One of the two main components of milk - whey - is made from the liquid part of milk, which is separated from the cottage cheese (the second main component) in the process of cheese production. Whey contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Because of its amino acid saturation and easy digestibility, whey is arguably the most popular sports nutritional supplement. Whey protein, as shown by scientific studies, is necessary to accelerate protein synthesis in muscles, for stable burning of adipose tissue and to strengthen the immune system. Also, serum improves insulin sensitivity and markedly reduces appetite. In addition, whey protein concentrate accelerates the production of glutathione - the antioxidant No. 1 of our organisms.
Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate
Whey protein exists in three main forms: isolate, concentrate and hydrolyzate (isolate after additional processing). This article highlights the differences between whey protein concentrate and isolate. Both forms contain whey protein, but the isolate is formed from whey concentrate passed through further processing. It is she who makes the final product as saturated protein as possible, unlike whey concentrate. This treatment gives us a product that is significantly different from whey concentrate.
How is whey protein made?
The liquid part of milk under pressure is passed through special filters, forming whey protein. The resulting substance is dried and forms a whey protein concentrate. The concentrate contains fats and carbohydrates in different volumes in the form of lactose. The amount of protein in lactose is from 30% to 80%. Among these proteins, there are many proteins with subfractions - they are biologically active and healthy. They are called peptides. These peptides must remain in their native, undenatured form (this is exactly the form that exists in nature). Only in this way does he show his useful properties.
Why is the difference between concentrate and whey isolate so important?
Since whey concentrate is subjected to further processing and purification into whey protein isolate, the internal protein structures may deteriorate and lose their biological activity. It is worth paying attention to the fact that during protein denaturation, the composition of amino acids will not change, and, accordingly, there will be no negative effect but muscle growth will not be observed. All proteins during digestion are split into small protein chains and individual amino acids (denatured). Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether this process occurs in the intestines or in the plant - the muscles do not care how the proteins enter your body and where they break down.
However, since denaturation can affect the biological activity of certain peptides, a serum concentrate, theoretically, has a health advantage as opposed to an isolate. Serum isolate contains significant amounts of biologically active peptides. During the purification process, the isolate passes through ion exchange, while the production of the concentrate essentially eliminates all biologically active compounds. Microfiltration methods, such as Cross Flow Micro filtering, are more expensive, but it is they that deprive the isolate of valuable biologically active peptides. Hydrolyzed whey isolate is a product that is already broken down into small peptides that are rapidly absorbed into the blood. But then again, this additional treatment sacrifices health-promoting biological substances.
So what type of whey protein to choose?
When choosing the type of whey protein, you should take a closer look at your goals, budget, and medical indicators (for example, any allergies). Since whey concentrates contain a significant amount of lactose, they are definitely not suitable for those who cannot tolerate it from birth. Purified isolates are more expensive and contain a minimal amount of healthy compounds, unlike concentrates. At the same time, the protein content in them is much more concentrated. This is important for those who limit themselves in calories and want to saturate themselves with protein, being on a strict diet. The isolate is much faster absorbed than the concentrate, increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, it automatically becomes the ideal post-workout product. Whether an increase in the absorption rate leads to any real anabolic advantage is a moot point, but the fact that speedy absorption sacrifices biologically active substances does not make sense.
My recommendation: If you want to supplement your diet with protein that will help improve your health, maintain muscle mass and you are not lactose intolerant, use a whey protein concentrate that contains 80% protein. If you need a source of protein that is quickly absorbed by the body, for example, immediately after a workout, try whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed whey protein. It will be a little more expensive, but you will win at the rate of assimilation and amino acids will get into the bloodstream faster.
Hope this helps you find the right type of serum for you and your goals.