Protease enzymes make a better whey

Not everyone understands the important role enzymes play in protein digestion. Without them, they may not be receiving the full nutritional benefits of protein consumption.

John Deaton
John Deaton Vice President of Science & Technology, Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes

Everyone knows protein is a macronutrient that is essential to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. For active individuals, whether they’re everyday fitness enthusiasts or serious athletes, the need for protein is even greater as it plays a key role in muscle recovery.In order to meet growing consumer demand for protein, many food products and supplements are boosting their offerings with more of the macronutrient. But not everyone understands the important role enzymes play in protein digestion. Without them, they may not be receiving the full nutritional benefits of protein consumption.

Whey is a protein found in milk and is the most popular protein on the market. It’s the supplement of choice among body builders, athletes, and casual health conscious individuals seeking an alternative to carbohydrate-rich or fatty foods. The biggest appeal of whey protein is its amino acid profile; whey contains the highest percentage of essential amino acids, 25% of which are the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine, the most important for muscle building and tissue repair.

However, for whey protein to be effective, it must be broken down into smaller particles within 90 minutes of consumption through a process known as hydrolysis. It takes approximately 90 minutes for the whey protein to pass from the stomach through the small intestine for digestion, absorption, and assemblage into a bio-usable form for muscle synthesis. Protein that goes undigested is excreted from the body, rendering it useless to consumers hoping to improve muscle recovery. In addition, the body’s failure to break down whey protein into small particles results in the formation of large peptides. These large molecules are the cause of the discomforts that many people experience after consuming a large amount of whey protein, and can include bloating, nausea and cramping. Some people may chalk these discomforts up to lactose intolerance, since whey is a dairy protein.  However, lactose is not present in whey isolates.

Whey protein powder – still the “go to” supplement for athletes and routine exercisers — is much better absorbed and utilized when combined with specific protease enzymes.  Clinical studies have shown that certain enzyme blends are able to improve digestion and absorption of amino acids (by up to 20%) along with reduction of the immunogenic responses associated with whey protein consumption. When consumed with a whey protein supplement, protease enzymes encourage pre-digestion of the protein, allowing for the release of the full content of the essential amino acids for building muscle and improving muscle recovery. This pre-digestion also ensures formation of smaller peptides, reducing the potential for discomfort that is often associated with protein consumption. In the digestive process, whey protein is broken down into peptides, which are themselves broken down into amino acids that become absorbed in the intestinal tract. If the whey isn’t broken down properly, it is simply excreted. Often, large peptides (comprised of more than seven amino acids) may cause digestive discomfort.

There is also clinical support to suggest that the bioactive peptides created by the hydrolyzed protein can curtail CRP production, indicating a lower level of inflammation in the body.

This research shows the impact when protein supplements can be effectively assimilated and thus utilized, thereby meeting label claims. This is crucial, because consumers do not feel their muscles being built and repaired, although they may feel the “afterburn” of a particularly rigorous session. Herein lies the key: it is no longer good enough to just rely upon faith that the protein consumed is going to work. With the addition of a high quality, clinically proven protease blend, consumers can know for sure that they have a better whey.

This blog contains material and information intended for B2B customers, suppliers and distributors, and is not intended as information to the final consumers.