Partially hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. Whey protein is a component of cow’s milk isolated in the standard cheese-making process. It is widely considered the highest-quality, naturally complete protein and is also one of the richest known natural sources of the essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine and valine. Whey proteins contain about 10%–15% glycomacropeptides, small bioactive peptides high in BCAAs 1, and are an excellent source of bioavailable calcium. While naturally found in cow’s milk and yogurt, whey protein is also found in many commercial sports nutrition products such as drinks, energy bars and powder mixes. Commercial whey protein products typically come as whey protein concentrates or whey protein isolates, the difference being in the concentration levels of protein. Whey protein isolates tend to have a much higher percentage of protein (>90%) than concentrates (25%-80%) 1. Partially hydrolyzed whey protein consists of both whole protein and smaller peptide fragments.
For adult men and women, it is recommended that protein provide around 10%-35% of total daily caloric intake 2. Whey protein is easily digested and absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestine faster than other proteins, such as casein 3. Individuals who are lactose intolerant may want to consult a physician before using whey protein products; however whey protein isolate typically has very low levels if any of lactose (<3%) 1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been notified that industry considers whey protein isolate to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for its intended use and has not objected to its use for this purpose (GRN No. 37). Whey protein has been used in numerous clinical studies with no severe adverse reactions reported. Some individuals may experience minor gastrointestinal disturbances.