Whey Concentrate vs. Whey Isolate


There’s no shortage of whey protein products on the market, but unfortunately, most of them will NOT give you the health benefits you read about in the science articles related to whey protein.  There is probably no other area of processed foods where you need to be more careful than in selecting a high quality whey supplement.

1.  Whey protein isolates have dangerous forms of protein.

Beware of whey protein isolates.  Over 97% of the whey protein available today is isolate. This means they have altered the molecular structure of the whole protein by isolating the protein from essential molecules, such as immunoglobulins, leucine, and cysteine, which help break down protein in the body.  In the isolation process (separating protein from vital nutrients that support the immune system and enhance the effects of protein in the body), the protein itself gets damaged. If you have taken biochemistry, you will be familiar with optical isomers.  Proteins in foods and in your body are in the L form, but processing used to produce whey isolates produces damaging D optical isomers, which are not designed to be in your body.  Depositing these D proteins in your bone, brain, and muscle is associated with accelerated aging.  Accumulation of D proteins in the brain has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Whey protein isolates are devoid of nutritional co-factors including alkalizing minerals, naturally occurring vitamins, and lipids, which are lost in the processing. This renders them deficient and overly acidifying. They are putrid proteins, which are actually more damaging than rancid fats. Non-denatured whole protein concentrates, like Pulse, which do not acidify your body due to their alkalinizing minerals, should be the only protein supplement you consume.

2.  Whey protein isolate can be a serious liability.

If chronically consumed in large amounts (the traditional whey protein isolate manufacturers recommend one gram of protein per pound of body weight!), such as with bodybuilders or athletes, without alkalizing foods, isolates can acidify your body and over time and may lead to metabolic acidosis with consequences that include waste of muscle and bone tissues, total metabolic shut down, and increased vulnerability to degenerative disease.

Many cheap whey protein isolates are produced from cheese; they are byproducts of acid processing, which is a cheap way to separate whey from the curd.  Most of these whey products are rated below pet foods because of the inferior quality of the protein, which is actually more of a nitrogen waste product than one that will produce health benefits.

Additionally, once the fat has been removed from whey protein isolate, you lose some of the most important components of its immunological properties, such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine, and CLA.  All of the IgG, immunoglobulins, which are an excellent source of glutamine and glutamylcysteine (the major precursor to glutathione, another phenomenal anti-aging nutrient), are also bound to the fat globule, and therefore lost in the processing of whey isolates.

The bottom line – DO NOT use inferior whey protein isolates, as there is no doubt it will cause more damage to you than benefit.

3.  Most whey proteins are derived from unhealthy, grain-fed cows.

Average whey protein powders are made from unhealthy grain-fed cows that are routinely given antibiotics and hormones, which accumulate in their milk and their derived whey, unlike, grass-fed cows, who must feed on natural pastures for the entire year and are not given hormones or antibiotics. Grain fed cows produce milk that is lower in CLA, essential fatty acids, and has a lower amino acid profile.

Pulse whey protein powder is derived from 100% grass fed cows that graze on 100% natural pastures 365 days a year (thus classified as Beyond Organic).

**Even organic cows are only required to graze on natural pastures 30% of the time, which means that up to 70% of the time, they are being supplemented with grain! Pulse clean whey goes Beyond Organic standards to make sure that you get the highest levels of nutrition possible.

Grain fed cows produce milk that is lower in CLA, essential fatty acids, and a lower amino acid profile.

Pulse whey protein powder is derived from 100% grass fed cows who graze on 100% natural pastures 365 days a year!

4.  Most whey proteins are processed from ultra-pasteurized milk and many are exposed to acid processing.

Heat and acid damages the protein and makes it insoluble in water (which is why whey protein can be chalky and clumpy).  This is one of the key ways to differentiate high quality whey protein from inferior ones.

But the whey manufacturers know this, and know that insoluble powders are not appealing for a variety of reasons, so they add chemical flavors and detergents to restore flavor and solubility.  They either put in soy lecithin (most likely GMO-see number 6) and dump in chemical surfactants, which are used in soap, like polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, and ethoxylated mono-diglycerides, along with maltodextrin, caseinates, and hydrolyzed proteins, which are really disguised MSG.

Pulse is a minimally processed whey that does not require instantizing, yet still dissolves easily and completely in liquid! That is virtually unheard of in the whey market. We are proud to be GMO free!

5. Most whey proteins use artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, acesulfame-k, and sucralose.

You will find little argument in the health and medical community regarding the dangers of artificial sweeteners. Yet, most protein powder manufactures still use these cheap chemical cocktails—acesulfame-k, aspartame, sucralose—in their products.  Consumers are starting to take notice.

You will never find chemicals of any kind in Pulse, including artificial sweeteners.  We use nature’s sweetener, stevia, which is widely accepted as the safest, best tasting alternative to sugar.

6.  All whey protein concentrates are not created equal. 

Of the few whey protein concentrate products on the market, most of them are not bioactive.  Whey protein that is not biologically active is neutral at best, damaging at worst.  This is due to how most whey protein concentrates and isolates are processed – most are overheated and damaged.  Biologically active whey protein concentrates, like Pulse, are carefully and minimally processed in order to maintain its micro-factions at the highest levels.

Even fewer whey concentrates come from grass-fed cows, and contain no artificial sweeteners, additives, colors, or preservatives! Pulse is the one protein supplement you can take with confidence.

7.  Most whey proteins are instantized with soy lecithin.

Even a lot of “all-natural” whey proteins are instantized with soy, which is another layer of processing. So what exactly is soy lecithin? Soy lecithin comes from soy oil. After the soybeans are pressed and the oil is extracted, the sludge left over is made into soy lecithin. It’s a nasty looking product that requires harsh chemical processing using hexane. Other chemicals are added to kill off the putrid smell. Soy companies decided soy lecithin could be used as an emulsifier and marketed it that way. Thus, it has found its way into protein powders since the late 1980′s.

The other component of soy lecithin to consider is that up to 91% of all soy products are now genetically modified (GMO), and there is growing evidence that ingesting soy should be avoided due to its estrogenic mimicking effects.

We are proud that Pulse contains no soy, requires no instantizing, and is GMO free!

Overweight? A high protein diet helps.


Dietary L: -leucine and L: -alanine supplementation have similar acute effects in the prevention of high-fat diet-induced obesity.



High-protein diets have been shown to alleviate detrimental effects of high-fat diets and this effect can be partially mimicked by dietary L: -leucine supplementation. Here, we aimed to elucidate the early mechanisms and the specificity of leucine effects. We performed a 1-week trial with male C57BL/6 mice fed ad libitum with semisynthetic high-fat diets containing an adequate (10 % w/w, AP) or high (50 % w/w, HP) amount of whey protein, or supplemented with L: -leucine corresponding to the leucine content within the HP diet (Leu) or supplemented with equimolar L: -alanine (Ala). Food and water intake were monitored continuously using a computer-controlled monitor system and body composition changes were assessed using quantitative NMR. HP completely prevented the AP-induced accumulation of body fat. Leu and Ala resulted in a similar reduction of body fat accumulation which was intermediate between AP and HP.

There were no significant effects on plasma glucose or insulin. Triacylglycerol content and gene expression of lipogenesis enzymes in liver as well as plasma cholesterol were reduced by HP compared to AP with Leu and Ala again showing intermediate effects. Body fat gain and liver triacylglycerols were strongly correlated with total energy intake. Water intake was rapidly increased by HP feeding and total water intake correlated strongly with total amino nitrogen intake. We concluded that the positive effects of high-protein diets on metabolic syndrome associated traits are acutely due to effects on satiety possibly linked to amino nitrogen intake and on the subsequent suppression of liver lipogenesis without evidence for a specific leucine effect.


Freudenberg A, Petzke KJ, Klaus S.


SOURCE:  German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE), Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558, Nuthetal, Germany.