There are currently three main types of whey protein on the market, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein. The main difference is the price when comparing Hydrolyzed whey protein vs whey isolate or concentrate. Understanding the difference is essential as it is not that the most expensive always is the best.
Table of Contents
What is whey protein?
Whey is the liquid by-product of cheese production. It comes from dairy milk. It is rich in cysteine, a semi-essential amino acid that boosts antioxidant glutathione levels. It is also a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids- Leucine, Histidine, Valine, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Lysine, Tryptophan, and Methionine.
Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate vs Hydrolyzed
Whey Protein Concentrate
Whey Protein Concentrate typically contains 25–89% protein. It is the least processed whey and has different amounts of lactose, minerals, and fats.
Whey Protein Concentrate comprises the best flavors with a lot of fat and milk sugar. It is put together in transparent form with high-quality ingredients. Also, its tasteful flavor and price make it a wonderful choice among users.
Whey Protein Isolate
It is considered one of the highest-quality protein powders that are easy to digest and fast-acting. Also, it is an excellent combination of affordability and results. Whey Protein Isolate is also suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. So, if you want to build muscles or have a rounded diet, Whey Protein Isolate is the right answer. Most interestingly, a good amount of fat and carbohydrates have been removed. Therefore, it lowers the fat and carbohydrate intake in the diet.
Whey Protein Hydrolyzed
If you compare Whey Protein Concentrate vs Whey Protein Isolate vs Hydrolyzed, it is considered the best to build strong muscle mass. Here, in Hydrolyzed protein, the protein is broken down by forming small-chained amino acids called peptides. It helps in easy digestion and fast absorption in the body. Furthermore, it has additional nutritional value that overall impacts health.
Difference – Hydrolyzed Whey Protein vs Isolate
If you look for scientific evidence or proof, there are no proven claims that hydrolyzed whey protein works better than whey isolate. Whey protein acts as a fast-absorbing agent that shows its results within 40–60 minutes after consumption.
Whey protein has a high percentage of bioavailability, which is close to 96%. However, no proven claim has been found yet that hydrolyzed whey has a higher bioavailability than concentrates and isolates. So, if we assume that hydrolyzed whey has a 100% bioavailability rate, which is unrealistic, it will only be 4% better than the basic whey sold on the market.
Besides, the product bioavailability is only half the story. Consumers’ gut health matters equally. So if the consumer’s gut has only 10% absorbing capability, the product bioavailability doesn’t mean anything to him.
If we talk about whey isolate, it helps to remove all fats, carbs, and lactose. Hydrolyzed whey works similarly to whey isolate. But, it is only beneficial if you are hypersensitive to lactose. Unlike hydrolyzed, whey isolate goes through a filtration process to maintain all the natural micro-fractions in milk.
If we talk about micro fractions, they contain several health benefits. It includes a better immune system, improved digestion, and enhanced mood.
Now, the taste of hydrolyzed whey protein has a bitter and unpleasant taste. In such cases, a hefty dose of sweeteners and sugar is added to make it pleasant to taste. On the other hand, Isolated whey protein naturally tastes smooth and good without leaving any aftertaste.
Why do you need hydrolyzed protein?
When you eat protein, your digestive system breaks it down into peptides, smaller chains of amino acids. The smallest of these are called di and tripeptides, with just 2 or 3 amino acids that can be absorbed by the small intestine and released into the bloodstream, so they can be transported throughout the body to build muscle, create energy, and repair tissues.
The best and most efficient complete protein sources are animal proteins such as seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
What to look for in hydrolyzed protein?
When buying hydrolyzed protein powder, look for 100 percent hydrolyzed on the label. It is because 100 percent hydrolyzed helps in easy and fast absorption.
Also, you will find protein powders in both hydrolyzed and non-hydrolyzed forms. When buying hydrolyzed powder, all you need to do is check the product’s label every time. You also need to check the product’s ingredient list, where you need to see that hydrolyzed protein is used as a primary ingredient. It will show the ingredient in the greatest amount in the product.
Furthermore, you must check the additional factors, such as BCAAs and amino acid profiles, based on your needs and preferences. Next, you need to look for a hydrolyzed protein powder with clean ingredients—free from chemicals, artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. Since hydrolyzed powders are in high demand, they are pricier than concentrated protein powders.
So, these are some measures you must check before buying hydrolyzed protein powder from the market.
7 Benefits of Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
In the early 2000s, hydrolyzed protein first hit the shelf as a fast-digesting protein powder. It was still unknown what impact its size and performance would have on one’s body. It is only known that hydrolyzed protein powders are better than traditional protein powders. But, gradually, with time, everybody understood the power of hydrolyzed whey protein for our bodies.
Hydrolysis has more power in delivering amino acids from the gut to the muscle. Moreover, it enhances the speed of delivery when it comes to your intact protein. For that reason, your body will significantly receive more amino acids from your muscle mass.
Let’s look at the below-mentioned points to get a better idea of it:
Low in carbs and fats
When your whey protein goes through a more concentrated hydrolysis process, it lowers carbohydrate and fat content. So, if you are following a low-carb or low-fat diet, hydrolyzed will work best for you with the desired results.
Growth in Lean Muscle Mass
If you are into high-intensity workouts or training, your body requires high-protein foods to build lean muscle mass. Here, hydrolyzed whey protein does its job efficiently. It contains naturally occurring BCAAs that help in the growth and recovery of the muscles. Also, if you are getting older, hydrolyzed whey protein can help you keep from losing muscle as you get older by boosting muscle growth.
Controls Unwanted Food Cravings
Hydrolyzed whey protein can get you out of this habit if you crave food all the time. This protein supplement helps you to keep yourself full for a long time. It helps with weight management because it stops people from wanting to eat things they shouldn’t.
Prevent Stomach Troubles
Since hydrolyzed whey protein is fast absorbing and fast-digesting, it helps to prevent stomach troubles. So you will not experience any bloating, ingestion, or diarrhea. It will keep your stomach clear and clean. So, if you are experiencing stomach troubles with other protein supplements, you must switch to hydrolyzed whey protein powder to get the best results without worrying.
Aids in weight loss/management
Since hydrolyzed whey protein powder helps control your appetite by keeping you full for a long time, it aids in weight loss or weight management. In a way, it reduces your calorie intake and helps with calorie burning. Also, taking it in proportion will give you a healthy weight gain. Therefore, with hydrolyzed whey protein, you can reach a state of satiety, aiding weight management.
Help Recover Faster
Hydrolyzed whey protein forms small peptides that instantly help the body recover by absorbing them into the GI tract. In short, it will help the muscles recover faster than traditional protein powders. It also supplies quick nutrients to the strained muscle to recover from muscle soreness, injury, or cramp.
High-Quality Protein Source
When it comes to hydrolyzed protein powder contains a high-quality protein source. It is because it has the complete amino acid profile for your body. Its fast-absorbing and fast-digesting properties stand apart from traditional protein powders. Overall benefits your body as an excellent protein source.
As we can see, hydrolyzed whey protein has several benefits for our overall health. It is the best option for a whey protein supplement to build a muscular physique.
Is Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Better?
We can say that hydrolyzed protein powder is much more superior and effective than whey protein. Lactose-intolerant people might benefit from whey protein for their overall health performance. But hydrolyzed whey protein suits all. So, even if you are sensitive to lactose, it is OK for people to consume hydrolyzed protein powder.
However, whey protein is more cost-effective than hydrolyzed protein powder in terms of price. Hydrolyzed protein is pricier than all other whey proteins available on the market.
9 Best Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Powders
Muscle Feast Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
The Grass-fed Hydrolyzed whey protein supports muscle growth and recovery. It also delivers a faster-digesting form of protein than others. It has been broken down, making it easier to digest and absorb.
- Calories: 116
- Protein: 23.5g
- Carbs: 3g
- Fat: 1.7g
- It contains no artificial flavors, fillers, or additives.
- It is sourced from grass-fed cows.
- It is not easy to mix in the shaker.
VitaXtrong Iso-Pro Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate
It’s a fast-acting hydrolyzed whey isolate containing 27 grams of protein per serving. It’s gluten-free with plenty of available flavors. It offers great taste with accessible mixing properties without forming any lumps in the solution.
- Calories: 116
- Protein: 27g
- Carbs: 1 g
- Fat: 0 g
- You can buy it in bulk bags.
- It is both gluten and lactose-free.
- It is very easy on the stomach.
- It contains artificial flavors.
Syntha-6 Edge Protein Powder
It is considered the synthesis of premium protein. It works efficiently for lean muscle, muscle recovery, and muscle growth. You can use it anytime, day or night. It gives that real milkshake-like taste and texture. It efficiently works for professional bodybuilders to build muscle growth.
- Calories: 150
- Protein: 24g
- Carbs: 6g
- Fat: 3.5g
- It contains a high concentration of naturally occurring BCAAs.
- It’s light on the stomach.
- Its flavor and texture have received mostly positive feedback.
- The sugar content is high.
Dymatize ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein
It is considered one of the most reliable protein supplements, with a perfect taste and smooth texture. It consists of 35 grams of protein in each scoop regarding protein content. The right amount of protein is required for athletes to support muscle recovery after some high-intensity training sessions.
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 2g
- Fat: 0.5g
- It’s low in both fats and carbs.
- It contains naturally occurring BCAAs.
- It is available for up to 5 pounds.
- It comes in a variety of flavors.
- It needs to be blended properly to form a smooth texture.
BulkSupplements Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate
The BulkSupplement Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate aids in muscle recovery, supports muscle growth, is a source of BCAAs, and is hydrolyzed to increase absorption. It requires the right amount for the right mix to make training activity a bit easier.
- Calories: 122
- Protein: 27g
- Carbs: <1g
- Fat: <1g
- Strongest protein dosage per serving
- Lab-tested for purity and quality
- It does not support fillers or additives.
- No bulk tubes are available
Amazing Muscle Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
It is one of the popular supplements for its lower fat and carbohydrate content. In short, it helps to keep your macros in order. Furthermore, it is free of soy for those allergic to soy. Due to its smooth texture, it efficiently mixes well without a blender.
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 1g
- Fat: 0g
- It is third-party tested for quality and purity.
- It mixes well in the shaker.
- You can use it for different meals.
- It is restricted to limited flavors.
Muscle Food Labs’ Muscle Isolate
This protein supplement is highly suitable for CrossFit, resistance, or heavy-weight training. It provides 30 grams of protein per serving by maintaining high-quality standards.
- Calories: 124
- Protein: 30g
- Carbs: 0 g
- It is easy on the stomach.
- It does not contain any artificial ingredients.
- It contains a high amount of protein per serving.
It doesn’t have an unflavored option.
Sascha Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate
It is a high-quality grass-fed protein powder with a fantastic taste and is easy to mix. It also supports muscle building and complements your diet. Furthermore, your muscles absorb the protein very quickly. So, it’s the best kind of protein powder if you want to improve body composition.
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: <1g
- Fat: 0g
- It contains zero calories, fat, and sugar.
- It contains a high level of BCAAs to build body mass.
- It is available in natural flavor for a better taste.
- The texture of the powder is chalky.
Optimum Nutrition Hydrolyzed Whey
This hydrolyzed whey protein supplement is purified, hydrolyzed, and enhanced to provide an overall benefit to the body. It works as an excellent protein source for post-workout recovery or between meals. It is also easy to mix with low calories.
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 25g
- Carbs: 1g
- Fat: 0.5g
- Its nutrient profile makes it the best for every diet.
- It has a high concentration of glutamine peptides.
- Easy to mix.
- It does not come in an unflavored option.
Here, hydrolyzed protein breaks down the protein by forming small-chained amino acids called peptides. It helps in easy digestion and fast absorption in the body. Furthermore, it has additional nutritional value that overall impacts health.
Which is better whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed?
Hydrolyzed whey protein is further broken down into smaller chains of amino acids, which may help with faster digestion and absorption. However, whey protein isolate is already fast-absorbing, so the difference may not be significant for most people. The best choice depends on your personal goals, preferences, budget, and tolerance to lactose.
Is hydrolyzed protein the same as isolate?
Hydrolyzed protein is a form of isolate that has been further processed to break down the protein chains into smaller units called peptides. This may help with faster digestion and absorption of the protein, but it also may alter the taste and quality of the product. Isolate is a form of whey protein filtered to remove most fat and lactose, leaving a pure protein powder. Isolate is already a fast-absorbing protein, so the difference between isolate and hydrolyzed may not be significant for most people.
Why is hydrolyzed whey better?
Hydrolyzed whey is a type of whey protein that has been pre-digested into smaller peptides, making it easier and faster to absorb by the body. Some of the benefits of hydrolyzed whey are:
– It may support muscle growth and recovery by providing a quick source of amino acids.
– It may help with weight management by increasing satiety and metabolism.
– It may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance as it has less lactose than other types of whey protein.
– It may have enhanced bioavailability and digestion compared to other types of whey protein.
Is hydrolyzed whey worth it?
Whether hydrolyzed whey is worth depends on your goals, budget, and preferences. Hydrolyzed whey may have some advantages over other types of whey protein, such as:
– Faster and easier digestion and absorption.
– Less lactose and potential allergens.
– Increased fat-burning hormones and metabolism.
– Faster recovery from intense training and muscle damage.
However, hydrolyzed whey is also more expensive than other types of whey protein, and some people may not like its bitter taste. Therefore, you may want to consider if the extra benefits are worth the additional cost.