What is casein protein?
So, what is casein? How does it work inside the body? Why take it when you’ve got whey protein instead?
Casein is one of the two types of proteins in milk. It carries the same amino acid profile as whey but is absorbed differently. This means it offers a full array of amino acids to help your muscles achieve protein synthesis rather than protein breakdown. Maximuscle Micellar Casein , for example, is created from fresh skimmed milk to reduce lactose and fat but offer a full profile of slow release proteins.
What does casein do?
Casein is the protein most abundant in milk. As a result of the way it forms during the processing of milk, casein tends to be a gelatinous material. Once formed into protein powder, it becomes a slower acting form of protein that is absorbed by the body at a different rate compared to whey protein.
Casein results in a longer period of heightened blood amino acids – including the branch chained amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, which help prevent protein breakdown. Where whey protein quickly increases blood amino acids, and therefore quickly aids protein synthesis, casein does so slowly and for longer.
However, where whey protein offers a higher peak level of blood amino acids, casein’s peak is far less impressive. Where it really excels is in slowing protein breakdown – one of the key elements in aiding the body’s natural muscle building process.
Should you take casein?
Casein’s ability to raise blood amino acids more slowly but for a longer period makes it perfect for boosting your protein levels over the course of a night. The rate of protein digestion is important in terms of how the body regulates protein levels – and the slower acting casein aids your body in experiencing a positive state of protein synthesis and anabolism for longer.
However, casein shouldn’t be taken alone. The benefits granted by whey protein means you’re best off using both – with whey protein the ideal post-workout supplement and casein before bed.
Ultimately, the body needs to prevent protein breakdown and experience protein synthesis in order to help facilitate muscle growth. Casein protein powder, taken before bed, helps prevent protein breakdown and extend your body’s anabolic systems.
How to take casein
While we recommend a nutritional regime that combines casein with whey, you should never actually mix the two proteins at the same time. Casein is a coagulant and slows the rate of absorption, so it decreases the potency of whey.
Instead, you should take whey protein supplements as you normally do, generally post-workout. Your casein powder shake should be a pre-bed snack which will provide a slow release of protein as you sleep.
Do you want to add casein to your training regime? Try Maximuscle’s new micellar casein protein – which contains 21.9 grams per serving and is accredited by Informed Sport.