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How to Compare Proteins (Whey Protein Special)

How to Compare Proteins (Whey Protein Special)

In this article, we are going to give you some advice when it comes to purchasing protein. Particularly, we will give you tips to compare whey protein since it seems to be the one that causes more confusion.

We can compare certain types of protein that have similar properties. But cannot draw comparisons between all of them. Moreover, we will also talk about some tricks that the brands and producers tend to use in order to “trick” their customers.

We will try to be as clear as possible, without using complex vocabulary because we do not want to create more confusion

There are different protein products available in the market. Therefore, it makes no sense to compare proteins that belong to different ranges. For example, whey protein has several types that come from the same source, which is milk.

Groups within Whey Protein

First of all, there are several types of protein within the the family of whey that barely have anything in common in terms of macronutrient percentage or price.

We will mainly deal with 3 types of products:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Blend of Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate
  • Whey Protein Isolate
Two scoops of whey protein

These are the most popular ones. We will just mention a couple of them since we will have more content for a different article.

Great Manufacturers of the Raw IngredientManufacturers of the Raw Ingredient

In-House Production

Since HSN now has its Own Factory, we have focused on improving the products from our catalog. Particularly protein supplements.

Consequently, the new formulas are the evolution of their former versions. In fact, we have changed some parameters that adapt to the demands of our customers, always providing high quality supplementation.

HSN Factory

And always with absolute transparency.

Thanks to the fact that we have our own factory, we can control each step of the production closely. Therefore, we have been able to deal with one of the most pressing issues, allergens.

Now, we are able to avoid cross-contamination and to remove the traces of some of these allergens from the final product (gluten, egg, lactose…). In fact, we can create products that are suitable for vegetarians or vegans, for example.

Whey Protein Concentrate

This a protein whose main or only ingredient is Whey Protein Concentrate (without taking into account additives like: sweeteners, colors, flavorings, etc…) (more info here).

In this group we can find several types with different protein percentages.

The most typical ones are 60% Whey Protein Concentrate and 80% Whey Protein Concentrate. The latter is the best whey concentrate since any product made with this ingredient is not going to have more than an 80% of protein.

Now, let’s talk about some of the products that would fit in this group. But first, I would like to point to the fact that no whey concentrate will have more than an 80% of protein. However, every day I see brands that lie to their customers (unless we are dealing with the pure raw ingredient without any additive).

The best raw ingredient available to make this product has an 80% of protein. But, in order to finish the product you have to add flavorings, sweeteners, and colors, and some more additives… In the end, the protein percentage of the final product will be lower than 80%.

So, if you see a a whey protein concentrate that has an 80% of protein you should start questioning if that is true or not. Many brands trick their own customers into believing that they are using a product with features that are actually not real.

This topic should be investigated by the authorities, since it is their responsibility to perform the necessary analyses to stop this situation.

Clarification about the protein percentage

When it comes to analyzing a protein, we have to mention the method that has been used and the result. According to this, there are two options:

  1. “As Is”, which is simply the raw ingredient
  2. “Dry Matter”, which is the ingredient without humidity

Logically, if we used the second expression, the result would be higher. However, this aspect does not appear in most labels that show the information about the protein supply.

Here at HSN, we always provide the nutritional information of the final product. Above all, we always try to be as clear and transparent as possible.

This is why we want to clarify this aspect in the label of our products. For example, we refer to the method as “dry matter”, as you can see here:

Aminogram

The following products would belong to this group of “medium range” protein:

  • Evowhey Protein 2.0 by HSNsports: We have improved the formula of one of our star products. Actually, we have removed the soy allergen (now with sunflower lecithin instead). Moreover, we have also increased the protein percentage per serving. We use WPC80 as the raw ingredient but the manufacturer is not always the same, since it depends on its availability, but it is always a quality raw ingredient. Some of the manufacturers we work with are Fonterra, Carbery, Volac, Arla, … We also have Whey Protein Concentrate 2.0 by HSNraw, which is the same as our Evowhey 2.0, but unflavored.
  • Predator Protein by AMIX – One of the best protein products by Amix
  • 100% Whey Protein by Scitec Nutrition
  • Elite 100% Whey by Dymatize
  • 100% Native Whey by R Nutrition

Types of Whey Protein Concentrate

We can actually compared these proteins because they belong to the same range of products. To illustrate this point, it would be like comparing a Series 3 BMW with a S Class Mercedes. They are so different that it would make more sense to compare it with a Class C Mercedes. Both belong to the same range in terms of quality, result and materials.

Blends of Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate

These are products that usually have a whey protein percentage of 80% or at least close to 80%. These products are made of a blend of whey protein (isolate and concentrate, check this post) in general.

This is necessary in order to reach that percentage since a quality whey isolate (read more) usually has a 90% and a concentrate an 80%.

When we mix both and add the corresponding additives, the resulting product has an 80% of protein (approximately). Its price is already higher than that of a whey protein concentrate.

These are some of products from this group:

  • Evoexcel 2.0 by HSNsports: with a 55% of Arla isolate and a 40% of laprodan 8790 by Arla. We have also added DigeZyme® (digestive enzyme complex), Lactospore™ (probiotics) and Colostrum, in order to improve its digestion and absorption.
  • Whey Pure Fusion one of the best Proteins by Amix
  • Nitro Pure Whey by Biotech USA
  • Whey Protein by USN
  • Whey Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition

Whey protein isolate and concentrate blend

Blend of Whey Protein Isolate and Concentrate

Whey Protein Isolate

The only or main ingredient that is used for this product is whey protein isolate. This product tends to have between an 85 and 90% of protein depending on the raw ingredient and the amount of additives.

They are usually more expensive than blends. Above all, this is due to the fact that the method to obtain the raw ingredient is more expensive than the ones used to obtain concentrate. Consequently, the result is a purer product when it comes to its carb and fat content. In addition, it is almost lactose-free (they tend to contain traces that are not usually a problem for those who suffer a mild intolerance to this ingredient).

This product is advisable for those who are following a strict diet. Otherwise, it would be pointless to purchase this product and then eat a bunch of donuts… 🙂 What we can do is use a concentrate to meet our protein requirements while saving some money.

These are some of the products from this group:

  • Evolate 2.0 by HSNsports: This product is our greatest achievement. New Improved Formula! We use Fonterra as raw ingredient, which is soy lecithin-free (it has sunflower lecithin instead). We ave also changed Aminogen for DigeZyme®, since we believe that it is a superior enzyme complex. This product has one of the highest protein percentages, even better than Provon. We also work with other raw ingredients depending on their availability, like Volac, but we always avoid the allergen.
  • Isoprime by AMIX: the CFM™ raw ingredient belongs to Glanbia. We also want to point out that this raw ingredient is similar to the others. In fact, the difference is that Ganblia has registered the trademark with the acronym CFM, which means “Cross Flow Microfiltration”. This is the method to obtain the raw ingredient and it is the same for the other two products from this group.
  • 100% Whey Isolate by Scitec Nutrition
  • Iso Whey Zero by Biotech USA
  • Nitro-Tech Performance Series by Muscletech

Whey protein isolate products

Hydrolyzed Protein

There are other types of whey protein like Hydrolyzed Whey (click here), which are divided in two groups:

  • Hydrolyzed isolate
  • Hydrolyzed concentrate
We also have hydrolyzed casein like PeptoPro, which is probably the most popular product.

These are some of the products from this group:

  • Evohydro 2.0 by HSNsports: New Improved Formula! We use Lacprodan® Hydro.90.INS as the raw ingredient. New flavors and more protein per scoop.
  • PeptoPro by HSNraw: It is the raw product of Evopept by HSNsports. All in all, this means that it does not have any additive. It is a Hydrolyzed Casein that provides a high percentage of peptides (which is the way our body absorbs protein).
  • Hydro Pure by AMIX
  • Hydro Whey Zero by Biotech USA

Their price of the last ones is similar to that of whey isolate.

Hydrolyzed Proteins

Comparing Proteins of the same Type

As we previously mentioned, our purpose is to make a clear distinction between the different types of whey protein. Then, you will be able to know the groups that are available and compare them with similar products from other brands.

It does not make any sense to compare an Evowhey with an Isoprime. The latter will always have a better aminogram and macros…

But we could compare Isoprime with Evolate, for example.

Tricks to Increase the Protein % of an Analysis

Some brands use these tricks when it comes to stating the protein % of their products:

  1. Adding disproportionate amounts of Glycine.
  2. As well as Taurine.
  3. Adding Creatine. You may be wondering what is creatine doing here. Well, it is used to increase the nitrogen content of the blend, since the protein is obtained by multiplying the nitrogen percentage x 6.38. This is the case of products from milk, otherwise it has to be multiplied by 6.25. Nitrogen is obviously not a protein, but it manages to go through the analysis and it cannot be distinguished from the protein or non-protein content. Consequently, it increases the value since it is multiplied by 6.38.
  4. Using milk powder, but saying it is whey protein.
  5. Stating that it has soy lecithin without saying the exact amount by simply calling it emulsifier, when this element is used to lower the cost of the product…
  6. Including collagen protein
  7. And a long etc.

This is what they always do to increase the protein %. If anyone does an analysis the result will coincide with the one from the label.

Most people do a typical quantitative analysis. In other words, each macronutrient has an amount, but it does not tell you the quality. It does not assess the source of the protein or the aminogram. Here you have a very interesting article about this issue: Kjeldahl Method.

Types of protein

This is mainly due to the cost, since the previous method is much cheaper than a HPLC analysis with a detailed aminogram.

I have had the chance to see analyses in which the amount of Glycine, Taurine, and Creatinine per 100g of product was way too high. However, a basic analysis will say that the protein % is correct, since all the amino acids appear as protein. However, if we perform a HPLC analysis we will see that there is a “fraud”… since the protein is less bioavailable…

Conclusions

It is disappointing to see products that claim to be mainly made of Whey Isolate (CFM) when this is just a façade.

Whey Isolate CFM has a particular aspect, it looks wet and compact, but it is actually a powder… There are products in the market that claim to be Whey Isolate but they have a different aspect, since they look more like a fine powder that can be anything else but Whey Isolate CFM. Here you have a picture to illustrate this point.

whey isolate vs others

Nobody will sell you a quality product for a cheap price, if this happens then you should start questioning some things.

We are capable of offering cheaper prices because we chose to sell them directly to the customer, without intermediaries. But there is always a limit.
Check the article we wrote to help you buy the whey protein that best suits your needs.

Real case

For example, a renowned brand we would NEVER work with offers 2kg of “Whey Isolate” that is 7 euros cheaper than our EVOLATE. This may sound good for a customer, but for us it is horrible since it means that it does not have what it says. The price of the raw material is what it is, and you do not get discounts for buying more since the demand is huge and it is constantly growing. Whey producers do not negotiate, you have to pay the price or someone else will…

We also wanted to say that we are working to publish a HPLC analysis of all our protein products and they will appear in the each product page from our website, always in the official sheet from the laboratory. Therefore, our customers will be able to see clearly when and where it has been done so that they can verify said information.

We believe this is the right way to do it, instead of attaching a pdf file with our logo which could have been easily made by us, and which would not be reliable.

I hope that this article has helped you see everything a little bit clearer. I think that the language I used was clear as well since my purpose was to explain some basic notions.

Related Entries

How to Compare Whey Proteins Review

Types of Whey Protein - 99%

Whey Protein Concentrate - 100%

Whey Isolate and Concentrate Blend - 100%

Whey Protein Isolate - 100%

Hydrolyzed Protein - 100%

Tips to increase the protein % - 100%

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HSN Evaluation: 4.65 /5
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