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 Casein protein


Casein is the protein found mostly in milk. It is 4 times more present than whey. However, it is rather on the latter that all the attention is currently focused. Indeed, whey has dethroned casein on the supplement market, while it was a very popular protein in the past. This is due to a slower assimilation and powders less concentrated in proteins. In addition, over time, it has become more expensive. However, casein can have its place in a dietary program, it is simply different from whey, but still has its advantages.

The benefits of casein

For a long time, casein has been referred to as a very slowly absorbed protein. However, this absorption speed has recently been revised upwards. While egg protein is absorbed at a rate of 3 grams per hour, the rate of assimilation of casein is 6 grams per hour. This is closer to the 8-10 grams per hour of whey. We can therefore consider that casein has an average absorption rate and that it can be suitable for both snacks and, why not, for a shaker after training.

Casein is considered a good anti-catabolic protein thanks to its richness in BCAA but also because the assimilation of its proteins is spread over a longer period than whey. It would therefore better protect the muscles over time.

Finally, although casein and whey have been competing on the supplement market, we now know that they can complement each other very well. Indeed, adding a little casein in a shaker containing whey improves the action of the latter. The use of these two types of proteins is therefore compatible. But, what is interesting is that in addition to finding its place after training, casein can also complement whey where it is less useful, that is to say during snacks.

The disadvantages of casein

What has caused the decline in popularity of casein is that a new protein, faster, has appeared: whey. This one is much more efficient to bring very quickly amino acids to the body after a bodybuilding session. For this, casein is less interesting. Because, even if it can give a boost to whey, few practitioners will completely replace this protein by casein.

The other disadvantage that this protein has over whey, and even egg protein, is its biological value of 80. Even if this is an acceptable value, it is much lower than that of its competitors. This means that casein is less well assimilated than these.


What is the use of casein?

As we have seen above, casein is not used alone after training but can enhance the effect of whey when adding about 10 g for 30 g of whey in the shaker. This is the first type of use.

However, more generally, casein is consumed as a snack. Its usefulness is then to supplement a diet that is not rich enough in protein to promote muscle growth. This happens when the practitioner is already quite advanced in his practice and needs a lot of protein or simply when the practitioner needs a convenient source of protein to swallow. The dose to use depends on the needs of the practitioner.

How is casein produced?

Casein is produced from pasteurized skim milk. It can be produced from chemical processes that give a poor quality protein called "calcium caseinate". But it can also be produced by a mechanical process of microfiltration which allows to obtain micellar casein, a protein which has kept its biological properties. It is this form that should be preferred, even if it is more expensive.

We also distinguish the total protein, which is a mixture between micellar casein and whey in the same ratio as milk, that is to say 80% casein and 20% whey. This type of product combines some of the advantages of both types of protein and can therefore be interesting.

Can it be contraindicated?

Casein is a type of protein powder that may contain lactose. Practitioners who are intolerant or sensitive to this milk sugar should check the lactose content of their protein powder before purchase. Alternatively, some brands offer casein with lactase, the enzyme that lactose intolerant people lack. For others, this protein should not be a problem.

The taste of casein is reminiscent of milk, so it is not difficult to consume, except for those who find the taste disgusting. In this case, they can get a casein with a sweetener added.

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