We would all agree that whey protein is one of the most popular muscle building supplements in the world of fitness. It is well documented that higher protein intake helps muscle building, both through research and in real life.
Yes, getting enough protein to supplement muscle growth is possible through food alone, but it is very hard to accomplish. Taking a scoop of whey protein is much more convenient than boiling a chicken breast, isn't it?
So yes, for most lifters, taking whey protein is a good choice. But, that is only the first step, the next question arises: hydrowhey vs. whey vs. concentrated whey, which one is the best? When usually comes in these forms: blend, concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. Because blends are the least pure form, as they contain proteins from other sources and not only whey, and a higher concentration of calories from fats and carbs, we won't talk about them in this article.
But, we will talk about whey, telling you why it is a good option for you, and eventually comparing different kinds of it. Stay tuned to learn more about the protein world.
Whey Protein Concentrate
The concentrate is the most common whey protein. It is the first kind of powder protein obtained from processing of the original whey, and it is the least refined.
WPC used to be far too inferior when compared to other protein sources, as it only contained around 40% of protein, which was just not enough. All the rest were fats and carbs. However, the technology is much more advanced now, and today whey concentrate contains about 80% of protein! When you compare this to isolates, it is less, but when you take the price of WPC into consideration, it becomes the best buy. For the money you pay, you will get the most protein, and for most people, that is all they are looking for. And also, WPC has the best taste.
However, because it is the least refined, WPC contains the most fats, and of course, the most lactose. If you are lactose intolerant like most people in the USA, whey concentrate is not for you.
Also, if you are an advanced lifter in the "cutting" phase, or if you are looking to reduce weight, those extra calories WPC contains might hinder your progress.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
Whey Protein Hydrolysate is a supreme version of whey isolate, which is already more than pure enough. Hydrolysate doesn't contain any more protein than WPI, it is also around 95%. But, what makes it different is that it is pre-digested.
What that means is that through the process of hydrolization whey protein isolate becomes much easier to absorb. That will put it into the bloodstream much faster, and thus in your muscles.
However, that's all there is to it. This benefit only matters if you are a professional athlete and you need that protein in your muscles ASAP. For all the rest of us, getting hydrolysate is just not worth the money, since it is the most expensive form of protein, even more expensive than whey protein isolate.
That was our take on the world of whey protein. You now know why it is the go-to source of protein for every gym lover. Now, when it comes to which options is the best, it depends on what your goal is.
For most people, whey protein concentrate is the best choice. A good WPC has around 80% of the protein in the powder, tastes excellent and is the most budget-friendly option.
But, if for some reason you need to get the purest form, whey isolate is your best bet. It has that supreme purity, with almost 0 fat and carbs.
Whey hydrolysate is only suitable for pros, or those of you who have money to spare. Yes, it will end up in your bloodstream faster, but the difference is in minutes, not hours, so unless you absolutely need it, spend your money elsewhere.