Anyone who’s familiar with the world of protein has heard of Casein. And those that haven’t, this article shall provide with you a basic outlook of what is Casein, what are its benefits and how can it be consumed.
What is Casein?
Like Whey, Casein is also a protein that is derived from cow’s milk. Comprising of 80% of the total milk content (other 20% being whey), Casein is the insoluble solid protein found in cow’s milk.
Casein has a one of a kind ability to form a gel which also makes it crucially important in the cheese making process since it plays the role of a binder and filler.
Casein is also sometimes referred to as Calcium Caseinate since its protein structure also manifests the calcium ion.
Casein as a Supplement
As discussed earlier, the unique gel-power of casein makes it distinctive and exclusive as compared to other protein supplements. As soon as casein meets the acid in the stomach it gels and globs thereby reducing the digestion speed. By becoming a gel like substance it takes longer to digest resulting in a slower and steadier release of the amino acids in the protein into the bloodstream. Some people consider it to be a better and more efficient source of protein for the same reasons as a small but steady supply of food is available to the body for a longer duration of time.
Slow digestion is considered useful as it causes the body to feel ‘full’ for a longer period so you don’t feel hungry quite as often during the day and end up consuming lesser calories because of that.
Casein Vs Whey
Where the slow digestion property of Casein is considered to a benefit by some, on the other side it is considered not so useful sometimes as compared to whey. For instance, although Casein digests slowly thereby providing a sustained nitrogen balance to the muscle tissue; sometimes it can cause the body to go into catabolic state because of the same reason. Whey boosts protein synthesis at a much faster pace than Casein since it is a fast digesting protein making it a useful muscle recovery supplement to be consumed post workout.
Therefore, to maximise the effect of Casein, it advised to take it in a combination with whey. The Casein provides a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles and whey being a fast digesting protein provides enough nutrients for muscle recovery. A protein cocktail gives you the opportunity to not only avail the benefits of a protein but also helps in overcoming its disadvantages if any.
Casein can be consumed on its own or in a combination of other proteins. However, if it is the only protein that you are taking then taking a slightly higher quantity is recommended to prevent catabolism i.e. muscle breakdown.
Due to its slow digestion rate, it is recommended to take Casein during night before going to bed since that is the longest duration of time that the body stays without food. So Casein provides a steady trickle of food to the body while you’re sleeping.
Casein is a wondrous supplement for people who are allergic to whey or eggs. On the other hand, some people can also be allergic to Casein. Side effects such as diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain etc. could be an indication of casein allergies. Please do not consume Casein without the advice of your physician.
Customized Casein Cocktail
Conventionally, it is highly recommended that you purchase supplements from an authorized dealer of international brands. But since these brands are usually quite expensive you can actually blend your own cocktail of protein.
You can buy raw protein from vendors that do not process the supplement or add any chemical preservatives or natural flavours to it and end up with your own customized protein blend that will actually help you achieve results faster while also being pure.
Just make sure that the vendors you purchase this from can provide you with an authentic lab analysis of their products. Your safety always comes first.
Case (in) Closed
To conclude, you can consume Casein whenever you are in need of a slow digesting protein (not compulsory to take it at night). For best results, use it as a combination of whey and casein.