Protein Supplements – the difference between whey and casein
Milk contains two main proteins: whey and casein, both commonly used in sports nutrition products. They are both high-quality proteins naturally rich in branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) essential for muscle growth and repair. Although both whey and casein come from milk there is a distinct difference between the two making it easy to determine which one is suitable for your training needs.
Milk naturally contains approximately 80% casein and 20% whey. During the manufacturing process whey protein goes through a filtration process where the majority of fat and lactose is removed. It is renowned for its fast absorbing capabilities and is considered more anabolic (muscle building) because of its ability to rapidly promote a spike in amino acids helping to kick-start muscle repair and build.
Casein on the other hand is commonly referred to as a slow digesting protein (night time protein). Releasing a steady stream of amino acids into the muscles over an extended period of time, casein helps to reduce muscle breakdown by feeding the muscles to maintain size.
Which protein should I use and when?
There is a place in every diet for both types of protein. The fast-digesting nature of whey makes it an excellent choice for before and after training whereas casein is best used before bed or between meal times.
Should I mix my protein with milk or water?
Mixing whey protein with milk slows the digestion process down. Milk naturally contains 80% casein, by mixing whey and milk together you will reduce the fast absorbing effects of the whey and convert it into a slow digesting protein similar to a casein based product. When you require a fast absorbing protein i.e. before or after exercise, mix whey with water and if you require a night time protein mix whey or casein with milk.
Both whey and casein are considered quality sources of protein containing all of the essential amino acids required by the body to maintain muscle and assist recovery. Both whey and casein can be mixed with foods to increase overall protein content, for example adding whey or casein to Greek yogurt, smoothies or a cake recipe will increase the protein content of the meal and also help you to achieve your daily protein requirements. For more information on tasty recipes using the Musashi products please visit the Musashi website.