I got a message in my inbox from someone asking which one is better to take: whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate. During off-season mode, I take whey protein concentrate for post-workout supplementation and when on season prep, I take whey isolates (mainly due to caloric differences). First let’s talk about why we need protein. Check out the quick video below where Coach TonyMac and I talk about the importance of protein.
Pretty straightforward right? OK let’s get down to it then.
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese production; it’s a milk protein. Whey has the highest PDCAA score (protein digestibility corrected amino acid)–it’s the measure of how well a protein is digested and how well it is able to supply the amino acids needed. It’s a complete protein that contains all essential amino acids. In fact, whey contains more BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) than any other source of protein. It also has more leucine than other types of protein. Leucine plays an important role in protein synthesis and stimulates fatty acid oxidation.
The concentrated form of it contains some fat and lactose and about 70-85% protein (depending on the product), while the isolates contain minimal fat, cholesterol, and lactose. Whey protein isolates are a ‘purer’ form containing 90-98%, giving you the highest yield of protein. Because it’s purer, it costs more. But both of them are effective, with practically negligible differences in terms of muscle gains. So if you’re not too iffy or strict about it, you can use either of the two.
Whey protein is also quite good at helping satiate cravings and hunger because whey is a milk protein, and milk proteins contain glycomacropeptides which stimulate CCK or cholecystokinin. CCK is a hormone that is released (after eating a meal) in the intestine to signal satiety.
Next time we’ll talk about the difference between Whey and Casein Proteins.
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