Okay friends: protein powders - lets talk about'em. THERE ARE SO MANY. At times, it can feel a little bit daunting when you're shopping for a good protein powder to add to your daily routine. Thanks to my wonderful friend and coworker Darryl Benjamin - this article is going to highlight the different kinds of whey protein and some things to think about while you shop. (Seriously - this man is a plethora of knowledge) 50 Shades of Whey (and by 50 I mean 3) What is whey? Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese making process. After the curds and whey are separated, the whey is further processed to create whey protein. Whey protein comes in a few different forms: Whey isolate, Whey Concentrate and Whey Hydrolysate. Whey protein is popular among athletes today because of its ability to be digested very rapidly and help return the post-workout body back from a catabolic (muscle-wasting) state to an anabolic (muscle-building) state. Whey protein isolates are also widely used in infant formula to provide a natural source of amino acids for optimal growth and development as well as for protein fortification of bars, beverages, dairy products, extruded snacks and cereals and other food products. Whey Concentrate Whey concentrate is the cheapest and most common form of whey protein - a byproduct of cheese production. Whey protein concentrate is a common athletic supplement used to increase dietary protein intake, often with the goal of maximizing muscle hypertrophy. Concentrates typically have low (but still significant) levels of fat and cholesterol but, in general, have higher levels of bioactive compounds as well as carbohydrates in the form of lactose. They are only 29%-89% protein by weight. Whey Hydrolysate Hydrolysate refers to any product of hydrolysis. Protein hydrolysate has special application in sports medicine because its consumption allows amino acids to be absorbed by the body more rapidly than intact proteins, thus maximizing nutrient delivery to muscle tissues. It is also used in the biotechnology industry as a supplement to cell cultures. Whey Isolate Whey isolates have had their base component (water) removed and are generally considered almost lactose and cholesterol free. They are typically at least 90% protein. The General Rules: READ THE LABEL! - you want to find something 90% protein or higher SUGAR - find a protein that has 2g of sugar per serving or less AMINO'S - Find a protein with a good amino acid profile. The amino's you generally want in abundance are ARGININE, GLUTAMINE, ISO-LEUCINE, PHENYLALANINE, LUECINE, LYSINE, VALINE, PROLINE, SERINE and TRYPTOPHAN PAY ATTENTION TO PORTION SIZE! - Some Manufacturers' portion sizes are 1 scoop, some 2 scoops. It is important to take note of this because listing of the dietary info of 1 scoop may be a way to hide the amount of sugars and carbs in one portion, which may be 2 scoops Once again - a MASSIVE thanks to Darryl for this awesome info. I hope this helps some of you with all of your protein shopping needs!