Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Before I got more heavily involved in sports nutrition, I never really considered the different methods of making protein powder.

My go-to options were protein isolate and concentrate, but when I started working with a dietitian, it quickly became clear to me that hydrolyzed whey protein may actually be the better option for many of my clients.

The problem for many athletes with muscle mass or weight loss goals, there are too many poor-quality protein powders. And with hydrolyzed whey protein powder, you have to be extra cautious.

So, over the past 4 months, our team has extensively tested some of the more popular products to help narrow down your search.

Our Top Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Powders

1 - ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein (Editor's Choice)

Dymatize product

During our test phase, this seemed to be one of the most reliable hydrolyzed whey protein supplements. It was also the one most of our clients favored from a taste and texture perspective. It also ranks high in our list of recommended whey proteins.

The protein content of 25 grams in each scoop is just right for most athletes to get some help with muscle recovery after some tougher training sessions [1].

While it does contain some carbs, it’s low enough to not pose issues for your diet.

Pros
  • Low in fat and carbs to not mess up your diet
  • Provides good supply of BCAAs
  • Tubs can be ordered up to 5 pounds for good discounts
  • Available in tasty flavors for more diversity
Cons
  • May need to be blended for the smoothest texture

2 - Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate

Sascha Fitness product

This is one of the hydrolyzed whey protein shakes that we recommend to our keto diet clients as it contains less than 1 gram of carbs. It just makes it a bit easier to keep track of your macro allowances for the day.

For performance athletes, there’s also a good profile of BCAAs, which may help with building up some body mass in a bulking phase [2].

It’s also good to see that all ingredients are natural to give it a better flavor.

Pros
  • Practically zero carbs, sugar and fat so it shouldn’t interfere with diets
  • High dose of BCAAs that may help increase body mass
  • Uses natural flavors for a tastier shake
Cons
  • Some users report a slightly chalky texture

We did hear from some of our clients that they found it just a little bit chalky at times, so make sure you give it an extra bit of a shake.

3 - Syntha-6 Edge Protein Powder

bsn product

BSN is a very popular product with professional bodybuilders due to the quality of the ingredients and manufacturing process.

The result of this is that many people report that it’s easy on the stomach, even in higher doses.

This particular product seems to have a good amino acid profile, especially when it comes to BCAA in whey protein.

Pros
  • One of the higher BCAA doses available
  • Many reports that it doesn’t cause an upset stomach
  • Positive comments about the flavors and smooth texture
Cons
  • It’s not a sugar-free option

The main downside is that it’s not as pure as some of the other options. The fat and carb content may not make it a suitable option for certain types of diets.

4 - BulkSupplements Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate

BulkSupplements thumb

This hydrolyzed whey protein is favored by several of my bodybuilder clients because of the higher protein dose in each serving.

It just makes mixing up the right amount after a training session a bit easier.

The company also claims that there are no fillers or additives that might otherwise mess up your diet.

That does seem to be supported by the low fat and carb content as well.

Pros
  • One of the strongest per serving dose
  • Independently tested for purity and quality
  • Contains no fillers or additives
Cons
  • Only available in quite small pouches with no bulk tubs available

My main concern with this is that the pouches are currently only available in quite small sizes. If you train every day of the week, then this may not be the best option for you.

5 - Optimum Nutrition Hydrolyzed Whey

optimum nutrition product

From another one of the leading sports supplement brands comes this powder that many users comment on as being quite easy to mix.

Personally, that’s important to me as I hate ending up with something clumpy out of a shaker.

According to the label, it also contains glutamine peptides that some studies have shown may reduce fatigue and speed up recovery times [3].

Pros
  • The macro profile makes it a suitable option for the majority of diets
  • Provides a good dose of glutamine peptides
  • Comes in tasty and easy to mix flavors
Cons
  • Not available as an unflavored option

The only downside we noted was that this protein supplement isn’t available as an unflavored option, which could make it easier to mix with food.

6 - Muscle Feast Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

muscle feast product

The reason I tend to stock some of this hydrolyzed whey protein is that it comes in an unflavored option, which might make it easier to mix in with some other foods throughout the day.

The other thing that stands out with Muscle Feast is that the protein is isolated from grass-fed cows.

This is known to deliver higher quality with less of a risk of taking in some harmful hormones.

Pros
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives
  • The unflavored option makes it a good choice to mix in with meals
  • Sourced from grass-fed cows to reduce the risk of hormone exposure
Cons
  • It’s not the easiest to mix in a shaker

The only thing to keep in mind is that you may need to give it quite a long shake in order to make the whey protein isolate powder fully dissolve.

7 - Amazing Muscle Ultra Pure Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate

amazing muscle product

Here’s another one of the whey protein powders that is popular because it’s not loaded with fat and carbs to help you keep your macros in order.

It’s also available as unflavored, which I tend to mix in with my breakfast.

But even for a protein shake, I find that it generally mixes easily without needing a blender to get a smooth texture.

The company also claims that each batch is independently tested to ensure high-quality standards.

Pros
  • Batches are third-party tested for quality
  • Many reports that it mixes easily in a shaker
  • Suitable for use in different meals
Cons
  • Limited flavors available which reduces diversity

The only thing I would point out, though, is that there are quite limited flavor options available. Personally, I tend to get bored with flavors easily, so a few more options would be great.

8 - NAR LABS Hydrolysed Whey

nar labs product

This is one of the latest whey isolates to hit the market, and some of my clients like it because of the high amino acid content.

With 27 grams in total, it may be suitable for those doing regular high-intensity training.

With no fat and carbs only in the form of fiber, it’s one of the whey protein products that I often see recommended in keto diet groups.

With the added BCAAs, it’s also likely to be a suitable option for many performance athletes.

Pros
  • Provides a strong dose of whey protein and practically nothing else
  • Suitable for people with lactose intolerance
  • Formulated with added BCAAs
Cons
  • Some of the flavors are a bit fake tasting

One thing I did see quite a few comments about is that due to some artificial flavors, it might be a bit fake tasting on some of the flavor options.

9 - Muscle Food Labs Muscle Isolate Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

muscle food labs product

This hydrolyzed whey protein tends to be quite popular with my clients that do a lot of CrossFit and resistance training with very heavy weights.

We weren’t able to find another product offering 30 grams of protein per serving with high-quality standards.

While the flavors are tasty and easy to mix, I’m just missing an unflavored option to use with other meals as well.

Pros
  • The strongest per serving dose we were able to find
  • Not mixed with any artificial ingredients
  • Many positive reviews that it’s easy on the stomach
Cons
  • It’s just missing an unflavored option

10 - VitaXtrong Iso-Pro 100% Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate

bsn product

The final product on this list is from VitaXtrong, and I’ve seen a lot of comments that support the company’s claim that it’s easy on the stomach.

None of my clients reported issues, even when taking larger daily doses.

If you tend to have quite large protein requirements, then this could be a suitable option as it’s available in large bulk order bags.

Pros
  • Claims to be very easy on the stomach allowing you to take it several times a day
  • Lactose and gluten-free makes it more widely suitable
  • Can be ordered in large bulk bags for some good savings
Cons
  • Unfortunately, it does contain artificial flavors

The main downside is that it partially relies on artificial flavors and might end up tasting a bit fake to some users.

Buyer’s Guide

hand holding atm card

There are 3 important factors that you need to consider before you make decisions on which product to buy. And it’s these factors that we heavily relied on to determine whether a product made it onto our list or not.

Amount Of Protein Per Serving

The bigger your overall muscle size is and the more intense you train, the more you’ll be reliant on a large volume of protein per day.

For that reason, it’s important to have a good picture of how much protein you get with each scoop.

The protein source might be something to consider, too. Typically, there is higher protein content per serving in whey vs plant-based protein powders.

It’s also a vital factor when comparing the price of different products. Some companies out there make a big deal out of how many servings they provide, while making it less obvious that it’s quite a small scoop size.

So keep that in mind.

Overall Macro Combination

My number one tip is to stay away from products with more than 5 or 6 grams of carbs. Unless it’s mainly dietary fiber, you’ll find that it’s most often some added sugar or other completely unnecessary carbs.

What this could end up doing is completely mess with your diet, especially if you’re on a very carb-restricted meal plan. In my opinion, a protein supplement should be as pure as possible, and there really is no excuse to do otherwise.

Quality Vs. Cost

One mistake many people make is they start to increase their intake and then decide to save by getting some of the cheaper products out there or making their own protein powder at home. In some cases, that could actually have a less than beneficial effect.

The reason for this is that muscle protein synthesis is dependent on high-quality amino acids that have not been damaged during the manufacturing process [4]. Don’t let price become too big a deciding factor.

If you're really on a tight budget, whey protein concentrates will work, but isolates are the most preferred type of milk protein for building muscle
- Bodybuilding.com

FAQ

faq feauture image

Is hydrolyzed whey protein better?

Yes, hydrolyzed whey protein is better, as the manufacturing process makes it easier on the stomach and possibly faster to absorb than whey protein concentrate. This is especially beneficial to performance athletes who may need to take large quantities.

What does hydrolyzed mean in whey protein?

Hydrolyzed whey protein means that a process of “enzymatic hydrolysis” has been used to break down the whey into its amino acids [5]. This is a very different process to making whey protein concentrate, and it generally means that it’s more expensive. Here’s a detailed comparison of whey isolate vs concentrate for your reference.

Is hydrolyzed protein safe?

Yes, hydrolyzed protein is safe, and many people would say that it significantly reduces the chances of side effects. While your digestive system is quite effective when it comes to absorbing protein, it could become overwhelmed with large volumes of protein shakes.

What happens when a protein is hydrolyzed?

When a protein is hydrolyzed, it is exposed to enzymes which gradually break down protein molecules. Rather than using heat, which may actually break down the amino acid structure, this process aims to maintain the integrity and effectiveness.

Our #1 Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

We had a quick vote after we completed our test, and quite surprisingly, we all agreed on Dymatize ISO 100.

Usually, we end up in heated debates, but what we all liked is the limited fat and carbs to not have to reassess meal plans.

All our clients who take it also reported that they experienced faster recovery periods and less muscle soreness. Get your order in today, and make sure you report back to us how it works out for you.

Dymatize product

ISO 100 Hydrolyzed Protein

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Low in fat and carbs to not mess up your diet
  • Provides good supply of BCAAs
  • Tubs can be ordered up to 5 pounds for good discounts
  • Available in tasty flavors for more diversity
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About the author

  • Been taking Vega Sport for 2 months now and I can agree that this is the best vegan protein powder. I’ve tried a lot of vegan protein supplements already but this one works best for me. It helps me in my muscle building and weight loss journey.