Casein Proteins Expert Guide – Types and Benefits

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 27 September 2016 

If you have been considering adding casein proteins to your diet, the following guide is for you. Below, you will find a rich source of information, providing you with everything you need to know about casein proteins, the different types of casein proteins and their benefits. Read on to find out if a casein supplement is right for you.

What Are Casein Proteins and Where Do They Come from?

Casein proteins are specific proteins obtained from milk. However, to obtain these proteins from milk, they need to be separated from another type of protein that is used in many supplements – whey.

A casein protein is quite similar to whey in many respects. Just like whey, casein is present in milk, be it in a larger percentage. Approximately 80% of all the protein found in milk is casein, which means that whey can be considered as harder to obtain. Casein is also similar in muscle building capabilities, since the protein contains many bioactive peptides as well.

How Are Casein Protein Supplements Made?

To create a casein supplement, manufacturers have to separate casein and whey; this occurs through a straining process. Once the straining method has been applied, manufacturers are left with the solid part of the milk, which is the casein protein.

The solid part after the straining process is not suitable for consumption as a supplement, so manufacturers need to treat it with a specific chemical to make the milk coagulate and create a solid form of casein. In most cases, manufacturers will use a chemical such is chymosin, a proteolytic enzyme that is synthesised in the stomach.

When casein proteins have obtained their solid form though a treatment with enzymes, they need to be filtered, purified and concentrated. The substances obtained from this process are the micellar parts of casein. These micellar parts are the substances that will be used for your casein protein supplement.

What Are the Benefits of Casein Proteins?

Most casein protein supplements are used for muscle gains and weight loss, so athletes looking to gain lean muscle mass tend to be the athletes that benefit the most. When you consume more protein on a daily basis, the protein will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, subsequently reducing any cravings you may have for “bad” foods.

That being said, whey protein has similar benefits to casein protein, because this specific protein is also used for both weight loss and muscle gains. However, casein has one benefit for weight loss that whey does not have, more specifically the ability to make you feel fuller.

The satiety feeling that accompanies the use of casein protein supplements can be explained by the speed in which casein is digested and absorbed by the human body. Casein is a slow-release protein; this means that the body will need several hours to fully absorb and digest it. As an added benefit, you will feel fuller for a longer period of time.

What Are the Different Types of Casein Protein Supplements?

In general, casein can be divided into two groups: micellar casein and hydrolysed casein. Naturally, these two types of casein have different abilities and characteristics. Let us take a closer look at each one to discover their functions.

Micellar Casein

Micellar Casein is the purest form of casein on the market, simply because manufacturers do not have to subject it to a plethora of chemical processes to obtain the supplement. Due to the lack of processing, Micellar Casein also maintains its full molecular structure, which is important for the enzymatic and non-enzymatic processes that will absorb and breakdown the protein in the body.

Casein supplements can be used for both men and women, so the same applies to Micellar Casein. The unique slow-release qualities of this supplement ensure that the body digests this supplement slowly and it may take up to 6 hours to completely use and digest Micellar Casein. Because of this specific function, Micellar Casein should be consumed after training or right before bed, where it can provide the body with a steady stream of nutrients for muscle growth, muscle repair and weight loss.

Hydrolysed Casein

Hydrolysed Casein could be considered as quite similar to Micellar Casein, because the protein is made by breaking down Micellar Casein into smaller peptides. The hydrolysis of Micellar Casein makes the supplement easier to digest for athletes.

The only real difference between Hydrolysed Casein and Micellar Casein is the speed in which it is digested, because the actual weight loss and muscle gain benefits remain the same.

Can Casein Protein Cause an Allergic Reaction?

Casein proteins may cause an allergic reaction in people who suffer from lactose intolerance, which is in fact an allergy to milk proteins. If you are lactose intolerant, you have probably experienced some problems digesting dairy products in the past. If you are lactose intolerant, there are some alternative protein supplements you could consider, for example vegetable proteins such as rice protein isolate, pea protein isolate and soy protein isolate. The only real flipside to these vegetable-based proteins is that they are absorbed by the body quickly, so if you are looking to add protein to your diet to fill the gaps where your body does not get any nutrients, you may need another alternative.

Conclusion

Casein may be a protein that digests and absorbs slowly, it is quite versatile as well. Similar to whey, it can provide athletes with muscle growth, repair and weight loss, which makes it a viable supplement for anyone trying to achieve a fitter physique.

The trick to using casein supplements properly is taking the protein at the right time. If you are using casein in the same manner as whey, you are not going to get the desired results. Therefore, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to get the most out of your supplement.

Data based on vanilla flavour ND Total Whey WPC ND Mass Muscle WPI Calcium Caseinate
Protein per serve (g) 22.2 23 26.2 26.7 28.1
Take For
Type of protein/s Whey Whey Whey & Casein Whey Casein
Carbs per serve (g) 3.4 4.2 26.5 1.9 0.8
Fat total per serve (g) 1.3 1.3 1.6 0.6 0.2
Sugars per serve (g) 3.2 3.2 10.4 1.4 0.3
Serving Size (g) 35 30 60 30 30
Serves per kilo 28 33 16 33 33
Additional Premium Ingredients Amino blend, colostrum, creatine, glutamine   Amino blend, carb blend,colostrum, creatine    
Notes Complete muscle-building formula The least processed budget powder Ultimate Post workout bulking powder Fast absorbing powder Slow release high density powder
Flavours Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural

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