What is the difference between WPI and WPC?
The difference between WPI and WPC generally comes down to three main points:
Whey protein isolate comes from a longer and more complicated and stringent filtering process. Whey protein concentrate goes through the ultra-filtration process, where the membranes of the filters are about one micrometer, which is amazingly small. To make whey protein isolate, you take the ultra-filtrated whey protein concentrate and you filter it again through micro-filtration, where these filters are 4 times smaller than the ultra-filters.
Now there is another processing method called ion-exchange, which is used to make WPI, however this is decreasing with manufacturers, as it denatures and damages nutrients and proteins.
As whey protein concentrate does not go through such a stringent double filtering process it contains 5-7% milk fat. This fat originates in the milk and is more commonly referred to as butter fat and can be seen rising to the top of the milk bottle in non-homogenised milk. This butter fat contains anabolic growth factors which are not normally found in whey protein isolate. The butter fat also contains much higher levels of various phosphor-lipids, of which some are bio-active and include Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). So even though the butter fat looks like it is just full of saturated fats, think again; it’s actually natures very own EFA mix!
Also as the WPC processing is less stringent, its lactose is much higher (containing around 5%). The lactose contains oligosaccharides that act as growth factors, toxin-binding factors, anti-microbial peptides, prebiotics, and immune regulatory factors. The lactose also has a relatively low glycemic index and is a precursor for other bioactives such as lactulose and lactobionic acid. These form minerals and antioxidants.
However because of the higher level of lactose and fat, WPC has more calories. So if you are on an extremely strict diet and are careful of every calorie that you consume then WPC may not be your choice of whey. Also the same goes if you are lactose intolerant, whey protein isolate may be a better choice.
3. Protein Fractions
Whey protein actually consists of several different proteins; they are beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptide, alpha-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, proteose-peptone, bovine serum albumin and minor peptides such as lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase and beta casein.
Generally, whey protein concentrate contains more lactoferrin than whey protein isolates. Lactoferrin helps the intestines fight against bacteria that cause infections and food poisoning due to its anti-bacterial activity. The amount of health-promoting immunoglobulins in whey protein concentrate is also generally more than whey protein isolate too.
If after reading the above you are not sure which whey is right for you. Then we would recommend WPC if you want an economical protein which offers more of the growth and health stimulating properties. Or choose WPI if you are looking for a fast acting protein to consume pre and/or post workout as it is higher in protein and lower in fat and lactose levels. WPI is also more suitable if you are lactose sensitive but be aware it does contain 1-2% lactose in most cases.
We offer four different whey protein powders. Two WPC's and Two WPI's. See them all here HERE.