What Is Whey Protein?
So, you’re looking to supplement your protein intake, but where do you start? With so many protein choices out there, such as whey, casein, soy, pea, and even hemp protein, how do you go about finding the best source for you?
Let’s focus on the first choice - whey protein. As one of the most popular proteins found in powders and supplements today, what exactly is whey protein and what does it do?
What Is Whey Protein?
To figure out what whey protein is, let’s first look at how it’s made. When cheese is produced from milk, the fatty parts of the milk cling together and leave a liquid layer behind. This watery mixture is called whey.
Whey is then processed, filtered and turned into a powder that we know as whey protein. Whey protein powder is full of amino acids and nutrients that are easily digested by the body. Studies show that not only is whey an excellent source of protein, but it can also increase strength gain, muscle mass and help body shed fat.
3 Types of Whey Protein
But not all whey’s are created equal. In fact, there are 3 different types of whey protein, each of which have their own unique characteristics. They are whey concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate. The major difference is how each type of whey is processed and how much protein each contains.
Whey concentrate is the purest form of whey. It’s the initial byproduct of the whey that’s filtered-down after cheese production. Whey protein concentrate typically has the least amount of protein compared to other forms of whey - about 70% - 80%. It also contains small amounts of lactose, which has added nutrients that are beneficial for the immune and cardiovascular systems. However, lactose also contains fats and sugars, making it a not-so-ideal choice for those looking to monitor sugar intake or manage weight gain.
The next form of whey protein, known as whey isolate, is even more filtered-down than whey concentrate. As a result, whey isolate contains virtually no fat or sugar, and is made up of about 90% pure protein. But since most of the lactose has been removed, so have the added nutrients found in the fats. So while whey isolate is the better option for those looking for a low sugar or low calorie protein option, it is less nutritionally beneficial than whey concentrate.
The final form of whey is whey protein hydrolysate. As you guessed, whey hydrolysate is made when whey isolate is processed and refined even further. During the processing phase, the whey is subjected to heat, acid and enzymes that work to destabilize the bonds that hold together the amino acids. The final result is a hydrolysate that is able to be more-rapidly absorbed by the body than any other form of whey protein. Whey hydrolysate also contains the highest amount of protein among the three forms of whey.
At BuzzFit, we use whey protein hydrolysate in all of our protein coffee formulas. Whey hydrolysate provides muscle-friendly proteins to the body more quickly than other types of protein, making it perfect for those looking to maintain an active lifestyle.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for a healthy protein supplement to help meet your intake requirements, any form of whey protein is a great choice. There are lots of ways to incorporate more protein into your daily routine, like switching to BuzzFit Coffee + Protein. One cup has 10g of whey hydrolysate, 100mg of caffeine and 0 added sugars!
Try a sample pack today to find your new favorite flavor.
*Always consult with a doctor or primary physician first before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.