Casein and whey are the two types of protein found in cow’s milk, making up 80% and 20% of milk protein respectively. They differ in digestion times — casein digests slowly, making it good before bedtime, while whey digests quickly and is ideal for workouts and muscle growth.
What is Casein Protein?
The two types of protein found in milk are casein and whey. These two milk proteins are considered the best form of essential amino acids. Despite the similarity, the two differ hugely in one aspect: the absorption rate. Whey is a quick-digesting protein, while casein is slow-digesting and takes a longer time comparatively.
Casein forms a principal constituent of milk protein, around 80%, and the remaining 20% is whey. Like whey protein, casein protein is a complete protein source as it has an impressive amino acid profile containing all essential amino acids. Due to this reason, casein protein supplements are pretty popular among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts for building lean muscles. Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese are casein protein foods with higher concentrations.
Casein protein takes a longer time to digest, approximately 6-7 hours; therefore, favoured as a bedtime protein. Because of its slow-digesting property, casein provides a steady release of amino acids and promote muscle growth and maintenance.
Casein Protein: Benefits & Uses
Here are some of the benefits that casein offers when included in your daily diet.
- Prevent muscle loss and enhance recovery: Casein protein provides a steady supply of amino acids over a long period. Studies support that protein intake at bedtime is associated with increased muscle protein synthesis, muscle recovery, reduced muscle breakdown, and greater retention.
- Promote fat loss: Casein protein is perfect for building lean muscles and eliminating unwanted body fat. Clinical trials conducted during a study on overweight officers found a significant improvement in body composition and strength and less fat percentage among the group fed on casein protein.
- Boost metabolism: Casein protein also helps in boosting metabolic rate. A scientifically proven fact is that pre-sleep intake of casein protein is favourable on morning Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and exercise performance.
- Support immune health: The benefits of casein are not only limited to our muscle health. Casein protein possesses specific anti-bacterial properties and certain bioactive peptides that have been shown to benefit our immune system.
- Strengthen bone health: Casein protein is rich in calcium, supporting many bodily functions related to bone, muscle, and vascular health.
How does casein protein work?
Casein is classified as a slow-digesting protein because, on consumption, casein forms micelles or clot-like structures in the body, which reduces the gastric emptying rate resulting in a slower release of amino acids. Your body might take up to seven hours to completely digest casein protein; therefore, it keeps you satiated.
How to choose the right casein protein for you?
While opting for a casein protein powder supplement, it is better to choose the one with high micellar casein content because it is pure casein. One should read the ingredient list carefully as the product must be free from harmful additives or fillers. Choose a certified and third-party lab tested product to secure the absence of doping substances. Casein protein supplements are available in both flavoured and unflavoured forms, and you can pick which you like most.
How to use casein protein?
Fitness lovers usually prefer taking casein protein at bedtime with water or milk. One can add casein protein powder in shakes, smoothies or any preferred beverage. It can also be a part of homemade pancakes, muffins, protein bars, cookies, puddings and ice-creams as a healthy ingredient.
Where to buy casein protein?
Nutrabay is India's most trusted online health supplement store to buy authentic and certified products because supplements are procured directly from the brands or official importers. Nutrabay brand offers a vast range of protein supplements offering high-quality protein with better bioavailability. Nutrabay offers the best casein protein price in India, giving both quality and quantity.
Which is the best casein protein?
Nutrabay Pure 100% Micellar Casein Protein is the best casein protein in India. This unflavoured protein provides 25.9 grams of casein protein per serving. As the name says, it contains pure micellar casein without additives or preservatives. The product is certified, free from banned substances and is safe to consume by all.
Is casein protein safe to use?
Casein protein is completely safe and does not cause any side effects. Since casein protein is milk-derived, it is not recommended for vegans or people with milk allergies.
People with prevailing medical conditions like liver or kidney disease and pregnant and lactating women must seek medical advice before taking casein protein powder.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Casein protein vs whey protein - which is better?
Both whey and casein protein are excellent protein sources. They contain all essential amino acids and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is the amino acid releasing property, the primary differentiating factor between the two. Whey protein gets rapidly digested in our body as compared to casein protein.
Whey and casein proteins are beneficial for lean muscle growth and recovery and are widely consumed by bodybuilders and athletes.
Hence, it won't be wise to compare them. It is advisable to consult a fitness expert who can guide you well on whether casein is better or whey, depending upon your fitness goal. However, you can also opt for a blend of whey and casein to reap maximum benefits.
2. Is casein protein safe for lactose intolerant people?
People with mild lactose intolerance can consume whey protein isolate and micellar casein because of low lactose content. However, it depends upon the individual choice. If you suffer from lactose intolerance and plan to take casein protein powder, you should preferably consult a doctor.
3. Are there any casein protein side effects?
Casein protein supplements are usually safe and do not cause any side effects when taken as per the recommended dosage and protein needs. However, intake of excess casein protein for a prolonged period might cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, acne, headache, constipation, flatulence, and bloating.
4. Which is the best time to take casein protein powder?
Most fitness enthusiasts prefer taking casein protein at bedtime for overnight muscle recovery. However, you can also take it as a healthy mid-meal snack or at any time of the day.
5. What is the ideal dosage of casein protein?
The appropriate dosage of casein protein depends on various factors like age, gender, physical activity levels and dietary protein intake. A person can take 1-2 scoops of casein protein per day. However, one should not exceed the recommended usage and consult an expert who can guide well on dosage as per daily needs.