Which food source of protein is easiest to digest?
I won’t discuss whole food sources of protein here. Not because I don’t like them or want to slap Mother Nature in the face, the simple reason is that these sources offer up a protein that is wrapped in a more complex type of packaging. This packaging consisting of fats, carbohydrates, fibers and other materials is not inherently bad, in fact quite the opposite, but it often decreases the alacrity of the processes used to digest it. It also makes for a topic that can fill a book and some people might say that this blog is already much too long, as is.
When I began to train in the 1970s, the main sources of protein powder back in the day were calcium caseinate and egg albumin. In the US, there were two main commercial suppliers of these products: Joe Weider and RheoBlair. As a result of this limited choice, the commercially available products were mediocre tasting (I can still remember the heady aroma permeating my little bedsit after popping the top off a new can of the stuff), lactose laden mixes that you could, with lots of milk added, just about be able to digest. Although, probably not without producing enough natural gas to run a small power plant.
Yes, as with other technologies, food processing tech has come far.
What usually (but not always) is the problem with digesting the various forms of dairy protein (arguably, the most convenient and highest bio-available protein source) is the difficulty for the majority of us to digest lactose satisfactorily.
While food processing technology is commonly considered the devil’s handmaiden, mischievously compounding a whole cornucopia of health and environmental havoc with its modern host of Frankenfoods, sometimes it does manage to furnish the discriminating consumer with useful solutions.
De-lactosed pre-digested hydrolyzed whey protein isolate is one of the more beneficial solutions that high-tech food processing makes available and is hard to beat, as far as a rapidly, easily digested protein source is concerned.