Isolates vs. Concentrates

A guide to understanding the strong inside milk proteins.

When selecting a whey, milk or casein protein source, we often see the terms “isolate” and “concentrate” on the label. This guide helps you better understand how these two forms of protein stand apart. 

The differences between isolate and concentrate lie within how much protein you’re receiving per scoop (or 100g). Generally speaking, isolates tend to contain 90% or more protein by scoop, whereas concentrates can contain 34-80% protein by scoop. Because concentrates contain less total protein per scoop, the other macronutrients (fat and carbohydrates) will make up the remaining calories.

Proteins from milk tend to be the purest form of protein supplementation on the market. Isolates may be the best “bang for your buck” option when choosing a protein supplement. True to their name, isolates’ high protein content and subsequent low content of the other macronutrients means that isolates are typically safe for those with lactose intolerance.

It’s important to be educated when it comes to consuming milk proteins. Milk protein supplements are just that, a supplement to your diet. Focus on a food-first approach, and sprinkle in either a milk, whey or casein concentrate or isolate in your shake, cereal, yogurt or snack when you’re not reaching your protein goals.