A popular health and fitness supplement, whey protein can help with muscle building, muscle growth, and fat loss when taken alongside regular strength and resistance training. But what is whey protein isolate, and why should you take it?
What Is Whey Protein Isolate?
There are two types of protein in milk: casein and whey. Whey protein makes up around 20% of the protein content found in milk, and it’s quickly digested by the body.
Whey protein isolate is a specific form of whey protein. It’s around 90% protein, and it has a lower fat and carbohydrate content than regular whey. It still contains most of the essential amino acids you need from protein to maintain and grow muscle.
Types of Whey Protein
There are three main types of whey protein. There are some nutritional variations between them due to the differences in how they’re processed.
- Whey protein concentrate: Whey protein concentrate has a protein concentration of up to 90%, and it contains less fat and lactose than milk.
- Whey protein isolate: Whey protein isolate contains even less fat, lactose, and carbohydrates than whey protein concentrate.
- Whey protein hydrolysate: This protein concentrate contains pre-digested whey, which means it’s absorbed even faster by the body than other whey protein powders
Since whey protein isolate contains proteins isolated from other nutrients, it’s one of the purest whey protein supplements available.
Benefits of Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate has many health benefits. Most importantly, it contains all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and muscle building, and it can increase satiety which promotes fat loss. Whey protein isolate can even lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and it contains fewer calories than regular whey protein concentrate. And, since it’s not always easy to get the right amount of protein per day, whey protein supplements help you meet your daily protein targets.
When Should I Take Whey Protein Isolate?
Since whey protein isolate is fast-digesting, take it roughly 30 minutes post-workout for maximum health benefits and muscle growth. Take it alongside branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) supplements for even greater health benefits.
Effects on Muscle Mass and Strength
Protein contains the essential amino acids that are the building blocks of muscle. After resistance training, muscles use protein to repair themselves and grow stronger through a process called muscle protein synthesis. Whey protein isolate helps ensure you’re getting a sufficient amount of protein for muscle building while minimising the calories you consume from fat and carbohydrates.