There are more types of protein powder on the market today than ever before — from rice and hemp to insect and beef. But two types of protein have stood the test of time, remaining well regarded and popular over the years: casein and whey. Though both are derived from milk, they differ greatly.
Quick Side Note: The last week I’ve been dealing with some serious neck pain/stiffness and I want to say thank you for the continued support because I kind of feel that my blogs have suffered over the last week. And like always thank you for the continued support/love and hopefully, as the weeks go on the blogs will get better.
I did a post a couple of months ago about the dangers of Whey protein if you are interested in reading all about Whey Protein you can Click Here
Both Are Derived From Milk
Casein and whey are the two types of protein found in cow’s milk, making up 80% and 20% of milk protein respectively. They’re high-quality proteins, as they contain all essential amino acids, which you must get from food since your body cannot make them. In addition, they’re easily digested and absorbed. Both casein and whey are byproducts of cheese production.
During cheesemaking, special enzymes or acids are added to heated milk. These enzymes or acids cause the casein in the milk to coagulate, or change to a solid state, separating from a liquid substance. This liquid substance is the whey protein, which is then washed and dried into a powdered form for use in food products or dietary supplements. The remaining curds of casein can be washed and dried to create a protein powder or added to dairy products, such as cottage cheese.
Whey Protein Is Better Than Casein For Building Muscle
Whey protein is not only better suited for workouts because it’s quickly absorbed but also due to its amino acids profile. It contains more of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine, while casein contains a higher portion of the amino acids histidine, methionine, and phenylalanine.
While all essential amino acids are important for building muscle, leucine is the one that jumpstarts the process. Owing in part to its higher leucine content, whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis — the process by which muscles grow — more than casein, especially when consumed in tandem with your workouts.
However, it’s unknown whether this greater stimulation in muscle protein synthesis results in more muscle growth long term. What is certain is that your total protein intake over the course of each day is the strongest predictor of muscle size and strength.
Both Contain Different Beneficial Compounds
Casein and whey protein contain different bioactive peptides, which are compounds that benefit your body.
Casein contains several bioactive peptides that have been shown to benefit your immune and digestive systems. Some bioactive peptides found in casein also benefit your heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the formation of blood clots.
These peptides work similarly to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, a class of drugs commonly prescribed to control blood pressure. They also bind to and carry minerals like calcium and phosphorus, improving their digestibility in your stomach.
Whey protein contains a number of active proteins called immunoglobulins that boost your immune system. The immunoglobulins in whey are known to have antimicrobial properties, either killing or slowing the growth of harmful microbes, such as bacteria and viruses.
Animal and test-tube studies have also shown that these proteins exert antioxidant effects and inhibit the growth of tumors and cancer. In addition, some immunoglobulins transport important nutrients — such as vitamin A — through your body and enhance the absorption of other nutrients like iron.
The Benefit Of Protein In Your
Protein serves many important roles in your body, making it incredibly important for your health.
These roles include:
- Enzymes: Proteins that carry out chemical reactions in your body.
- Antibodies: These remove foreign particles, such as viruses, to help fight infection.
- Messengers: Many proteins are hormones, which coordinate cell signaling.
- Structure: These provide form and support to your skin, bones, and tendons.
- Transport and storage: These proteins move substances including hormones, medicines, and enzymes through your body.
Beyond its basic nutritional functions in your body, protein has several other benefits including:
- Fat loss: Protein aids fat loss by decreasing your appetite and boosting your metabolism.
- Blood sugar control: Protein, when consumed in place of carbs, can improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Blood pressure: Studies show that people who consume more protein — regardless of the source — have lower blood pressure.
These benefits are associated with a higher protein intake in general, not necessarily with casein or whey.
Which Is Best For You?
Despite their different bioactive components, whey and casein protein vary little when it comes to their nutrition data.
Per standard scoop (31 grams, or 1.1 ounces), whey protein contains:
- Calories: 110
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Protein: 24 grams
- Iron: 0% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Calcium: 8% of the RDI
Per standard scoop (34 grams, or 1.2 ounces), casein protein contains:
- Calories: 120
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrate: 4 grams
- Protein: 24 grams
- Iron: 4% of the RDI
- Calcium: 50% of the RDI
Keep in mind that these nutrition facts may vary, depending on the specific product you buy, so be sure to read labels carefully.
What’s more, there are some other factors to consider:
- Casein protein powder is generally more expensive than whey.
- Whey protein powder tends to mix better than casein.
- Whey protein powder often has a better consistency and taste than casein.
You can also buy protein blends, which typically contain a combination of casein and whey, giving you the benefits of each.
Alternatively, you can buy both powders individually and take whey protein powder with workouts, then casein before bed.
How To Use Casein And Whey Protein
You may mix each with either water or milk. Milk will make your protein shakes — especially those with casein — thicker.
If possible, mix your protein powder and liquid with a blender bottle or other type of blender instead of a spoon. Doing so will ensure a smoother consistency and more equal dispersion of protein.
Always add the liquid first, followed by the scoop of protein. This order keeps the protein from sticking to the bottom of your container
Casein and whey protein are both derived from milk. They differ in digestion times — casein digests slowly, making it good before bedtime, while whey digests quickly and is ideal for workouts and muscle growth. Both contain different bioactive compounds that may boost your immune system and offer other benefits.
Choosing one over the other won’t necessarily bestow better results in the gym or markedly improve your health, so select the one that you prefer or buy a blend that contains both. Above all, remember that your total daily intake of protein matters most. While casein and Whey have their differences, they each play important roles in your body and provide numerous health benefits.
And like always if you ever have any questions about today’s post, past post, or any questions, in general, please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have.
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