As someone who used to be active 6 days a week, with a personal trainer for 2 of those days, the pandemic really took a toll on me. I went from lean muscle to virtually none over the last 2 years of not working out. Now that I’m getting back to my old ways, I find that I’m tired more quickly. I also notice that I don’t have enough fuel to sustain my workouts.
The days I don’t do this, I very much notice and regret it — especially after a 5+ mile day. It becomes more and more apparent with each workout that the best way to recover is with protein. For some, that might mean scoops of protein powder into a shake, but for me and other elite athletes, that means hydrolyzed protein.
What is hydrolyzed protein?
I became interested in hydrolyzed protein 2 years ago, when it started to take off. It was advertised as having the same benefits of a protein shake, sans the upset stomach they tend to cause. Drinking a protein shake daily was really hard on my digestive system and often left me nauseous and upset.
Hydrolyzed protein is a quick-absorbing protein that helps with digestion, faster recovery, and macro goals. Here, protein is broken down more than in powders, allowing the body to digest quicker via protein digestive enzymes, or heating protein with acid. By breaking down the protein, amino acids (building blocks of proteins), called peptides, are able to absorb easier.
Why it’s amazing
Aside from easy absorption and digestion, hydrolyzed protein is also great for stomach and gut issues. Lactose, for myself and others who are lactose intolerant, can cause bloating, diarrhea, and overall pain. The hydrolysis process creates a protein that is easier on your stomach.
There are also plant-based hydrolyzed proteins that can be lactose-free if you have a really sensitive stomach.
Secondly, faster absorption leads to faster recovery. Since the peptides are not much smaller than in non-hydrolyzed protein, it absorbs faster in the GI tract — producing more efficient post-workout routines and reducing muscle soreness.
I’ve been using it on and off for 2 years, and I always notice the great benefits from it when working out. It is light on my stomach, which is huge because I tend to have a lot of stomach issues. Not to mention it perfectly compliments my post-workout routine.
Speaking of post-workouts, here’s how you should do your recovery days (less discomfort, guaranteed).
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