The newer research on protein powders finds that going faster with the digestion rate of whey is not the way to go. Going slower with the digestion rate of the protein is actually your best bet for better gains in muscle protein.
Research studies are show that using a blend of fast-digesting whey and slow-digesting casein protein, plus a medium-digesting protein such as soy or egg, works significantly better than whey protein alone at prolonging muscle protein synthesis and increasing net protein balance (how much of that protein is retained and put into muscle building), as well as leading to bigger gains in muscle mass.
The problem with using whey alone is that its fast digestion rate is the main benefit, but also the main downfall. Whey's fast digestion rate is important for spiking muscle-protein synthesis, but it also causes the spike in protein synthesis that it initiated to rapidly drop.
Yet when you consume a little bit of whey along with more slower-digesting proteins, the whey spikes the muscle-protein synthesis and the slower proteins maintain that higher protein synthesis for longer. This leads to greater muscle growth. So given what the new science is now showing in the lab, as well as what I am seeing in the gym, it makes no sense to further speed up the rate of whey protein, or any protein for that matter.
This is also why I didn't bother to include any hydrolyzed whey protein in Pro JYM. Hydrolyzed whey protein is whey protein that has been predigested so that it digests a bit faster than whey protein isolate. Yet as I said, there is no point in further speeding up the rate that whey protein isolate digests at. It's fast enough. The better strategy is to complement whey protein isolate with medium- and slow-digesting proteins.
To learn more, check out my article on why protein blends are better than whey alone.
Despite what I said above, the researchers in the Aminogen study did report that nitrogen retention was increased better when the subjects consumed the Aminogen with the whey. Nitrogen retention is a measure of how much of the protein is put to use in the body versus it being excreted.
This data I have a hard time fully accepting. This is mainly due to the newer studies that I discussed above showing that adding slower digesting proteins to whey protein actually increased muscle protein synthesis for longer and led to greater net protein balance and muscle growth.
Given all the new science, speeding up the digestion rate of whey protein does not seem like the way to go for greater nitrogen retention. I have to really question this finding from the Aminogen study. Plus, there has yet to be a follow-up study to this one that was performed many years ago. When there is a lack of supporting studies to follow up on one single study, you have to take the data with a grain of salt.
The only follow-up study done on Aminogen was a safety study done in 2013 that investigated the effects it had on liver and kidney function, metabolism, and cardiovascular health. They reported no adverse effects of Aminogen on any of these measures. Fair enough. However, they also reported that the subjects consuming 40 grams of whey protein concentrate without the Aminogen for 30 days experienced a significant increase in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, yet the group taking Aminogen with the whey protein did not experience any negative rise in cholesterol.
Hold up a minute! Whey protein raised cholesterol levels?! If you look at the research on whey protein and cardiovascular health over the years, you would find that taking whey protein does NOT raise cholesterol levels. In fact, you would find quite the opposite. Whey protein has been shown in numerous studies to provide heart-health benefits, including a lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure.
So the data from this Aminogen safety study is highly questionable. And that does not leave me very confident in the data from either one of the Aminogen studies. Which bring us back to the point that I was making at the start of this article – there is no real research on enzyme supplements and their benefit in the digestion and utilization of protein. Period!