Using whey protein as a supplement is a common practice by active adults to promote muscle building and muscle recovery. When whey protein is digested, it is broken down into smaller units of peptides and finally amino acids. These amino acids are absorbed in the intestine. To be effective, whey protein must be broken down into a smaller particle size within approximately 90 minutes of consumption, otherwise protein goes undigested and excreted from the body.

Enzymes are biological molecules (mainly proteins) that are naturally present in our body that help break down of proteins. They act as catalysts to the biochemical reactions within the body by increasing the speed of the reaction and helping digestion. Our body produces proteases (enzymes) of its own to digest protein. When whey protein is not broken into its smallest composition by these proteases, it stays in the digestive tract for a longer time period, causing discomfort such as cramping, bloating, nausea, pain etc. Protease supplements provide these enzymes that aid digestion.

ProHydrolase®, a registered trademark of Deerland Enzymes, Kennesaw, USA, is a formula that contains a blend of enzymes to enhance the digestibility and absorption of protein, thereby increasing its bioavailability. ProHydrolase® is a part of BodyFirst® whey protein series to ensure that the protein is absorbed to the maximum to get more benefits.

ProHydrolase® has also been studied in a clinical trial with two phases. The researchers gave 20 volunteers (aged 19 to 35 with normal healthy BMI) whey protein with ProHydrolase® for nine days and whey protein by itself for nine days. At the end of the study, the researchers found that total amino acid concentrations increased significantly (by 55 mg) more after taking the whey protein and ProHydrolase® supplement than after just the whey protein-only supplement. In other words – taking whey and ProHydrolase® provided 20% more amino acids than whey protein by itself.

Some of the other benefits of adding ProHydrolase® to whey protein are:

  1. Increased absorption of BCAAs from whey protein:

    After the glycogen stores in your body are utilised to provide you with the fuel required to exercise, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) or the building blocks of protein are used as fuel. BCAAs being essential amino acids are not naturally produced by the body but they are got through diet.

    Leucine, isoleucine and valine constitute BCAAs and these are vital to both strenuous workouts and endurance athletes. They are popular in reducing fatigue in anaerobic and endurance sports.

    Adding BCAAs around your workout regime reduces muscle loss, aids in muscle recovery and builds up on protein required for muscle synthesis.
    ProHydrolase® with whey protein enhances the blood levels of leucine by 5% as compared to having whey protein alone; leucine being one of the most critical BCAA.

    Leucine regulates blood glucose levels, repair and growth of tissues in the skeletal muscle, bone and skin. Valine also assists in growth and repair of muscle tissue and preserves glucose utilization. Valine in blood level increases by 11% when ProHydrolase® is combined with whey.

  2. Absorption of other amino acids from whey protein:

    Threonine: It plays an important role in the formation of collagen and elastin (connective tissues). It is involved in liver functions and maintains the immune system. It also aids in the absorption of other nutrients. The level of threonine in the blood is increased by 6% with ProHydrolase®.

    Arginine: It has good nitrogen retention ability, which is required for protein synthesis. It enhances the immune response. It is involved with the release of insulin and stimulates the production of growth hormone. The level of Arginine in the blood increases by 2.5 times (60%) when whey is combined with ProHydrolase® as compared to consuming whey alone.

    Methionine: It helps in eliminating toxic wastes and in the regeneration of liver and kidney. The level of methionine in the blood is increased by 6% with ProHydrolase®.

    Glutamine: It balances the acid and alkali levels and thus plays a role in reducing lactic acid, which is a by-product of anaerobic exercises. ProHydrolase® helps in increasing the level of glutamine in blood by 28%.

    Phenylalanine: It is a precursor of tyrosine that enhances learning, mood, memory and alertness. There is 9% increase in the blood level of phenylalanine by adding ProHydrolase® to whey.

Some of the highlights of consuming ProHydrolase® with whey protein are:

  1. ProHydrolase® digests protein into bio-usable form:
    ProHydrolase® takes full advantage of the availability of essential amino acids for building muscle and improving muscle recovery.
  2. Reduces discomfort:
    Greatly reduces digestive discomfort caused when protein is not broken down into the smallest composition.
  3. Maximizes performance:
    Maximizes the performance benefit of protein supplements, assisting the body in absorbing more protein rather than excreting it.


  1. Deaton J., Dawson H. and Davidson J. ProHydrolaseTM with milk protein whey in a Sports Protein Drink. Deerland Enzymes