Hydrolyzed Whey Protein: The Quickest “Whey” to Build Muscle?

Whether you want to build new bulk or just strengthen existing muscle, we’ve found the ultimate “whey” to go. By now you’ve probably heard the words “hydrolyzed whey protein” coming from a fellow gym-goer. This liquid milk byproduct is known for its nutrient-dense profile which not promotes muscle growth but also our overall health.

But, what is the deal with hydrolyzed whey protein and does it stack up against regular whey? Here’s the scoop!

What is Whey Protein?

Whey is the remaining solution after milk has turned into cheese. This liquid substance is jam-packed with muscle building nutrients such as protein and minerals. Whey protein is usually found in the form of powder.

What is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein?

Think of hydrolyzed whey protein (HWP) as the hot, young sibling of whey protein. Wait, what does this mean? HWP not only features the same nutrients (such as amino acids) regular whey does but it also helps you take your muscle building goals one step further through its enhanced absorption rate.

Hydrolyzed whey protein is produced after regular whey is broken down into smaller protein fragments through a process known as “enzymatic hydrolysis.” During this process, regular whey molecules become smaller, an approach which facilitates quicker absorption and more rapid digestion. In other words, hydrolyzed whey protein is the fastest way to fuse protein throughout your body and step up your muscle-building or recovery game.

Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Benefits

Much like the regular version or any type of protein (think casein), hydrolyzed whey protein can significantly affect muscle building. In fact, one study suggests that when we ingest HWP instead of soy or casein protein, we increase the amino acid flow and muscle protein synthesis throughout our body both at rest and after resistance training. But, that’s not all.

According to another study, hydrolyzed whey protein also promotes a faster recovery following intense exercise. In fact, choosing HWP over regular whey protein seems to pay off down the line as HWP speeds tissue repair from exercise-induced muscle damage.

But, don’t get too excited just yet! Even though hydrolyzed whey protein results in multiple ergogenic benefits, further research is necessary to draw firm conclusions.

Regular Whey vs. Hydrolyzed Whey Protein: The Smackdown

Have you ever wondered whether all the hype surrounding hydrolyzed whey protein is worth your time and energy? Should you move on from regular whey to the hydrolyzed version or are you better off? Let’s see what science and everyday life have to say.

  • Digestion

Even though research proves that hydrolyzed whey protein is superior to casein and soy protein in terms of digestion and absorption, we are afraid we can’t say the same when it comes to regular whey.

As mentioned earlier, one study proves that hydrolyzed whey protein features a higher absorption rate than casein protein. At the same time, another study concludes that regular whey protein is twice as fast as casein protein promoting a quicker digestion and absorption kinetics.

If we compare and contrast these two studies, it’s clear as a bell that both non-hydrolyzed and hydrolyzed whey protein are easier to digest than casein. However, by taking a closer look at the markers featured in each study, we see that there is a minimal or (better yet) negligible difference between the two types of whey. In fact, the amino acid release spikes are more or less the same in both forms.

  • Cost

It’s no surprise that regular whey protein is more affordable than the hydrolyzed version. Given the high-maintenance process HWP is subjected to, it’s no wonder it costs more than regular whey protein does. So, if you are on a shoestring budget, hydrolyzed whey protein is off your limits.

  • Protein Content

You get what you pay for, right? So, don’t cringe at the price tag just yet. Recent advancements in technology have raised the bar and managed to make the best out of whey protein. While regular whey contains around 40-60% of protein per serving, hydrolyzed whey may even consist of 90-95% of protein per serving.

A Word of Wisdom

At this point, you realize that whey protein contains enough lactose to make you bloated and increase your average daily FPD (farts per day), especially if you are intolerant. So, keep in mind that there are other lactose-free forms of whey which can help you deal with this issue “gracefully.” Hydrolyzed whey protein is one of them.

So, if you fall into the lactose-intolerant category, opt for products which feature the words “microfiltration” or “cross flow microfiltration.” Try and avoid supplements which are subjected to “ion exchange,” a process that practically strips protein away from any natural components.

The Takeaway

Much like every supplement out there, hydrolyzed whey protein comes with pros and cons. If your lactose intolerance stands between you and regular whey, the hydrolyzed version can be a viable solution.

However, if you don’t want to burn a hole in your wallet, you’d better not opt for hydrolyzed whey protein. Regular whey works just fine! After all, both of them deliver the same muscle building results regardless the hype surrounding HWP and its faster absorption rate.

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