Casein Protein Supplements : Slow Releasing


What is Casein Protein?

May we re-acquaint you with Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey from our last article on whey protein. As we explained in the previous article, curds and whey are the two forms of protein derived from milk. Curds are casein protein which constitutes 80% of cow’s milk, whilst the remaining 20% is whey. It is the globular lumps seen during the separation of milk in the production of cheese. These lumps are dried and filtered, and used as an easily mixed, readily consumed protein beverage for before and after training, or more commonly as an evening shake to aid muscle anabolism (growth) over night. Casein is deemed a complete protein because it contains all 8 essential amino-acids. Essential amino-acids are the building blocks of protein that the body cannot make internally, meaning we need to consume them via the diet (International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2010).

When to Consume Casein Protein?

Compared to the quick digestion and absorption that is characteristic of whey protein, casein protein requires up to 7 hours for it to be completely digested and absorbed! This could be seen as undesirable in the fitness and bodybuilding world where readily absorbed proteins are usually required. However, unless you are a professional bodybuilder and have a strict supplement regimen requiring you to get up in the night to consume a whey protein might prefer a more convenient option. This said, a pro-bodybuilder would also utilise the more convenient option, but their extremely high nutritional requirements necessitate that extra attention to detail. Casein protein is the answer because of its progressive digestive process resulting in a ‘drip feed’ of amino-acids which can feed you during the night when protein stores ordinarily run low.

Casein and whey protein provide the same amount of protein per gram; the only difference is the rate by which it enters our body, and the duration of its effects. Therefore a person’s requirements of casein does not differ at all to whey, in fact their benefits are better when combined! By consuming a whey protein immediately after training, followed by a casein protein source in the evening, the nitrogenous balance (indicator of protein status) remains positive. A positive nitrogen (protein) balance means the body is likely to stay in the anabolic (growth) phase, reducing muscle breakdown before, during and after training! Obviously the longer we can maintain anabolism (growth) the better, so in order to succeed, don’t forget the almighty cousin of whey....casein (Llewellyn, 2009)!

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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