Casein

Last updated on September 25th, 2018
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Casein is one of the most used protein sports supplements in bodybuilding industry. This type of protein is the second product (the first one is whey), obtained during fermentation of milk. Casein is a complex protein product, providing our body all the necessary amino acids for a long period of time.

Unlike whey protein, casein is digested much longer. Once casein gets in the stomach, it transforms into a sticky lump, therefore it is digested longer than other types of protein supplements. The consistency is similar to cottage cheese, the properties and energy value as well.

There are two kinds of Casein on the market today:

  • Calcium caseinate
  • Micellar casein.

Calcium caseinate is a complex type of milk protein. It was the most popular type of slowly digested protein. However, Micellar casein has become even more popular lately. This type of protein is better and faster digested, has a nice taste compared to Calcium caseinate, but is more expensive than the first one.

Muscle gain and casein

Although casein is an essential protein, it is not preferable to use if you do not use whey protein at the same time. If you are looking for best muscle gain, you need to combine these proteins.

You may use casein instead of meal (30-40 g), if you have to stay without normal food for a long time. It is better to use casein before sleep. Because casein slows down the catabolism, this way you will protect your muscles from harmful effect of cortisol.

An average serving of casein is 30-45 g (take a larger dose before night, since at night your body stays without “fuel” much longer and casein goes through the gastrointestinal tract slower than during daytime).

Fat burning and casein

The recent research shows that casein is as good as whey with calcium for weight loss. If you need to burn fat tissue, you need to drink casein shake about 2-4 times daily (in the morning, before workout, between main meals and before sleep).

An average dose of casein for fat burning is 15-20 g. You may use casein if you feel hungry and you want to protect your muscles and initiate fat breakdown. The best way is to use casein before night sleep. Although casein provides mild thermogenic effect and muscle protection, it suppresses the appetite much better than other types of protein.

If you are allergic to whey or egg proteins, casein is the product that will suit you perfectly. Before using casein protein, make sure you read the label and find out the dose that suits your body the most.

Although casein and whey are both proteins, scientists still wanted to find out which one is better for athletes. Thus, they conducted some studies to reveal how proteins absorption rate affects the body and namely the muscle building effect.

Scientists divided the trial subjects into two groups: the first group was using whey protein and the second one was taking casein sports supplement. None of the contestants knew which protein supplement they were taking.

The results have demonstrated that whey protein is absorbed much faster than casein. That is why; whey is called a fast protein these days. The amino acids level after the use of whey protein has reached its maximum in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. But the amino acids level after the use of casein protein was the same high within 5 hours. This means that casein is able to maintain high concentration of amino acids in the blood within a long time.

In 2009, it was established that muscles were growing much better in young people who have been using whey supplements, not casein. In 2011, scientists found out that whey protein had caused a greater muscle growth in elderly people (compared to casein). These results show that the absorption rate and amino acids are two main factors explaining why whey protein provides greater muscle growth than casein does.

Casein for weight loss

Every nutritionist will tell you to use protein during your weight loss therapy. There are several reasons for that.

  1. To protect and maintain muscles.
  2. To increase thermogenesis.
  3. To suppress the appetite.

Despite the fact that whey protein is best for muscle protection and increased thermogenesis, casein is best for appetite suppression. Scientists have proven that casein can suppress the appetite effectively if used 30 minutes before meals. Some of them believed that Casein benefits are caused by high amount of calcium in it.

References:

1. Tipton KD, Elliott TA. Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Dec;36(12):2073-81.
2. Pennings B, Boirie Y. Whey protein stimulates postprandial muscle protein accretion more effectively than do casein and casein hydrolysate in older men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;93(5):997-1005. Epub 2011 Mar 2.
3. Tang JE, Moore DR Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2009 Sep;107(3):987-92. Epub 2009 Jul 9.
4. Tauriainen E, Storvik M Skeletal muscle gene expression profile is modified by dietary protein source and calcium during energy restriction. J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2011;4(1):49-62. Epub 2011 Apr 28
5. “Ingestion of Casein and Whey Proteins Result in Muscle Anabolism after Resistance Exercise” by Tipton, Kevin D.; Elliott, Tabatha A.; Cree, Melanie G.; Wolf, Steven E.; Sanford, Arthur P.; Wolfe, Robert R. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2004 – Volume  36 – Issue 12 – pp 2073-2081.

 

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