There is a lot of marketing hype behind sports supplements and so it can sometimes be hard to work out what information we should take notice of and what to ignore. For years I was confused by marketing hype and ended up buying almost every form of protein powder out there. I have realized after many years of experimentation that you do not need to spend big money on a protein powder to get results and all brands are basically very similar. When it comes to whey protein it is easy to get confused with the hundreds of different products out there all claiming to be better than the rest. In this article I hope to show you the difference between whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.
Whey protein is a by product of cheese making and it has become a really popular supplement for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. In order to grow muscle and get stronger, bodybuilders need to consume a lot more protein than regular people and protein shakes provide a convenient way to get extra protein in your diet. While I do not recommend you rely to heavily on protein shakes, there is no denying their usefulness for busy athletes who don't always have time to prepare meals when out and about.
The main difference between whey protein isolate and concentrate is the purity of the powder itself. Isolate is more pure and contains 90-94% protein while concentrate will usually contain about 70-85% protein. Most people would therefore assume that isolate protein is much better than concentrate. The problem is that the isolate costs much more and has many important growth factors filtered out. When dealing with sports supplements, companies will try and baffle you with scientific studies and reasons why you should buy their product over any other. I have been using whey protein supplements for about 5 years now and I can tell you from experience that there is no real difference between these two proteins. The only time I would recommend paying the extra money for whey protein isolate would be if you were lactose intolerant because whey protein isolate has much less lactose than concentrate. If like most bodybuilders you consume a huge amount of protein each month then it is not really economically viable to purchase the more expensive isolate protein and it offers us very little benefit in terms of muscle growth.
In summary unless you are lactose intolerant do yourself and your wallet a favor by sticking to whey protein concentrate. At the end of the day protein is just protein and as long as you are getting enough from a wide variety of foods then you will continue to gain muscle. Whenever possible I would recommend buying your protein in bulk because you will save a small fortune. I live in the UK and generally buy all my protein in bulk from MyProtein.co.uk. They allow you to buy bulk sports supplements at substantial discounts. I have used them for a few years and they never let me down.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you will not feel pressured to spend a fortune on sports supplements. Any form of whey protein will help you build muscle and get stronger. Good luck.