Have you been looking for a protein isolate that helps build your muscles and keeps you going, even during the toughest workouts? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

All too often, protein isolate is full of unnecessary ingredients that don’t actually do a whole lot for you. This is why “the champ,” Chris Bumstead — 5-time Mr. Olympia — took it upon himself to design his own line of protein isolates.

CBUM Itholate Protein on stone

Here at Raw Nutrition, we believe that natural ingredients are best and that you don’t need a protein supplement with tons of stuff in it in order to be the best you can possibly be. Whether you’re a professional lifter or only just started going to the gym yesterday, you’ll love Raw Nutrition’s complete protein isolates.

In this review, we’ll be going over the very best protein isolates that are on the market right now. Not only do we offer the best-tasting protein isolates, but you can be sure that you’ll get high-quality protein isolates with Raw Nutrition, too.

From pure protein isolates, to whey protein isolates, to plant-based protein isolates, we’ve got it all. We even have a vegan protein isolate option for those of you who prefer not to consume animal products. Let’s get started!

The Best Protein Isolates

Don’t settle for a protein isolate that’s just kind of okay. You deserve to enjoy your protein supplement, especially since you’ve been working so hard on your fitness journey. The protein isolates on this list won’t just improve your muscle mass, but they’ll also help with lean muscle tissue growth and repair. If you don’t believe us, just check out our customer reviews over at the Raw Nutrition website!

CBUM Itholate Protein

A container of RAW Itholate Protein

What’s so great about CBUM Itholate Protein? Well, for one, this protein supplement was crafted and flavored by the one and only Chris Bumstead! It’s specifically designed to complement your post-workout in the most Thavage way possible.

When it comes to protein isolate benefits, you can’t go wrong with this one. It features 100% micro-filtered whey isolate, delivering a solid 25g of premium-quality protein per scoop with easy digestibility.

CBUM Itholate Protein doesn't compromise on protein content, either. It provides a substantial 25g of pure whey protein isolate per serving. Due to the fact that it’s fat-free and contains only trace amounts of carbs, it’s the ideal protein supplement for those who want to focus more on lean muscle development.

You can rest assured that it’ll deliver pure, muscle-building protein, and you won’t have to worry about unnecessary additives either! It also comes in some really tasty flavors, like birthday cake and mint chocolate chip.

Ingredients

  • 25G Whey Protein: A substantial amount of whey protein in each serving, which contributes to muscle repair and growth.
  • 100% Micro-Filtered Whey Isolate: The use of micro-filtered whey isolate ensures a high-quality protein source with the best digestibility possible.

Whey Protein Blend

A white and brown tub of RAW’S Whey Protein Blend

Raw Nutrition's Whey Protein Blend is a tasty and healthy micro-filtered protein isolate with low fat and low carbs. This protein isolate is a clean option, since it doesn’t contain any chemical preservatives. Each scoop contains 25 grams of protein, and the blend itself is carefully designed to support lean muscle growth and provide quick digestion for immediate use by the body.

Proteins from animals treated with hormones and antibiotics might come with unwanted side effects. Our Whey Protein Blend protein powder only uses high-quality whey sources. We care about using quality ingredients and ensuring that our customers are safe while working out.

With no fillers for better digestibility and no ingredients from questionable sources being used in this blend, you can stay safe while refueling after your workout.

Ingredients

  • Micro-Filtered Whey Protein Blend: Crafted from a blend of high-quality whey sources and micro-filtered for purity, this ingredient ensures that this protein supplement is clean and effective.

RAW Vegan Protein

RAW Vegan Protein in a white container

Yep, that’s right! Raw Nutrition also provides a vegan protein isolate for those who don’t consume animal products. Each scoop of Raw Nutrition’s RAW Vegan Protein isolate contains 20 grams of high-quality plant-based protein without any hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or GMOs.

Sweetened with the all-natural sweetener, sweetly stevia, this 100% vegan protein both tastes great and is easy to digest. It even comes in flavors like cookies & cream, peanut butter, and chocolate.

Our RAW Vegan Protein isolate is customized to suit different diets and lifestyles. Each serving of RAW Vegan Protein is low in calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and fat, which makes it a great choice for those who are especially health-conscious.

Understanding that not all plant-based proteins are the same, RAW Nutrition combines four powerful ingredients — pea, brown rice, fava bean, and mung bean — to create the ideal plant-based protein. This complete formula makes for a powerful amino acid profile and provides plenty of plant-based protein for the user to enjoy after their workout.

Ingredients

  • Vegan Protein + Amino Acids Profile: Because there’s a solid blend of different plant protein sources in this supplement, it contains plenty of amino acids.

A man spotting another person in the gym 

What Is Protein Isolate?

If you’re new to the fitness lifestyle, you may not know what protein isolate is, and if so, we’re here to tell you! Protein isolate is a concentrated protein form that’s separated from other food sources. It’s commonly used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve muscle mass and as a dietary supplement.

Whey protein, which is derived from cow's milk, contains all of the essential amino acids that help with the growth and repair of lean muscle tissue, particularly the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) — leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

Compared to other protein forms, whey protein isolate undergoes a more rigorous purification process. This process removes any additional fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and lactose. It really is protein in its purest form!

In a nutshell, whey protein isolate is a simple form of protein that doesn’t contain any extra macronutrients. This makes it ideal for those who want to improve their body composition and burn fat since it contains fewer calories, less fat, carbohydrates, and sugar compared to other protein supplements.

How Protein Isolate Works

Protein isolate works by giving your body the important amino acids it needs for building muscles. When you work out, your muscles break down and require repair, a process called protein synthesis, which — as you may or may not know — relies on amino acids.

These essential amino acids, the basic building blocks of protein, are found in foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. However, the body can only use a limited amount of protein from these sources. That's where protein supplements come in handy.

By taking protein isolate after your workouts, you’ll no longer have to worry about whether you’re getting enough protein to help rebuild your muscle cells. Protein isolate is an excellent way for athletes to get all the protein they need — without also acquiring unnecessary fat and carbohydrates.

Chris Bumstead, 5-time Mr. Olympia, lifting weights

The Benefits of Protein Isolate

To reach your fitness goals, it's not enough to just exercise regularly or go for daily runs. Proper recovery requires giving your body muscle-building nutrients after you exercise. Whey protein isolate is a product that supports this process quite well.

While there are plenty of different types of protein supplements available, including grass-fed whey protein concentrate and slower-digesting casein, the best protein isolate favors whey protein — both by professional athletes and those who are new to working out.

Whey protein isolate might just be exactly what you need to help you reach your health and fitness goals. Why, you might ask? Great question! Let’s talk about the many benefits of protein isolate below.

Whey Protein Isolate is Easy to Digest

The last thing you want to deal with after a high-intensity workout is stomach pain. We’ve all been there. Nobody wants to be doubled-up and holding their stomach after working out. Thankfully, whey protein isolate is easy for your body to digest because it absorbs quickly, and processes faster than other types of protein.

To further improve absorption, you should mix your favorite whey protein isolate with a liquid of your choice. It should help to regulate bowel movements (we apologize if that’s TMI, but it’s good to know!) and can be especially suitable for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. Research from Cambridge suggests that due to its quality and absorption, whey protein isolates may improve insulin levels and fasting lipids, too.

Low in Fat and Carbs

Finding something low in fat and carbs is pretty great, especially when you're watching your diet. Among many products with extra carbs and fat, whey protein isolate stands out for being low in both. Choosing to take whey protein powder after you work out allows your body to get the protein it needs without the extra calories from additional ingredients.

Plenty of Amino Acids

Whey protein isolate, in its pure protein form, contains all nine essential amino acids. Amino acids are super important for proper muscle repair and protein synthesis. Studies show that while BCAAs help with recovery and muscle growth, using all nine essential amino acids (EAAs) can increase muscle protein synthesis by up to 50%, compared to using only BCAAs.

Certain amino acids in whey protein isolate, like glutamine and leucine, also play a role in stimulating protein synthesis right after a workout. They also help reduce tissue damage and improve muscular endurance. Not only that, but cysteine assists in producing glutathione — a potent antioxidant that helps to preserve and maintain lean muscle mass.

Prevents Muscle Wasting

Not many people know this, but whey protein isolate is actually super helpful for people who are living with muscle-wasting diseases. It’s also a great choice for seniors and anyone who happens to be going through natural age-related muscle loss.

What’s more, if you're intentionally cutting calories to lose body fat, whey protein isolate will be your best friend. It helps keep your lean muscle intact while you’re dieting and ensures that you burn calories effectively all day long.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the Difference Between Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate?

Whey protein isolate is a natural dairy protein powder that's at least 90% protein. In contrast, whey protein concentrate has around 80% protein. Whey protein isolate has minimal sugar, lactose, or fat, which makes it a healthier option. However, whey protein concentrate is more cost-effective per gram of protein.

Is Protein Powder Pasteurized?

Whey protein powder comes from pasteurized whole milk, but the whey undergoes processing at low temperatures in a sterile environment in order to prevent protein denaturation. High heat during pasteurization can denature whey proteins, which can sometimes lead to hydrophobic interactions and protein gel formation.

What's the Expiration Date of Whey Protein?

Every whey protein product has a labeled best-by date. Consuming protein beyond this date might give you an upset stomach due to the breakdown of colorings and flavors. While the risk of bacterial growth is low, fat-containing whey protein can go rancid due to oxygen exposure. We’d definitely recommend strictly following the best-by date for safety.

Can People Who Are Lactose Intolerant Eat Whey Protein?

Whey protein isolate contains trace amounts (about 0.5g per serving) of lactose. Most lactose-intolerant people can safely consume whey protein without any negative side effects, but you may want to ask your doctor if your lactose intolerance is particularly severe.

Alt text: Lauralie Chapados, an athlete at RAW Nutrition, in a bodybuilding competition 

Final Thoughts on the Best Isolate Protein

It can be difficult to figure out which protein supplement to take after working out. There are a lot of options out there, and it can honestly be a little overwhelming. If you’ve been looking for a protein isolate that will suit not only your post-workout recovery process but also your taste buds, you’re in the right place!

At Raw Nutrition, you can get protein isolate in several different flavors. Don’t hesitate to check out our selection of protein isolates today! If you’ve been wondering what your post-workout routine needs, then this may be it, and “the champ,” Chris Bumstead, would agree with us!

March 12, 2024 — Aaron Napoles