What Is Wheat Protein Isolate?

Wheat protein isolate is a dietary supplement that is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. Wheat protein isolate is a popular sports nutrition supplement, particularly among bodybuilders and strength-training athletes, because the high protein content may be helpful in producing muscle growth. Despite the potential benefits of wheat protein isolate, consult your doctor before using it or other supplements.

Why Wheat?

Wheat protein isolate can be a suitable alternative to another popular protein supplement, whey, because unlike whey, wheat protein isolate is not made from dairy products. Thus, wheat protein isolate does not contain lactose, a dairy sugar. If you're lactose intolerant, consuming lactose can result in bloating, cramps, nausea and diarrhea, so you may wish to avoid whey and other dairy proteins, such as casein powder. In this case, wheat protein isolate would be a beneficial alternative.

Calorie Content

Wheat protein isolate can be a beneficial supplement for dieting, because it is low in calories. Each serving of wheat protein isolate contains just 100 calories. Because of the low calorie content, making a wheat protein isolate shake to replace a meal can aid in weight loss. For example, if you drank a wheat protein isolate shake instead of eating a 6-inch turkey sub each day, you'd consume 1,260 fewer calories in one week. That amount is enough to lose more than 1/3 lb.

Protein Content

Wheat protein isolate is rich in protein -- each serving contains 20 g. This makes wheat protein isolate suitable for post-workout recovery. Research published in the December 2010 edition of "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" found that consuming 20 g of protein after workouts stimulated an optimal rate of muscle protein synthesis, a process that drives muscle repair and growth.

Carbohydrate Content

Unlike wheat products such as pasta and bread, wheat protein isolate is low in carbohydrates. Each serving of wheat protein isolate contains just 3 g of carbohydrates, with 1 g of sugar and no dietary fiber.

Fat Content

Wheat protein isolate is low in fat, with just 1 g of fat per serving. This can make wheat protein isolate suitable for low-fat diets.

Gluten

Because wheat protein isolate is a wheat product, it may contain gluten, a type of protein found in grains. Although many people can digest gluten without a problem, those with celiac disease experience nausea, diarrhea, bloating, indigestion and intestinal damage when consuming gluten. Gluten content varies between products, so check labels and consult a doctor before use.

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