Hydroisolates, or hydrolyzed proteins, have been on the market for a long time, but many practitioners question their effectiveness. Therefore, in this text, we present to you what science has said, and 4 situations when waterproofing really helps.

When waterproofing first appeared on the market in the early 2000s, very little was known about their impact on muscle growth and performance, what was generally known to be faster to digest than standard protein powders. This has led many to wonder if this faster digestibility is at all a significant advantage over traditional whey proteins, and they quickly decided to classify the waterproofing as a marketing ploy. However, now we know better!

Now more than ten years later, when we have a lot of research that we can rely on, whey and casein waterproofing are making a big comeback. Will they ever be as popular as isolates or concentrates? Probably not, but in addition to super fast digestibility, whey and casein waterproofing provides a serious advantage in certain situations. This is what you need to know!


Protein waterproofing refers to protein that is partially digested or "hydrolyzed". Don't worry, it doesn't mean that someone started chewing your protein and then put it back in the box. This process actually involves adding proteolytic enzymes or heating the protein with an acid, which breaks down the protein. Both of these processes mimic the process of digestion resulting in the breakdown of intact protein into amino acids and small amino acid peptide moieties.

Hydrolyzed protein, compared to regular protein, ensures the delivery of larger amounts of amino acids from the stomach to the muscles, and speeds up that delivery. As a result, your liver has less time to take in key amino acids that go to your muscles, which means more amino acids will get into your muscles and boost recovery and building.

In terms of nutrition and performance, here’s how hydrolyzed protein stands compared to other proteins.

ADVANTAGE NO.1: More long-lasting amino acids

Waterproofing contains more leucine (amino acids) than isolate, 14.2% compared to 12.2% to be quite precise. Since leucine is key to triggering anabolism (building muscle), its higher amount in the waterproofing gives this type of whey protein an advantage over all other types. However, the difference is far more pronounced when it comes to casein.

Standard casein provides you with a slow and stable supply of amino acids, without a sharp rise, and is therefore considered an anti-catabolic supplement (take it at bedtime to prevent catabolism), not anabolic.

On the other hand, casein hydroisolate has been shown to abruptly raise amino acid levels in the body immediately after ingestion, similar to isolate, while still maintaining elevated amino acid levels for hours, just like standard casein. Even more impressive, the results of a study published in Pharmacological Reviews found that people who consumed casein hydroisolate had 30% higher protein synthesis in the next 6 hours, compared to when they consumed standard casein.

ADVANTAGE NO.2: Improves glycogen replenishment

Post-workout glycogen supplementation improves your recovery process and prepares your body for the next workout, which is especially important if you are an athlete and have demanding workouts.

Glycogen is supplemented by insulin, whose strong secretion is stimulated by carbohydrates, but it is also stimulated by the presence of protein alone.Protein waterproofing causes far greater insulin secretion compared to ordinary proteins (isolate and concentrate), which leads to better glycogen replenishment and greater anabolism when consumed after training

Studies in mice and cell cultures have shown that consuming hydrolyzed protein and carbohydrates after training significantly increased glycogen replenishment two hours after training, compared to a combination of protein isolates and carbohydrates, and a combination of BCAAs and carbohydrates. Although these studies have so far only been performed on mice and cell cultures, the authors of this study believe that similar results can be expected in humans.

ADVANTAGE NO.3: Faster recovery

A study published in the Journal of Science in Medicine and Sports found that people who consumed hydrolyzed protein immediately after training had better recovery and performance than people who consumed protein isolate. The researchers conducted this study on 28 people who had to do 100 repetitions of a leg extension with a focus on the eccentric phase, the eccentric phase causes far greater muscle damage than the usual concentric phase.

Immediately after exercise, test subjects consumed either 25g of waterproofing or 25g of isolate or placebo. Muscle recovery was measured using blood markers, subjective evaluation, and performance testing. Measurements were performed 1,2,6 and 24 hours after exercise.

The group that consumed the waterproofing managed to regain performance 6 hours after training, while the placebo and the group that consumed the isolate failed to fully recover even after 24 hours. These results show a serious advantage of waterproofing over isolate!

ADVANTAGE NO.4: Better performance during training

In several studies, the effect of consuming casein waterproofing in combination with carbohydrates during endurance training was observed. What was observed was that the individuals had a higher net protein balance, better timed results, and recovery.

Although more research is needed, these studies provide promising evidence to support the consumption of fast-absorbing proteins during training.


Today, unlike ten years ago, we have far more research on the impact of waterproofing. Although we cannot definitely rule out protein isolate, concentrate or standard casein, based on the above we can conclude that consuming waterproofing has a great advantage, especially if you take it in these cases:

Intensive, frequent workouts: If you train twice a day, waterproofing will speed up recovery, reduce muscle damage and quickly replenish glycogen, making you ready for your second training.

When on a diet: For anyone on a strict diet, consuming waterproofing after a workout can further speed up your recovery, especially when you are on a reduced carb intake. It can also boost muscle building, as it contains more leucine than protein isolate.

During long-term training: If you do long-term endurance training, casein waterproofing can help reduce muscle catabolism and improve overall performance.

Retrieved from: Bodybuilding.com

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