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Protein Powders are undoubtedly one of the most popular ways to supplement and support your body composition goals. Whether you’re a beginner, experienced gym goer or an elite athlete, you’ve probably come across whey protein powder before, but do you know the difference between Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) and Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)? WPC and WPI are both whey proteins that have been processed differently, and each can help you achieve your goals. Let us help explain what WPI is and how it differs from WPC.
Whey protein isolate (WPI) is the industries go to for one of the most refined products in the range of dairy-based proteins. As the same suggests, the protein in a WPI isolate has been isolated to ensure each serve has the maximum amount of protein with the least amount of carbohydrates, fats, and additives, resulting in a protein that has high purity, is easily digested, and provides maximum recovery due to its high yield of BCAAs.
When whey is initially created through the cheese making process, it is formally referred to as a whey protein concentrate, which is less refined but arguably the healthiest dietary source of whey as it is in its most natural state, with a high dose of good bacteria and immunoglobulins. Following the production of whey protein concentrate, manufacturers utilise varying techniques of filtration, including the use of water or in some countries heat due to the regulations of pasteurised products, resulting in an isolated whey protein that is higher in naturally occurring branched chain amino acids, is lower in fat and carbs and contains only trace amounts of lactose.
As a result, WPI is the highest protein yielding whey powder on the market at around 90% protein per 100g, is traditionally the highest in naturally occurring amino acids and is generally tolerated well in the stomach of consumers, with very little gastric stress when compared to other protein sources.
Due to its refinement, WPI mixes very well in water but is generally less flavoursome and a little watery on the palate when compared to its milkier counterparts with higher fat and carbohydrates. However, if you are someone who suffers from general digestive issues, are looking for a protein source that is low in lactose or a protein supplement that provides you with the highest amount of naturally occurring recovery amino acids, WPI is the protein for you.
If you are looking for the best results, take your WPI protein powder within one hour after a workout as this is when protein synthesis is at its peak. Feeling hungry? Curb your appetite when you use a WPI protein shake or if you’re time poor, you can also use WPI supplements as an effective meal replacement.
Nutrition Warehouse offer a wide range of WPI protein powders with over 50 to choose from so you can pick the best supplement for your goals!
Is Whey Protein Concentrate better than Whey Protein Isolate?
WPC and WPI are both types of whey protein that contain the same amino acids but have been processed slightly differently. WPC has been through a filtration process once whereas WPI has been twice filtered to remove fat, carbs and lactose. WPI has a higher percentage of protein per serve and is generally considered lactose free, however those with extreme sensitivities or allergies to milk may experience a reaction.
Is Whey Protein Isolate gluten free?
Yes! WPI is gluten free which makes it an ideal supplement for people with celiac disease or those with gluten intolerances.
Can WPI help me lose weight?
Yes, supplementing with a WPI protein powder can help support you on your weight loss journey. WPI is a complete protein which means it has all the essential amino acids your body needs. As long as you’re in a calorie deficit, that is, you are eating less calories than you are using, a WPI protein shake can be a helpful product to reduce cravings, help keep you fuller for longer and curb your appetite. Most WPI protein powder supplements come in a range of delicious flavours so you can enjoy a sweet treat without harming your diet efforts.
Should I mix WPI with milk or water?
If you’re following a calorie restricted diet, mixing your WPI protein shake with water will help reduce the number of calories you’re consuming plus help build lean muscle mass for better results. If you’re looking to gain weight, add muscle and bulk up your frame, mix your WPI with milk for extra calories.
How much protein do I need to take?
Recent research has shown we need 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 80kgs, you will need 96-108g of protein per day. This general guide is for normal protein requirements and does not consider the protein needed for elite athletes or bodybuilders. It is important to note that protein requirements will change depending on age, physical activity, and lifestyle so you will need to adapt these as you go.
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