Understanding the different protein types will help you make an informed decision for your specific goals. Before we dive into the comparisons, let’s discuss a few technical terms for background knowledge.
Whey protein is a protein source derived from milk, to be more specific, from the fluid part of coagulated milk. Milk usually consists of +/- 20% whey protein (fast-digesting) and 80% casein (slow-digesting). Casein and whey are high-quality proteins containing all the essential amino acids. However, this type of protein is widely considered beneficial for its ability to increase the production of new proteins in muscle.
Whey protein isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate undergo different processes, which result in different nutritional values for each form.
The by-product of cheese and yoghurt manufacturing is collected by microfiltration and undergoes processing to increase the protein content. When satisfactory levels of protein have been achieved, the liquid is dried, and the protein concentrate powder consisting of about 20% fats and carbohydrates and 80% protein by weight remains. Concentrate can be processed further to create isolate.
Whey isolate is produced when different processing steps are used to further reduce the fat and carbohydrate content of the protein and can yield a result that is 90% higher in protein by weight. This is called ultrafiltration. This process “isolates” the whey protein – hence the name isolate. Isolate can be processed a step further to create hydrolysate.
The amino acid profile in both isolate and concentrate is almost identical since they are made from the same protein. However, the main difference is that the processes that isolate further undergo make it higher in protein and lower in fat and carbohydrates per serving.
This is created when isolate is exposed to enzymes that break down the bonds holding amino acids together. Hydrolysate protein gets broken down to such an extent that it can almost be described as pre-digested. This protein gets broken down much quicker and can be delivered to muscles rapidly. Hydrolysate is the fastest and most effective absorbing source of protein – but it is expensive to produce. It is also the most suitable protein for those with allergies and digestive issues.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the supply chain in a way we have not experienced before. There are shortages of packaging, ingredients, truck drivers, boats, etc., all of which impact the price of the final product that you buy. In the world of protein, it is becoming more difficult for manufacturers to find dairy-based protein to produce your favourite whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate. It is also hard to find tubs and lids, and even when they do find these products, they cost more to ship in today’s world than in life before the pandemic.”
The excerpt comes from the blog that can be found here: The why and when of protein price increases
While some of USN’s core offerings like the Bluelab™ 100% Whey, Zero Carb IsoPro, and IsoZero Whey have fallen under the severe price increases, USN has opted to create a more affordable premium protein called Hydrotech™ Whey. This is a blend of whey protein concentrate and wheat protein concentrate, and hydrolysate. This uniquely positions the product to have a staged released protein while still offering all the traditional benefits of a lean muscle gainer. Adding wheat protein allows USN to offer an effective gainer at an affordable price, seeing that the rise in costs is mainly on dairy-based proteins. Hydrotech™ Whey was specifically created with the consumer in mind and still contains all the top-quality raw ingredients expected from an international brand while keeping the price affordable.
Read more about Hydrotech™ Whey and its benefits here: