Having difficulties putting on real muscle mass? Casein can make the real difference and allow you to take your training to the next level. This article explores the benefits of adding casein protein to your diet plan.
What is Casein?
Casein is the main protein in milk, accounting for roughly 80% of the total protein. Just like whey, casein protein has a high biological value which means it has all the essential amino acids necessary for all of your processes that require protein.
1. Casein is a Slow Digesting Protein
Casein is a slow digesting protein. Casein clots in stomach, forming large globules of protein (1). This slows down the rate of the gastric emptying, meaning amino acids in casein enter the bloodstream at a sustained rate.
2. Casein For Building Muscle , Strength and Recovery
Just one scoop of micellar protein contains a massive 24g of protein. Protein has been shown in tons of scientific studies to increase protein synthesis and the development of lean muscle mass. During a workout in order to make progress muscle fibres must be torn and repaired. Through providing an extensive Branched chain amino acid profile, including leucine, iso leucine and valine, casein allows for the repair and recovery of muscle fibres which cannot only decrease muscle soreness, but also help you achieve your goals at a quicker rate.
Through helping to shorten recovery time, casein protein can help you to go that extra mile in the gym and increase strength and power. Both casein and whey protein play important roles within muscle development- but due to differing properties, each should be part of your sports supplement regime.
3. Casein For Fat Loss
Protein is known to be the most filling macro nutrient, whereby for those taking part in intense physical activity and weight training between 1- 2 g per Kg of body weight is recommended. By consuming casein you can get a good source of protein without excess fat and carbohydrates. Studies have shown that increasing more protein can promote weight loss and decrease body fat.
4. Casein For Bones and Teeth
Believe it or not consuming casein protein can also benefit your dental health! Studies have shown that casein consumption can help boost teeth enamel, helping to reduce acid erosion.
Casein Protein Before Bed
Scientific studies show casein protein can take up to 7 hours to digest (2), which is just about as long as the average person sleeps every night. Casein extends the release of amino acids into the bloodstream, improings nitrogen retention (necessary for protein synthesis).
Remember, however, that any period spent sleeping is time when your body isn’t getting any new nutrients. As you are probably aware, if you run out of amino acids in your bloodstream your body can start breaking down muscle proteins to fuel itself.
Taking casein protein before going to bed is an excellent way of avoiding protein breakdown and amino acid oxidation. According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people who take 40 grams of casein 30 minutes before going to bed are able to stimulate their protein synthesis (the process responsible for building muscle) to a higher degree (3).
The Benefits of Casein and Whey Protein Powders
Many people ask whether they should be taking casein or whey in order to boost their muscle gains. But why not just combine the two? Casein might not have as strong an anabolic effect as whey in terms of its immediacy; however, it can extend its anabolic effects for many hours.
Let’s think about this for a second: whey induces a rapid rise in plasma insulin and concentrations of branched-chain amino acids but casein can extend the release of amino acids up for 7 hours, making sure the body keeps a positive nitrogen balance (4).
How To take Casein
Casein protein powders are excellent not just for avoiding muscle catabolism but also for extending the protein synthesis rate. Try combining it with whey protein after your workouts or take it about 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
(1) – Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, March 2011, Vol. 300, no. E610
(2) – PNAS, vol. 94 no. 26, 14930–14935
(3) – Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1560-9
(4) – Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan;300(1):E231-42