Increasing your protein consumption to improve muscle mass, lose body fat and improve overall health, once the domain of the bodybuilding community, has gone mainstream.
When it comes to protein type, whey is by far the most popular.
While whey protein certainly has a lot going for it, there is another type of protein that is derived from cow’s milk; casein protein.
Let’s consider 6 reasons why casein protein deserves to be part of your daily nutritional program:
What is Casein Protein?
Casein protein is derived from milk, just the same as whey. They are both byproducts of the cheese-making process.
The big difference between the two is in the rate that they get absorbed into the human body.
Whey is regarded as a fast-absorbing protein source while casein is considered to be a slow-digesting protein.
Both whey and casein are complete forms of protein because they both contain all 9 of the essential amino acids.
Casein can be broken down into micellar casein and casein hydrolysate. Of the two, micellar casein is absorbed more slowly than casein hydrolysate.
A scoop of casein protein will provide you with 24 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 1 gram of fat.
1. Great for Muscle Growth
Casein protein is excellent for building lean muscle tissue.
In addition to providing a complete amino acid profile to allow the muscles to rebuild after a workout, casein is also high in the key branch chain amino acid leucine.
This makes it an excellent precursor of protein synthesis.
Research also shows that casein is effective to prevent muscle breakdown. This makes casein especially effective for people who are trying to lose body fat as this is often associated with a certain amount of muscle tissue loss.
When combined with weight training, casein protein has been shown to stimulate muscle growth.
One study compared two groups of weight trainers, one of which took casein sources of protein before bed with the other not taking a protein shake at all.
The casein group was shown to have double the type 2 muscle fiber growth as the non-protein group. They also had a strength gain of 20 percent more than the training only group.
2. Excellent for Overnight Recovery
Because it is a slow-release protein, casein is an excellent choice as a night time protein source. The slow-release means that amino acids will be gradually absorbed into the bloodstream over the hours that you are sleeping.
This is very beneficial as it is during the night that most of the muscle recovery and repair takes place.
It is also while you are sleeping that the two key muscle-building hormones, testosterone and human growth hormone, are released.
3. Awesome for Fat Loss
Casein protein has shown to be a very good fat loss aid. Its high calcium content is a real bonus here.
Studies have shown that calcium helps to burn body fat, encourages fat loss through fecal matter and helps you to feel fuller for longer.
Getting a healthy balance between protein and calcium consumption will help to maximize the loss of body fat. Casein protein makes that automatic!
4. Good for Colon Health
When you get down to it, having a healthy colon is more important than either having big muscles or losing body fat.
Casein, though, will help you to do all three.
Research has shown that casein protein, in contrast to whey, is especially beneficial for the health of your colon.
5. Improves Bone Health
We’ve already mentioned casein’s high calcium content in terms of promoting fat loss. That also makes it great for bone health.
With 99% of the calcium in our bodies being in our bones and teeth, the high calcium count in casein will strengthen your bones and help protect your joints.
This is especially beneficial for weight trainers who are putting their joints under stress in the gym.
6. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Casein protein has been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. It has been seen to be especially effective in lowering blood pressure.
This is due to casein’s ability to enlarge blood vessels, which results in lowered pressure.
Are There Any Concerns with Taking Casein Protein?
Casein protein is safe and well-tolerated by the vast majority of the population.
However, people who are allergic to milk or who have a lactose intolerance will also have problems with casein. They may experience stomach bloating, gas and burping after taking a casein protein shake.
There has been a prevailing belief that increased protein intake may be bad for the kidneys. This has been shown to be untrue.
However, people with a pre-existing kidney problem would be advised to limit their protein intake.
For the general population, having one or two casein protein shakes per day will not negatively affect their kidneys.