Whey Protein Isolate Vs. Whey Protein Concentrate: Similarities And Differences

When it comes to protein supplements, two of the most famous names are whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrate. While they both have a considerate amount of protein and similar benefits, the supplements have a few fundamental differences. 

So if you are thinking of including whey isolates protein or concentrate in your diet but would like a comprehensive comparison between the two, you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with a basic definition of the two supplements, their similarities, and their differences. Continue reading to know more.

What Is Whey Protein Isolate? 

The protein found in protein powders, drinks, and bars is derived from milk, when processed to form yogurt or cheese, leaves a residual liquid known as whey. This whey is commonly known as whey protein as it contains fast-digesting proteins. 

Similarly, whey protein isolate is derived from this whey protein liquid.

Whey protein isolate is processed from whey protein in such a way that it brings out its lean, pure protein contents. This vegetarian protein goes through a processing procedure known as “Cross-Flow Microfiltration” which separates the fat and carbohydrates from the protein, making it a pure protein supplement with almost 90% protein content. Thus, it contains much fewer calories, lactose, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and fat than other protein supplements. 

Whey isolate protein is readily available in the market. You can find them in the form of protein powders in your nearby supplement stores or even on online healthcare and supplement shops.

Whey isolate protein powder is often recommended for lactose intolerant individuals and athletes looking for the purest protein supplements in their diet. However, due to the intense processing procedure, it goes through, whey isolate is more expensive than most protein supplements. 

What Is Whey Protein Concentrate?

Whey protein concentrate is also derived from the whey mentioned above in the liquid. This concentrate is regarded as one of the most popular and most economical forms of protein supplement. They undergo fewer processing procedures than whey isolate proteins; they have higher fat, carbohydrate, and cholesterol content with about 80% protein. While this amount is no less significant, it can be a red flag for those looking for the purest protein supplements.

Whey protein concentrate also goes through a micro filtering process to retain as many amino acids as possible. This is because amino acids are incredibly beneficial for one’s body as they help reduce excess muscle breakdown allowing in the growth of muscle mass and strength. 

Now that we have a clear understanding of these two protein supplements, let us look at their similarities.

Whey Protein Isolate Vs. Whey Protein Concentrate: Similarities

The first most obvious similarity is that whey isolate protein powder and whey concentrate protein powder are derived from the same whey liquid. The whey liquid undergoes different processing methods to produce these protein supplements. 

Taking both these protein supplements leads to improved lean muscle strength and mass. They also help reduce muscle recovery time, muscle repair, and reduction in muscle breakdown, which is necessary for those who follow intense workout or exercise routines. They both have high protein content and include essential amino acids that aid in the functions mentioned above. 

These protein supplements are excellent protein sources, especially for those looking for a more minor lactose content protein supplement. Whey isolate protein contains 90% protein content while whey concentrate contains 80%, which is significantly higher than other protein supplements in the market. Due to their high protein content, they have lesser carbohydrates and thus lesser lactose content.

Both these protein isolates have high protein content. Thus, if you have a well-balanced diet and wish to add a little more protein content to it, you can choose any of these supplements. Their high-quality protein is almost as good as protein-rich food sources like poultry, eggs, and dairy. 

However, this is where their similarities end. Let us look at the differences between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. 

Whey Protein Isolate And Whey Protein Concentrate: Differences

The main differences between whey isolates protein and whey concentrate form due to different processing methods. When this liquid whey is produced from yogurt or cheese, it goes through several processing procedures to increase the protein content.

After the desired protein content is achieved from whey liquid, it is dried to produce whey concentrate powder containing almost 80% protein by weight. The other 20% is fats and carbohydrates.

On the other hand,  due to different processing procedures, whey isolates protein is formed by reducing fat and carbohydrate and retaining almost 90% protein by weight.

Overall Price:

Again, another difference between them is the price. Whey concentrate is made with the help of cheaper processing procedures and has lower protein content while the processing procedure of whey isolate is more expensive and has higher protein content. This leads to a considerable price difference between the two products making whey isolate the more expensive protein supplement. However, one can consume whey concentrate in a higher amount to gain the same amount of protein at a cheaper cost. 

Lacoste and Carbohydrate Content: 

There is also a difference in lactose and carbohydrate content. Whey concentrate has higher carbohydrate content and thus higher lactose content. On the other hand, whey isolates have lower carbohydrate content and lower lactose content. Therefore whey isolate is more suited for those lactose intolerant individuals looking for a good protein supplement.


Thus we can conclude that both whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate are beneficial in their way. While isolates are a little more expensive, they have higher protein content. On the other hand, concentrates can provide the exact content in a larger quantity in a cheaper price range. 

So, in the end, it comes down to personal preference. We hope this article helped clear any doubts or questions you had regarding these two components, helping you choose between the two.