Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate - What to Take?
Whey Protein is the absolute champion among all supplements. Because of its high concentration and availability of protein, Whey Protein is used by athletes in every way: before and after training, just after waking, between meals, etc.
This enthusiasm is not without reason: Whey Protein is excellent as a source of protein, containing in all its forms low concentrations of fats and carbohydrates. This combination allows the supplement to be used to stimulate fat burning and muscle growth - that is, basically everything a person wants when they decide to go to the gym.
However, the evolution of Whey Protein has led to the multiplication of its types. Nowadays bodybuilders are always wondering if they should choose Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate. The myths about one and the other are extremely frequent, and understanding the real differences is critical to making the choice based on the most correct criteria.
Differences Between Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate
Whey Protein (of all types) is produced from the same source: milk. Different filtration processes remove water and most of the fats and carbohydrates, obtaining a product of high protein concentration. The differences between Whey Protein types are therefore differences in the filtering process - which may be simpler or more complex.
Whey Protein Concentrate is produced with a simple filtration process. Thus, its protein concentration is slightly lower than that of the other types of Whey Protein. In addition, in its composition it is possible to find more fats and carbohydrates besides the important lactose.
Isolated Whey Protein undergoes a longer, more elaborate filtration, so its protein concentration is higher. The other elements of milk are found in even smaller proportions, with negligible amounts of fats and carbohydrates. Lactose is virtually non-existent in Whey Protein Isolate.
The difference in concentration and levels of other components determines the fundamental difference: the ease of digestion. Isolated Whey Protein is digested much more easily, so the proteins present in this supplement are more readily absorbed than Whey Protein Concentrate.
Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate: What to Take?
Considering all the differences, choosing between Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate is a reasonably simple task. The important thing is to get away from myths and generalizing solutions. Many say that one of the types is extremely superior for some reason. The truth, however, is that each of them serves slightly different purposes, and in addition, each one fits the life of each person better.
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The choice can be made quickly by following four criteria: the composition of each supplement, the difference in the rate of absorption, in which stage of training the athlete is found and, finally, the significant difference between the costs.
Differences in composition between Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey Protein Isolate may offer quick criteria for choice. Firstly, people with lactose intolerance should opt for Whey Protein Isolate, although many of them may have no problems with the lactose levels of Whey Protein Concentrate.
In addition, protein concentration may be a criterion. For many athletes, it is clear that a higher concentration is a beneficial factor. More important though, is the increased presence of fats and carbohydrates in Whey Protein Concentrate: For a person who cares a lot about reducing body fat levels, or for someone who does not follow a balanced diet, Whey Protein Isolate is a much more reasonable option.
2. Absorption Rate
The concentration and purity of the Whey Protein Isolate determine its faster absorption. While the Whey Protein Concentrate takes up to 90 minutes to be fully absorbed, Whey Protein Isolate is generally fully assimilated within 60 minutes.
This data alone does not determine the choice of Whey Protein to be consumed: it should be borne in mind that faster absorption is desirable, for example, after heavy training. However, slower absorption is necessary if Whey Protein is consumed, for example, at breakfast or between meals.
Depending on your time of supplementation, one of the types will have clear advantages.
3. Training Phase
The training moment of a bodybuilder determines, in general, the composition of his food. Of course, it also determines the type of protein supplement it should consume.
In general, one can speak of two phases: the simple growth phase, and the definition phase.In the first, the athlete concentrates on simply growing. In the second, usually applied when competitions approach, the athlete focuses on losing fat to have a more defined body.
These phases can be applied to amateur bodybuilders, either as alternating moments or as a general orientation. One must consider what the goal is: simply to grow, or to get definition?
If the answer is growth first, Whey Protein Concentrate can perform very well. If the definition, however, is the most immediate wish, the Whey Protein Isolate is certainly better. But it is worth remembering that for the average consumer this does not apply.
All of these criteria, however, can be limited by one factor we can not escape: the high cost of supplements. Whey Protein Isolate is clearly more expensive than Whey Protein Concentrate, so for many people this will be the determining criterion: the supplement used in the end is the one we can buy.
At this point, perfection can not be attained. Even though the Whey Protein Isolate is clearly better for a particular person, it may be that she has no choice but to buy the Whey Protein Concentrate. In these cases, what needs to be done is to adapt training and nutrition to this need: fats and carbohydrates should be monitored more closely, and the best-equipped aerobic exercise to burn fat.
The Third Option: Whey Protein Hydrolyzed
You should not be stuck, however, only in the dilemma Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate. Isolate is not the most sophisticated form on the market. There is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, the filtration of which is even more intense and, in addition, undergoes a hydrolysis process in which the proteins are broken down into smaller components.
The result is an even purer protein supplement with virtually no fat or carbohydrate. In addition, the broken molecules are absorbed even faster, making Whey Protein Hydrolyzed an excellent post-workout supplement.
The cost, however, is extremely high compared to other types.
Is It Possible to Combine Different Types of Whey Protein?
Lastly, you do not have to choose just one type of Whey Protein. Although for many amateurs this is an unnecessary complication, it is possible to use a quick absorption Whey Protein (Isolate or Hydrolyzed) in the post-workout and leave Whey Protein Concentrate for general consumption throughout the day.
Anyway, the important thing is to know the supplements and know which of them are within reach of our possibilities. Having done so, adapting them to our needs and goals is not as complicated as it sounds.