Whey protein

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What is whey protein

Whey protein, known as whey protein, is derived from cow's milk and is one of the best‑selling sports nutrition supplements. However, their use goes far beyond sports. In fact, as a high‑quality source of protein, even the average non‑sporting person can use it to increase their daily protein intake.

Types of whey protein

Depending on the production process, it is possible to encounter several types of whey proteins, which differ in the proportion of proteins, carbohydrates (lactose) and fats:

  • Whey concentrate Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is produced by cross‑flow microfiltration (CFM) and usually contains 70‑80 % protein. It contains a higher amount of fat and lactose, which on the other hand gives it a better taste. Combined with a favourable price, concentrates are the number 1 choice for the vast majority of users to achieve the desired results.
  • Whey isolate (WPI - Whey protein isolate) is also created by a cross‑flow microfiltration process and contains 85‑9 5% protein. It is also suitable for lactose intolerant people, but with higher protein content comes a higher price.
  • Whey hydrolysate Whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) is produced by hydrolysis of concentrate or isolate (or a combination of the two), which is reflected in the final protein content of 70‑95 %. Hydrolysate is the fastest supply of amino acids to muscle tissues, but the disadvantage is its high price and inferior taste. However, the use of this type of product is only necessary in specific cases.

The basic differences between the different types can be compared in the table below:

Type of proteinRate of digestibilityMost common protein contentFat contentCarbohydrate content
Concentrate8‑10 g/h70‑80 %4‑10 g4‑8 g
Isolate8‑10 g/h85‑95 %1‑2 g1‑2 g
Hydrolysatemore than 10 g/h70‑95 %1‑10 g1‑8 g

Why take whey protein

Whey protein is considered the highest quality and most valuable protein, compared to other animal and vegetable sources. The benefits of taking whey protein include:

  • fast and trouble‑free digestion,
  • suitable for muscle gain and weight loss,
  • maximizes recovery and strength,
  • natural BCAA intake,
  • suitable for protein replenishment during the day, but also around training,
  • also suitable for non‑athletes
  • can be used as a cooking and baking ingredient.

In case of lactose intolerance, it is necessary to follow your own sensitivity when using whey protein. Some individuals can handle concentrate, but isolate is usually a better choice. Whey proteins are unfortunately not suitable for people with cow's milk protein allergy, the only exception being extensive hydrolysates - however, in this case, unconditional consultation with the treating physician is necessary (sometimes preparations containing the amino acids themselves are also appropriate). Other alternatives include vegan proteins.