What Is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein?
If you’re interested in health, fitness, or boosting your protein intake, you’ve probably come across the term “hydrolyzed whey protein” at some point. But what does it mean?
Whey protein is one of the main types of protein in dairy and is created through the cheese-making process. Hydrolyzed whey protein comes from a process called hydrolysis, which isolates the individual amino acids of a protein.
Proteins are composed of long chains of bonded amino acids. Lactoglobulin from whey protein, for example, has approximately 164 amino acids. When the proteins get hydrolyzed, they fragment into smaller pieces called peptides - which range in size from 2 to 50 amino acids - and free amino acids.
Proteins, with very few exceptions, can’t be absorbed by our body as is. They have to be hydrolyzed into amino acids or small peptides (2-3 amino acid units). This happens during digestion in our stomach and the small intestine.
The stomach and the pancreatic enzymes, with help from digestive acids, hydrolyze the proteins into peptides, then these peptides are further fragmented into amino acids and smaller peptides. During this long process, some parts of the proteins are lost as waste when they don’t get completely hydrolyzed into free amino acids.
By hydrolyzing the protein before ingesting it, what gets in our stomach is already a mix of amino acids and peptides, which are easily fragmented into smaller peptides and free amino acids in the stomach and the small intestine. Basically, hydrolyzed protein is pre-digested protein so your body can absorb it quickly and easily.
You probably already know about the importance of getting enough protein. But with so many types of protein, how do you know which kind is best for you? Let’s take a look at why hydrolyzed protein is a great option.
Benefits of Hydrolyzed Protein
Easier to digest
Since hydrolyzed protein powders are made up of pre-digested proteins, they can be a great choice for people who have sensitive stomachs, food sensitivities, or trouble digesting. If you’ve ever had an upset stomach after downing a protein shake, then going with hydrolyzed protein powder is a solid alternative.
Much of what causes these digestive issues with milk-based products, such as whey protein, is the presence of lactose. Lactose can cause cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
Hydrolyzed whey protein undergoes a process called hydrolysis, which removes most, if not all, of the lactose present in the whey. However, this process does not remove other milk proteins so plant-based alternatives are still best if you have a milk allergy.
An aid for exercise
If you exercise or play sports, keep in mind that hydrolyzed protein can help in a number of ways.
It plays a crucial role in muscle recovery after your workout. In addition to being faster and easier to digest, hydrolyzed protein is also absorbed at faster rates than whole whey proteins. This increased uptake can help your body recover more rapidly after exercising by providing essential proteins and amino acids to repair and develop your muscles faster.
Additionally, it can help energize you before and during your workout, so you can make the most of your training sessions or athletic endeavors. This energy comes from branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs that are stored in your muscles. While hydrolyzed protein powders don’t inherently have more BCAAs than their non-digested counterparts, hydrolysis does improve their absorption rate and speed.
Source of amino acids
Proteins are made up of different amino acids, some of which are synthesized in the body while others are taken up from food. The synthesis and uptake of amino acids are essential for tissue growth, repair, and maintenance.
In addition to enabling protein and peptide synthesis, amino acids also play key roles in the body’s signaling pathways, as well as biochemical, autophagic, and metabolic regulation.
Hydrolyzed whey protein contains all essential amino acids to help with these critical bodily functions.
And if you want to lose weight, amino acids may work to your advantage. Studies show that amino acids can help increase fat loss, improve muscle growth, decrease anabolic resistance, and increase the production of growth hormones.
Concentrate, Isolate, or Hydrolyzed Protein?
Now that you know all about hydrolyzed protein, how does it compare to protein concentrate or protein isolate?
Protein concentrate is the most simple and least processed type of whey protein, produced using the ultrafiltration of whey. Then, it’s dried into a powder form that consists of 40-60% protein and fats, and carbohydrates.
Protein isolate is made using a process that results in protein content over 90%. However, hydrolyzed whey protein is a step above. By using the process of hydrolysis, it’s made to be much more absorbable than protein concentrate and protein isolate.
How To Consume More Hydrolyzed Protein
If you want to get more hydrolyzed protein in your diet, look for products that list it as a first ingredient. It can be found in protein powders, energy bars, and other supplements.
You can even add high-quality hydrolyzed protein to your coffee with Allo, making it easy to get that extra boost of protein at home or on the go, whenever you need it.
Choose between Allo Protein Powder Creamer or Non-creamer, and try a range of flavors like caramel, vanilla, or hazelnut. Not into flavors? You can try the natural option instead. Simply pour Allo in your hot coffee or espresso and watch it instantly and seamlessly dissolve, adding 10 grams of high-quality hydrolyzed protein to your drink.
Easily get more hydrolyzed protein in your diet by adding Allo to your morning cup of Joe, using it before or after workouts, and keeping it on hand for whenever you need a quick boost. This way, you no longer need to have coffee in one hand and a protein shake in the other. Browse Allo products now.