Fast and Slow Proteins: The Difference and Role of Each

Fast and Slow Proteins: The Difference and Role of Each

Not all protein is created equal! We are sure you have heard that before. Besides differences in protein quality, (see our blog post on plant versus animal protein) there are also differences in protein digestibility. Yes, some proteins digest faster than others! What does that mean for you and your health goals? What type of protein is best for you? Let’s dig in.


Fast proteins are digested within 1-2 hours. Your body is able to utilize the protein quickly for things like muscle protein synthesis. Fast proteins are recommended for ingestion after a workout. Slow proteins take closer to 4 hours to digest. They provide the body with slower and more sustained release of amino acids, such as muscle regrowth overnight. 

What is the fastest digesting protein?

Whey protein takes the cake for being the fastest digesting protein! It’s a great choice for muscle recovery after a workout because it is absorbed and digested most rapidly. Whey is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. Collagen, another popular protein supplement, is also fast digesting and has many health benefits (think joints, hair, skin, nails). Protein powders and supplements contain protein that has been broken down or isolated so you can be selective and ingest just fast or just slow protein depending on your specific needs or goals. Some supplements are combinations of fast and slow.


What is a slow digesting protein?

Casein is an example of a slow digesting protein. Casein can be found in dairy products such as cow’s milk, cream, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc. Food sources of protein have the added benefit of providing both kinds of protein in addition to other synergistic benefits such as fiber (helps with satiety, gut regularity). 


How do you pick the protein that’s best for you?

Think about your personal needs and goals. The best recommendation is to include a variety of dietary protein sources and incorporate protein supplements as needed to meet day to day goals and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. 


The Vidafuel Wellness Protein has both whey and collagen, so you get not 1, but 2 fast digesting proteins! It’s a great option for after a workout, if you’re recovering from an injury/surgery or just want an extra protein shot daily to ensure you meet your needs! 



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