Casein is a slow digestive protein from dairy, which people often take as a supplement
The Casein releases amino acids, so people take it before bed to help with recovery and reduce muscle breakdown during sleep. Many studies have shown it helps increase muscle growth, along with a ton of other benefits.
Casein Is Derived From Milk just like Whey protein
Milk contains two types of proteins which are casein and whey, the Casein takes up about 80% of the milk protein, and whey takes up 20%.
Casein protein is a slow digestive protein, whereas whey protein digested very quickly. This is an important difference between these two traditional dairy proteins.
Like animal proteins, casein is a complete source of protein. This means it provides all the essential amino acids your body needs for growth and repair.
It also contains various unique proteins and bioactive compounds, some of which have health benefits.
There are two primary forms:
Casein Hydrolysate: This form is predigested and rapidly absorbed.
Micellar casein: This is the most traditional way and is digested slowly.
It may also contain various micronutrients, such as calcium, but the exact composition will vary depending on the brand.
For taking such a long time to digest Casein is well known as a “time-release” protein because of its slow absorption rate in the body.
This means that it feeds your cells with amino acids at a low level over an extended period.
It can help your cells synthesize protein, even during times when your body might typically be breaking down its muscles to feed itself, such as when you haven’t eaten for some time.This is called “anti-catabolic” which helps reduce muscle breakdown.
One study tested digestion speed by providing participants with either casein or whey protein shake. Researchers monitored the blood amino acid content, specifically the critical amino acid leucine, for seven hours after ingestion.
In another study, researchers had participants take either whey or casein protein and then measure their digestion rate by analyzing levels of the amino acids and leucine over a seven-hour period.
They found that circulating levels of leucine rose 25% higher in the whey protein group, indicating faster digestion.
This protein is an anti-catabolic protein, and it broke down within the body due to its slow absorption rate and sustained a supply of amino acids to muscle cells.
Casein Protein Is Very Effective for Muscle Growth.
Athletes have been using this supplement for decades. It contains all the essential amino acids that your body is unable to produce naturally but most important; it provides a high amount of leucine, which initiates muscle protein synthesis.
If you only consume a little amount of protein, it may help you boost muscle growth simply by increasing your protein intake.
Researchers compared those who took casein to two other groups that, consumed whey protein and didn’t have protein.
They found that the casein group had double the muscle growth and tripled the fat loss compared to the nonprotein group. The casein group also experienced more fat loss than the whey group.
It can also enhance long-term muscle mass by reducing protein breakdown. It’s accelerated during exercise or weight loss. So for this reason, casein is often used at night to prevent the protein breakdown that may occur, since you go through a relatively extended period without food while you sleep.
There was a study done on casein protein shake before bedtime, and it helped strength-training men increase type 2 muscle fiber size by 8.4 cm2 in the supplement group, compared to 4.8 cm2 in the training-only group. Also, they found the casein group had increased strength about 20% more than the training-only group.
Much like whey, casein has repeatedly been shown to increase muscle growth and strength; it may also help with fat loss.
The myth that high protein intake causes ill health has been proven wrong many times.
Researchers and reviews have shown that there are no negative effects in healthy individuals.
The only exception is those with current kidney or liver disease, who may need to limit their protein intake.
All this being said, some people are allergic to casein or intolerant to lactose, which is often found in the protein powder.
Other people may become bloated or experience other digestive issues, but this depends on the individual.
Like most sources of protein, it is safe for regular consumption and may even provide long-term health benefits.
Different types of cows produce different casein proteins
One of the proteins in casein which is called beta-casein and it exists in several forms. Most cow’s produce a mixture of A1 and A2 beta-casein, whereas some breeds contain only A2 beta-casein.
The research and debate on A1 and A2 beta-casein will continue, but in the meantime, this is probably not something you need to worry about.
Casein protein powder is a high-quality source of protein that’s also very convenient.
If you are taking it before or after a workout, then it makes sense to use a faster-digesting form like whey protein.
Most people who take casein, take it before bed.
For example, you can put casein protein powder with water in a shaker bottle and mix it that way, or in a blender with some ice.
Also, you can put it in a bowl and stir it with water until it gets a pudding-like consistency, then put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Then it tastes a little like ice cream, especially with flavors like chocolate or vanilla.
Casein protein can be used daily to increase your total protein intake, but may be best to take it before bed, or if you are going to be without food for a while. This is because Casein is a slow-digesting protein that can boost muscle growth and help recovery after exercise.
Casein is a highly underrated source of quality protein, and you won’t be disappointed with the results if you try it.
If you workout in any way, you’ve probably heard the guys that talk about the protein shakes they drink after a workout and what kind of shake they prefer. Protein powders which are made into a shake or consumed however you like are getting more and more popular as a nutritional supplement.
You can buy protein powders in many grocery stores and every nutrition store as well as all over the internet. You will likely find pre-mixed, ready-to-drink protein shakes in grocery stores or convenient stores. But many people ask are protein powders just for bodybuilders and sports people, or can the average everyday healthy benefit from them as well?
What Are Protein Powders?
Protein powders come in different forms. The most common three are whey, soy, and casein protein. “Whey is the most commonly used because it’s a water-soluble milk protein,” says Peter Horvath, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of exercise and nutrition sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “It’s also a complete protein, so it’s got all those advantages.” Which complete proteins contain all nine of the amino acids that are necessary for the human diet. If you are vegan, you may prefer soy protein, although Horvath notes that it does not have that great of a taste and it does not dissolve very well in water.
High-Protein Diets: Do They Work?
Most protein powders come with widely varied price tags. “For the casual athlete who doesn’t have a specific need at a particular time of their training, the cost is not that important,” says Horvath. “So if you’re going to use them, you can get pretty much the same benefit out of the less expensive, more commercially available proteins.
In many different circumstances, protein powder can be useful. “They’re an easy and convenient source of complete, high-quality protein,” says Carole Conn, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition at the University of New Mexico.
When might you want to use them you ask? There are a couple of reasons why an athlete might want more protein in his or her diet which are:
When a teenager grows, they need more protein to fuel their workouts because the body is still growing and uses more protein in general.
When you start a new program or begin to workout, you’re trying to build muscle; which will require more protein than you normally would without the extra exercise.
When you are increasing the number of workouts, you will frequently need more protein to help heal the muscle.
People who are vegan or follow a vegetarian lifestyle eliminate some common protein sources from their diet, including meat, chicken, and fish, and sometimes dairy and eggs as well. So another source of protein is needed to fuel the body and help it recover.
It doesn’t take much protein to achieve the goal of healthy protein levels. Most Americans already consume about 15% of their daily calories in protein. To build a pound of muscle, the body needs between 10 and 14 additional grams of protein per day. That’s not very much. Most of these powders have 80 grams of protein per serving. All your body is going to do is break it down for energy. Also, too much protein can be hard on your kidneys and your liver.
How can someone tell if they are already getting enough protein? Do the math.
The following daily recommendations come from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
The average adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Those taking part in recreational athletics need 1.1 to 1.4 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.
Competitive athletes need 1.2 to 1.4 grams, and those involved in ultra-endurance sports may require up to 2.0 g per kg of weight.
Athletes who are building muscle mass need 1.5 to 2.0 grams per kg per day.
If your an adult athlete who wants to build muscle, and you weigh about 75 kg (165 pounds). The most protein you would need per day is 150 grams. That may sound like a lot of protein but if you think one 4-ounce hamburger contains 30 grams of protein, 6 ounces of tuna has 40 grams, and a single ounce of cheddar cheese has 7 grams its not hard to attain that much.
A Note About Teenage Athletes
Protein is also an essential for young athletes. Recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for teenagers are based on pounds of bodyweight rather than kilograms.
They say the average teen needs around 0.4 to 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. Teenage athletes, according to the Academy, need a little more like 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound per day.
The Academy cautions teens using protein supplements. Excessive protein can be hard on the kidneys. It also can contribute to dehydration. So to avoid these risks make sure your teen gets enough water to keep the kidney healthy and the body hydrated.
How to Use Protein Powders
If you find your protein intake and determine that you’re not getting enough for your athletic needs and see signs like you’re unusually fatigued, feel weak when lifting weights or doing other strenuous activity, or are recovering from injuries slowly you may be protein depleted. So how do you best use protein powders to improve your performance?
Ignore the conventional wisdom, that has been said over the years to only take protein powders immediately after a workout. You should be taking protein before, during, and after a workout, because carbs are what your body needs. They are what your body uses to fuel itself, and is what your muscles run on. Yes, protein is important for recovery after working out, but researchers have found that the body needs fuel with a 4-1 or 5-1 ratio of carbs to protein. Most protein powders have at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, so you would need about 80 grams of carbs to go with that scoop to get the proper proportion of nutrients.
So you should use protein powders, throughout the day as a snack or meal replacement but not in the immediate period surrounding your workouts.
Nowadays you walk into any gym, and you’re going to see every other person with a shaker bottle. Powders and other supplements have become so deep-rooted in our workout and health culture that it’s hard to imagine not following up a great workout with a shake of some sort and sometimes even mid-workout. Protein powder, specifically, is leading the charge. Created by various sources from whey to soy to pea, the most popular supplement has cemented its place in our minds, our diets and even our local grocery stores.
If you’re an elite athlete or just a person looking to have a healthy lifestyle, chances are you have a tub of protein powder sitting somewhere in your house. If not, you’ve maybe gulped down a shake or smoothie at some point. But do you know what’s inside your protein powder? Do you know how use it to get the best results? To help you more efficiently decide how, when and if you should use this supplement, we created this beginner guide. Here’s how the most popular questions about protein powder shake out.
Protein Powder Primer: The Why’s and What’s
Many people start adding shakes to their diet without first considering why or if they need protein powder at all. The most obvious reason to supplement with protein powder is to reach your protein intake goal for the day. Especially when you’re crunched for time during work days, protein supplements can be your biggest friend.
Although the labels may say otherwise, the tubs are much more equal than you think. At the heart of all protein powders is just what one would think, protein, whether it’s from whey, hemp, soy, or something else it is still protein`. Still, you might see terms like scientific terms like hydrolyzed and say things like cutting edge to spruce up different products.Also, many companies will push for getting you to pay a lot of money for grass fed whey or cold-filtered whey. These things could make them better, but how much better is up for debate.
Therefore spending more doesn’t necessarily make a protein powder better. Many researchers recommend first looking for a reputable company that has good manufacturing practices they often advertise that on the label. They also suggest buyers search out various products using certifying brands like Informed Choice. Certifying companies buy actual products off of store shelves just like a regular consumer and run tests to make sure the bottle contains what the label advertises. After finding a couple of brands of protein you think you will like, it’s time to check the nutritional facts.
When to Mix It Up
So, you’ve researched your protein and brought home a tub of high-quality protein powder. Figuring out the best times to supplement can be difficult. These are the two most common uses for protein powder during the day.
1. Meal Replacement
When you’re running late for work in the morning, the last thing you have time for is to make breakfast to start your day. This is one scenario where protein shakes can come in handy. Researchers recommend adding in a source of vegetables, serving or two of fruit and some healthy fats alongside a scoop or two of protein powder. I These shakes can be used in place of a meal or in addition to a regular meal when trying to gain weight.
Protein and supplements have often been viewed as a male-dominated thing, but protein powders are also very useful for women. St. Yes, women do have different nutritional needs than men. In general, they require less protein per pound of body weight which is due to differences in body composition. For that reason, researchers recommend females to use one scoop instead of two, or cutting the doses in half. However, after a while, you can adjust it based on your needs.
If these shakes are so nutrient, why don’t we just blend up a shaker bottle for every meal and not cook? The cautions of this are they still aren’t the same as whole food. There are way more nutrients in whole foods then there ever will be in protein powder. You can also sometimes lose nutritional value drinking your nutrients and vitamins instead of eating them. For this reason, they recommend supplementing with no more than two shakes in one day. The key is to use shakes in a pinch and rely on whole food sources for the rest of your meals.
With the understanding of the post-workout window which is a small amount of time to intake nutrients after a workout for the best benefit, protein shakes and shaker bottles have become a necessity for a gym trip. If you don’t have a shake before you walk out the door, they say you are compromising your recovery time and crippling the benefits you could reap from your workout. Protein supplementation post-workout has been shown to be beneficial, particularly in helping individuals recover after a tough session and potentially increase muscle and strength gain.
Post workout shakes are a personal preference. Previously, protein shakes were thought to digest faster in the stomach than whole foods providing muscle-building nutrients to the recovering muscles quicker. But stomach sensitivity may also play a role as well. Some individuals have a harder time taking in whole food directly after a workout. In these cases, a shake is a proper substitution to get a quick dose of protein.
Getting the correct amount of protein can boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite and even help you lose body fat without losing muscle.
Protein shakes are an excellent way to add more protein to your diet and it been shown to help with weight loss.
What Are Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes are protein powder with water, or milk depending on preferences, although other ingredients are often added as well for extra nutrients.
This can be convenient especially when access to high-protein foods are limited.
Although most people don’t need them to meet daily protein requirements, they can also be useful if you require increasing your intake for some reason.
You may get protein powder and mix it yourself, or you can also get many different brands of pre-made shakes.
Some of the most popular types of protein powder on the market are:
Whey protein: which is a quickly absorbed, dairy-based protein that contains all the essential amino acids.
Casein protein: which is a slow absorbed, dairy-based protein that contains all essential amino acids.
Soy protein: which is a plant-based protein that contains all essential amino acids, and contains soy isoflavones, which provide health benefits.
Hemp protein: which is a plant-based protein that is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, but low in the essential amino acids like lysine.
Rice protein: which is a plant-based protein with low essential amino acids like lysine.
Pea protein: which is a plant-based protein that is low in the non-essential amino acids like cysteine and methionine.
Many brands contain a mix of different protein powders. For example, many plant-based brands combine to complement each other’s amino acid profile.
Pretty much protein shakes can contain different types of protein, each with its characteristics.
Protein Shakes Decrease Hunger and Appetite
Protein can help decrease hunger and desire to eat in two main ways.
First, it increases appetite-reducing hormones such as GLP-1, PYY, and CCK, while reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Second, protein helps trick your body into thinking its full.
Researchers have experienced a high-protein breakfast helped people consume up to 135 fewer calories later in the day.
Another study, overweight men had been on a weight loss diet increased their protein intake to 25% of total calories. This increase cut cravings by 60% and late-night snacking by half.
Increasing the intake of protein from 15% to 30% of total calories helped participants in another study consume 441 fewer calories per day without actively trying to limit their portions.
By the end of the 12-week study period, participants had lost an average of 11 lbs.
These shakes can be a very convenient way to add extra protein to your diet. But keep in mind that too much can still lead to extra calories.
Another study found that shakes with 20-80 grams of protein all decreased hunger by 50-65%, regardless of how much protein is in their shakes.
So if you want to lose weight, 20 grams per shake is sufficient enough to reduce hunger.
Pretty much protein can decrease your appetite by affecting your hunger hormones. It can also help you feel full for longer, which can help you eat less and lose body fat.
Protein Shakes May Increase Metabolism
High protein intake will boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories every day.
A high-protein diet especially when combined with training will help you build muscle.
This speeds up your metabolism making your muscle burns more calories than fat.
Another study gave obese participants protein shakes with either 200 or 0 grams protein per week.
Those given the protein gained 2.8 lbs more mass following a 13-week training program.
In another study, researchers gave participants a combination of foods and shake providing either 0.5 g/lbs or 1.1 g/lbs (1.2 g/kg or 2.4 g/kg) of protein per day.
After six weeks, those on the higher-protein diet gained 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) more muscle and lost 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg) more fat.
It should be known, that your ability to obtain muscle during a weight loss diet may depend on the amount of muscle you already have
Protein can also increase metabolism because of some calories needed to digest and metabolize it. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
For instance, 15-30% of protein calories are burned during digestion, while only 5-10% of carb calories and 0-3% of fat calories are burned during digestion (21).
Pretty much protein helps boost metabolism because a lot of energy is spent digesting and metabolizing it. Which helps you build muscle, which burns more calories than fat.
Protein Shakes May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Researchers agree that high-protein diets can help you lose more fat, especially fat from the belly area.
In another study, people on a diet providing 25% of calories as protein lost 10% more belly fat after 12 months than those eating half as much.
A different study compared the effects of various weight loss diets such as consuming more protein lost 31 lbs in 3 months which is 23% more than those consuming less.
In the final study, participants on diets providing 30% of calories from protein lost 8.1 lbs more than those on diets containing 15% of calories from protein.
Protein Shakes May Also Prevent Muscle Loss and Metabolic Slowdown
Weight loss diets cause you to lose muscle, which slows down your metabolism. This makes it easier to gain weight back once you go off the diet.
A high protein intake combined with training can help prevent part of this muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.
Researchers reported that participants’ metabolism decreased less on a weight loss diet providing 36% of calories as protein than on a diet containing about half that amount.
Evidence shows that consuming protein shakes on a daily as part of a weight loss diet may make muscle maintenance up to three and a half times more efficient.
Athletes compared weight loss diets providing either 35% or 15% of calories from protein. Both helped participants lose about the same amount of fat, but those consuming more protein lost 38% less muscle.
Nowadays, it seems like there are more and more Health advocates taking in more protein in some form or another. For example in your local grocery store, and you’ll likely find many different kinds of protein-enriched cereals and even “high” protein oatmeal. Whether the type of protein is soy, whey, casein, or milk, protein.
Of course, one of the best ways to get the amount of protein that your diet requires is through solid food, but it is not always easy to get all of our protein through solid foods. Especially when you carry out a full-time job and don’t always have time to prepare meals, through which to get your protein. This is where the protein shake will take their place. All you need is protein powder, a shaker bottle, some water, and you’ll always have enough protein to fuel your muscles!
Protein is used mainly with the production of muscles and is also used to manufacture hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and immune-system components. Without a sufficient amount of protein, our bodies cannot put together the structures that make up every cell, tissue, and organ. It can’t generate the biochemical substances needed for cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, growth, and healing. Without the correct amount of protein, our muscles wouldn’t be able to heal quickly which would lead to over training your muscle which could result in injury.
Directly after a workout is the best time to put protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles, to begin healing the “micro tears” which are minuscule tears in the muscle tissue, caused by intense contraction of the muscle during working out.
Since solid food takes much longer to digest and break down the protein and send it to the muscles, it may be best to take a protein shake immediately following a workout, giving that protein shakes only take around 30 minutes to reach the muscle after ingestion. We can see the advantage to making a protein shake in this instance.
Which Protein Is The Best Choice?
Whey protein has become one of the best supplements to put on muscle and enhance physique as well as improve health. To decipher which protein is best for a particular need, typically one would use a precise gauge of some sort like protein quality tests to determine which protein to use. The most commonly used criteria to measure the quality of a protein is Biological Value (or BV for short), which is the amount of nitrogen, body protein in grams, replaceable by 100 grams of protein in the adult diet.
Proteins that have the highest BV are considered to be the best for promoting growth. However, most scientists that are involved with protein research agree that the higher the BV, the better the protein is digested, used, and retained in the body. This turns into lean tissue gained and all things being equal like calories, exercise choice, etc. It is, however, a very complicated topic not given to such black and white answers.
Whey is a complete protein with a high BV, which means it contains all the essential and nonessential amino acids and boasts the highest branched-chain amino acid content found in nature. The Biological Value of whey protein is approximately 104, and the next highest BV is 100, with the whole egg. The BV of whole milk is 91, the BV of casein is 77, beef is 80, soy is 74, wheat is 54, and beans are 49.
Again, BV is only one criterion for proteins, and although necessary, people often make too big a deal of it. For example, beef has a relatively small BV but has been a staple protein for athletes (and people in general) for decades. Soy has a little BV but has other potentially useful properties. So, as a general guide to choosing proteins, BV is something to consider but should not cause people to put blinders on to other proteins.
How Much Should You Take?
The amount of protein you should take in for building muscle is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, for example, if you weigh 200 pounds than the minimum amount of protein you should take in is 200 grams of protein for muscle growth. But extra protein that is more than the daily minimum for muscle gaining just speeds up the healing process.
There has been debate over a maximum amount of protein that you should take in. It is to believe that it is not possible for somebody to take in too much protein. Although if you take in large amounts of protein it is a good idea to supplement your diet with calcium and magnesium since excessive amounts of proteins have been proven to decrease the amount of calcium and magnesium the body makes and retains. It is highly recommended to take protein not only does the muscle require the great ingredient to repair and grow but also three-quarters of the solids in the body are comprised of proteins.
When Are The Best Times To Take In Protein?
Now you know the benefits and how much you should take in, but, when is the best time to put protein into your body. One of the times that your body is in need of the most protein is immediately following a workout since your body starts to heal the muscle right after a workout. Taking protein at that time will give the body what it needs for its muscles to recover and grow.
It is also vital to take in a protein drink before you go to bed, providing your muscles with protein since your body will be slowly depleted of protein as you sleep. Breakfast is an important meal as well because your body depleted of food during sleep for 8-12 hours. One of the best tips of advice is to eat consistently, day in and day out, or take protein regularly to keep the protein levels high.
No matter your nutrition goals, protein should be treated as a foundational nutrient of any diet program. It is a key ingredient for attaining optimal progress in physique enhancement and performance. It’s certainly not a secret that any person who is active in sports and trains with weights or other resistance will benefit from getting enough protein. Every person from athlete to non-athlete looking to be healthy can find advantages in taking in protein. Many enjoy the anti-aging effects that a high protein diet can result in. But the only way to see how beneficial protein can be for you is to try it for yourself