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Whey Concentrate vs Whey Isolate vs Hydrolysed Whey: What’s The Difference?

Wait… did you think whey protein was simple? Well, we’ve got news for you. There are multiple types of whey proteins, all designed to cater to different needs. Whey concentrate is the most basic and affordable option, while whey isolate is higher in protein and lower in lactose, making it a perfect choice for those with lactose intolerance. Whey hydrolysate has been broken down and is easier to digest, making it a popular option for athletes. When it comes to choosing the right whey protein option to support your goals, it is important to consider which option supports your goals.

Not sure what whey protein option is right for you? That’s fine, we’re here to help. We’re going to give you a rundown on each type of whey protein and compare them so you can make an informed choice.

Types of Whey Protein

Whey protein is the most popular supplement among fitness enthusiasts and athletes. It is the ultimate source of protein that helps build muscle, aid recovery, and support weight loss. There are three types of whey protein: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and hydrolysed whey protein. Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein with the highest amount of protein and the lowest amount of lactose and fat. Whey protein concentrate, on the other hand, contains a higher amount of lactose but also has other beneficial nutrients like healthy fats and carbs. Lastly, hydrolysed whey protein goes through a process of breaking down the protein into smaller chains of amino acids, making it easier to digest and absorb. The different types cater to different needs, so selecting the one that suits your fitness goals is key.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is a highly concentrated form of whey protein that has been filtered to remove almost all the fat and lactose, leaving behind a protein powder that is over 90% pure. This makes it an excellent option for those who are looking to increase their protein intake without the added calories or fat that can come from other protein sources. If you’re working towards specific body goals, WPI is one of the most common whey protein choices. Whey protein isolate also aids in muscle growth and repair, and is ideal when taken after resistance training to deliver fast-absorbing nutrients to your muscles. Because WPI contains a very low-fat profile that is typically around 0.5g per serving, this type of protein is perfect for athletes or individuals working towards specific weight goals. Whey protein isolate is one of the leanest proteins on the market, and is suitable for anybody following a low-lactose diet, or with dietary sensitivities (Walker, C. 2017).

Evolve WPI

Experience the best WPI protein for muscle growth and tissue repair with Evolve Nutrition's rapid-release micro-filtered WPI protein .  Evolve WPI  stands out as a premium whey protein isolate, renowned for its purity and effectiveness. Crafted for rapid absorption and easy digestion after training, this WPI protein powder is an excellent choice for lactose-intolerant individuals, or those who are sensitive to dairy. Its pure whey protein isolate composition, free from artificial additives, is among the best whey protein isolate formulas for growth and muscle recovery. With its low-fat content of 0.3g per serving, this WPI formula is ideal for anybody looking for a protein to support specific weight loss goals, or for fitness enthusiasts seeking a natural whey isolate protein source. Evolve WPI is perfect post-workout to support your training efforts.

Rule 1 WPI

R1 WPI Protein , a superior WPI formula by one of the best brands in the industry, stands out as one of the finest options available for a post-workout whey isolate protein powder. Crafted by Rule 1, this WPI protein powder excels in supporting muscle growth and repair. With 25g of premium protein per serving derived solely from whey isolates and hydrolysates, it supports rapid muscle recovery and growth. Boasting over 6g of essential BCAAs, which are crucial for muscle-building processes, R1 WPI Protein's purity percentage of up to 87% sets it apart in the industry. Ideal for anybody looking to target their physique improvement goal, this protein powder is Banned-Substance Tested and delivers unmatched quality. Low carb, lower fat, and only 110 calories per serve, this whey isolate protein powder is a game-changer.

Muscle Nation WPI

Muscle Nation do more than just make on-trend gym apparel.  Muscle Nation Protein 100% Whey Isolate  stands out as a top-tier WPI formula, ideal for post-workout recovery and lean muscle mass. Packed with non-GMO grass-fed whey isolate, this WPI blend offers 25g of protein per serve, supporting muscle growth and accelerated recovery. Velositol has been incorporated to support muscle protein synthesis, helping you to meet your growth, recovery, and strength goals faster. The DigeZyme® Digestive Enzyme Complex aids in supporting optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, while AstraGin® helps boost nutrient uptake. Backed by scientific research, this formula is detailed and effective, making it a go-to for fitness enthusiasts aiming to meet certain targets. If you’re looking for a comprehensive formula that seems to do it all, don’t overlook Muscle Nation Protein 100% Whey Isolate.


Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is a type of protein supplement that is derived from cow's milk and is a byproduct of the cheese-making process. Whey protein concentrate doesn’t go through the same ultrafiltration process as WPI, but contains a higher percentage of carbohydrates and fat, which can be essential in muscle recovery. As a concentrate, it contains anywhere from 70-85% protein, with the remaining content being comprised of carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients. The fat content, along with other nutrients, generally ranges from 15% to 30%, depending on the specific formula. One of the main advantages of whey protein concentrate is that it is a cost-effective way to increase your daily protein intake. It is also easy to digest, making it ideal for those with digestive issues. This type of protein contains less protein than other sources, but contains other useful nutrients like linoleic acid, which can support your body goals. Anyone looking to support their athletic performance, gain muscle mass, achieve body goals, or simply meet their daily protein needs can benefit from taking whey protein concentrate. Whey protein concentrate formulas are commonly combined in whey protein blends that support multiple goals. If you’re looking for a slow-digesting protein to support muscle recovery, or to act as meal replacement when necessary, WPC protein is one of the best options available (GEBER SRL. 2023).

OxyWhey by EHP Labs

EHP Labs OxyWhey Lean Wellness Protein  stands out as a premier whey protein concentrate formula, delivering a blend of whey protein isolate and WPC protein that offers a high blend of 33g to 37g protein per serving (depending on the flavour), which is ideal for post-workout muscle repair. EHP Labs are renowned for their weight loss supplements, this WPC protein blend contains chromium picolinate to support your weight goals and lactobacillus rhamnosus GG to support gut health. This whey protein concentrate blend is a top choice for those seeing a balanced formula. ProHydrolase enzymes help to improve the whey breakdown for optimal nutrient utilisation. This formula contains zero trans fats and only 2g of fat per serve, and is packed with vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, zinc, and calcium to help you meet your targets. If you’re looking for a complete WPC protein powder that specialises in supporting your body goals, EHP Labs has you covered.

Body Science Whey Protein

Body Science Whey Protein  presents a premium blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate, delivering 28.7g of essential protein per 40g serve. This low-carb formula, enriched with prebiotics to support your gut, promotes muscle growth and digestive health. With added DigeZyme®, L-glutamine, and BCAAs, it aids digestion, enhances nutrient absorption, and supports muscle repair and recovery. Scientifically formulated, this gluten-free and sugar-free WPC protein blend is designed for lean muscle development, and is HASTA-Certifed for maximum dependability. With only 2.1g of fat per serving, this WPC protein powder is ideal if you’re trying to fast-track your recovery and lean muscle growth while meeting your macronutrient goals.

Evolve Incredible Whey

We’ve saved the best for last here! Evolve Incredible Whey is a premium WPC protein powder, expertly crafted to support post-workout recovery. Designed for muscle repair and lean muscle growth, this blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate ensures a consistent flow of vital nutrients to support your fitness goals hours after training. With a superior amino acid profile and minimal carbs, it caters to high-protein diets effectively, and can even act as a meal replacement shake when you’re in a rush and need to refuel. Free from gluten, fillers, and stabilisers, this formula is a dependable choice for clean recovery. With an impressively low 1.4g of fats, this macro-conscious WPC protein is Ideal for active individuals looking for a high-protein blend that supports rapid post-training recovery and improved muscle development. If you’re starting to feel the DOMS kick-in after a massive leg session the day before, Evolve Incredible Whey is the perfect remedy to help you replenish your muscles with clean, concentrated protein.


Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Whey protein hydrolysate, or hydrolysed whey, depending on which article you’re reading, is a form of protein that is growing in popularity. Whey protein hydrolysate has gained popularity due to its low fat content, which makes it an effective whey protein option for people following a low-fat diet, or targeting specific body goals. In addition to being low in fat, whey protein hydrolysate is also easily digestible, making it a popular choice among gym-goers, athletes and bodybuilders looking for a protein supplement that is quick to absorb. If you’re looking for an immediate post-workout protein option, protein hydrolysate is your best bet. Hydrolysed whey protein refers to the process of hydrolysis, a process where water is added to the whey to help break down the protein, making it easier for the body to metabolise. This type of protein is generally on the more premium side of the price spectrum, but its standout perk is that it allows the amino acids in protein to be absorbed at a far higher rate to standard protein powders. This is why it is most effective when taken immediately after exercise. This supplement is suitable for anyone, regardless of fitness level, looking to increase their protein intake. It's also great for individuals who want a high-quality protein source without consuming too many calories (Walker, C. 2017).

Gen-Tec Hydro Pro WPI

Gen-tec Nutrition carefully formulated  Gen-Tec Hydro Pro, a premium protein blend of ultra and microfiltered whey protein isolate and hydrolysed whey protein isolate to support rapid digestion and nutrient uptake. The HASTA-Certifed hydrolysed whey protein powder ensures the purest quality with fewer than 1g of lactose, sugar, and fats. The quick absorption of WPI helps to deliver amino acids into the bloodstream promptly, while hydrolysed whey protein isolate stands out as the fastest-digesting protein available. Gen-Tec Hydro Pro WPI offers a superior choice, providing athletes with a clean, top-quality whey protein hydrolysate option that is ideal for immediate post-workout recovery. This comprehensive blend is ideal for athletes who have just finished intense training and need to replenish themselves immediately with essential nutrients.

Hi-Tech Precision Protein

Precision Protein by Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals stands out as a premier hydrolysed whey protein formula that is internationally renowned and trusted. Infused with the brand's unique Embedded Enzyme Technology (EET), this innovative whey protein hydrolysate blend supports muscle growth and protein synthesis. Boasting high bioavailability and amino uptake, it's a gluten-free powerhouse that is perfect for post-workout nutrient replenishment. Delivering 25g of premium protein in an easily digestible form, Precision Protein assists with accelerated muscle recovery and performance. Tailored for muscle anabolism, this formula helps to maximises growth potential and is macro-friendly with only 2g fat and 130 calories per serving. For those serious about muscle gains who train on a regular basis, fuel your potential with Precision Protein, your ultimate post-training ally.

Evolve Reload

Serious about recovery? Evolve Reload is the BEST recovery protein in this list! Evolve Reload stands out as a leading hydrolysed whey protein formula, combining a matrix of essential nutrients to offer a complete recovery platform. Perfect for post-workout use, this premium recovery hydrolysed whey protein powder is meticulously crafted to support muscle repair and growth effectively. With a potent blend of hydrolysed WPI, rapid-absorbing carbs, creatine, L-glutamine, and essential BCAAs, Evolve Reload promotes rapid nutrient absorption for maximum recovery and strength gains. Backed by scientific research, its cutting-edge formula supports performance and results, delivering a macro-friendly blend that is high in quality protein and carbs, while delivering only 0.6g fats per serve. Whether you're an athlete striving for peak performance or a fitness enthusiast aiming to enhance recovery, Evolve Reload is the ultimate solution.


The Bottom Line

When it comes to whey, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and hydrolysed whey protein are all excellent sources of protein, but they possess different characteristics that make them stand out.

Whey protein isolate has a high protein content, along with low levels of fat and lactose. It is an ideal choice for those who are lactose intolerant and looking to avoid lactose in their diet. On the other hand, whey protein concentrate is a more economical option, which contains lower levels of protein and higher levels of carbs and fat. Lastly, hydrolysed whey protein is pre-digested, making it easy for the body to absorb. It is commonly used by athletes, as it is effective in promoting muscle growth and recovery post-workout.

Ultimately, the best option depends on your individual goals and dietary needs. If you’re still not sure which type of whey protein is best for you, head in-store or reach out online, and our knowledgeable team will help you find the best whey protein supplements to support your goals.


Walker, C. 2017, ‘Whey Concentrate vs Whey Isolate vs Hydrolyzed Whey’, My Protein, accessed March 2024, https://us.myprotein.com/thezone/supplements/whey-concentrate-vs-whey-isolate-vs-hydrolyzed-whey/

Geber SRL. 2023, ‘Comparing Milk Proteins: WPI, WPC, WPH, MPC’, Geber SRL, accessed March 2024, https://gebersrl.com/en/comparing-milk-proteins-wpi-wpc-wph-mpc/