Lesson 1: Whey Protein Concentrate – What does your label say?

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is one of the most popular, if not the most popular form of whey protein in the industry. It is the second ingredient in Select Protein, with Milk Protein Isolate being the first. We prefer WPC over whey protein isolate for our chief source of whey because WPC contains intact growth factors – and for a protein geared for muscle growth we feel this is important.

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is one of the most popular, if not the most popular form of whey protein in the industry. It is the second ingredient in Select Protein, with Milk Protein Isolate being the first. We prefer WPC over whey protein isolate for our chief source of whey because WPC contains intact growth factors – and for a protein geared for muscle growth we feel this is important.

What you may not know is WPC raw material comes in many levels of quality from as low as 34% to as high as 80% protein. As you might expect, the 34% material is a fraction of the cost to protein manufacturers compared to the highest quality 80% material. The low quality 34% material allows the protein company to fill up your “2 pound tub” with 2 pounds of low quality protein at a cheap cost.

The problem is, the only person who wins in this situation is the company selling the protein. The end user, you the consumer, is the one who loses. We all assume that when we pay good money we are getting good protein. If you are buying protein that has a very cheap shelf price then…well…you pay for what you get. It’s impossible to sell a true quality protein for cheap.

So how do you know if you are drinking quality 80% WPC?

Most companies who use 80% WPC, like we do in Select Protein, list this out on the label! I don’t care what industry you are in, if you are using the highest quality of something in your product, you probably take the extra step to let your customers know right on the label.

If your protein product just says “whey protein concentrate” then there really is no way to know. Don’t let a label that says their WPC is super ultra mega filtered trick you into assuming it is the top quality material. If it was…they would probably just tell you.

One of the easiest ways to know the protein quality is listen to your stomach. Low quality WPC is known for giving noises in your digestive tract that sound like you swallowed an alien…and the associated gas is never fun to deal with either! These low quality protein supplements give protein powders a bad rap…and make people assume that is how all protein powders will be for them. Look for high quality protein, like Select Protein. When we released Select Protein one of the first things people commented on was how well they digested it compared to their previous protein. We didn’t use magic, we just use quality!

Another way to potentially tell the quality of your whey is to look at the nutrition facts of your protein. Don’t you wonder what the other 66% of the WPC-34% protein is? Is the protein high in fat and carbs compared to products that are known WPC-80 products?

Check the protein to serving size ratio. Select Protein for example, looking at the Snickerdoodle flavor, has 24g of protein in the 31g serving size, showing that by weight the product is 77.4% protein after flavoring and everything! A product that uses 34% WPC could never achieve this (unless they are using a 34% WPC along with whey protein isolate). There are ways for protein manufacturers to fake this by spiking their products with amino acids or gelatin, but we will save that for a later lesson.