Whey peptides, also known as protein peptides, are short polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. They have the same peptide bonds as those in proteins, but are commonly shorter in length. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond. There can also be tripeptides, tetrapeptides, pentapeptides, etc. Peptides have an amino end and a carboxyl end, unless they are cyclic peptides. A polypeptide is a single linear chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds. Protein molecules consist of one or more polypeptides put together typically in a biologically functional way and sometimes have non-peptide groups attached, which can be called prosthetic groups or cofactors.
Protein peptides are the preferred method for the body to absorb nitrogen into the muscles because the proteins can be absorbed intact. In fact, peptides are absorbed over 200 percent faster than free-form amino acids or whole protein molecules. The faster protein is absorbed in the body, the more it promotes protein synthesis – a key component in muscle development.
When the body breaks down proteins, it breaks them down into peptides, which in turn creates nitrogen in the bloodstream. Over 70 percent of nitrogen found in the bloodstream is in peptide form. Also, protein peptides made from whey are over 65 percent better at retaining nitrogen than regular whey.
Other valuable characteristics of peptides are that it helps weight loss by stimulating the brain center that tells the body that it is full. Peptides stimulate Insulin Growth Factors, which develop muscle tissue. Peptides are also found to aid gastrointestinal and liver function.