T Nation

Protein and digestive enzyme supplements

I’m a big guy, 6’5", 235 pounds and fairly low body fat, but that’s also a lot of protein to eat. T-mag suggested that digestive enzymes are the most overlooked supplement available at any health food outlet, but I wanted some more info on that. To aid in protein digestion, what type of enzyme should I look for? And what kind of cost can I expect?

Correction- One T-mag writer said he liked them. (Can’t remember which one.) But I believe TC and some of the others said that digestive enzymes are worthless. Better do a word search and see what’s up.

Rather than relying on “the experts” all of the time,
why not simply buy some, try them, and see if they work
for you. If you notice your gut and digestion feeling
better, then stick with it. If you don’t notice anything,
then forget it. Each individual is different, so even
if the experts say something doesn’t work for them
doesn’t necesarly mean that it won’t work for you. I’ve
not had much experience with digestive enzymes, but I do
notice I digest protein powder much better when I have the
aminogen enzyme added to it. You might want to try
aminogen first because there is some science backing it up,
and then try others later.

The kind of digestive “help” you’ll want will depend on the kind of problems you are having. Proteins need to be digested in an acid medium to be absorbed properly in the gut, so you might want to try hydrochloric acid tablets. Having gas after eating? Then try hydrochloric acid first, one or two tablets after eating a meal. You can usually find these tablets combined with gastric lipase and pepsin, two key enzymes in protein digestion.

Another enzyme to try is papayin, that comes from the papaya plant. This is a naturally occuring plant enzyme that mimics the action of lipase, but from a plant source. Always take enzyme/hydrochloric acid tablets with food. Also, don’t get the enteric coated tablets. You want these babies to melt the minute they hit your stomach. Also, generic sources are always cheaper than brand names, so just go to the health food store and ask for them by name.

If you want to read more about digestive enzymes, most biochemistry books will tell you more than you need to know.