T Nation

whey protein


Just bought Now sports whey protein isolate, does anybody know if this is a high quality protein? its a good price so I was curious if anybody had heard anything or had tried it.


Why would you buy it first, and then ask about the quality?


They don't put good stuff on sale.


I lost my colon to that stuff.


Jeep69, copied off of T-Mag . . .

Basically, there are four variants of whey protein. They are whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate (via ion exchange), whey protein isolate (via microfiltration), and hydrolyzed whey protein.

Whey protein concentrate is manufactured from sweet dairy whey. By using an ion-exchange process, the sweet dairy whey is concentrated to remove most of the fat, carbohydrate (lactose) and other impurities. Depending on the quality and cost, WPC can yield a protein ratio of 40 to 85 grams of protein per 100 grams of sweet dairy whey.

By far, whey protein concentrate is the most commonly used source of whey protein by supplement makers (over 98% of companies use this type of whey in their meal replacements and other protein products). Whey protein concentrate is higher in fat and carbs than every other type of whey-derived protein on the market. It's also the least expensive type of whey protein (which probably explains why most supplement companies use it). Although it's generally good stuff, some people complain of feeling bloated and gassy after consuming whey protein concentrate.

Remember, though, that if your protein powder contains whey protein concentrate at 40 grams per serving, not all of that 40 grams will be protein. The industry average is about a 70% protein ratio, so a 40 g serving may only contain about 28 g of protein. The other 12 g of "stuff" is junk by-products, typically in the form of carbohydrates, dirty socks, or loose change, depending on the quality of the product.

Whey protein isolate (via ion exchange) is also produced from sweet dairy whey. By utilizing an ion-exchange method, the individual proteins are separated on the basis of electrical charge. This extraction works by controlling the electrical charge on the proteins through specialized chemical reagents. The electrical charge on the proteins makes them attach to specific resins in a reaction tank. The end product contains 90-94% total protein. Typically, this type of whey protein does not usually cause the bloating and gas that whey protein concentrate does. Expect to pay about twice as much for this protein as you would for whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein isolate (via microfiltration) is about the purest type of "whey" protein. The isolation of whey, using a process called "cross-flow microfiltration," is the next manufacturing step after whey is concentrated. Like the ion-exchange isolate, this type of isolate has a significantly higher protein per serving ratio than whey concentrates. This type of isolate typically yields over 94 grams of protein per 100 grams of whey, and often comes close to 98 or 99 grams of protein per 100 grams of whey. It is virtually free of fats and carbohydrates, which may appeal to people utilizing ketogenic diets.

The microfiltration isolate yields a higher amount of branched-chain amino acids than whey protein concentrate. Is the microfiltration version better than the ion-exchange version? Well, let's examine how the microfiltration version is made. Cross-flow microfiltration is a high-tech manufacturing process that uses specialized ceramic filters to remove the fat, carbohydrate, and other "undesirable" materials (isolating the protein). Unlike the ion-exchange isolate, microfiltration isolate is not exposed to chemical degradation. Thus, the protein is left unharmed and in its original state. This leads to added benefits over ion exchange isolate.

Virtually lactose-free, people with lactose intolerance will probably find this protein easier on the gut. Microfiltration isolate also possesses more calcium and less sodium than ion-exchange isolate. Thus, women and athletes on performance-enhancement drugs might want to consider this as a supplemental protein source for obvious reasons.

Hydrolyzed whey protein is the most digestible source of whey protein developed for performance supplementation. Hydrolyzed whey protein is virtually "partially digested" to increase the rate and percentage of assimilation by digestion. The protein molecules are hydrolyzed into smaller groups, called "peptides." The amino acids are peptide bonded.

Hydrolyzed whey protein is a highly purified protein that is extracted by using microfiltration whey isolate that is enzymatically hydrolysated to form whey peptides. This type of protein is very expensive (about three times the cost of whey protein concentrate).

It has all the benefits of the microfiltered isolate, but has the additional benefit of being incredibly soluble and absorbable. Rarely used or sold alone, hydrolyzed whey protein has a very distinct and bitter taste, making it almost undrinkable unless combined (blended down) with other proteins or products.

Which protein should you use? That depends on your needs. If you're using a ketogenic diet that has severe carbohydrate restriction, then one of the isolates is probably the way to go. If you're just looking to increase total nitrogen levels and don't care about a little extra carbohydrate, then use the cheapest form (whey protein concentrate) possible. If you're sensitive to lactose, then the microfiltration isolate is your best bet.

Outside of IFBB bodybuilders and world-class athletes, it's doubtful that anyone needs to use hydrolyzed whey protein as a supplement due to its inherent high price.


thanks for the info tampa, what I ment in my question is if NOW Sports is known to be a reputable brand with what is on the label actually being in the product.


Oops! Sorry, Jeep. Guess I should have read your question more carefully.