The best whey isolate protein powder
Buying a protein powder is no simple task. There are a wide variety of options from plant-based protein powders to ones sourced from bone broth. Whey isolate protein powders are preferred by athletes to enhance workouts. Even though whey is derived from milk, whey protein isolate doesn't contain much lactose, making it tolerable to many with lactose intolerance.
When choosing a whey isolate protein powder, you'll want to consider its texture and taste in addition to its protein content. For more information on these products, read this shopping guide. We've also included our top recommendations, like the delicious and protein-packed Nutricost Whey Isolate Protein Powder.
Considerations when choosing whey isolate protein powders
The most important consideration when purchasing a whey isolate protein powder is its macronutrient profile.
Typically, a whey isolate protein powder is between 90% and 95% protein, with a serving size of 25 or more grams of pure protein. This is more than enough for people who are consuming adequate protein through their diets, but for highly active people it's a great way to increase your protein intake to fuel intense workouts.
In general, whey isolate powders are very low in fat: under one gram per serving. This is because most of the fat is removed during the comprehensive processing of whey protein isolate.
Particularly if you're on a keto diet or are trying to lose weight, you'll want to pay attention to the carb content in your protein powder. Whey isolate protein powders typically have less than two grams of carbs per serving.
Unflavored whey protein powders can be pretty unpalatable to most taste buds without mixing it with another beverage or ingredient. However, powders sweetened with sugar can undermine your health goals and cause weight gain, among other issues. Select a powder that contains little or no added sugar. A select few brands contain stevia, a healthy and natural substitute for sugar.
Some whey isolate protein powders are flavored to make them more palatable, which is especially desirable if you're mixing the powder into plain water. Vanilla and chocolate are a couple examples of flavors some brands offer, and these are usually sugar-free to boot. We recommend avoiding artificial flavors.
If you're on a gluten-free diet, many manufacturers offer gluten-free whey powders. Be aware that whey powders are not dairy free. Read the label carefully if you have other allergen concerns.
Whey isolate protein powders are made from processing cow's milk, and many consumers are starting to opt for grass-fed cows that aren't fed grains. This is especially important if you're following a paleo diet. Many grass-fed whey powders are also organic and free of hormones and pesticides.
Whey isolate protein powders usually come with a scoop that measures a single serving. Expect to pay between 75 cents and $2 per serving. Pay attention to how many servings a container contains and what ingredients are used when considering its price point.
Q. Are whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate the same thing?
A. Not exactly. Whey protein isolate undergoes further processing than whey protein concentrate to remove most of the fat, lactose, and carbs that a regular whey protein concentrate contains. As a result, whey isolate powders are higher in protein than whey protein concentrates.
Q. What's the best way to consume whey isolate protein powder?
A. We advise adding the powder to a smoothie or shake in a blender. Not all powders mix the same, and some won't dissolve completely into liquids like water. Read consumer reviews of a powder to see how smoothly it dissolves.
Whey isolate protein powders we recommend
Best of the best: Nutricost's Whey Protein Isolate Powder
Our take: A versatile, great-tasting powder that can be mixed into smoothies or water.
What we like: A whopping 30 grams of protein per serving. Dissolves well into liquid. No unpleasant aftertaste. Doesn't cause digestive problems for most people.
What we dislike: Contains artificial sweeteners that makes it too sweet for some.
Best bang for your buck: Staunch's High-Quality Whey Protein Isolate
Our take: A zero-fat whey isolate protein that's tasty and dissolves well.
What we like: Contains only one gram of carbs per serving. Three flavors offered, all free of artificial colors or flavors. Affordable.
What we dislike: Contains digestive enzymes, which not all consumers want.
Choice 3: Isopure's Zero Carb Protein Powder
Our take: Keto dieters and weightlifters rejoice for this tasty zero-carb protein powder.
What we like: Comes in a variety of flavors. Rich, creamy texture mixes smoothly into liquids. Added vitamins and minerals. No carbs and keto friendly.
What we dislike: Contains artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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