Among all the nutrients with which we nourish our body, protein is probably the most necessary for training people. We all hear about protein: how much, how often, which one.
Although you may have heard about whey protein, you may not have known about hydrolyzed protein, which is obtained by hydrolysis or pre-fermentation, a pure protein in a mixture of amino acids and smaller proteins.
Which protein is better to buy regular whey or hydrolyzed?
Some supplement manufacturers claim that pre-fermentation enhances biological value, thereby increasing muscle protein synthesis. Because of its estimated potency, hydrolyzed protein can cost 30–200% more than its usual counterparts.
But is hydrolyzed protein worth the money? Studies give the exact answer - "No."
How fast is whey protein digested?
Serum is a “fast” protein, it is quickly digested and absorbed, and its amino acids quickly enter the bloodstream and then into the muscles. This was known, and Byrd and colleagues have recently reiterated this.
Basically, this study found that the amount of essential amino acids is higher when a person consumes whey (a “fast” protein), as opposed to casein (a “slow” protein). A high concentration of basic amino acids is associated with a higher synthesis of muscle protein both at rest ("FED") and after exercise ("EX-FED").
This is one of the reasons why protein is better to use before training, and not after; the peak of amino acids occurs at the moment when the blood flows as much as possible to the loaded muscles, thus directing the building blocks to where they are most needed.
Is hydrolyzed protein digested faster than whey?
Protein is not alone responsible for biological value, which is important in the question of whether to choose hydrolyzed protein. Although Coopman and colleagues showed that the level of amino acids is much higher for the “fast” protein, the differences between the pre-fermented (hydrolyzed) protein and the whole protein were insignificant.
So just being a “fast” protein is not enough. When hydrolyzed whey and casein were compared, Tang and colleagues showed something very important in the differences between hydrolyzed whey and casein:
Compare with the differences obtained by Pennings and colleagues:
These studies have shown that non-hydrolyzed whey is about twice as good as casein . There are some differences between hydrolyzed whey and casein. Thus, pre-fermented whey is not better than whole whey .
Is hydrolyzed whey superior to whole proteins?
The answer we found in these studies is “No.” Coopman and Petting showed that hydrolysis of casein makes it a “fast” protein, but does not improve the ability to stimulate protein synthesis. Studies by Tang and Petting showed that serum is twice as good as casein, whether it is hydrolyzed or not.
Is there really something supernatural in serum? In general, these data say "Yes." In other words, whey is better than whole casein, a "slow" protein, and better than hydrolyzed casein, a "fast" protein.
Whole whey is already a “fast” protein, so how much faster can hydrolysis make it? Not by how much. Should I pay more for pre-fermented protein? Our conclusion regarding hydrolyzed protein : do not believe the annoying ads - whey remains the only best.