Whey Protein Facts

What is whey protein?

Whey protein is a high-quality protein naturally found in dairy milk. It is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids the body needs and is easy to digest. Whey protein is also one of the best sources of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) including leucine, which has been shown to stimulate muscle synthesis.

How is whey protein made?

Whey is one of two major proteins found in dairy milk. Whey protein is produced during the process of making cheese, which begins when special enzymes are added to milk causing the curds and liquid whey to separate. The curds then are used to make cheese. The liquid whey is pasteurized and dried into a whey protein powder for various uses. Read more

Are all whey proteins the same?

The composition of whey protein products will vary based on several factors including:

  • Source of the milk
  • Method of production
  • Type of cheese being produced
  • Individual manufacturing specifications

What is the difference between whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein?

Whey protein isolate contains a higher concentration of protein per gram than whey protein concentrate because other ingredients, including lactose, fat, and some vitamins and minerals, are removed. Both offer health benefits and are used in various foods and powders. Hydrolyzed whey protein is created when the protein chains are broken down into smaller chains of amino acids called "peptides." This form of whey protein is most commonly used in infant formulas, medical protein supplements, and some sports drinks. Read more.