Is Whey Dairy And Does Whey Protein Have Lactose?

Yes, whey is dairy, and whey protein has lactose is the short answer. But there’s more to whether whey is dairy and if whey protein has lactose. For instance, the lactose content in whey protein can vary depending on how the whey protein is processed.

Whey protein powder has become a top choice for many who are looking into getting supplements to increase their protein intake.

Be it as a post-work-out partner or a partner to lose weight, whey protein is one of the best proteins to help you on your road to fitness.

If you have been looking into whey protein to supplement your daily protein need but have challenges like dairy allergies or lactose intolerance, then stick around as we have researched all the helpful information that you need.

Is Whey Considered Dairy?

Is Whey Considered Dairy?

Whey is considered dairy because it is a liquid by-product that is created during the process of cheese production and is one of the protein types found in cow’s milk.

The solid parts of milk are turned into cheese while the liquid whey separates.

Whey is about 90% water and 10% milk protein which contains all the essential amino acids needed by our body but is low in fat.


Dairy Allergies and Whey Protein

Dairy Allergies and Whey Protein

Unfortunately, those with dairy allergies are advised not to consume whey protein as whey is a dairy product.

So, if you have a dairy allergy, it is best to stay away from whey protein and look for another protein supplement that will not cause any allergic reaction.


Plant-Based Alternatives to Whey Protein if You Have Dairy Allergies

Plant-Based Alternatives to Whey Protein if You Have Dairy Allergies

If you have dairy allergies, you should not consume whey protein and instead find an alternative source. The recommended protein supplement if you have dairy allergies is from plant-based proteins. There are several plant-based protein powders available on the market but the following are some of the best types of protein to consider:

Soy Protein

Soy

Soy Protein is probably the most popular type of protein for those with dairy allergies as it is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids needed by our bodies and is also low in fat.

Soy protein can be found in different forms such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and edamame.

Pea Protein

Peas

Just like soy protein, pea protein is also a dairy-free protein and is considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids. In addition, pea protein is also hypoallergenic and does not contain any gluten or eggs.

Hemp Protein

Hemp plant

Hemp protein is another excellent source of plant-based protein that is loaded with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and magnesium.

Hemp protein is also hypoallergenic and does not contain any dairy, gluten, or eggs.

Rice Protein

Rice

Rice protein is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Rice protein is even used in some skin and hair products. Rice protein, aside from it being a dairy-free protein, can reduce blood pressure and blood fats.

Rice protein is also hypoallergenic and does not contain any gluten or eggs. Also, brown rice tends to have more protein than white rice.

Other plant-based proteins that you can consider are quinoa protein, flaxseed protein, and pumpkin seed protein.


Lactose Intolerance and Whey Protein

Lactose Intolerance and Whey Protein

Lactose intolerance is different from having a dairy allergy as those who are lactose intolerant are not allergic to milk but rather have trouble digesting lactose.

Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and other dairy products that needs to be broken down by the enzyme lactase for it to be properly digested.

People who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting lactose as they don’t have enough of the enzyme lactase in their gut which breaks down lactose.

As a result, consuming lactose can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

However, just because you are lactose intolerant does not mean you have to stay away from whey protein as there are many types of whey protein that are low in lactose.


Does Whey Contain Lactose?

Does Whey Contain Lactose?

Yes, whey contains lactose as whey is made from the lactose-containing part of the milk. But it does not mean that people with lactose intolerance should go for completely lactose-free protein powder.

The amount of lactose in a whey protein can vary depending on how the whey protein was processed. Some whey proteins are processed in a way where most of the lactose is removed and don’t have enough lactose to cause health issues to people with lactose intolerance upon consumption.


Types of Whey Protein

Types of Whey Protein

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the different kinds of how whey protein is processed:

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey Concentrate is the most common form of whey protein and is about 70-80% protein with the rest being lactose and fat.

The amount of lactose in Whey Concentrate Protein Powders can range from 5-8% which is still relatively low.

For those who are working out for muscle growth, Whey Concentrate is one of the top choices among protein supplements to get the necessary Branched Chain Amino Acids to support muscle recovery.

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey Protein Isolate is a more pure form of whey protein as it has been isolated from the other parts of the milk. Whey Protein Isolate is about 90%+ protein and is almost lactose-free with only 0.5% or less lactose.

Whey Isolate Protein Powders also contain fewer fats and carbs but is also more expensive than whey protein concentrate.

Hydrolysate Whey Protein

Hydrolysate Whey Protein is a pre-digested form of whey protein that has been broken down into smaller peptides.

Hydrolysate Whey Protein Powders are about 98%+ protein and are almost lactose-free with only 0.5% or less lactose.


Which Whey Protein Should You Pick If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

Whey protein for people who are lactose intolerant

If you are lactose intolerant, you should go for Whey Protein Isolate or Hydrolysate Whey Protein as they have very low levels of lactose.

The amount of lactose is way lower in Whey Isolate and Hydrolysate compared to a whey protein concentrate so those with lactose intolerance can still consume them without negative effects.


Conclusion

To sum it up, whey protein is a dairy product and should be avoided by people who have dairy allergies but people who are lactose intolerant can still have whey protein incorporated into their diet as protein is important to our body.

Those with a dairy allergy can still find fantastic dairy-free alternatives in plant-based protein powders.

Whey Protein Isolate and Hydrolysate Whey Protein are all great choices for people with lactose intolerance as they have very low levels of lactose.

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