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How Casein Protein Helps To Build Muscle

Oct 5, 2009

Casein protein is highly appreciated by the dietary supplement producers because it features some rare properties. It is able to create a clot or a gel in the stomach. As a consequence of this fact, amino acids are released slower in the blood stream. Since this process may last for several hours, nitrogen retention and utilization get enhanced. Using a protein powder based on casein will lead to an increase of the muscular mass, but the moment of the day when you take the supplement also plays a major role.

Types of Casein Protein

There are 3 varieties of the casein protein. Since the quality is different from one type to the other, it is good to know on which one to focus in order to get the best results. The 3 forms are:

  • Calcium caseinate
  • Micellar casein
  • Milk protein

The first one is the less qualitative of the 3 and is more frequently used in food industry. The other 2 have comparable properties, but milk protein isolate contains both micellar protein and whey, and hence represents a more economical option. If your goal is to build muscle, milk protein should represent the main ingredient of your supplements.

Mechanism of the Casein Protein

As mentioned above, this protein creates a gel in the stomach that lead to the release of amino acids in the blood stream over up to 7 hours. The peak, however, is reached in 3 to 4 hours. In contrast, when taking whey protein, the blood amino acids peak is reached in 40 minutes and the effect wears out in around an hour.

Since casein is released in the blood stream at a slow rate, it does not affect protein synthesis very much. Despite that fact, it plays a tremendous role in blocking protein breakdown. Muscular mass increases when a certain balance is maintained between protein synthesis and protein breakdown. In conclusion, if you want to build muscles faster and more efficiently, you need to increase protein synthesis while decreasing protein breakdown. The first goal is achieved when taking protein shakes based on whey protein and the latter when taking casein.

When to Administer Whey Protein and Casein

Discipline and determination are not only required when performing physical exercises, but also when following a protein diet. A certain schedule needs to be respected in order to have the best results. Whey protein shakes should be consumed at the first hour in the morning and right after performing the physical exercises. If you decide to replace meals with protein shakes, then you are recommended to combine whey protein and casein protein in equal proportions. However, if your meals are spread throughout the entire day, each 2 to 3 hours, you can rely on whey protein only.

Casein protein shakes, on the other hand, need to be taken right before going to bed. The most effective milk protein isolates contain about 80 percent micellar casein and 20 percent whey. Milk contains exactly the same proportions, so including milk in your daily diet is certainly a good measure. Mixing the milk protein isolate in milk will lead to even better results for a small amount of money. 

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