Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Stumbleupon button

Whey Isolate or Concentrate?

There is some debate as to which is the best source of whey protein.  There has been those who have said that Isolate is the best form due to the high concentration of protein per scoop, others say that it is too highly processed.  That leaves concentrate as being a better source…or does it?  I am constantly on the lookout for new info so I wanted to share an article that Carl Daikeler posted on his blog a couple weeks ago talking about the difference between whey protein Isolate and concentrate.  It contains some interesting info and some myths regarding whey  protein isolate that I wanted to make sure that everyone knew.  Here is the article….


We Go Both Wheys…

by Carl Daikeler

Recently, we’ve received some questions about what constitutes a good source of protein and what is suspect.

In fact we’ve seen some leading opinion makers start to criticize whey protein isolate -  apparently to justify their own line of protein products. The arguments regarding whey protein isolate vs. whey protein concentrate which I have read are usually one-dimensional and fail to paint a complete picture of the benefits found in both types of whey protein.

On behalf of Beachbody’s formulation and scientific experts, I’ve asked our team to dispel the myths about whey and clear up some of the confusion. Below, we describe why we feel whey protein isolate is appropriate if not more favorable than other dairy-sources of protein, and by far more desirable than soy – even for my vegan wife and Shakeology co-formulator, Isabelle.

Myth #1: Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional co-factors.

Whey protein isolate is the most pure and concentrated form of whey protein available. It contains 90% or more protein and very little (if any) fat and lactose. While it is possible that some nutritional co-factors found in whey protein concentrate are not found in isolates, consider that the synthesis of whey protein isolate with the over 70 organic compounds and super foods in our Shakeology product provide a comprehensive and bio-available spectrum of nutrients for the human body. Whey protein isolate is also an exceptional choice for individuals with lactose intolerance or who experience bloating and other problems associated with whey protein concentrate.  Whey concentrate is the better choice for supplements which have a more targeted focus (such as muscle recovery) versus total nutrition. A high quality whey protein concentrate is used in Beachbody’s P90X Results and Recovery and Whey Protein Powder products.


Myth #2- Whey protein isolates are exposed to acid processing.

Isolates can be processed a number of ways. Processing whey protein to remove the lactose, fats, and cholesterol while not losing its biological activity takes special care by the manufacturer. We have gone to great lengths to make sure that the whey protein isolate in Shakeology is purified using a technique called ion-exchange where protein is separated through its specific electrical charge. No acid is used in this process. The Shakeology whey isolate is extracted using a cold-processing method, avoiding high heat, leaving it 90% protein and virtually fat and lactose-free. Great care is taken not to ‘denature’ the protein in Shakeology. That’s why we call it “nature in a bag.” We mean it.


Myth #3: Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form.

There is no credible science to support this assertion. Whey protein is a very high quality complete protein with rich amounts of all the essential amino acids. Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein, which is why it is absorbed efficiently into the body.

Isabelle is a great example of someone who cannot ingest Whey Concentrate on a regular basis because she is allergic to dairy (protein & all). She suffered from intense bloating, gas and nausea.

The enzymes and vitamins present in the fat and environment of whey concentrate do not seem to enhance her ability to process it, and that’s even with extra enzymes taken with the meal for good measure. Still no luck.

She has used whey protein isolate in her diet on a regular basis, through Shakeology for years now, and she has not only had no adverse reaction, but the whey isolate has satisfied her protein requirements in an otherwise complete vegan lifestyle.


Myth #4: Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids.

Not true. Protein is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids, which are the “building blocks” for healthy bodies. The body is able to make non-essential amino acids from other amino acids in the body. However, the body is not able to make essential amino acids and the only way to get them is by eating high quality protein foods. Protein sources that contain all of the essential amino acids are called “complete proteins”.

Good news: The whey used in Shakeology is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids exclusively in the more natural L-form (not D-form). Additionally, all of the 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) including Leucine are present in Shakeology at high levels.

Finally, we all need to understand that the human body is exceptionally complex and always changing. What your body needed today it may not need in ten years. What it reacted to ten years ago it may crave today. And every one is different.

We don’t expect Shakeology to be the answer for everyone, and we are always working on ways we can complement the line of healthy options (and flavors, yes… it’s true.)

Every ingredient in Shakeology has been selected carefully to create a nutritional “symphony” of ingredients working together for maximum biological value. We would never include “putrid proteins” or chemical additives in a product we stand behind as “the healthiest meal of the day.”

All Beachbody nutrition products are 3rd party tested to ensure they are free of rancidity, toxins, hormones and all of the other things most people fear from dairy products. When sorting through the endless amounts of nutritional advice found in the Internet, consider the source, and above all else, look to your own body’s response for a clue to the truth. Be wary of individuals or companies offering alarmist nutritional advice while at the same time hocking their own products. (And when someone says their shake is as good as Shakeology, ask them to prove it with an unconditional money back guarantee.)

Oh snap! No he didn’t! (Yes, we did.)



What’s your take on Whey Isolate or Concentrate?  Do you have a preference?