Whey Isolate 101

MariGold Protein Bars Whey Isolate Protein

Protein Benefits – Whey Isolate

When it comes to picking protein, there is no shortage of options! The importance of protein has gained popularity over the past few years, which has made protein consumption a top priority for health enthusiasts! With different flavors, protein sources (animal vs. plant protein) and delivery methods (protein bars, shakes, smoothies, heck even protein cereal) getting adequate protein is easier than ever!

Different Strokes For Different Folks…

If you are looking for an animal source protein supplementation (as opposed to a vegan/plant based source such as pea, rice or even hemp protein) then your choices generally become some type of milk protein, which can fall into several categories including milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrates.

Today we will be discussing the benefits of whey protein.

Regardless of which type you choose, whey protein comes from milk and is made up of casein and whey (the two main proteins). Whey makes up roughly 20 percent of the protein, while casein makes up roughly 80 percent of the protein. When milk is made into cheese, the whey is separated from the curds (or solids) and is actually found in the liquid medium that is left behind. It is then separated and goes through a bit more processing to become the whey protein we all know and love to consume in our bars, shakes and protein powders!

Some whey is made by heat processing which creates a product with “burnt” protein and a gritty taste.  Better whey is made using cold filtration which leaves enzymes in-tact and creates a protein that is more bio-available.

Whey Isolate Protein vs. Whey Concentrate Protein

Whey protein concentrates generally contain 70-80 percent protein, with a considerable amount of lactose and some fat, while whey protein isolates generally contain about 90-95 percent protein, with virtually almost all of the fat and lactose removed.

Protein in the form of whey isolate is said to be the “purest” source available. When whey protein isolate is made, the majority of fat and lactose is removed. This makes whey isolate a better choice than whey concentrate for people with GI issues or sluggish digestion. This is especially true for those who are lactose intolerant or who are gluten intolerant since casein is similar to gluten in structure.

Why You Might Need More As You Age

Eating enough protein can help combat age related muscle loss. The current recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day, although some experts believe this might even still be too low, particularly for older populations.

Studies suggest that older active adults might need more protein than the younger population to aid in the maintenance of muscle mass and prevent naturally occurring age related muscle loss. Total muscle loss can range anywhere from 0.5% to 2% of total muscle mass each year, starting around the age of 50. Researchers have found that the combination of resistance exercise and proper protein intake, can help to “buffer” the aging and muscle wasting process.

Protein requirements can increase since our aging bodies process protein less efficiently and may require more to maintain muscle mass, bone health and overall strength. Research has found that up to one third of older adults do not eat adequate protein, putting them at higher risk for issues such as muscle wasting, slower healing/recovery and even increased susceptibility to illness (as protein is important for our immune system).

A 2018 study that looked at more than 2,500 seniors, over a period of 23 years, found that those who consumed the most protein were 30 percent less likely to become “functionally impaired” compared to those who ate the least amount of protein; meaning they were less likely to lose functioning ability of simple things such as getting out of bed and walking up stairs.

The total amount of protein you eat per meal doesn’t necessarily matter, but rather your net protein total at the end of the day. So go ahead and split up your protein intake however you’d like!

crossfit men and women

Additional Health Benefits:

Proteins serve as a structural component of muscles and tissues throughout the body and are also used to make hormones, enzymes and even transport nutrients. We have 20 amino acids that are required for growth and metabolism, with 12 of them being non-essential (meaning we can make them on our own dependent on our current protein status). The remaining proteins are considered essential, meaning we cannot make them on our own and must get them from diet or from supplementation (like using a protein powder/eating a Marigold bar etc).

Animal sources of protein in general provide a complete source of protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids, as well as various vitamins and minerals that can support bone health, immune health, protein synthesis (muscle growth). It can even support neurotransmitter, hair and hormone health (as proteins provide the building blocks for many of these essential functions).

Whey isolate protein provides Cysteine, an amino acid that has been shown to enhance glutathione levels, which has strong antioxidant properties and can support immune and liver health.

Protein Synthesis:

Whether you are a weekend warrior, a bodybuilder, crossfitter, adventurer/wanderer or just a health conscious person, consuming enough protein (which includes pre, intra and post workout) is essential for maximizing muscle protein synthesis, as well as net protein balance.

Research has suggested that consuming adequate protein (which can vary depending on your age, activity level, dietary protein consumption, weight etc) can not only optimize protein synthesis and anabolism (muscle building), but also recovery (so you can back to the gym and all the movement you love).

Having lower levels of net, or total, protein can result in exercise induced muscle damage (aka feeling sore), muscle wasting, poor exercise performance/quality (when you just can’t really get through that workout), low energy, and poor recovery.

Protein consumption has been shown to have a positive effect on muscle protein synthesis, as well as being able to gain size (getting those muscles popping #gainz) and prevent loss in lean tissue.

Research has found that within four weeks of protein supplementation for those participating in resistance training, greater protein synthesis and body mass is seen in those with the greater protein consumption. This research compared 3.3 g protein/kg lean body mass versus 1.3 g protein/kg lean body mass per day.

Whey protein contains high amounts of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) which are important to maintain muscle tissue, as well as preventing the catabolic action of muscle breakdown that can happen during exercise. So, if you’re using a quality whey protein, there may be no need for additional BCAA supplementation.

MariGold’s Protein Bars – Our Ingredients

At MariGold, we only use premium quality Truly Grass-fed Whey Isolate that comes from grass-fed cows. Each of our bars contain 20+ grams of protein and we never use soy, glycerin, or other less desirable forms of protein.

So, if you’re lactose intolerant, you can eat our bars and remain bloat free (yeah!). Also, if you’re gluten intolerant, you don’t have to worry about the cross-reaction that is caused by casein (since we don’t have any casein!). It is cold processed so it protects the delicate amino-acid chains.

For more information on our ingredients, please visit our What’s Inside Our MariGold Bars page or take a look at our Nutritional Labels.

Checkout these bars with the highest amount of protein:

Brianna Diorio

Author: Brianna Diorio

FDN-P, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, NASM – CPT

Brianna Diorio is a clinical nutritionist and holistic lifestyle coach, as well as one of our MariGold Ambassadors.

“These bars are truly delicious and nutritious, my favorite combination!”


1 thought on “Whey Isolate 101”

  1. Would love to be able to mix up the flavors of my favorite bars as buying 12 of one flavor is just not reasonable for 39.00. Will this ever be an option? I don’t like all the bars in the lectin-free sampler and those are my only options to purchase. I don’t want to continue to have wasted bars. Thanks for the consideration!!

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