Proteins provide amino acids to the body, which further serve as the building blocks for the formation of new muscles. Casein protein is a dairy-based superior protein that is gaining popularity for enhancing muscle growth and recovery. They are phosphorous-containing proteins, naturally present in milk but can also be found at medical stores in the form of protein powders. Casein constitutes about 80 percent of protein in cow’s milk, while the remaining 20 percent comes from whey proteins.
There are three types of casein protein, Calcium caseinate, Micellar casein and Milk protein. The quality and effectiveness varies from one type to the other. The former is the least effective and is more frequently used in food industry. The remaining two have comparable properties but the latter contains both micellar protein and whey protein and is therefore a more effective option. If your goal is muscle building then milk protein should be the main component of your diet.
It is not only rich in amino acids but also absorbs slowly, and this rare property of casein protein makes it an essential part of every weight trainer’s diet. Casein proteins are acid sensitive and thicken to form a clot in the stomach, as a result amino acids are released and absorbed slowly in the blood stream. The absorption process last for several hours, usually 7 hours, and during this process retention and utilization of nitrogen is enhanced. The blood amino acids’ peak is reached in three to four hours, whereas in the case of whey protein, the peak is reached in just 40 minutes and the effect hardly lasts for an hour.
Slow rate of absorption of casein means it does not affect protein synthesis much; however, it plays a huge role in reducing protein breakdown, maintaining a balance between the two processes. Muscular mass increases only when the process of protein synthesis is increased while the breakdown process declines. To increase the process of protein synthesis consume whey protein based shakes and follow them up by taking casein protein.
Besides being a muscle building protein, casein also helps lose weight. However, it is important to mention here that casein will not be effective if the diet and training routines of a weight trainer are not well designed. You should consult a doctor or nutritionist before using any supplements with casein as an active ingredient, since unguided use of casein supplements may cause unwanted side effects.