Lets face it there are a more than a few options to consider when looking at protein powders, so to keep the dialogue simple we covering casein protein here. In fresh milk, casein is the main protein component (~80%), whereas the other protein component is whey protein (~20%). As a protein powder, casein is available in different forms depending on the production process. The casein used in CASEIN PRO is called Micellar Casein which is casein in its native state and is considered the best form of casein available. Other forms of caseins such as calcium or sodium caseinate are usually processed with acid or alkali and still retain a good nutritional value but are no comparison to Micellar Casein because they have lost their original state that nature intended them to be digested in.
The sports nutrition world knows whey protein very well and as a result most of us will normally use whey protein exclusively because it is so well marketed and easily available that we tend to believe whey is the best protein to use if you want to recover quicker, drop fat or are bulking up muscle mass. But the fact remains is that casein out-performs whey protein on some levels… here’s our top 5 reasons to add casein protein to your next shake (in no particular order)…
- Optimal bedtime snack. In studies casein protein has been labelled as an optimal bedtime snack because it is slow to digest and promotes muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth) during sleep, making it ideal for pre-sleep ingestion. But before you opt for this night time routine, first place priority focus on ingesting enough protein in your daily meals first (we will go over this in more detail towards the end of this article)
- Very high quality protein with all essential amino acids feeds recovery - Yes, casein like whey protein has an excellent amino acids profile containing all essential amino acids needed to fuel human muscle growth and various metabolic processes that will give you an athletic boost.
- Heat stable means casein is great in homemade baked protein snack recipes. The natural structure of casein lends its self to remaining resistant to becoming damaged by heat (denatured) when cooked – so if you enjoy making protein pancakes, muffins other protein treats you will have fun experimenting with casein.
- Makes a thick custard-dessert-like-mousse if mixed with less liquid, so if you want to eat your protein without cooking up a meal or protein snack listed in #4 above, then just make a CASEIN PRO protein dessert mousse by mixing your casein pro with less water than normal in a dessert bowl with a spoon. Tip: room temperature water will set to make a thicker mousse quicker than if you use cold water. Room temperature water will set within a minute or so, whereas cold water will take 3 minutes or more to set.
- Helps maintain lean muscle mass and support fat loss. As you know by now casein is digested slowly which gives your body a sustained supply of amino acids so if you dieting or bodybuilding having this constant supply of amino acids available helps stop your body dipping into its own reserves when it is low of protein i.e. raiding your muscle and making them smaller. Secondly, Casein is high in bio-available calcium, and studies has shown a direct association between a diet high in calcium and positive fat loss. Basically within fat cells, intracellular calcium levels alter the balance between fat breakdown or fat gain – high calcium triggers fat breakdown whereas low calcium signals fat gain.
We suggest you consider Casein as something more valuable than just a protein powder to help meet your daily protein requirement because the functional benefit of the slow release protein and essential amino acids coupled with extra calcium will add a new dimension to your physical transformation and exercise recovery that whey protein alone cannot match.
If you unsure when best to use your Casein, ...traditionally casein is used before sleep and although there is science proving the benefit in using this slow release protein before sleep, we suggest a different approach… First off, take a look at your total daily protein intake; are you using enough protein from food and supplements combined? Because if you are not, taking a protein drink before sleep would have been better during the day instead. A good starting protein daily intake for dieting and sports recovery or bodybuilding is 1.5g – 2g of protein per kg of body weight, which means a 75kg active person will aim for around 112g – 150g protein daily, divided into 5-6 meals or snacks. Now that you know how much protein to aim for everyday make sure you are meeting your protein requirement evenly spread through the day over 5-6 meals and if needed increase your protein intake to meet your requirements by supplementing with extra casein. If you follow this step first you may find that night time/pre-sleep dosing is not needed since your body is now being adequately fed protein evenly through the day which means your body is not in a deficit at bedtime and has enough materials on hand to rest well at night and perform other vital metabolic process like detoxifying your system and regenerating itself –instead of being concerned with digesting a casein shake while you sleep.
To summarise the above, before adding a casein shake before bed – first make sure you are meeting your daily protein requirement evenly in your 5-6 meals between breakfast and dinner. If you are coming up short between breakfast and dinner and you’re unable to eat more protein meals like chicken etc. then use casein to meet your target value even if it means taking 15g of casein with each meal. So get your daily protein requirement on target and start achieving the results you train for.