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What Is Whey Protein Powder And Where Does It Come From?

Before we get to what Whey Protein Powder is, let’s first understand where it comes from. “SAY CHEESE”; it comes from the same place where cottage cheese a.k.a. paneer comes from. Whey is a byproduct of the process of making cheese. It is the liquid, water like serum which is left behind during the process of curdling milk to make cheese.

The Whey is then filtered, refined and spray-dried into Whey Protein Powder. So, what is the buzz around Whey Protein Powder? Why does everyone, looking at ways to get a more athletic body, obsess over Whey? 

Whey is a complete Protein whose biologically active components provide additional benefits to enhance human function. It contains an ample supply of cysteine, glycine and glutamine amino acids. They appear to enhance glutathione levels, which have been shown to have strong antioxidant properties that can assist the body in combating various diseases. It also contains a high concentration of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) that are important for their role in the maintenance of tissue and prevention of catabolic actions during exercise. 

As per certain scientific studies, taking Whey Protein appears to improve running speed and recovery from exercise in untrained adults. Whey Protein seems to work as well as soy, or chicken Protein for increasing muscle strength. 

Now, what are the different types of Whey Protein Powder? There are three primary types of Whey Protein; Whey Protein concentrate (WPC), Whey Protein isolate (WPI), and Whey Protein hydrolysate (WPH). 

What is crude Whey?

Whey Protein Concentrate or Crude Whey is the most important weapon in your muscle-building arsenal. It contains roughly 70%–80% Protein. It’s the most common type of Whey Protein and has more lactose, fat and minerals from milk. Though with technological advancements and scientific researches, manufacturers have been able to reduce the lactose content to negligible.  It promotes muscle growth, counteracts muscle breakdown, and supports your workout recovery. 

What is Isolate Whey?

Whey isolate undergoes more processing as opposed to whey concentrate, which results in a higher Protein content with less carbs, fat and these days Isolates are absolutely lactose free. Protein percentage in Isolate varies from somewhere around 80%-90% and hence is tougher than Whey Concentrate to digest. It is blended with DigeZyme (digestive enzyme) for easier digestion. DigeZyme is a combination of enzymes that help breakdown protein such that it can be absorbed into our body and in turn make our muscles stronger.

What is hydro Whey?

Whey Protein Hydrolysate on the other hand is like the hot, young cousin of Whey Protein. It comes from the same gene pool, containing the same amino acid and micro fraction content, but the hydrolyzed version is smaller and faster. This form is pre-digested, allowing your body to absorb it faster. How it’s made: Whey Protein is broken down into smaller Protein fragments through a process called “enzymatic hydrolysis.” Hydrolyzed Whey undergoes additional processing to break the Protein into smaller fragments that may be easier for people to digest it easily through a longer duration of time.

So, in conclusion Whey Protein Powders are a quick way to help ensure that your body is nourished and satisfied. People use them for a variety of reasons — to lose weight, to improve sports performance, build muscle mass and for overall wellness. How do you know what type is best for your personal health goals? It’s important to know the difference between available Protein Powders as well as how they stack up against whole food Protein sources.


Deckline Leitao, who holds a sports science degree from South Africa and a PG diploma from the UK, is one of India’s most qualified trainers.