Whey Protein Powder: What Are The Different Types and What One Is Best For You

By: E. Dawnn | Last Updated: April 30 2018 |

Unless you’ve been living under a bridge, chances are you’ve heard of whey protein powders. These powders are used as supplements combined with resistance exercise to boost muscle protein synthesis and lean muscle mass. While you may have heard of them, you may not understand what they are, the different types available, what their quality is and what you could expect to pay for each type.

A Look At The Three Types of Whey Protein Powders

What is whey? It’s the liquid of the cheese-making process that remains after milk has been curdled and strained. In powder form, it’s a very popular sports nutrition product due to its effectiveness, availability and cost. When consumed, it’s quickly digested by the body, allowing the muscles to use it during the recovery process. 

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate has a concentration percentage of 25 to 89 percent. This kind of whey protein has a typical protein concentration of 80 percent with the rest of it being moisture, minerals, fats and lactose.  This type is often seen in protein bars and drinks, bakery products, confectionery and nutritional food products.

What is the typical cost of whey protein concentrate powders? If you’re in the market for whey protein concentrate, you’re going to find that they cost anywhere from $15 to an excess of $35 for a large tub.

Whey Protein Isolate

This is the purest type of whey protein that you can find, with a protein concentration of 90 to 95 percent. People who have an intolerance to lactose are advised to use this whey protein because it has very little, if any, lactose in it. They also don’t contain a lot of fat. However, due to the high protein concentration and its purity, it will cost more than the whey protein concentrate – with a cost amount of $30 to $50, if not more.

If money is an issue, whey protein concentrate will do just fine for what you want and are after.

Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

This version of whey protein is broken down into smaller chains known as peptides, which makes it easier for the body to absorb and lessen the chances of an allergic reaction. This formula has a concentration of 80 to 90 percent and is seen typically in sports and medical nutrition products as well as baby formula.

In fact, it can work in rapid time (less than 30 minutes).

If you were to purchase a 5-pound tub of this kind of whey protein, you could pay anywhere from $30 to $70 – maybe even more.  However, the benefits you get from it is worth the price.

Which One Should You Get?

In all fairness, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re concerned about allergic reactions, you may want to consider the hydrolyzed whey protein. If you’re lactose intolerant, then the whey protein isolate is the better choice. Just remember that you pay for these special whey protein powders, but their benefits can be very rewarding.


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