Whey Protein VS Whey Protein Isolate

There are tons of protein supplements on the market. Various different brands, flavors, and types. However, two typically stick out. This is whey protein and whey protein isolate.

Whey protein is pretty popular and is used very often. The isolate is however not as well-known and may not be used as much.

But is there a difference or is one better than the other?

How they are made

Whey protein is derived from milk proteins. The milk is broken down into two parts, the whey and the casein. The casein is used for other protein variants, but we want that whey. It is pure protein and is easily digested.

It is then dehydrated into the powder form that you are familiar with. Of course, tons of flavorings and binders get added to make it more palatable and mixable in this process as well.

Isolate is made during this same process. However, it is taken a step further. It gets broken down even further into its purest form. This removes any extra carbohydrates or fat and makes it even more digestible.

So how are they different?

The biggest differences are the digestibility, calories, and macros.

The isolate, as mentioned, is easier to digest. Which is great for people looking to get protein into their system as fast as possible. The more efficient we can be at getting the proper nutrients to the right places, the better we can benefit in the weight room. Normal whey is still great in this aspect; however, it doesn’t always sit well with some people. This is where the isolate would be the better option.

The calories are going to be different. Most powders vary no matter what kind of protein it is. Some have more sugars or additives that increase the calories. There are even some powders that have no other purpose but to contain excess calories. However, when considering whey and whey isolate there are some noticeable differences. Isolate is going to be lower in calories due to the lack of carbs and fats. This makes it a great option if you are looking to cut your calories even further.

The macros (protein, carb, fat) are going to be different as well. This is similar to the calories is that the isolate has less. Isolate is pretty much only protein. So, if you are watching those carbs and fats, I would prioritize getting an isolate instead of just a plain whey protein powder.

Is one better?

Not really. It really depends on what your goals is. If you are watching calories more closely for a competition or cut, then whey isolate would be great. You can get your extra protein in, while also keeping calories low.

If plain whey bothers your stomach, then isolate will be a better option. There is no point in force feeding yourself something that makes you feel sick, when you have a great option in the isolate.

Within all of this, there are also going to be tons of flavor options. These won’t create much variation between powders, so I recommend just choosing one that you will enjoy. Some taste better than others, and you want one that you will be happy to consume every day. So, it all comes down to preference.

Having trouble choosing one?

There is a great brand called 1UpNutrition. There powders are great, and they have awesome flavors. Again, choosing a flavor is up to you just make sure that it’s one you enjoy. When deciding between whey protein or whey protein isolate, it will depend on your preference and goals. Trying to keep calories low? Choose the isolate. Just need some extra protein? Whey will get the job done!


There aren’t a ton of difference between the two, but there are benefits to both. Whichever benefit sounds better for your situation is the one you should go with. So long as you are including some form of a protein supplement, you’re doing great. The added protein in your diet will help you a ton.