Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand or you’ve intentionally avoided the supplement world altogether, you know the benefits of supplementing with protein products.
By far, it is the most commonly used supplement by people trying to increase performance and limit recovery time. Due to the popularity of the different whey proteins and isolates out there, you may have missed a product when constructing your supplement regime. That product is casein. With its ability to supply the body with a steady stream of amino acids over a period of up to seven hours, not using this product is a mistake that not even the beginner trainer should make.
What is Casein Protein?
Casein is a protein found in milk that is made up of particles called casein micelles. These casein micelles contain amino acids, carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus. Once separated from the milk source, the casein micelles are then processed and produced as a quick-mixing, consumable protein powder.
How Does Casein Work?
Casein is considered a slow-acting protein. What that means is that it has the ability to gradually release amino acids into the bloodstream over a longer period of time versus a whey protein. The reason for this is that casein does something unique when ingested. Gastric acids found in our stomachs cause the casein molecules to coagulate, which form a gel-like clot that makes for the perfect scenario in amino acid delivery.
Why is it perfect?
Well the body now has to work at breaking down this gel-like clot and this is not a fast process. However, every time some of this clot is broken down, it releases the amino acid carrying casein which is then absorbed through the stomach lining and then into the blood stream. This breaking down process takes hours, creating amino acid spikes on almost an hourly basis, never leaving your body in a fasted state.
When to take Casein Protein?
Most bodybuilders and trainers will use casein protein in between meals for the benefit of never going without amino acids in their blood stream. Most commonly, casein is used prior to bedtime. This way, if you are trying to get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night and you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to eat, consuming casein protein just before heading off to bed will ensure your body is getting all it needs. The trickling effect of amino acids into your bloodstream from the casein clot in your stomach will make sure that happens. That being said, negating the idea of using casein throughout the day is a mistake. A study conducted on the benefits of time divided casein ingestion in where casein was consumed at predetermined times throughout the day versus one serving before training or bed showed an increase in fat-free mass and a significant increase in strength with the test subjects. This indicates that substituting casein protein shakes for whey shakes during the day is a very beneficial practice. ALLMAX Nutrition has created two casein products that give you what you’re looking for in quality casein. The first product is 100% Pure Micellar Casein that boasts a 90% pure protein yield and the second is the new Casein-FX protein powder that has an impressive 25 grams of protein per serving, a 225% increase in bioavailable amino acids and has a secret weapon called BioCore Edge which is a Patented Enzyme Activation Technology that increases the amount of absorption-ready amino acids to fuel your gains for an extended period of time. Having many tools at your disposal is necessary to reach your potential; Casein is one of those tools you may be missing…for now. You need food to grow, so why starve your body all night when you don’t have to. Waking up in the morning, knowing you’re not starting your day with an empty tank is a nice thought, don’t you think?
- Andres Burk, Saima Timpmann, Luule Medijainen, Mare Vähi, Vahur Ööpik; “Time-divided ingestion pattern of casein-based protein supplement stimulates an increase in fat-free body mass during resistance training in young untrained men”; Nutrition Research; Volume 29, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 405-413.
- W. L. Hall*, D. J. Millward, S. J. Long and L. M. Morgan: “Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite”; British Journal of Nutrition (2003), 89, 239–248.