Lately, no one seems to agree on a generalized protein intake. While health authorities recommend 0.8-1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, fitness experts suggest taking 2.2-4.4g/kg.

However, beyond these numbers, what truly matters is how much protein is your body really absorbing – all of it – or just half – or absolutely nothing of what you are eating? Even scarier, what if most of the protein from your whey protein shake is going to waste? Is there a way one can minimize protein wastage and increase protein absorption? Get answers to all these and lot more, in this article.

Protein Digesting Process

It’s good to keep in mind that digesting proteins is not as easy as eating chicken breast and magically getting it converted into amino acids. The chicken breast you eat gets converted into tiny amino acids via a few intermediate complex steps that occur in the stomach and in the small intestine. Here’s a quick look at all the steps involved in digesting proteins.

  • First of all, the large protein molecule enters your stomach where it comes in contact with pepsin, a proteolytic enzyme that helps to digest proteins. Pepsin breaks the peptide bonds that hold the protein molecule together and convert into long interlinking chains of amino acids called polypeptides.
  • In the next step, these polypeptides make their way in the small intestine where it is broken down by trypsin and chymotrypsin, two proteolytic enzymes released by the pancreas. As a result of this, the bonds that hold polypeptides together are converted into peptides.
  • Lastly, these peptides are converted into tiny amino acids that get readily absorbed in the small intestine and take a detour to the liver before being released into your bloodstream.

Similar Article: Why we need protein? What’s its importance?

Role of Protein Digesting Enzymes


Well, if you read what’s discussed above then you may have come across three totally new entities – Pepsin, Trypsin, and Chymotrypsin.

Simply put, pepsin, trypsin and chymotrypsin are three main protein digesting enzymes that are produced in human digestive tract. They are generally referred as Proteolytic enzyme or Protease.

Pepsin is formed when a relatively inactive enzyme named pepsinogen comes in contact with the protein molecule. Quite similarly, trypsin and chymotrypsin are another protease enzymes secreted by the pancreas.


How long does it take your body to digest Protein Supplement?

You all probably know that not all that we eat is digested and absorbed by our body. It’s pretty clear that a lot of food goes of what we eat goes to waste.

But what about protein supplements like whey protein shake? How long does it take to digest whey protein? And, even bigger is the mystery, how much of the total protein out of whey protein gets actually absorbed by the body? Here are your answers –

How long does Whey Protein take to digest?

The maximum rate at which whey protein can be digested and absorbed is approximately 8-10 grams per hour.

How long does Whey Protein remain in the digestive system before it enters the excretory system?

For viscous liquids like whey protein shake, it roughly takes 90 minutes or 1.5 hours to be completely absorbed by the small intestine.

How much Protein from a Whey Protein Shake does your body absorb in one hour?

After doing a little bit of maths, one thing’s for sure that a lot of whey protein, precisely anything that’s more than 15 grams protein per whey protein shake, is not going to get absorbed and may end up going down the toilet. Quite surprising, indeed!

I’m quite sure that you all are baffled right now. Because all this while you have been drinking protein shakes like 50 grams of whey protein in one sit but all of sudden there comes this guy and says that only 15 grams of protein from one whey protein shake can be absorbed by the body.

You will certainly want some proof to believe it, right? Here’s one – A study conducted by Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2008, clearly stated in their pre-requisite that due to possible blockage of digestive enzymes from over-processing and quick transit time in the small intestine, the gross amount of Whey Protein Concentrate that can be absorbed may roughly be 15 grams.

That’s one convincing proof, isn’t it? After all the truth, there’s still one way you can increase your protein absorption. Do you want to know how to digest protein? Precisely, how to digest protein easily? I bet you do.

How to Digest Whey Protein faster and better?


Here are few simple tips that will help you know how to digest whey protein – faster and better.

  • First things first, stop drinking too much water with your meals. Since efficient digestion of protein requires an acidic environment, water being basic can slow down the digestion process.
  • Secondly, and one of the finest ways to rapidly digest and to take full advantage of protein absorption, you should consume a Whey Protein Supplement that contains digestive enzyme like Digezyme® in it, much like MFF’s Advance Whey Protein 80. The product not only contains latest digestive enzyme technology Digezyme but also includes 22 other vitamins and minerals for your body’s overall growth and nourishment.
  • Digezyme® is an enzyme blend that consists of five different digestive enzymes to help you maximize your nutrient absorption. To know more about Digezyme® and its role in Digestion of Protein, follow this link – What is Digezyme and How Does it Help in Protein Digestion?
  • Lastly, you can slow down the intestine transit time (the amount time that protein food takes to pass through the small intestine) by adding a couple of other ingredients to your whey protein shake like casein protein, oats, peanut butter, almonds, etc. Bear in mind that longer the protein takes to pass through the intestine, the better will it be.

Right from the beginning, educating customers has been MyFitFuel’s topmost priority and that’s a reason why over 50,000+ happy customers trust us with their nutrition. With our comprehensive fitness & nutrition blogs, we are committed to providing you with better knowledge so as to make it easy for you to achieve your desired fitness goals.

Should you have any queries about digesting protein supplements, digestive enzymes, and your daily nutrition, comment your query down below. You can also reach us at [email protected] or call us on +91-8800115410 and we will be happy to help you.


Tags : digestive enzymeDigezyme
Keyur Malani

The author Keyur Malani

Keyur Malani is a certified content writer who finds his true passion in fitness and bodybuilding. Apart from his contribution to Myfitfuel blog, he also guides people in their diet and training routines. When he's not writing articles and breaking Deadlift PRs, he's learning life lessons on brain pickings and cooking his post workout meals.
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Response