Whey Protein Isolate, also known as ISO, is one of the most sought-after sources of protein to supplement the diets of athletes and people seeking to optimise their protein intake through their diet.
Want to find out more about this product? At HSN, we'll tell you everything!
What is Whey Protein Isolate?
Whey Protein Isolate is an isolated cow milk protein.
It is obtained through microfiltration and ultrafiltration techniques of natural whey, which is obtained after coagulation and separation of the casein, with which another type of protein is made.
Whey Protein Isolate is the "purest" version of food preparations made from whey proteins:
- Higher protein %.
- Less carbohydrate and fat quantity.
- Less chemical damage through temperature.
What is Whey Protein Isolate for?
Whey protein isolate has the same role as other dietary protein foods, and aims to:
- Contribute to the maintenance and gaining of muscle mass.
- Contribute to the normal maintenance of bones.
Whey Protein Isolate Properties and Benefits
Whey Protein Isolate isn't just any other protein!
There are several reasons that make it the preferred source of protein for bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, high-intensity athletes, and even people who, without intense physical exercise, seek to optimise their diet.
WPI provides all the essential amino acids
Aminoacids are constituent units of proteins: like the bricks that build the wall of a house.
Of all the amino acids that exist, 21 are proteinogenic, that is, they are proteins; of these, 9 are essential, which means our body lacks the capacity to create them by itself, and they must be provided through the diet.
Did you now Whey Protein Isolate contains all the essential amino acids?
That's why it's called a "complete protein", as it provides a the necessary amino acids to fulfil the functions of proteins.
Whey is the source of protein with the highest biological value.
It has a low carbohydrate and protein value
The treatment processes of Whey Protein Isolate make it a protein isolate, in other words, low in fat and carbohydrates.
The combination of ultrafiltration and microfiltration (CFM) makes it possible to isolate much more protein content than in Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), eliminating more of the carbohydrates and fats naturally present in cow's milk whey.
WPI is the cleanest protein, with higher amounts of protein and lower carbohydrate and fat content, among whey options.
Low lactose levels
Lactose is the sugar in milk, and represents practically all the carbohydrate content of any Whey protein.
WPI is the whey protein with the lowest level of carbohydrates, and therefore, lactose, as the membrane treatment through which the protein is processed filters this sugar, reducing it significantly.
The majority of Whey Protein Isolate has between 1 and 1.5% lactose, tolerable quantities for the majority of people who are lactose intolerant.
Even so, WPI is not considered a lactose free product according to European legislative regulations.
More rapid digestion
Digestion of isolated whey protein is faster that other sources, for various reasons:
Less carbohydrates and fat
The presence of other nutrients in the nutritional composition of a food matrix affects the speed of gastric emptying, i.e. its digestion.
As a food preparation with such a reduced content of these nutrients, WPI is digested faster than other protein sources containing more sugar and/or fat.
In addition, the % of digestibility of the essential amino acids (DIAAs) is perfect (1.00)
This is a marker of the digestibility of the amino acids present in the protein, and is currently the most reliable and valid marker established by the FAO/WHO.
The absorption of amino acids and protein oligopeptides is characteristic of the food source – that's to say, not all proteins are absorbed at the same speed.
Whey protein (concentrated, isolated and hydrolysed) is absorbed rapidly.
Whey Protein Isolate is a "rapid protein".
Ideal to supplement:
- As part of a pre-training and/or post-training.
Whey protein isolate and increased muscle mass
One of the most sought-after functions of consuming Whey Protein Isolate is increased muscle mass.
WPI is an excellent source for this purpose, thanks to its high nutritional quality, which makes it a source of amino acids available to increase muscle protein synthesis.
Whey protein isolate, thanks to its protein content, contributes to muscle mass gain.
Types of Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein can be divided into two types:
Today, practically all isolated proteins are obtained by CFM, a microfiltration membrane treatment. The differences lie in:
- The temperature of the treatment.
- The pH average of the treatment.
- The number of times the milk has been pasteurised/sterilised.
This affects its acidity, solubility and texture.
It is therefore important to select WPI products that ensure a more gentle treatment of the product's raw material. Examples of this are:
- 100% Whey Protein Isolate.
- Evolate 2.0.
Only be satisfied with the best!
Subsequently, whey protein isolate can also be hydrolysed to obtain a "pre-digested" (structurally broken) version of the isolate.
How to take Whey Protein Isolate?
Combine it with whatever you like!
You can use whey protein isolate in recipes, or simply in a shake.
People often combine it with dairy, generally skimmed, such as beaten queso fresco; or add cocoa powder to make cakes, biscuits and other fitness confectionary recipes.
However, the classic use of WPI has always been to mix it with water in the quantities recommended by the manufacturer so you alter its nutritional characteristics as little as possible.
When to take WPI?
You can use Isolated whey protein any time of the day as it's a very versatile protein. However, there are 4 ideal times to take it:
On waking up
We sleep for a significant amount of hours during the night, and we're not eating during this time.
After this night fast, consuming a source of protein should be a priority for any athlete.
WPI is an excellent option for this due to its rapid absorption.
Whey protein isolate has excellent digestibility, thanks to its low lactose and fat content.
Consuming protein through WPI is a great option that will allow you to train without feeling heavy, but optimising your protein nutrition.
Have a shake with water an hour before training for a good protein intake.
Training is an eminently catabolic phenomenon, as muscle contraction is an energy-demanding process.
Using WPI to get energy and protein after a tough training session is a classic strategy used by fitness practitioners because, thanks to its proteins, it helps to maintain muscle mass.
Have a shake with water immediately after training.
Taking protein before sleeping is recommended by reference authors in the field of nutrition, as, of course, we're not eating when sleeping.
Whey Protein Isolate is a great source of protein, as thanks to its easy digestibility it allows you to go to sleep without any feeling of heaviness that might interfere with your rest.
Have a shake with milk before bed.
Recommended quantity of Whey Protein Isolate
It depends on the person.
The amount of protein in the diet should be considered in relation to variables such as body composition and sporting objectives.
The recommendation for Whey Protein Isolate is to use a 30g scoop once a day, but this amount can (and should) be adapted to the needs of the individual.
The current recommendation for optimising muscle protein synthesis is to consume around 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight per day, from all sources of protein in the diet.
A way of ensuring this consumption is by having a shake on waking up, another before or after training and a final one before sleeping.
How do you get Whey Protein Isolate?
The process starts after obtaining the milk from the cows by milking.
The milk is pasteurised and sent to a cheese factory, where the protein fractions are separated: Caseins and Whey.
The Whey is taken to a whey processing plant where:
- It is centrifuged and/or filtered→ To remove large unwanted molecules.
- It is concentrated by ultrafiltration; Which gets us Whey Protein Concentrate.
- It is isolate through microfiltrartion→ Which gets us Whey Protein Isolate.
Whey Protein Isolate is the purest whey protein product from cow's milk.
What is the difference between Isolate and Concentrate?
The difference between these two types of protein lies in the degree of extraction of the protein, and therefore in the presence of other nutrients in its composition:
Although the superior choice may seem obvious, the truth is that:
Both Whey Protein Concentrate 80% 2.0 and 100% Whey Protein Isolate are excellent options.
Frequent questions about Whey Protein Isolate
There are many frequent questions surrounding Whey Protein Isolate. We are here to help you!
Who would you recommend WPI for?
We all consume protein in our diet, in fact they are nutritionally essential, so whey protein isolate is an ideal food preparation to increase the consumption of this nutrient.
It is normally recommended for athletes, as they require more protein and sometimes find it difficult to meet their needs through regular food alone.
Even still, it's a high quality nutritional source for anyone interested in increasing their protein consumption.
If I have a Whey Isolation Shake, how long should I wait until the next meal??
Between 2-3 hours.
You can eat before, and even after, but approximately 120 minutes after consumption, the concentration of amino acids begins to decrease and it's time to consider another intake of protein.
Is it advisable to take Protein Isolate with other supplements?
Whey protein isolate combines with a multitude of food supplements, in fact there are no known negative interactions with these products.
A classic and highly recommended combination is the use of WPI and Creatine monohydrate in the same shake.
Can you heat a protein shake?
Denaturation is a process of degradation of protein structures, but whether this affects their nutritional quality is not clear, while the commitment to the structure's native biological activity is.
Heating the protein can cause it to not mix as well or taste different, but it can be done without problems.
What are the side effects of whey protein isolate?
There are no serious side effects.
The most common adverse effects are mild digestive discomfort, usually resulting from difficulty in digesting a large amount of dietary protein (“in a oner").
Digezyme® is a complex enzyme which Evolate 2.0 uses with proteases, enzymes that facilitate the degradation of protein structures.
Is there a protein isolate for women?
All whey protein isolate products aimed at women are marketing.
WPI is a great food source of protein for both men and women, both sexes can use it, it has no virilising effect and will not cause your muscle mass to increase excessively.
Isolate remains an ideal source of protein for both men and women.
Which is better, Whey Isolate or Whey Concentrate?
Both whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate are great options.
Whey Protein Isolate is a superior version, containing more protein and less carbohydrates and fat.
This difference becomes more latent in definition processes or weight loss, where daily caloric consumption is lower. In volume or mass gain phases, the differences are smaller.
Which is better, isolate or hydrolysed protein?
Hydrolysed protein is an isolated protein that has undergone a hydrolysis process.
Hydrolysed protein is a lactose-fee protein, as it loses almost all of this sugar during hydrolysis. It is absorbed more quickly than isolated protein.
Hydrolysed protein may be better than isolated protein before and after training, as its digestibility is even better.
Is whey protein isolate fattening?
No, protein isn't fattening.
In fact, it is a food preparation with a moderate amount of calories.
A serving of WPI provides around 120kcal.
So it can be a very useful substitute to other protein foods with more fat and/or carbohydrates in stages of fat loss.
Is isolated whey protein suitable for allergy sufferers and vegetarians?
For milk protein allergy sufferers no, for other allergies yes.
Many whey protein isolates are not suitable for soy allergy sufferers, as they use soy lecithin.
At HSN, Evolate 2.0 is free from soy lecithin.
WPI is suitable for vegetarians, but not for vegans.
Are there risks in consuming excess whey protein?
In healthy people without pathological pre-conditions, it does not seem to.
The research of Antonio, J., a researcher specialising in the potentially adverse effect of consuming large quantities of protein, consistently shows that diets with more than 3g/kg/day are not harmful over periods of up to one year.
People with any type of pathology should consult their doctor before starting a specific dietary programme.
How can I identify whether a whey protein isolate is of good quality?
With independent accreditations.
Any other "homemade" method (solubility, texture and acidity) is not reliable nor sensitive to the nutritional quality of the product.
Look for companies that have certifications that guarantee the quality standards of the production process:
- GMP, GWP, GHP.
- Complies with ISO norms.
- IFS / BRCGS.
- Internal control processes under own criteria.
HSN is a company concerned and committed to quality; we have several of the most recognised certifications that guarantee the production of food supplements, and we are working on obtaining additional accreditations.
We want to show our values and commitment to good practice within the sports nutrition industry. You can check our quality guarantees here.
Does the use of a good whey protein isolate replace meals?
Meal replacements must meet the criteria set out in the Commission Directive 96/8/EC of 26 February 1996 on foods intended for use in energy-restricted diets for weight reduction.
And Whey Protein Isolate doesn't comply with this.
What you can do is substitute protein-rich foods within the meals, in the scenario of a healthy, complete and balanced diet.
Typical Nutritional Table for Whey Protein Isolate
||Quantity per 100g
| Of which saturates
| Of which sugars
Which is the best protein isolate?
The one that shows you all the details needed to determine its quality:
- Production processes
- Quality certifications
- Complete nutritional information.
What Protein Isolate can I buy?
At HSN we have two Whey Protein Isolates that meet all the established quality criteria for a whey protein. Don't miss out!