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Whey and other names for lactoserum

Whey? Lactoserum? Whey protein or whey powder? Whey isolate or whey protein isolate? What are the products behind these names? What’s the difference? Are all protein-based powders made from animal milk, usually cow milk, equal?

There are two types of whey: sweet whey and acid whey. These two types are then subdivided and their composition varies, like their expected effects. Here’s a quick overview of what you will find on the market.

1 – Sweet whey

Originating from lactoserum, this whitish liquid stays at the surface following the production of cheese. This liquid is full of high-quality proteins, which are easily digestible by the body.


Whey powder, whey protein, lactoserum powder are the most common terms used to refer to the whey-based food supplement. This mix contains between 70% and 80% of proteins. Its natural lipids and carbohydrates help diversify the nutritional intake offered to the body during a workout. It comes from lactose, sugar and milk.

You should always check the label on whey containers: a low-grade product may contain filler agents that are sometimes useless for your body.

Whey protein versus whey protein isolate: are they the same? No, even if both products have the same origin, lactoserum. The important term here is “isolate”, which indicates the part of proteins (the proteins themselves) contained in the food supplements in question. With isolates, 90% or more is protein. There are less carbs and lipids, which can be an asset for athletes monitoring their weight.

Its production process includes successive filtrations, which help preserve the inherent quality of the proteins they contain.

2 – Acid whey

It’s a mix containing more growth factors, and often proves harder to digest because it comes directly from milk, and not lactoserum. Note that its quality depends on the pasteurization process, and the extraction process used to retrieve the proteins.


To inform your choice of protein powders, don’t forget to keep in mind your needs and goals as an athlete, which will allow you to choose the one that suits you best, between concentrated and isolate for instance. However, as a consumer, keep your health in mind, and make sure to choose a proteinaceous preparation with no filler agent or artificial additive!

Find out more about our Whey product line.