Casein is the best protein from milk for those athletes who follow a hyperprotein diet and who want to improve their recovery, sport performance and preserve their weight gains.
It is a protein that has all the essential amino acids and it contributes to increasing the biological value of vegetable proteins.
This protein is part of milk and it is present in some of its derivatives, such as cheese. Casein is in charge of calcium and phosphate in the body while providing essential amino acids our body cannot synthesize. Moreover, casein is specially important for muscle growth and definition.
When we take it, casein becomes a clot in the stomach and it slows down the gastric emptying process. At the same time, this also affects the speed at which our body absorbs the amino acids in the bloodstream. In other words, casein needs a longer digestion due to this clot, which slows down the amount of amino acids released in the small bowel.
- 1 What is the casein protein?
- 2 Effects
- 3 Casein is advised for:
- 4 What are the sources of casein?
- 5 What are the consequences of a lack of casein?
- 6 Intake and dose
- 7 Who can specially benefit from casein?
- 8 What do the experts think about casein?
- 9 Advantages of casein against whey protein
- 10 Combine Casein and Whey Protein
What is the casein protein?
The human body has 22 amino acids that perform several tasks in the body. Our body produces some of them while others come from the food we eat.
Casein transports the mineral calcium and phosphate. This is essential both for newborns and adults. Calcium ensures the formation and stability of the bones and teeth and it is essential to perform muscle contractions, while ensuring the cell membrane stability.
The stored phosphate in casein is important because it interacts with calcium in the bone development while regulating the acid-base balance. In addition, the essential amino acids from casein help to develop muscle mass while providing protein alternatives and improving the calcium absorption by the body.
Casein is advised for:
- High performance sports
- Vegetarian or low protein diets
What are the sources of casein?
Casein is present in all dairy products except for whey. The different types of milk differ in terms of their amino acid content. For example, cow milk has a high biological value. This means that its protein can be effectively broken down into its endogenous amino acids to build protein so that our body can rebuild said protein.
What are the consequences of a lack of casein?
The consequences of a severe lack of protein can be seen in the bellies of malnourished children, whose bodies just store water due to an extreme protein deficiency. Even though these images are usually associated with developing countries, these deficiencies also occur in developed countries.
In the worst cases, a calcium deficiency associated to a casein deficiency can cause osteoporosis. Casein is specially important for vegetarians whose diet does not include dairy products, since casein can increase the biological value of vegetable proteins.
Intake and dose
Milk and its derivatives, such as cheese and curd, are natural sources of casein. Protein powder enriched with vitamins and other vital substances is available for athletes.
Due to the fact that our body digests protein more slowly than other proteins, this means that the amino acid discharge will last for a longer period of time. That is why athletes usually take casein in the morning and evening.
Who can specially benefit from casein?
- Athletes and bodybuilders
- People who suffer a protein deficiency
- Anorexic people
- Those who are malnourished
What do the experts think about casein?
Casein is an excellent nutritional resource to meet the daily protein requirements. Moreover, we can benefit from its constant amino acid supply, its calcium content and the fact that it prevents the catabolism (protein breakdown).
Advantages of casein against whey protein
The studies on casein are mostly focused on its differences when compared to Whey Protein Isolate, which is also very popular among athletes and bodybuilders.
- Whey protein can be absorbed much faster by the body and it is available for the muscles almost immediately. It is usually taken before or after training.
- Casein is the best protein if you want to benefit from the amino acid supply during the night for muscle growth and recovery. It can be taken between the main meals or at night.
Combine Casein and Whey Protein
In spite of their differences, casein and whey can actually be combined. We can take a shake made of whey + casein (2:1 ratio) in order to improve the aminogram. Consequently, we will stimulate the MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis) while preserving a proper hormone environment for a longer time.