What is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 February 2020
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A good nutrition plan is one based on a well-balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Many athletes use supplemental protein shakes and bars for additional daily protein consumption. Hydrolyzed whey protein is a form of protein that has been processed by breaking the protein chains into smaller segments, making it easier for humans to digest. This hydrolysis process makes the protein absorb faster in the human body because it is in a predigested form.

Protein supplements have become popular for many performance athletes over the last few decades. These protein powders and supplemental energy bars are well known as a means of increasing basic skeletal muscle. A healthy diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fats with vitamins generally produces significant performance gains in any athlete.

Today there are many supplemental forms of proteins available. These include proteins from plants, eggs, and whey. Whey protein comes in three basic forms, which are concentrated, hydrolyzed, and isolate. Each form of protein has specific uptake properties that determine how long the protein will take to process through the digestive system.

One of the most concentrated forms of whey protein is hydrolyzed whey protein. This type of protein mixes well with most liquids and is quickly digestible. The hydrolyzed whey protein is typically more expensive then standard protein supplements because it has been processed for faster digestion.


Hydrolyzed whey protein has a bitter taste. This is because the process for breaking the protein into smaller digestible particles produces a bitter flavor in the protein powder. Most retailers limit the percentage of hydrolyzed protein in total because of the expense in the process and the unpopular flavor that it produces.

This type of whey is the fastest digestible source of whey protein available. Because of the fast absorption properties, it is an excellent form of protein to use immediately after a workout. When consumed, the smaller protein amino acids bypass the stomach ingestion process and are absorbed into the small intestine. This streamlined process creates a faster uptake of protein and amino acids into the human body, which has the opportunity of generating more lean muscle.

The hydrolyzed protein supplements come in an assortment of flavors similar to other whey proteins. Typically whey proteins are available in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The hydrolyzed whey protein will be bolder in taste because of the bitter nature of the process. These products are only produced from milk as there are no soy versions of hydrolyzed protein.


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Post 6

Partially hydrolyzed whey protein is one of the formulas available for babies who can't tolerate cow's milk.

When I first heard that I couldn't understand how it worked, but it turns out that because the milk is broken down it's less likely to upset the stomach.

I think this could be a great supplement for the many adults who seem to have problems with milk products too.

Post 5

When my son started working out on a regular basis and going to the gym several times a week, he added some hydrolyzed whey protein isolate to his diet.

This is a powder that comes in a big bottle that he buys at the health food store. He says it helps him bulk up and build more muscle.

I can't tell if it is the extra protein, lifting the weights, or a combination of both, but he really has put quite a bit of muscle on since starting this new routine.

Post 4

I have a whey isolate protein powder supplement that is vanilla flavored. Once this is mixed in with juice or milk, the flavor is not all that bad.

I will usually add a scoop of this protein to a shake or my oatmeal in the morning. This is an easy way to get a good source of protein that is not animal based or soy.

I like it mixed in with other foods and fruits much better than I do mixed with juice or milk. Since I don't eat much meat, this is a good way for me to get more protein and helps keep me feeling full.

Post 3

I tried the hydrolyzed whey protein shakes to get protein when I was pregnant; I had read that I should be getting 80-100 grams of protein a day, and it just seemed like way more than I could accomplish. (A lot of books say 75, but the Sears and some others say even more. Before I got pregnant, I was eating maybe 30-40 grams of protein. It's just not my thing.)

The shakes were all right, I guess. I did notice a little bit of grittiness. But they just weren't very tasty and the sweetness made me feel a little sick, so I finally gave up on them and started just getting as much protein as I could from food. (My doctor had said not to stress too much about it.) A little cottage cheese here, a handful of nuts there, little extra cheese and extra beans at dinner - it started to add up.

Post 2

Hydrolyzed whey protein doesn't taste very good in my opinion. I know that they say it is digested faster, but I would rather it take longer and taste better.

I tried both a vanilla and chocolate hydrolyzed whey protein a little while ago, and while I am sure they work, they just didn't have a taste that could blend in well to things like smoothies. I felt the flavor of whey protein was just too strong.

If you want to use hydrolyzed whey protein I suggest you mix it half and half with a regular whey protein. This way you can get both the benefits of fast digestion and good taste.

Post 1

I've picked up hydrolyzed whey protein before and never really knew what the difference was from my regular why protein. It came in the same flavors and I just figured that since it was on sale I would pick it up while it was cheap.

Adding any whey protein to your diet can be a really good idea because it helps you to build muscle faster when you are working out intensively. For those that are into weight-lifting, whey protein can give you a real edge over others in the gym.

Before you start taking whey protein it is a good idea to figure how much of it you really need. I only take half of the dose my package says because my doctor recommended that.

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