Recovery Essentials – Hydrolyzed Whey
In today's world, speed has become essential. Thanks to our mobile devices and other products, we receive everything, from weather, news, information, and more, on a moment's notice. Why shouldn't we expect the same, fast results from our whey protein? With hydrolyzed whey, it is possible. Think of hydrolyzed whey as the leaner, sexier, and more advanced version of its creator, whey protein isolate. It shares all the same positive attributes of whey protein isolate, such as amino acids and micronutrient content, but hydrolyzed whey absorbs much faster.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate 101:
Whey protein isolates are broken down into smaller peptide chains through a process called “enzymatic hydrolysis.” Don’t let the tech talk fool you, this is simply the step that enables the fastest absorbing whey to be instantly digested. This process fast-tracks its amino acids to your muscles and thereby enhances your ability to recover faster. Whey protein hydrolysate is the Cadillac of whey proteins.
The most popular whey protein supplements can be categorized into three distinct forms: Whey Protein Concentrate (80% whey, excess fat and lactose), Whey Protein Isolate (90% whey, filtered out fat and lactose), and Whey Protein Hydrolysate (90% whey, similar to isolate, however with increased bio-availability and absorption rate). No matter what the form, the main benefits of whey stem from the branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) that it contains. BCAAs provide numerous benefits — they act as powerful antioxidants, they boost the immune function, and they serve as the catalyst for muscle growth and repair. Though these benefits are undeniably significant, the absorption rate makes hydrolyzed protein stand out far above the rest.
Speed Matters for Recovery:
Non-hydrolyzed whey can take as long as six hours to be absorbed, similar to eating chicken breast, whereas the hydrolyzed form of whey can be absorbed in minutes. This is critical when focusing on recovery. While consuming a post-workout protein shake that is hydrolyzed makes perfect sense, if the whey is in the concentrate or isolate form alone, then the post-workout consumption will simply not yield the intended speed in recovery. If you're not aiming for speed in recovery, we recommend you stick with whole foods.
So why aren’t all whey protein supplements hydrolyzed? Simply put, the process of creating isolate from concentrate, then running the isolates through the hydrolysis system, is expensive. Hydrolyzed whey can be as much as twice the cost of the inferior forms to create. Now many brands get away from charging an arm and a leg for their hydrolyzed version of whey, but it’s usually due to the majority of the product consisting of the other forms (i.e., whey protein concentrate, why protein isolate, casein, egg protein etc.).
So, if an athlete is serious about post-workout recovery, American Gainz Nutrition encourages everyone to pay attention to the ingredients listed below the nutrition facts panel. Ingredients must be listed in “descending order of predominance”; therefore, the first protein source you see on the Nutrition Facts panel ingredients list should be Hydrolyzed Whey Protein. Even better would be if hydrolyzed whey is listed as the only protein source. In other words, if your chosen whey provider boasts about being a hydrolyzed whey protein source, but dilutes it with other, lesser protein forms, you may be paying more without receiving all of the improved recovery potential of hydrolyzed whey.
Next time you are staring at the endless varieties of whey protein supplements and wondering what is what, you are now armed with exactly what you need to know to focus on recovery. Hydrolyzed whey is a broken-down version of whey isolates that is easier on your digestive system and delivers muscle-friendly protein to your body in a way that offers a speedier recovery. If hydrolyzed whey is the only protein in the ingredient list, you have a good lean and clean product on your hands.