Whey Isolate, also referred to as whey protein isolate, is a dietary supplement that is a complete protein source, which means it contains all amino acids needed in your daily diet, which is why people are buying whey isolate at an enormous rate. Whey protein isolate is produced by filtering milk and is a by-product of the cheese making process. It is highly bio-available, quickly absorbed, and contains a high amount of amino acids including branched chain amino acids and essential amino acids. Another important note is only when the protein content of whey is at least 90% or above is a whey protein considered to be a whey isolate. Because of this higher concentration and filtering processes, whey isolate is considered to be nearly lactose and cholesterol free.
There is an abundance of health benefits that whey isolates can offer which are listed below:
Can be used as a meal replacement in a weight loss regimen since it is low in calories, and virtually carbohydrate and fat free
Contains high levels of amino acids especially branched chain amino acids and leucine which is responsible for protein synthesis
Contains naturally occurring protein subtractions which have been shown to increase immunity
Has been shown to help control blood glucose levels and even help with people who have diabetes
When someone asks, what are the different types of whey protein isolate, what they should really be asking is what are the different types of isolation or filtration methods used since whey isolate is essentially a protein powder that contains a concentration of at least 90% whey protein regardless of how it got to that level. With that said, there are many different types of filtering and isolate processes such as ion-exchange, cross flow micro filtration, ultra filtration, micro filtration, nano filtration, reverse osmosis, dynamic membrane, radial flow chromatography, and the list goes on. The most common and spoken about are ion-exchange and cross flow micro filtration. Ion exchange produces a very high level of protein content while ridding virtually all fat and carbohydrates, however, this process may denature some of the natural occurring subtractions of whey protein in exchange for the highest protein per gram and least amount of carbohydrates and fat. Cross flow micro filtration on the other hand uses a cold processed method that retains the naturally occurring subtractions of whey protein and thus is considered undenatured whey protein isolate. Grass-Fed New Zealand Whey Isolate takes undenatured whey protein to another level by being sourced from natural grazing grass-fed cows that are hormone, antibiotic, GMO and pesticide free.
Isolate vs Concentrate
There are a few major characteristics that separate whey isolate from whey concentrate which can be seen below:
Whey isolate contains a higher concentration of protein per gram (90-97% whey isolate compared to 30-80% whey concentrate).
Whey concentrate has been processed less than whey isolate therefore leaving more of its naturally occurring protein subtractions intact. Although, this is a very important fact for immunity and increased growth factors, this may or may not play a major roll in replenishing and kick-starting protein synthesis which whey isolate effectively accomplishes.
Whey isolate is an ideal protein source post workout because 1) it is absorbed quicker than whey concentrate and is utilized by recovering muscles quicker, and 2) whey isolate produces an insulin response which helps the body transport nutrients to nutrient deprived areas of the body quicker to begin the recovery process sooner.
Whey protein isolate is virtually carbohydrate and fat free while whey concentrate contains higher levels of carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, if caloric intake for the day is a concern then whey isolate would be a better choice.
If you are sensitive to lactose than whey isolate may be a better choice as most of the allergenic substances have been filtered out.
Whey isolate contains higher levels of the amino acid leucine (up to 50% more than whey protein concentrate) and is said to be a highly anabolic source of protein and much more effective at igniting the "anabolic switch" than whey concentrate.
Whey isolate could be a great addition to any weight loss regimen as it can be used in part as a meal replacement or healthy alternative to a snack food. Using a protein shake in place of a meal can be a great way to reduce overall calories consumed for the day during a weight loss regimen.
Whey protein isolate is shown to be safe for most adults when use appropriately with their diet. However, if large amounts are consumed side effects such as nausea, thirst, bloating, increased bowel movements, cramps, tiredness, reduced appetite, and headache may arise.
Luckily, there are no immediate dangers associated with consuming whey isolate, however, special precaution should be taken for pregnant and/or breast feeding women. Please contact your doctor before ordering whey isolate and consuming.