Protein “Dry Basis” vs “As Is”: Understanding Whey Protein Efficacy

If you are a fitness freak and wish to perpetuate a good physique for lifetime, whey protein would definitely be a vital ingredient of your regime. Regardless of your target, whey proteins are essential for muscle building, fat loss as well as healthy living. But there are thousands of brands available in the market-leading to endless confusions.

Even after numerous uncertainties, you end up trusting some brand which you are not completely sure about; relying upon user reviews available online which may be highly opinionated or going by the recommendation of some random person.

Yet, are you sure about the efficiency of the picked whey protein powder? Have you ever been able to find out the reason for drastic variation in the result of whey proteins from different brands that provides almost the same amount of protein in a specified serving?

Another question that often comes to the mind of whey protein users, that if their selected protein supplement is 100 % available to the body or not! If not 100 %, then what percentage of the protein present in the supplement is utilizable for the body?

Therefore, to choose the most effective whey protein which gives you satisfying results, it is very essential to know about the key components of whey protein which make it more effective.

As a matter of fact, whey protein supplements are produced by the expulsion of non- protein elements from whey, resulting in a product that holds more than 25 % of protein. According to a report of American Dairy Products Institute, whey protein concentrates can have different protein concentrations higher than 25 %. The most common being:

Whey Protein Concentrate (34 %): which consists of 34- 36 % Protein, 48- 55 % Lactose, 3- 4.5 % Fat, 6.5- 8 % Ash and 3- 5 % Moisture content.

Whey Protein Concentrate (80 %): which consists of 80- 82 % Protein, 4- 10 % Lactose, 4- 8 % Fat, 3- 5 % Ash and 3.5- 5 % Moisture content.

But when it comes to assessing the better protein, very few people know about the real indicators which apprise the efficiency of a whey protein supplement and help people find out the real good brands of whey proteins.

What does “As is” and “Dry basis” mean?

What is As Is in Protein?

As is refers to the actual amount of “usable protein” present in a protein supplement. If you take 30 g of a good whey protein supplement and it provides you approximately 25-26 g of available protein, this value is referred to as protein “as is”, i.e. the actual amount of protein which the body can utilize.

Protein As is and Protein Dry basis

All protein brands contain some amount of water or moisture. The more the moisture content of the supplement, the lesser the percentage of protein will be. “As is” is the most authentic way of assessing the purity of protein and the sincerity of the brand. But because of this, very few brands mention this measurement on their protein containers as it gives the true idea of what exactly you are going to consume and how much you are spending on it.

What is Dry Basis in Protein?

Dry Basis: refers to the percentage of “pure protein” present in a supplement after the water in it is completely removed through heat.

More precisely, if a protein with “as is” value of around 88% is heated at a high temperature for a specific duration, the left out will be a pure protein with no moisture in it. Definitely, this value is known as protein “dry basis” will be higher than the “as is” (approximately 93-94%) because the water content is being removed.

Dry basis in protein

Similar to the Nutrition fact table given above, in some brands, you might see the measurement of protein “dry basis” on the label, but it is not the actual amount of available protein it provides. Rather it is the percentage of remaining protein after the moisture in the supplement is completely removed by heating it.

“As Is” versus “Dry Basis”

It must be very clear from the description above that both “as is” and “dry basis” specifies the percentage of protein in a particular supplement, but protein “as is” is the real indicator of the actual amount of protein present in it.

Whereas “dry basis” is just mentioned by the brands to delude the users and make them believe a higher presence of protein in the supplement than it actually contains. Remember, you’ll never heat a supplement before consumption to remove its moisture. You consume the supplement as it is and hence the amount of protein it actually contains should be the marker for you to buy a supplement.

Never make a decision to buy a protein supplement on the ground of high protein “dry basis” value. It may be much higher in some brands with low protein “as is” value because of the higher amount of water content present in the supplement. Ultimately, investing in such supplements will not help you achieve your fitness goals timely and you might end up spending more than what is actually justified.


Thereby considering all the above information, here are the answers to the questions posed at the beginning of this article.

The substantial variation in the result, on the consumption of whey proteins from different brands that provide almost the same amount of protein in a specified serving, is because of the reason that they might contain the same amount of protein but their “as is” and “dry basis” would be different. Therefore, next time when you buy a protein supplement, always consider checking the protein “as is” and if it is not mentioned on the label, then check the same with the brand.

Secondly, no protein supplement can be 100 % utilizable for the body, you need to investigate the same with the brand before opting for any protein supplement.

If a whey protein supplement claims to provide 90 % protein, it might be the “dry basis”; whereas the “as is” value would be as low as 83- 86 % which means that the body will be able to utilize only 83- 86 % of ingested protein. The brands having high protein “as is” would definitely mention it on the box as it is a very significant marker of purity. Even if it is not mentioned, you should thrust into knowing all facts related to the supplement before opting for it.

Summing up in the end, always check the actual amount of available protein in a supplement before trusting somebody who is trying to market a supplement for his good.