What are the benefits of protein hydrolyzate

The history of the creation of sports nutrition supplements hydrolyzed protein isolate (abbr. protein hydrolyzate ) began in the United States, in the late 60s. last century. At this time, the Protein supplement was launched. The ideological inspirers of the creation and owners of the manufacturing companies of this most popular type of sports nutrition were legendary trainers and promoters – bodybuilder Joe Weider and weightlifter Bob Hoffman. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other stars of the Mr. Olympia tournament were involved in the promotion of soy protein powder, namely, the first protein supplements were made from these beans.

At the end of the 70s. In the sports nutrition protein supplement industry, a young chemist, Irving Johnson, appeared. He invented and actively promoted the first, still the main type of protein for athletes – whey protein concentrate , Whey Protein Concentrate, WPC. In the early 90s. he improved the technology by applying micro-filtration and ion exchange to purify raw materials, and released whey protein isolate , Whey Protein Isolate, WPI. The third type – whey protein hydrolyzate , Whey Protein Hydrolysate, WPH – appeared on the market in 2001, also thanks to Johnson.

What is a protein hydrolyzate?

WPH – Whey Protein Hydrolyzate is a whey concentrate that has undergone hydrolysis. Thanks to this process, which is the treatment of a substance with a 5% alkaline solution of potassium and sodium hydroxides, whey protein molecules are partially destroyed to peptides – chains (fragments) of several amino acids, as well as immunoglobulins and other components. At the end of all processes, the protein hydrolyzate undergoes a final multi-stage 2-pass purification – ultra- and diafiltration on nanofilters.

In fact, a protein hydrolyzate is already a partially “digested” protein. The vast majority of manufacturers subject the hydrolyzate to even greater cleavage by treating it with pancreatin, and some also use other digestive enzymes. But there are also additives in the production of which only the hydrolysis process was involved.

Benefits of the Hydrolyzate

List of Protein Hydrolyzate Benefits :

Paradoxical peak production of insulin. Despite the fact that there are almost no carbohydrates in WPH supplements, nevertheless, like cottage cheese, they cause the release of insulin, a hormone that inhibits post-workout destruction (degradation, catabolism) of muscle tissue and promotes protein synthesis and hypertrophy of skeletal muscles. Studies have shown that both concentrate and protein isolate, but do not cause such a reaction.

Almost complete absence of lactose. If milk sugar remains in the protein hydrolyzate , then its amount is so small that in people with lactose intolerance, the supplement will not cause nausea, bloating, intestinal colic, diarrhea.

Complete absence or very low content of milk fats.

Hypoallergenic . Compared to regular milk, WPH is non-allergenic as it contains no casein at all. Plus, during the production process, during pasteurization at t 80-83 ° C, the main whey allergens: alpha- and beta-lactoglobulin, and bovine serum albumin – lose their allergenic properties. Those who are allergic to milk should read the label carefully. There are protein hydrolyzate supplements that have not been heat treated.

Regarding the rate of assimilation of the Protein Hydrolyzate fraction, despite the already partial decomposition of the peptides, it is the same as that of the isolate – 120 minutes. When the powders of these species are dissolved not in water or juice, but in milk or cream, the time for complete digestion increases to 180 minutes.

Information about the absorption of whey hydrolyzed protein isolates in 20-30 minutes is not a correct advertising ploy. These figures represent the start time of the assimilation of milk proteins. Yes, it is slightly less than that of the isolate and concentrates, in which the first amino acids are ready to penetrate through the intestinal wall into the blood 45–60 minutes after consumption.

By the way, numerous experiments have shown that whole milk and whey are absorbed by the body in the same time intervals as protein hydrolyzate – 20-120 minutes. Another thing is that drinking the entire amount of whey at once, equal in protein content in one 40 gram serving of protein hydrolyzate – this is about 4 liters, is problematic. It is also worth considering that there should be several servings of such per day. Therefore, for bodybuilders, sports nutrition supplements Protein are “manna from heaven” and always supplement No. 1.

Disadvantages of Hydrolyzate: price, % protein, additives

Firstly, protein hydrolyzate is an expensive “pleasure”, and its effect in building muscle mass is almost the same as when using a concentrate or isolate. For clarity, we give the approximate prices of one serving: concentrate – 35 UAH, isolate – 60 UAH, hydrolyzate – 80 UAH. True, there is a bottom, but. For those who do not have financial problems, and going to the gym is not only building a new body and maintaining health but also showing their own status, the high price of protein hydrolyzate turns from a disadvantage into an advantage. 

Secondly, thanks to the hydrolysis technology, the percentage of protein in protein hydrolysates, in comparison with isolates, drops from 90-97% to 60-90%. By and large, this reduction in weight gain is not very important. But in the advertising marketing campaigns of expensive Protein Hydrolyzate supplements , this feature is naturally silent.

Thirdly, many manufacturers, probably as “bonuses” for the high price of the product, add minerals and vitamins that are not contained in milk, as well as other sports nutrition components, to the protein hydrolyzate . Such “compliments” pleasantly please someone, and someone is looking for an exceptionally “clean”, not additionally enriched protein hydrolyzate supplement . Sometimes it is problematic to do this, since the high price and low sales volume narrows the range of WPH in sports nutrition stores to 1-2 positions.

The disadvantages and advantages of whey protein types for athletes are clearly visible in the comparative table.

% content 

in 100 g

Concentrate Isolate Hydrolyzate
Squirrels 25–89 90–97 80–90
Fats 1.0–10.0 0.5–8.0 0.5–1.0
Lactose 4.5–55.0 0.5–10.0 0.5–1.0
Portability Possible problems Good Excellent
Price Affordable high Very high


Protein hydrolyzate or hydrolyzed protein isolate: features

The first characteristic feature of protein hydrolysates is that even the best protein hydrolysates have a characteristic bitter taste. This feature helps to literally determine the quality of the additive by taste.

The second feature is the ban on the use of protein hydrolysates in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and pancreatic diseases. To do this, it is better to buy classic whey isolates, which, on the one hand, are cleared of milk sugar and other carbohydrates, and on the other hand, do not cause paradoxical insulin synthesis and postprandial glucagon response.

The third feature of supplements Protein hydrolyzate – 1 g, during fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract, binds about 70 ml of water. This must be taken into account when weighing, given the size of the portion and their number.


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