What is Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey protein isolate is one of the 3 major forms of whey protein powder (the other 2 Concentrate and Hydrolysate). Here we cover what isolate is, and the benefits of using it.
Whey protein is actually a side product formed during the process of cheese making. It is the liquid material that is made when the milk curdles. Whey protein, which is mixture of globular proteins, therefore normally comes from cow’s milk and once produced becomes a 5% solution containing lactose, vitamins, minerals, lactalbumin and traces of fat.
This is then further processed to remove the lactose, fat and carbohydrates, leaving a substance that is over 90% protein in weight. Which makes these ‘isolates’ the purest form of whey protein.
Whey isolates contain the highest known levels of protein of any natural food source, and provide the most protein per serving. It is the most expensive of the forms to buy as it has the best quality protein that is available.
What Are The Benefits Of Whey Protein Isolate?
Isolate provides natural ingredients to help sustain and improve a healthy diet. As it contains essential amino acids it helps to: keep skin, muscles, nails, hair and other tissues in the body healthy and maintained, as well as building up strength and speeding up recovery times.
As whey isolate is very easy to digest this means it can enter the body quicker. It also provides the right amount of protein and amino acids to help nourish your body after a workout. It also helps to boost the body’s immune system by working as an antioxidant. Scientific studies have shown that the immune system gets stronger when regularly using whey protein isolate, helping to fight illness and disease that tries to attack the body.
Whey Protein Isolate vs. Protein Rich Foods
How much protein the body needs on a daily basis depends highly on fitness level, age and weight — and of course the level of excercise that day. A person with different medical requirements and athletes will often need more than the recommended dietary amount. It is advisable to visit a physician to find out how much protein your body requires.
When people think about protein intake they generally consider getting their necessary protein from foods, such as; eggs, meat, dairy, nuts and seeds. Each of these foods has a biological value (BV) which measures how efficient a protein is by calculating how the protein can be absorbed and used by the body for growth. The higher the BV score shows a higher efficiency. To give you an example, the BV in eggs is the highest you can get from a food item, this stands at 100 BV, compare that to whey isolate which has a huge BV value of 170! It is clear to see whya lot of nutritional experts recommend that you include some form of this protein in your diet.
Who Can Benefit From Isolate?
In short, almost everyone. Isolate was traditionally used just by athletes, in particular body builders due to it’s ability to provide lean muscle growth and help recovery. Many scientific studies have been conducted showing that isolate can benefit a lot of people, in a lot of different areas:-
Athletes often need to consume twice the recommended protein allowance in their daily diet, this helps to replenish their protein levels after training. The use of whey protein isolates is an important part of an athlete’s diet as it contains Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), which helps rebuild and strengthen muscle tissue. One amino acid found particularly helpful is Leucine, which helps muscle growth.
Isolate is often a key ingredient used when people want to lose or manage their weight as it is a pure protein with no carbohydrates or fats and little calories. The protein can be found in many meal replacements and weight loss products. Regular exercise and use of whey isolate has been shown to create more lean muscle and help lose fat from the body.
The immune system is known to get weaker when a person is suffering from cancer, which can make getting an infection or illness commonplace. Isolate is easy to digest and it can help to raise Glutathiaone levels thus helping to boost the immune system.
Isolates are sometimes used by people who suffer from diabetes as they are unable to have a high intake of carbohydrates. This protein can also help to control blood glucose levels and also help to maintain weight, which is important in diabetes.
The body requires high levels of protein when trying to heal from a wound or surgery. If the body doesn’t receive the adequate amount of protein it can take the body much longer to heal. As whey protein isolate is the highest form of protein available people often take it after surgery as it is easily digestible and can help repair body cells.
As people age, health implications become a common occurrence. Including isolate in your diet may help to limit muscle loss and keep muscles, bones and body tissues healthier for longer.
What About Dairy Intolerance?
If you are allergic to dairy, lactose intolerant or have to restrict the intake of dairy for medical reasons then you must consult a doctor before taking whey protein products. Other than the above there are no known side effects to taking whey protein within the manufactureres recommend guidelines. You should of course monitor your intake carefully as taking too much can create vitamin toxicity.
Most isolate comes in powdered form ready to mix with water to make a protein shake. How well they mix varies so it is worth reading reviews to avoid those that are difficult to mix. Some will mix easily just with a spoon, others are better with a shaker bottle – a plastic drink bottle will do, or you can get a fancy one with a stainless steel mixer ball in it.
It is also now possible to buy ”ready to drink’ (RTD) products too, though this is more for an occasional convenience as powdered forms will work out far cheaper. And you can find protein bars that have a decent percentage of whey protein in them – just read the ingredients list carefully.