What’s the deal with casein? The other, other protein…

milk

As mentioned previously in my older post from last month (here), casein is another protein that can be utilized within one’s nutrition goals.  In the past, I used casein as part of my protein intake goal but personally noticed that it made me feel “bloated and bulky”; however, I was supplementing with other forms of protein and literally eating every 1.5 hours each day (this was pre-macro counting back in 2013-2014 times).  There’s nothing wrong with supplementing with casein, just as long as you feel you may benefit from it – you just may need to experiment with it to see if it fits.  Here’s some information regarding this amazing protein, casein, and how it can be incorporated into one’s nutrition plan…

What is casein?

Like whey protein, casein is the other portion of cow’s milk which makes up about 80% (while whey is the other 20%).  It is also found in higher quantities of mammillary (human) milk, ranging from 20-45%.  Since being part of the foundation of milk products, it’s form is commonly known as casein micelles which means “particles in suspension of water”.  Casein is found in the supplement world to be known as hydrolyzed casein – this gives casein a bitter-type taste.  It is also known as the “slow-acting” protein, as compared to whey protein (“fast-acting” protein).

What are some benefits and disadvantages of casein?

BENEFITS:

  • Fat loss
  • Muscle protein synthesis (i.e. muscle mass and muscle strength)
  • Increased satiety/slower digestion process (i.e. sensation of feeling fuller faster)
  • Promoting improved colon health
  • Quality protein containing increased calcium levels
  • Anti-catabolic (i.e. slows rate of protein breakdown)

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Can cause bloat sensation/flatulence
  • Reaches the blood stream at a slower rate
  • Common intake window of 2-3 hours post-workout
  • Utilized prior to bed time
  • Lactose intolerant allergy
  • Slow-acting protein (i.e. consumed at later times after workouts and at bedtime)
  • Increased sodium content

What are some common sources of casein to utilize within my nutrition plan?

  • Dairy products
  • Casein protein powder supplements

When should I use casein?

Since casein is a slow-acting protein, it is commonly consumed 2-4 hours post-workout and/or prior to bed time.  This is strongly supported by the current nutrition evidence that casein utilization will aid in muscle protein synthesis by keeping a constant level of amino acids within the blood stream to feed the growing muscles – hence consuming prior to bedtime.

What are some recommended products you have used?

I have only used Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein but stopped using it in 2014.  Based on the current research and benefits it provides, I have considered to begin using casein products again soon.  As previously mentioned, I purchase my products from bodybuilding.com and have not had any issues with them as a retail store!  They are awesome!  Try out some other brands and see which one you may like best!  It’s time to get the best of both worlds and maintain all the muscle we are building without losing sight of our long-term goals!

optimum-nutrition-gold-standard-casein-protein-powder

References

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/casein-protein-health-benefits.htm
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/satternorton.htm
  3. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/casein_vs_whey_protein.htm

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