In recent years, whey protein powder has taken the market by storm as weight loss shakes. Many of you who are already consuming other types of protein supplements are a bit sceptical about this new type of supplement. That is why we have answered some common FAQs about whey protein.
What is whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and hydrolysed whey protein?
The main difference between concentrate and isolate is the fat and carb content in them. Their protein quality is identical. Isolate is about 90% protein while concentrate is about 80% protein as isolate goes through an extra filtering step to remove more carbs and fats. While concentrate is lactose free, they are best for people with lactose intolerance; isolate is almost devoid of fat, making them popular among people trying to cut back fat from their diets. These are found in all weight loss shakes.
On the other hand, hydrolysed whey protein is one whose branched chain amino acids are broken down into smaller chains called peptides. This type of whey protein is ideal for baby formulas and medical protein supplements. They can also be found in some sports drinks.
Can people with lactose intolerance drink whey protein shakes?
If you are lactose intolerant, you can opt for whey protein isolate as it has almost 0% milk derivatives. Though whey protein isolate is derived from milk during the cheese making process, they go through a concentration process that leaves about 90% protein – so it is safe for lactose intolerant people.
Is whey protein gluten free?
Whey protein is essentially gluten free, but many whey protein bars and beverages have many ingredients added to them to enhance their tastes. These ingredients can add gluten, so be sure to check the ingredients list. Also, if the whey protein is processed in a gluten contaminated environment they can also contain gluten. So it is always better to buy whey protein products from well-known distributors and opt for 100% pure whey protein without any added flavours, colours or additives.
Does whey protein expire?
Like most other foods, whey protein has a sell-by date to guarantee the freshness and effectiveness of the product and the taste. But whey protein products are usually dehydrated protein source. So, if they are kept in a dry environment or if they are kept in a sealed packet, they can be used for some months following the sell-by date. But like most dairy products, whey protein has a tendency to go rancid. So if your old whey protein tastes or smells off, it is best to throw it out and buy a new batch.