7 Facts About Casein Protein Powders : Protein has become something of a nutrition buzzword recently and rightfully so. Protein is a macronutrient vital to building muscle and synthesizing many important enzymes needed for various chemical reactions in the body.
In the wake of this protein boom, protein powders have also received a lot of attention. Whey protein is perhaps the most popular choice, sometimes leaving the benefits of casein unsung but here are seven facts about this lesser-known, protein powerhouse.
Casein comes from dairy products
Like whey protein, casein is derived from milk. After casein is separated from whey, leftover milk solids are treated with chymosin, which coagulates the protein into a solid mass of casein. After it is isolated and solidified, the casein is filtered into a protein powder.
Knowing the origin of casein is important if you have milk allergies. Assuming that you are not allergic, casein is a great way to meet your body’s protein needs.
Casein helps prevent muscle breakdown
While casein is rich in amino acids necessary for building muscle, that isn’t the best reason why active people should take casein. Casein is much more effective at preventing muscle breakdown, which means that even though it doesn’t help build muscle as easily as whey protein, it helps you sustain that newly strengthened muscle tissue longer.
It is digested slowly, allowing for steady absorption of amino acids
Unlike whey and other types of proteins, casein is digested slowly.
Casein quickly reacts with the gastric juices, but it coagulates and stays in the stomach for a longer period of time. This allows more amino acids to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
There are five types of casein protein
There are five types of casein: alpha, beta, delta, gamma and kappa.
It is four of these types of casein proteins that make up over 80% of the protein content in cow’s milk.
The most effective type of casein protein powder is micellar
With five different types of casein proteins, selecting a protein powder might sound like a daunting task but it really isn’t.
All you really need to know is that the most effective casein protein powders contain all five of the casein proteins in a globular form called “micellar” casein.
Casein protein powders are best used at bedtime
This is because they are digested more slowly and steadily release amino acids into the bloodstream. To support this, a 2012 study found that casein protein taken before sleep improves muscle recovery post exercise.
What does this mean for you? Better gains, even while you sleep.
Casein can be used in combination with whey
You may be wondering if you should take casein in favor of whey protein. The simple answer is no.
The two proteins can be taken together, as they have a synergistic effect when taken properly.
Taking Casein and Whey Together
While some people prefer to combine the two protein powders in a single shake, it is usually best to take whey within an hour after your workout and casein right before bed.
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