What is the best protein powder to buy? Whey protein or Casein
protein? I get this question all the time, and really, the answer is
there is no best protein – many protein sources are very good for
different reasons! High-quality whey protein powders are an excellent
choice particularly for post-workout nutrition since they get into your
system fast to feed those depleted muscles.
Micellar casein, on the other hand, is a slow releasing protein and doesn’t get as much of a mention as whey protein, hence this article. It’s no secret that protein intake plays an important role in building muscle and muscle repair. Deciding what the best source of protein is however can be a challenge. Egg protein is one form of protein powder. Before whey protein was introduced to the marketplace, egg white protein was considered the top of the line when it came to protein supplements. Now it ranks right below whey protein and casein protein.
Casein is the generic name of a unique protein found in milk. Casein
production began at the turn of the 19th century. It is interesting to
note, that not only is Russia one of the primary manufacturers of Casein
today, but it was also a Russian who first patented Casein in 1909. Due
to the fact that Casein applications intertwined with numerous
industries, it was inevitable that it became an overnight success world
over. As a high protein product, Casein is used as a food additive in
dairy, dietary and baby foods. It has multiple applications in the
manufacturing of glues, adhesives, plastics, paper coatings and paints,
to name a few.
Although at one time Casein was a common product of many countries, Casein production today is concentrated primarily on Eastern Europe, Russia in particular, Australia and New Zealand. Casein protein is a high quality form of protein that contains all the essential amino acids. Unlike whey protein, casein protein powder is digested more slowly by the body and provides a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles, long after whey proteins have dropped off.
Casein protein has a biological value of 77. Whey protein is 104 and
egg protein is 100. This number refers to the proportion of absorbed
protein, more specifically the number of amino acids which can be
utilized by the body. Don’t let casein proteins lower biological value
put you off though as it has advantages.
The main benefits of casein protein powder is that it’s high in
glutamine content. Out of all the protein powders, casein protein powder
contains the highest amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which can
benefit bodybuilders and those looking to gain weight by helping
preserve muscle mass and aiding immune system function. The other
significant benefit is more thorough absorption by the body. Because
casein protein powder moves through the digestive tract more slowly than
whey protein, it’s more likely that the body will be able to absorb and
use the protein in a more efficient manner.
I prefer not to use protein powders that combine fast and slow absorbing proteins. Instead the best protein powder to use is Optimum 100% Whey Protein and Optimum 100% Casein Protein at different times of the day for maximum benefit. My UK friends really rate MyProtein.
I specifically use whey protein after my workouts since whey protein
is a faster acting protein powder. I need to get those important amino
acids into my muscles immediately after training.
So when is the best time to have casein protein? Casein protein
digests slowly, making it an ideal protein to consume before bed time,
or anytime throughout the day when there will be a prolonged amount of
time between meals.