WPI vs WPC – What’s the difference?

There may only be one word separating Whey Protein Concentrate and Whey protein Isolate but these two protein powders have very different functions. So what’s the difference between the two, why would you choose one over the other, and when would you use WPI vs WPC?

Whey protein isolate (WPI)
WPI is also a whey protein powder but is quite different, both in the way it is made and in the effect it has on our bodies. It is a very pure, high protein form of whey (offering at least 85% protein) and is absorbed quickly by our digestive system and therefore shuttled rapidly to the muscles. For this reason, it is considered a very fast-acting protein and is best taken post-workout. You might notice that WPI feels thinner and more watery, and might leave you feeling less full than WPC. This is because of the speed at which the body digests and processes it. WPI is practically carb-free and fat-free, another reason why it tastes thinner and doesn’t stave off hunger for very long. Consider WPI a post-workout supplement rather than a whey protein which could be a meal replacement.

Whey protein concentrate (WPC)
WPC is the most popular form of whey protein powder. It could be considered a basic, all-round whey which can be taken any time of the day, including first thing in the morning, pre-workout and post-workout. It offers 80% protein and a full amino acid profile. It’s low in fat, low in carbohydrate and has very little lactose (milk sugars) so can usually be taken by people who have a mild lactose intolerance. WPC is considered a medium digesting protein, fast enough that it is useful to take after your workouts, but slow enough that you could take it between meals or even before bed, when you’re not going to be getting protein and amino acids into your system for hours.

Still stuck on how to choose between WPI and WPC?
Breakfast: WPC
Pre-workout: WPC or WPI
After cardio: WPC or WPI
Post-workout (weights): WPI
Between meals: WPC
Before bed: WPC (with some added fats)

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