questions about whey protein isolate.
1) What is whey protein isolate and how is it different from whey protein concentrate?
Whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI) are the most common forms of whey protein products available to consumers. However, whey protein isolate is whey protein that has undergone a filtering process to remove most of the lactose component of the powder.
2) What are the benefits of whey protein isolate?
Whey protein isolate has relatively small amounts of lactose which can help individuals with sensitivity to dairy products consume this source of protein without having stomach cramps or bloating.
Compared with whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate has 90-95% protein concentration as opposed to 25-90% in WPC as well as lower levels of fat and carbohydrates.
Whey protein isolate has been seen to help maintain muscle tissue, prevent sarcopenia, prevent bone loss, help maintain weight, stabilize GI functioning and improve immunity.
3) Can those who are lactose intolerant or vegan consume whey protein isolate?
Individuals who are lactose intolerant are unable to fully digest the sugar in milk, lactose. However, whey protein isolate contains less lactose than whey protein concentrate, so it may be safe for lactose intolerant individuals to consume WPI in moderation without having side effects such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea after consumption.
Whey protein isolate still contains some lactose which is the sugar that is in regular milk. Being that vegans do not consume any animal products, including dairy, they cannot consume whey protein isolate. Vegans instead will choose plant-based proteins like pea protein.
4) What are some good snack options that contain whey protein isolate?
Rise Bars (6 of our flavors contain whey protein isolate)
- Almond Honey
- Mocha Almond
- Snicker Doodle
- Chocolatey Almond
- Cacao Banana
- Mint Chip
No Bake Almond Cacao Energy Bites
- Mix 1 scoop of whey protein isolate with almond butter, honey, chia seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon, and almond milk
Whey Protein Hydrating Green Smoothie
- Mix 1 scoop of whey protein isolate with 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of mango, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 tbsp. of almond butter, and 2 cups of coconut water. You can also try adding flax seeds and oats for a boost of fiber and B vitamins.
There are so many different protein sources out there, just remember to get an adequate amount of protein in each day and fit your protein choices to whatever lifestyle you choose or health conditions you may have.
1. Baum, J. I., Børsheim, E., Allman, B. R., & Walker, S. (2020). Health Benefits of Dietary Protein throughout the Life Cycle. The Health Benefits of Foods - Current Knowledge and Further Development. doi:10.5772/intechopen.91404
2. Kadam, B., Ambadkar, R., Rathod, K., & Landge, S. (2018). Health Benefits of Whey: A Brief Review. International Journal of Livestock Research, 8(5), 31. doi:10.5455/ijlr.20170411022323
Author: Karli McCarthy
Cal Poly, SLO Nutrition Student