What Is The Difference Between Protein Isolate Versus Concentrate

If you are a workout enthusiast, you probably have an idea about the importance of protein in the human body. However, do you know what the macronutrient does in the body? Protein is a useful part of recovery and also improves bone health in the body.

Protein majorly comes from food sources such as beef butcher, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, and dairy. However, it can also come from quality protein powder which delivers it in good quality and concentrated form. Whey protein, for instance, is held in high regard as it contains all the amino acids needed by the body to stimulate muscle gain and aid in recovery.

It is important to understand what whey is and how it differs from other types of proteins, especially its concentrate. Read on to find more about whey protein isolate vs concentrate in the section below.

What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is extracted from milk and is a byproduct involved in cheese and yogurt making. Enzymes added to milk separate curds from the liquid and the remaining product is referred to as whey.

Initially, the liquid was regarded as waste, but after some time, supplement makers realized it could be a useful, high-quality protein. Since whey production involves various processes, it comes in different variations. It is primarily offered as protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference and know what to look for when purchasing supplements.

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

Whey protein isolate and protein concentrate differ mainly through their protein content. The protein isolate is described as an extremely filtered form of whey. Since whey protein has minute levels of lactose, when filtered, it remains with little to no lactose. What’s more, whey isolate is low in fats, cholesterol, calories, and carbohydrates. This makes it ideal for people who have acute lactose intolerance and looking to build their muscles while shedding fat. Good quality whey usually contains at least 90% protein.

Whey protein concentrate, on the other hand, is a common form that contains high amounts of active ingredients with nutritious benefits found in milk. Unlike the protein isolate, this type includes a higher percentage of lactose but with low amounts of fats and carbohydrates. Whey protein concentrate also varies in protein content ranging between 25-80% of protein weight.

The difference between isolate and concentrate is in the nutritional value and is caused by processing methods. After obtaining liquid whey, it undergoes numerous processing stages to raise its protein content to form a protein isolate. Protein concentrate forms by drying liquid whey containing about 80% protein weight. Carbohydrates and fats take the remaining 20 percent.

Generally, the processing steps in the production of protein isolate are responsible for the higher protein levels and lower carbohydrate and fat content. However, the amino acids in both the isolate and concentrate are almost equal because they are obtained from the same proteins.

Benefits of whey Isolate and Concentrate

Both whey protein isolate and concentrate have similar benefits. Consuming the supplements improves lean mass and strength. However, the concentrates are the cheaper sources of protein supplements but do not contain pure protein compared to protein isolate.

Whey protein isolate costs more due to the higher protein-to-calorie ratio. It is also because the isolate contains fewer levels of fat, sugar, and carbs and is easier to digest due to the minute levels of lactose.


Both protein isolate and concentrate provide nutritional benefits to our bodies. However, whey is purer with a higher protein percentage compared to concentrate. Since isolate contains so little lactose, it is an ideal option for individuals sensitive to lactose. Protein concentrate is ideal for people looking for a tasty and flavorful form of protein.


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