New protein powder types are being continuously brought to the market. If one wants to supplement his diet with protein powder can therefore be easily overwhelmed with what should now be suitable for him. We want to show you the difference between concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzate, so you can take the decision easier.
General about Protein powder
Basically, it is very important to pay attention to the overall quality and the goal which should be achieved with a Supplement. No matter which protein powder is chosen, manufacturers mostly try to win points with a sporty compilation where the proportion of BCAAs, glutamine, alanine, arginine, etc. is especially high and the scientifically proven optimum proportions are available to best support muscle building, recovery as well as the muscle protection - but there are also quite a few differences between the products. The taste is also particularly important and one sometimes thinks that the manufacturers of such products or product developers understand it completely incorrectly because unfortunately many products taste too sweet and unnatural or are almost inedible. Anyone who has ever bought a 2.3kg bucket, or even more protein powder and then realized that this just did not taste that well , will get a bit annoyed. The solubility plays a major role because nothing is worse than a protein shake consisting of 200 clumps, which does not make it more enjoyable either. More so, if the protein powder is to be drunk with water, the solubility is very important – of course, as always, the argument about the taste remains.
The concentrate is probably the oldest form of three processed powder types, which of course does not mean that it must be bad. Concentrates usually contain about 80% protein, 2-6% carbohydrate and 2-4% fat; these values can of course vary depending on the supplier. In principle, all forms of proteins can be concentrated. Usually, whey and egg proteins are used but soy proteins are also being used among other things. A powder with a high density of protein is obtained through filtration, which is then usually mixed with sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, colour, etc. Nonetheless, there are also protein powders which contain very few additives, but they are rather an exception. The concentrate is probably the cheapest protein powders in the market; however, this does not say anything about the quality.
The Isolate is not much different from the concentrate, except that the percentage of protein is still higher. This is made possible through a microfiltration process. The proportion of the protein is approximately 90-96%. It is also, like the concentrate, obtained in powder form, in different tastes having different solubility. Basically, in most isolates, there are still lesser carbohydrates and fats, on an average 0-2%, which makes the Isolate a much more extreme protein source. Isolates were previously a bit more expensive, but are today priced just above the concentrates.
As the name suggests, hydrolysis is used in hydrolysates to break down the protein chains into smaller components. The division of individual peptides formed, which then does not need to be further broken down by the body, results in a faster absorption of the ingredients. Simply put, the protein is "pre-digested". The longer the process happens, the smaller the protein components become. The hydrolysate may have problems with its taste. The more a real protein is broken down; more bitter and "peculiar" the taste of the powder becomes and which is hard to completely hide with an aroma. It is noticeable that when individual liquid amino acids are supplied, these are mostly offered extremely sweet and aromatic. The hydrolysate is definitely the most expensive of the protein powders; there are also protein powders with various vitamin complexes, etc., which can also turn out to be expensive.
Protein powder actually differs only by properties created by the manufacturer, such as taste, solubility of the protein, species used and the percentage of pure protein, etc. Add to this, the possible vitamin complex and the proportion of carbohydrates and fats as other criterion for the selection. Those who value digestion and the absorbability more should go for a protein with high biological value and choose between concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate depending on the budget. In our opinion however, a good concentrate or even an isolate is sufficient to provide the body with a good protein supplement. Always remember that these are supplements and food comes first!
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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.
In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!
Find out more about Evie's experience here.