In my opinion, hydrolyzed whey protein is a higher quality protein than regular whole food whey protein because the body can assimilate it better causing a greater number of amino acids in the bloodstream, thus equating to a greater anabolic effect and a greater increase in muscle protein synthesis. Simply put, hydrolyzed whey protein and other sources of proteins that are pre-digested result in more muscle. The studies supporting my opinion we scarce, but recently, just this past December a new study was published now backs my opinion up.
First off the study was done rats, however, this is one of the first studies comparing whey protein concentrate with hydrolyzed whey protein. The authors concluded…
What peaks my curiosity the most is the type of hydrolyzed whey and whey protein concentrate they used. Did the researchers use a native whey protein concentrate or a whey protein concentrate from cheese? Next and most importantly, what quality whey protein hydrolysate did the study use?
From what I can see from reading the study, the researchers used whey protein from cheese. But the hydrolyzed protein I had a hard time finding the quality they used. Mysteriously a hydrolyzed whey protein from Japan was used. This is the first time I have seen a hydrolyzed whey protein made in Japan.
I have written numerous times about the quality of hydrolyzed whey proteins and other hydrolyzed proteins. If you do not have the knowledge about hydrolyzed protein powders I suggest you read them.
It is a must that when buying a hydrolyzed whey protein that you know the molecular weight average AND the degree of hydrolysis. Buying a hydrolyzed whey protein and not knowing these numbers is like buying gasoline and not knowing the octane level. Would you pay the price of premium gas and then has someone pump regular into your vehicle? Of course not. Well, the same thing goes for hydrolyzed whey protein. If you do not know the number of the hydrolyzed protein you’ll be paying premium prices and getting low quality hydrolyzed whey.
Next, I found a great study about the peptides that hydrolyzed whey protein actually contains. Did you know there is such thing as BCAA Peptides? Meaning that you can have the amino acids that make up BCAA’s which is leucine, valine, and isoleucine, bond to each other to make a peptide. These peptides, I believe, have strong anabolic effects. In the study, the researchers found that the BCAA dipeptides allow the muscle to absorb more glucose.