The Different Types of Whey

The Different Types of Whey

Whey protein is categorized into three primary types: isolate, hydrolysate and concentrate. Here is a quick outline of each type of whey protein and how useful it can be during weight loss.

Whey Protein Concentrate

WPC is the cheapest form of whey protein available on the market. It is highly concentrated and primarily contains a greater percentage of proteins. However, the quality of protein varies to a greater extent. Lower end concentrates contain about 29% protein while higher end concentrates can contain as high as 89%. Such percentages may appear as (WPC29 or WPC89) to indicate the level of concentration.

Low end WPC are commonly used for food products such as in baking, prepackaged stuff, prepared foods and many more. On the contrary, higher end proteins are typically useful in the manufacture of protein shakes within the nutrition industry.

WPC is the cheapest and easiest type of whey to flavor. It is the least researched among its counterparts and is considered less beneficial. Interestingly, WPC with protein concentrations of 70% and 80% are quite often included within most sports supplements. Largely, this is influenced by the current pricing of raw materials and the possibility to improve the taste characteristics of WPC. Still, most of the lipophilic hormones given to dairy cows are often present within whey concentrate in greater percentages. 

Whey Protein Isolate

WPI is by definition 90% protein without anything extra. Ideally, WPIs start as concentrates before further processing is done to do away with more lactose and fat. Various methods are used to achieve this with most of the techniques patented to various manufacturers. Popular methods include cold filtered, cross flow and ion exchange among others.

The primary reason of WPI manufacture is for users to end up with less lactose and fat as compared to the one contained in concentrates. Regrettably, whey protein isolate is quite expensive due to the additional processing required. Furthermore, its taste isn’t quite appealing considering it has less sugar and fat concentration.

Even though less tasty, WPI has increased biological value suitable for those taking part in workout activities. However, its purity is nothing to count on for extra health benefits.

Whey Protein Hydrolysate

WPH is the next version of whey after isolates. It requires yet an extra step in the manufacturing process. The extra step makes it even more expensive to manufacture and sell. It is commonly referred to as “predigested” protein which is relatively a good explanation for beginners.

Naturally, the human body hydrolyses a greater percentage of proteins before absorbing and using them up. In that case, consumption of hydrolysate cuts out this process leading to quick absorption and usage. Furthermore, it results in a substantial increase of insulin which is responsible for supplying more fuel into the muscles. WPH produce 28% more insulin as compared to WPI.

The response elicited from insulin is useful before and during resistance training. Hydrolyzed protein supports recovery and helps build muscles. Unfortunately, WPH has the least appealing flavor, is the most expensive and has continuously proved difficult to work with.


Definitely, most people consider WPH to be superior to other types of whey. Yes, that is true but only when one is engaged in an activity such as training or competition. WPC can be a better alternative for those taking whey with another reason apart from exercise.