Whey Protein is without a doubt the most well-known supplement used by those who go to the gym and not only that.
The problem is, there are dozens of different brands and products, and there are also different types of Whey.
There is Concentrate Whey, Isolate Whey, and also Hydrolyzed Whey.
Let’s not talk about hydrolyzed for one simple reason. It is significantly more expensive than the other two, and the advantages are very few.
So between Concentrate Whey and Isolate Whey, which is the best buy?
Is it worth it paying more for the Isolate?
This is the cheapest and also the most common form.
It is produced by ultrafiltration of whey and usually offers concentrations of protein between 70% and 80%, thus also bringing some carbohydrates (lactose) and fats.
Since the concentration of this protein is normally around 70-80%, it means that for every 100g we have on average between 70 and 80 grams of pure protein, which is a very good value.
In addition, it has a high amount of BCAA’s and other essential amino acids and is easy and fast to absorb.
The isolate form is basically an improved version of the concentrate.
It can be produced using various filtration techniques and achieves protein values in the range of 85-95%, which is excellent.
Furthermore, due to the higher filtration, the fat and carbohydrate values are very low and can reach zero, eliminating lactose.
For example, in a protein with 90% concentration, we have 90g of high-quality protein for every 100g.
Whey Concentrate or Whey Isolate?
Whey Concentrate is the most economical whey supplement and is usually well tolerated.
Depending on the concentration, it’s an excellent option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money but still have a quality protein supplement.
In the case of Whey Isolate, the protein concentration is higher, so is the amount of amino acids.
Not only does it have a slightly higher percentage of BCAA’s, but the amount of carbohydrates and fats is also lower and in some cases zero.
So which one do I buy?
The simple answer in most cases is Whey Concentrate.
A good Whey Concentrate supplement is around 80% quality protein, with 17-19% BCAA’s and a cost per 100g of protein of about $1.50 to $2.50.
There are several supplements on the market with these features, and simply in terms of quality/price they are the best option if you want a protein supplement.
You can also stop by our analysis section here to help you decide what your next protein is.
But I’m losing fat, isn’t Isolate better?
While a Concentrate brings an average of about 1g to 3g of carbohydrates per shake, an Isolate usually goes from 0g to 2g, depending on the price you’re willing to pay.
In the case of fat, the Isolate on average has less than 1g, while the Concentrate usually brings between 1 and 2g per shake.
The difference is simply too low to have any impact on fat loss, even if you use more than one shake per day.
So, the Isolate isn’t worth it?
The concentrate is undoubtedly the best option when we consider the quality/price ratio, however, if we look only at quality, Isolate wins.
Not only does it have fewer carbohydrates and fats, but the amount of protein is greater, and as such, more amino acids and BCAA’s.
You can also use a smaller amount of the supplement to get the protein you want, which ultimately reduces the cost.
In addition, people with lactose intolerance find Whey Isolate a good option, as several supplements are lactose-free.
What about blends? Are they better?
There are several supplements, such as the famous Whey Gold Standard from Optimum Nutrition, which combines Isolate, Concentrate, and even some Hydrolyzed Whey.
A Whey Isolate combined with a Concentrate will be better than a Concentrate alone if it is of good quality.
But a Whey Isolate supplement will always be better than a mixture of these two.
In the specific case of Optimum Nutrition’s Whey, it can be said to be an intermediate between Isolate and Concentrate, which is why it is difficult to justify its price.
Don’t forget to look at the label, as these types of supplements have a greater tendency to use added amino acids, such as Glycine, Taurine, or Creatine, which lowers the quality of the supplement.
Whey Concentrate is the best supplement in terms of quality/price, while Whey Isolate is the best supplement if we only look at the quality.
In terms of results, unless you are lactose intolerant or are in preparation for a competition, they will be similar, so Concentrate is the best option in most cases.
The biggest difference between them is really the price, and if money for you is not a problem, go for the Isolate.
Just don’t expect better results than your friend who chose the Concentrate at half of the price because of it.