Whey Isolate vs Whey Concentrate vs Casein

There are a TON of protein powders Endurance Athletes Can Choose From.

Here's how to pick the best one and some common scams to avoid.

Watch the entire video from beginning to end and you'll be a protein powder Ph.D!

Video Transcription:

Welcome to The Gun Show friends. Well, maybe more like the B.B gun show. These six-inch pythons haven't seen a gym for about a year, but who needs big biceps? We're endurance athletes. All they're gonna do is slow us down unless you're a guy like Hunter McIntyre. Welcome to part three of our protein video series. In part one, we discussed protein requirements for endurance athletes. Part two, we busted some protein myths. And for part three, we're gonna talk about protein quality, specifically the quality of different protein powders and how to pick the best one for your needs as an endurance athlete.

Now from previous videos, you know you should be getting about 0.45 grams to 0.72 grams of protein per pound body weight daily to help promote muscle repair and recovery.

Now while the majority of this protein can come through a whole food diet, a lot of endurance athletes find use in taking a protein powder to help them get to that higher amount. It's just...it's easy. It's effective. And sometimes you just do not wanna choke down another chicken breast to meet your daily protein requirements.

What's the difference between Protein Powders?

So today what we're gonna talk about is we're gonna talk about the various forms of protein powder.

We're gonna talk about how they're made, how they work and then basically tell you which one might be best for you as an endurance athlete based on your needs. So let's just jump right into it and look at the first one of protein powder.

Whey Isolate

And this one is whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate on a gram per gram basis is the purest form of protein you can get. It has to be at least 90% pure protein.

How Is Whey Isolate made?

And how this protein is made is they take the milk and they send it through a series of filters that basically filter out all the fat, the lactose, the milk sugar.

So what you end up with is a really high purity protein that is a little bit lower calories, usually zero fat, usually zero lactose and very little, if any, sugar.

How Whey Isolate Works

When you take a whey protein isolate, it has a pretty immediate response in raising the amino acid profiles in your blood which stimulates the process known as muscle protein synthesis. Basically, a fancy physiological term that promotes muscle repair and recovery.

So when you ingest a whey protein isolate, you'll see a pretty quick rise in the amino acids in your circulation that will go up for about two hours and then slowly decline after that.

So very quick to digest and absorb and stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Who Is Whey Isolate Best For?

Now, who is whey protein isolate best for? I found that whey protein isolate is best for individuals who are lactose intolerant, if they have problems with whey concentrate which we'll talk about next.

If whey concentrates give them stomach problems, whey protein isolate is a good way to go. Also a good choice for people who want minimal carbs, which, as an endurance athlete, we really don't have to worry about that, minimal sugar and minimal fat. So that's whey protein isolate.

Whey Concentrate

Let's move on to the next one. And this is whey protein concentrate. Now whey protein concentrate is probably the most popular whey protein powder out there. Probably, you know, 70% to 80% of the protein powder products you'll see on the shelf are made strictly of whey protein concentrate or a combination of whey protein concentrate compared to something else.

How Is Whey Concentrate Made?

Now compared to whey protein isolate, concentrates go through fewer filters while they're being turned into the protein powder when the milk is being pushed through the filters. And what you end up with is a protein powder that is a little bit higher in fats, a little bit higher in lactose and usually a little bit higher in calories, which is fine. It's so marginal that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Whey protein concentrate can be anywhere from 30% to 80% pure protein.

And this is what you really have to look out for. Because you have such that range, a lot of companies will stick the less pure form of whey protein concentrate into their products, say like a 40% whey protein concentrate just to save them money. So if you buy a whey protein concentrate, you want to make sure, and I can't stress this enough, that you get a whey protein concentrate that has at least 80% pure protein. The good ones will state it on the label.

Who Is Whey Concentrate Best For?

Now, who is whey protein concentrate good for? Whey protein concentrate is good for the majority of the population. It's a little more cost effective than whey protein isolate, and it offers some other advantages compared to whey protein isolate. Because it does have a little more fat, it has certain bioactive peptides in it that elicit some immune health benefits. Now, is isolate better than concentrate? Not necessarily. Again, it just comes down to semantics and the minimal differences between the two. If you can buy concentrate, you don't have any stomach issues with it, I would probably say you choose a concentrate over an isolate. So that is whey protein concentrate.


Now let's move on to the next one. Let's move on to casein. Now casein, as you all know or probably are familiar with, is the ideal night-time protein.

How Is Casein Made?

And how casein is made is when the milk is being either put through the filters or separated by acid, in some cases. You'll have whey on the top and casein on the bottom. So the casein is just taken off and that's what's put in the casein protein powder. Casein is pretty disgusting when you think about it and it's extremely effective. But when you drink casein, it almost turns like to a blob in your gut, like a jello pudding pop.

How Does Casein Work?

Who wants a pudding pop? Bill Cosby. So it looks like a gel where it kind of coagulates and this offers a unique benefit. It almost offers a trickle feed effect to raise those amino acids and circulation. So you'll see a steady rise in amino acids in circulation that can prolong anywhere from five to seven hours, depending on the amount of casein you're taking. So that's why it's that ideal night-time protein because you're not eating for seven to eight hours but you're still getting this trickle feed effect of amino acids in your bloodstream.

Who Is Casein Good For?

Casein is good for everyone. Some people will have some stomach problems with it and I would really recommend it again for those people who want to take something right before bed and especially if they need to meet their protein requirements for the day. So that is casein.

Plant Proteins

Now let's just briefly touch on two others. If you're a vegetarian, there are some good plant proteins out there. Now plant protein powders are usually composed of a rice protein, pea protein and various other sources of proteins.

Now, plant proteins aren't bad. They just usually have a poor amino acid profile compared to milk-based proteins

but like I said if you're vegetarian, plant-based proteins are a very good option to help you meet your protein requirements on a daily basis. Especially too since your diet is probably lower in the overall proteins since you're not eating quite as much in meat.

Whey Hydrolysate

The last protein we're gonna cover in just really briefly is the whey protein hydrolysate. Now what I want you to think about hydrolysate is is as a pre-digested protein which sounds really gross. So hydrolysate is basically a pre-digested protein but if you're buying a hydrolysate in the store, probably only like 5% of that formula is a whey hydrolysate. You really wanna shoot for a whey hydrolysate, the hydrolized portion of protein is about 27%.

How Does Whey Hydrolysate Work?

Now hydrolysate has some unique benefits. It's by far the fastest absorbing protein just because it is broken down. And especially you can combine lower amounts of hydrolysate, say, 13 grams with about three grams of leucine and you'll get the same response in terms of muscle protein synthesis, in terms of recovery as you would taking 25 grams of whey protein concentrate or isolate. And this is why we're including the whey hydrolysate in leucine combination in our yet to be released RecoverElite product. One because when you recover, the hydrolysate again is gonna digest and absorb the fastest and help you recover the fastest. And then you pair it with that leucine and you're getting the same response as taking 25 grams of pure protein. Plus, it's a little bit easier on the stomach.

So those are the five most common types of protein. Now, EndurElite does not have a protein powder yet. We will have one coming down the line. So a lot of people have been asking me, you know, "What protein would you recommend right now until you have a protein that comes up?" Now from previous videos, you all know that I love having three wheys. This one is made by Kodiak Sports Nutrition, is a combination of three whey sources: whey isolate, whey concentrate, and the whey hydrolysate. The vanilla flavor is awesome. The other protein I would highly recommend is this Premium Grass Fed Protein by the AthletesRX. And this one is a combination of 50% whey isolate and 50% whey concentrate. You'll lean a total of 24 grams of protein are the ideal amount to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

But what I really, really like about this one, actually quite a bit, is three reasons. One, it's free of drugs or any banned substances. This goes through Informed Choice which tests for all those things. Two, it tastes absolutely amazing. Like this is probably my favorite chocolate flavor out there. You know, a lot of proteins are overly sweet which is good for some circumstances, but this one is just a really subtle chocolate flavor and you mix it in milk and it's absolutely delicious.

But what I probably like most about this company is every bottle of this sold, he donates 50% of the net profits to sports programs that serve under-served populations such as Kings of Weightlifting, The First Tee and Break the Barriers. And, again, this one is made by the AthletesRX. And I will put a link in the video where you can pick some of this up. Absolutely fantastic protein and doing a lot of cool things to give back to communities, again, to serve the, well, under-served populations.

So that's about it for the different types of proteins today. So, again, you have the Whey isolates, the whey concentrates, the caseins, the plant proteins and the hydrolysatewhey. Whichever one you pick, it really is a matter of preference and a matter of how much you know you have in your wallet, where you wanna spend, you know, a certain amount of money on. So you really can't go wrong with any of them. Just make sure with each protein, unless it's a hydrolysate, you're getting about 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving are the ideal amount to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. And I'm just gonna reiterate this point one last time, if you're getting a whey protein concentrate, make absolutely sure it is, the W.P.C or whey protein concentrate, 80. That way you'll know you're not getting screwed over by getting a whey protein concentrate that is 30% to 40% pure protein as opposed to the 80%.

So let's just wrap it up. If you liked this video, please share with your friends. Comment below with any questions you may have about protein or your experience with different protein powders and let me know what topic you wanna talk about next. So until next time, my endurance friends. Stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and eat your protein.