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5 Best Whey Protein Isolate Products by Top Recommended Brands [Update]

You’ve decided that you want to get in shape, and you’ve heard that a lot of people start using whey protein supplementation. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand what it is and how it works. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at whey protein, more specifically whey protein isolate. Then, we’ll review the top 5 best whey protein supplements on the market today.

First of all, you need to know that whey protein is sourced from milk. There are actually two types of proteins in milk:

  • Whey (20%)
  • Casein (80%)

There are two components that result during the processing of milk to create cheese. The fatty part coagulates and that is where cheese comes from. The liquid that drains off is whey. If you have ever opened a container of yogurt or sour cream and seen the liquid floating on the top, you’ve seen whey in its raw form. Before it was known that whey had some value, it was thrown out as a by-product.

Once separated, whey is processed further into what we are more familiar with: a powder form. The powder is used to make shakes, protein bars, and more. Whey does not have a great flavor by itself. This is why manufacturers typically add natural and artificial flavoring, or simply add it to foods that have flavor.

Since whey contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs to function, it is known as a complete protein. While whey does contain lactose, it is so low that even if you are lactose intolerant, you should not have any issues with it.

There are many benefits that are associated with whey protein and researchers are always finding new ones. Therefore, if you need to be consuming more protein, a whey protein isolate might be a good option for you. Whey protein is typically well-tolerated, but it is always a good idea to speak with a medical professional prior to beginning any kind of supplementation.

Benefits of Whey Isolate

Above, we briefly mentioned that there are many benefits that have been associated with whey protein. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of these:

Whey isolate is low in fat and carbs

If you are in a situation where you need to keep your fat and carb intake low, such as trying to lose weight, it’s wonderful when you find something that is. You will find that many of the fitness supplements on the market have high fat and carb content. However, whey protein isolate is different. You can give your body what it needs without adding any additional calories from macronutrients.

Whey isolate is easy to digest

According to the experts, whey protein isolate is easily digested and has a high absorption rate. Therefore, your body processes it much faster than it is able to process other forms of protein. If you need a quick uptake, you can consume your whey protein isolate shake as a nutritional supplement. In addition, whey protein isolate has been proven to regulate bowel movements. In certain forms, even individuals who are lactose intolerant can use this type of protein. Since its easily digested, some research indicates that it can improve fasting lipids and insulin levels.

Whey isolate contains amino acids

Whey isolate is the purest form of whey protein. In fact, it contains 90%+ protein. It contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs to function. These amino acids facilitate muscle protein synthesis and repair muscles. According to the experts, while BCAAs can improve muscle growth and recovery, when combined with the 9 essential amino acids, muscle protein synthesis increases up to 50%.

Some other things you need to know regarding the amino acid profile in whey isolate is that glutamine and leucine stimulate protein synthesis following a workout and also improve endurance and decrease damage to tissues. Additionally, the creation of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps with the preservation and maintenance of lean muscle mass is stimulated by cysteine.

Whey isolate improves tissue repair & increases muscle mass

If your goal is to get in shape and you want to see some lean muscle tissue growth and repair, you need to be using whey protein isolate. When you engage in resistance training, you create micro-tears in your muscles. A whey protein isolate can help to repair those tears and stimulate muscle growth. If you don’t give yourself time to recover between workouts, you may not see the results you desire.

Whey isolate improves athletic performance

Many athletes turn to whey isolate to improve their performance and increase muscle mass. As your body is exposed to physical stresses- such as working out- your muscle tissue breaks down. Whey isolate supplementation can repair them. This form of protein speeds up the regeneration process. This causes glutathione production to be increased, which helps build and repair lean muscle tissue.

Whey isolate protects against muscle wasting diseases

Muscle wasting is loss of muscle mass due to the shrinking and weakening of the muscles. There are several muscle wasting diseases: ALS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy, just to name a few. Some research indicates that whey isolate may be beneficial to individuals with these conditions. Additionally, it may help elderly individuals and others who are losing muscle mass as part of the aging process.

Top 5 Best Whey Protein Isolate Reviews

Now that you know a bit more about whey protein isolate and the benefits associated with it, you’re ready to start shopping. However, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the many options. Don’t worry too much about it though. We’ve got your back. Below, you will find what we feel are the top 5 best whey protein isolates on the market today.

XWERKS Grow

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First, we have XWERKS Grow. This is a whey isolate that has been sourced from 100% grass fed cows from New Zealand. Whey isolate is almost pure protein. It has been through an advanced processing that removes the lactose, fat, and carbs. Therefore, it’s easier on your body to digest, so you don’t ever have to be concerned about bloating or gas. Plus, it is gluten-free and soy-free.

Each serving of XWERKS Grow contains the following:

  • 25 grams protein
  • 0 grams carbs or fat
  • 6 grams of BCAAs

XWERKS Grow is everything you want in a protein powder. There are four decadent flavors:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Peanut butter

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Legion Whey Isolate

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Whey Isolate by Legion is sourced from farms in Ireland that are family owned and operated. It is an all-natural whey isolate, which means no additives. This is one of the most popular options on the market. Each serving contains the following:

  • 22 grams protein
  • 2 grams carbs
  • 6 grams BCAAs
  • 5 grams fat
  • 120 calories

One of the best features of Legion Whey Isolate is that there are no added sugars, and they only use the cleanest, healthiest milk. In order to work with Legion, farmers must comply with the SDAS, or Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme– which is a set of strict regulations.

Legion Whey Isolate is available in an array of unique flavors:

  • Fruity Cereal
  • Cinnamon Cereal
  • Cocoa Cereal
  • Salted Caramel
  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Mint Chocolate
  • French Vanilla
  • Mocha Cappuccino
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Strawberry Banana
  • Birthday Cake

If you would prefer an unflavored version, Legion also offers that. This way, you can add it to your favorite food or beverage without impacting the flavor. If you want to find a clean, natural protein powder with tons of benefits, Legion Whey Isolate might be a good choice.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Ladder Whey Protein

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LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger joined together to create Ladder. They were tired of not being able to find a good protein powder to meet their needs. According to the website, their whey protein isolate is formulated to:

  • Support muscle development
  • Improve post-workout recovery
  • Increase endurance

Each serving provides users with a great macronutrient profile, including:

  • 26 grams of protein
  • 7 grams of BCAAs
  • 2 billion CFUs of probiotics
  • 14 grams of amino acids

Whey Protein by Ladder comes in two basic flavors:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla

Ladder Whey Protein has been NSF Certified for Sport. This means that it has been put through some rigorous testing and has been proven to be free of substances that are banned in competitions.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Whey Protein by Transparent Labs

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If you are particular about your protein, Whey Protein by Transparent Labs might be a great option. They source their protein from 100% grass fed cows in the USA. They are fed naturally and are never given any sort of hormones or supplementation. It is 100% whey isolate and the primary reason it made this list is the quality of the protein.

Each scoop measures 32 grams and 28 grams of that is protein. Therefore, each scoop of Whey Protein by Transparent Labs is 88% protein. This is exceptional. In addition, each serving contains the following:

  • 1 gram carbs
  • Less than 1 gram sugar
  • 120 calories, depending on the flavor

Not only does Whey Protein by Transparent Labs have a stellar macronutrient profile, it’s also affordable. This proves that you don’t have to wreck your budget to get healthy. They offer several delicious flavors:

  • Cereal Splash
  • Cinnamon Pastry
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Mocha
  • Salted Caramel

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

ProMix Whey Isolate Protein Powder

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ProMix Whey Isolate Protein Powder has a simple formula- but don’t let that fool you, it still has some power. This supplement is sourced from grass-fed cows in Ireland and has been micro-filtered. This means that it is ideal for muscle development and speeding up post-workout recovery.

Each serving contains the following:

  • 30 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of BCAAs
  • 2 grams of amino acids

ProMix Whey Isolate is one of the most powerful options on the market. You can find it in an unflavored version or chocolate. Plus, you can get it in two sizes: 2 pounds or 5 pounds.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FAQs about Best Whey Protein Isolate

When you decide that you want to start using a dietary supplement of any kind, it’s important to make sure that you do plenty of research and ask lots of questions. You want to have all of the facts before you get started. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about whey protein isolate.

When is best to use whey protein isolate?

Research findings indicate that the best time to consume a whey protein isolate is 15 to 60 minutes following your workout.

Is a whey protein isolate supplement necessary?

The simple answer is no, you really don’t need a whey protein isolate supplement, as long as you are getting your recommended daily allowance through dietary sources. These include: chicken breast, milk, fish, eggs, whole grains, cottage cheese, and nuts/seeds. If you are already consuming enough protein, any extra will turn into calories, which really doesn’t help if you’re trying to get in shape.

That being said, if you are not getting adequate protein in your diet, you should definitely consider adding a whey protein isolate to your diet.

How often should you use a whey protein isolate?

Research has found that 1 to 3 shakes daily should help you reach your goals. If you do end up consuming too many, you’re not likely to experience any detrimental effects to your health.

Does a whey protein isolate supplement really work?

When used properly, whey protein isolate supplements provide you with the protein you need to build lean muscle. Of course, you can’t just drink a few protein shakes and expect to have the perfect body overnight. If you want to build muscle mass, you need to make sure that you balance your protein vs. carbs and that you engage in a workout plan.

Will whey protein isolate cause weight gain?

Whey protein isolate alone is not going to cause you to gain weight. You gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn- or you have a caloric surplus. If you want to lose weight, you’ve got to create a caloric deficiency. This means that you need to be burning more than you are consuming.

Is it possible to build muscle without using whey protein isolate?

The main building block of muscles is protein. Therefore, you must make sure that you give your body what it needs to build muscle mass. As we mentioned earlier, if you are getting adequate protein in your diet, you probably don’t need whey protein isolate supplementation. On the other hand, if you are not getting enough protein in your diet, you might want to supplement. Of course, there’s more to building muscle than consuming a protein supplement. You need to also make sure you’re getting other nutrients your body needs as well as participating in a workout program.

Do you have to be athletic to use whey protein isolate?

Whey protein isolates are not just for athletes. However, you do need to be somewhat physically active. If you are not physically active, consuming them could cause weight gain because protein shakes contain calories. The average adult needs 46 to 56 grams of protein per day, based on current weight and overall health.

Can whey protein isolate shakes be consumed daily?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to consume whey protein isolate shakes daily. After all, it really does have a wonderful safety profile. That being said, you should also be working on your diet and making sure you’re getting the necessary nutrients, including protein. If you do choose to use whey protein isolate for supplementation, experts recommend that you not exceed 50 grams (usually 2 scoops). Of course, as mentioned, it won’t hurt for you to consume more than that.

Is it best to use whey protein isolate before or after working out?

Protein is needed by the body to repair and rebuild muscles. Therefore, most people choose to consume their protein following their workout. Experts say that it really doesn’t matter. You can do whatever you prefer. In fact, some people do both. They have a pre-workout shake to give them energy to get through the workout and a post-workout product to help with recovery.

Does whey protein isolate have any side effects?

As mentioned previously, whey protein isolate has a great safety profile. The recommended dosage is 25 to 50 grams, which is 1 to 2 scoops. It’s important to keep in mind that if you consume too much, you may experience some digestive distress, such as: bloating, cramping, nausea, pain, flatulence, and/or diarrhea. Most people report no side effects with moderate consumption. Even individuals who are lactose intolerant don’t seem to have issues with whey protein isolate.

Of course, it is critical if you have liver and/or kidney issues, you must take some time to discuss the possible pros and cons of using whey protein isolate with your medical provider.

Will you still see results if you workout without consuming a whey protein isolate?

If you choose to engage in a workout, such as strength training or lifting, without proper nutrition, you will probably end up losing muscle tissue. Plus, if you are not getting adequate nutrition, you will not have the energy you need to get through workouts that facilitate muscle development.

Is there an age restriction for whey protein isolate?

According to the experts, only adults 18+ should use a whey protein isolate. At this point, they have stopped growing. That being said, if you feel your teen might benefit from using a protein supplement, have a conversation with their physician. Most supplements are considered safe- but when it comes to children, this isn’t always the case.

Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to whey protein isolate?

Most of the whey protein isolates are safe- but sometimes people may have food allergies or sensitivities. If this is the situation you have found yourself in, you may want to consult with your physician prior to starting supplementation.

Conclusion

Whey protein comes from milk. There are three types of whey protein: isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate. Isolate is the purest form. As you can see, there are lots of benefits associated with whey protein isolate, including being low in fat and carbs and easy for your body to digest. We have given you 5 recommendations for the best whey protein isolates on the market- and hopefully answered some of your questions.

RELATED:Best Pre-Workout Drinks to Buy in 2022 (Top Products That Work)

References

“9 Essential Amino Acids.” PurMEDICA, 24 Sept. 2015, www.purmedica.com/9-essential-amino-acids/.

Alexander, Heather. “What Are Macronutrients?” MD Anderson Cancer Center, June 2020, www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/what-are-macronutrients-.h15-1593780.html.

“Cysteine – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center.” Www.urmc.rochester.edu, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Cysteine.

Foegeding, E. Allen., et al. “Advances in Modifying and Understanding Whey Protein Functionality.” Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol. 13, no. 5, May 2002, pp. 151–59, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0924-2244(02)00111-5.

GCFP, Andrew Heffernan CSCS. “What Is Resistance Training & How to Do It at Home | Beachbody Blog.” The Beachbody Blog, 21 Apr. 2021, www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/what-is-resistance-training.

“Glutamine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” Webmd.com, 2014, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-878/glutamine.

Jackman, Sarah R., et al. “Branched-Chain Amino Acid Ingestion Stimulates Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis Following Resistance Exercise in Humans.” Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 8, June 2017, https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00390.

Mayo Clinic. “Multiple Sclerosis – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 12 June 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350269.

—. “Muscular Dystrophy – Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 31 Jan. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscular-dystrophy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375388.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Whey Protein.” Mayo Clinic, 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-whey-protein/art-20363344.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.” Nih.gov, June 2013, www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Amyotrophic-Lateral-Sclerosis-ALS-Fact-Sheet.

Pal, Sebely, et al. “Effects of Whey Protein Isolate on Body Composition, Lipids, Insulin and Glucose in Overweight and Obese Individuals.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 104, no. 5, Apr. 2010, pp. 716–23, https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114510000991.

“Publication : USDA ARS.” Www.ars.usda.gov, www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=209388.

“SDAS – Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme.” Www.agridata.ie, www.agridata.ie/SDAS.html.

“Spinal Muscular Atrophy Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.” Nih.gov, 2000, www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Spinal-Muscular-Atrophy-Fact-Sheet.

“The Muscle-Building Amino Acid Your Body Needs.” Dr. Axe, draxe.com/nutrition/leucine/.

“What Are Amino Acids and Which Ones Are Essential?” Verywell Fit, www.verywellfit.com/what-are-amino-acids-2242021.

“What Is Casein?” Verywell Health, www.verywellhealth.com/casein-5081318.

“What Is Glutathione and What Are the Benefits?” Verywell Health, www.verywellhealth.com/benefits-of-glutathione-89457.

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Disclaimer:

Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely substitutes for sound medical or financial advice from a licensed healthcare provider or certified financial advisor. Make sure to consult with a professional physician or financial consultant before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA, or Health Canada approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or provide any kind of get-rich money scheme.


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