Whey Protein Isolate - What It Is Used For And How To Take It

Whey Protein Isolate - What It Is Used For And How To Take It / Supplements

Among the numerous protein supplements on the market, isolated whey protein can be considered one of the best. Obtained from milk, isolated whey protein has a high concentration of proteins of high biological value, that is, those that are best utilized by the muscles and promote increase of lean mass.

And since it has virtually no fat and carbohydrate, the supplement is still a great option for those who need to lose weight but do not want to lose muscle mass.

What is Whey Protein Isolate?

Whey protein isolate is a supplement obtained from whey, differentiated by the high concentration of proteins of high biological value - at least 90% per serving - and by the absence of fat and carbohydrates in its formulation.

It is also known as a complete protein because it contains all the amino acids that the body needs for its daily functions and also to regenerate muscle tissue.

Isolated whey is still a source of BCAAs, the branched-chain amino acids that enhance post-workout recovery and stimulate protein synthesis.

Different types of whey

Milk is made up of two proteins, one of which is whey protein (the other is casein, which makes up about 80% of all milk proteins and is characterized by slow digestion).

During the cheese making process, the whey is filtered and separated from the casein (the part that coagulates and forms the cheese itself). This remaining serum undergoes a process to remove all the other non-whey proteins, and through a series of filtrations you get what we call whey protein.

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Although it contains no more casein, this whey still contains fats and carbohydrates. This type of product is called whey concentrate.

It is the most common whey and also the cheapest among the three main types of whey, and is characterized by the lower protein concentration (70-80%) and a high lactose content.

- Isolated

Through other processing steps, lactose, fat and other non-protein components are eliminated from whey, and the end product is known as whey protein alone.

It is a great product for those who are looking for more protein and a faster absorption than whey concentrate, but do not want to spend so much on hydrolyzed whey.

- Hydrolyzed

We can say that hydrolyzed whey is a type of pre-digested whey that has gone through a process that makes the absorption of milk protein even faster and more efficient.

It is the most expensive whey on the market and can be used by those who have difficulty digesting proteins or need amino acids almost immediately in the circulation.

Advantages of whey protein isolated from concentrate 

As the hydrolyzed whey is little used and its value is too high to be consumed regularly, let's compare the two types of whey most consumed today.

- Muscle definition

Whey protein isolate is a great alternative for those looking for muscle definition while reducing body fat rates.

Concentrated whey, on the other hand, contains carbohydrates and fat, which can make it difficult to reduce weight and control weight, depending on the person's diet.

- Absence of lactose

Those who are lactose intolerant or are trying to lower their milk sugar intake also find whey protein alone a way to consume high-value protein without having to suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort.

As we have already seen, whey concentrate still contains a high lactose content, which can cause from gas to severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

- High protein content of fast absorption

When compared to whey concentrate, the isolate has the advantage of having a much higher concentration of proteins and being of fast absorption, ideal for very intense training.

While a concentrated whey scoop provides on average 23 g of protein per serving of 33 g, that dose is 24 grams per 28 g portion in whey alone.

- Weight Loss

Finally, isolated whey protein is a good choice for those who are dieting and need to restrict the consumption of carbohydrates and fats. Concentrated whey, on the other hand, has a higher concentration of carbohydrates and lipids.

The 100% Whey Optimum Gold Standard, for example, which has been considered one of the best whey in the world for some time, contains 3 g of carbohydrates per serving (30g).

For those who consume two whey shakes a day, that means 6 grams of extra carbohydrate in the diet - which is not exactly too much, but may hinder entry into ketosis for anyone who really wants to do a low carb diet.


The disadvantages of whey protein alone are due to the taste (which tends to be milder precisely because of the absence of fatty acids and sugar) and the price, which as we will see later is greater than 0 of whey concentrate.

What is Whey Isolate for? 

In a simplified way, we can say that isolated whey serves to nourish the muscle cells that were injured during training, facilitating lean mass gain. The amino acids of whey isolate also serve to maintain existing muscle tissue, counteracting the negative effects of catabolism.

When absorbed in the intestine, whey is readily available in the bloodstream, and from there it goes into the muscle tissue where, with the aid of glucose, it enters the cells and stimulates the synthesis of new proteins.

The high concentration of proteins of high biological value and their rapid absorption guarantee an excellent use of the amino acids of whey protein isolated by the muscular fibers. This means that its cost benefit is very good since you will really be taking advantage of all the amino acids provided by the supplement.

Benefits of Whey Protein Isolate

Check out some of the properties of whey protein alone:

  • Increases protein synthesis;
  • Stimulates the burning of fats;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) levels;
  • Improves insulin sensitivity;
  • Increase satiety;
  • Decreases the effects of cortisol (a hormone that can cause catabolism);
  • Stimulates the production of glutathione (a powerful antioxidant).

Recent research suggests that whey protein helps prevent some types of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Whey Protein Isolate for Weight Loss

Not all who take whey alone are looking for muscular hypertrophy; many people use whey as a dietary support for weight loss. If you're in this group, you've probably wondered if whey protein alone actually helps you lose weight.

The answer is yes, because unlike whey concentrate, the isolate does not contain fats and carbohydrates, which makes it easier to control the calories in the diet. In addition, the proteins bring more satiety, which will keep the hunger away for longer.

Isolated whey does not cause large variations in blood sugar rates. This translates into a lower action of insulin, a hormone that can stimulate appetite, reduce metabolism and facilitate the storage of fat in the abdominal region.

Just not worth eating everything and add whey to the diet expecting to lose weight by table. As the name says, whey protein alone is a supplement, and should be consumed in combination with a balanced diet and exercise.

How to Take Whey Protein Isolate?

The price of whey isolated does not justify its use several times a day, such as before bed and when waking up. For those who want to get all the benefits of whey protein alone without having to spend a lot, the best time to take it is soon after the workout.

That's because this is exactly the time when you most need a high concentration of amino acids in the bloodstream as your muscles are waiting for nutrients to begin the long and time-consuming process of rebuilding and growth.

Studies indicate that there may be benefits in whey protein consumption isolated with casein in post workout, but leaving milk aside and opting for water may be a good option to ensure faster absorption of amino acids.

So the best way to take the whey protein isolated in post workout is with water or a simple carbohydrate source, such as a fruit juice. Nothing prevents you from using it at other times of the day, such as before training or supplementing your daily protein intake.

Side effects

Isolated whey protein does not usually cause more serious side effects in people who exercise and use the supplement properly.

Excessive protein intake can, however, overload kidney and liver function in people who already have a history of kidney and liver problems.


Isolated whey protein is more expensive than whey concentrate because of its high protein concentration. The price of an isolated whey compared to a concentrated whey of the same brand can be up to 75% higher. So you need to assess whether this price makes more sense to you.

Where to buy

You can find whey protein alone at sports supplement stores or on specialized internet sites.

Have you tried taking the whey protein alone, or do you feel like replacing the concentrate with it for better results? Comment below!