Two of the most popular protein supplements available in the market are Whey and Casein. Both the varieties are of high-quality complete proteins and are also rich in branched-chain amino acids, which makes them a great option for repairing tissues and improved muscle growth. Both the proteins are made from milk but have distinct features that help in muscle building.
Whey and Casein are proteins that are derived after the cheese is processed out of milk and are therefore dairy-based. It is also said that all dairy products contain both the available proteins. Around 80% Casein and 20% Whey is found in milk.
During the process of making cheese, milk is heated, and then special enzymes are still added to it. The enzymes then cause the casein present in the milk to thicken or change into solid-state, thus separating it from a liquid state. The liquid substance left behind is whey protein which is then washed off and then dried and converted into a powdered form that can be used in food products and other dietary supplements.
Working of Whey and Casein
Whey has another name which is fast brother since it can be digested faster, Casein, on the contrary, is the slow brother because it can be digested rapidly. Although both the available proteins contain a high amount of Amino Acid content, whey is identified as a better option for muscle building because it can spike amino acid levels in the blood, which are important to better the process of muscle protein synthesis.
Casein, on the other hand, is considered as muscle sparing protein because it can continuously provide a stream of amino acids that helps keep muscle tissue breakdown problems away. The muscle growth rate should be more than its breakdown rate for growing muscles. Whey helps in protein synthesis, and Casein helps in preventing muscle breakdown; both proteins are necessary to help you build muscles. Try some of the best whey proteins available in india for effective muscle growth.
It takes only 20 minutes by whey protein to get digested and absorbed in the blood and also taken by the body tissues and metabolization. Within one hour, the consumed whey protein is used either for protein synthesis or oxidation. The process is fast as compared to casein or even proteins absorbed from whole food.
The increase in amino acids helps in stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Whey helps in balancing muscle breakdown with protein synthesis so that you can get out of catabolic state the same as you get from weight lifting.
After consuming casein, it will take 3-4 hours to reach a peak in blood amino acids and protein synthesis. The peak reached, however, is not even to what whey does. This process can also be considered as a good sign as even if it doesn’t increase the amino acid level, still it slows down the rate of protein breakdown and protects the existing muscles.
Whey protein over casein for muscle building
Whey protein is considered over casein not only because of its fast absorption ability but also because of its amino acid profile. It contains more of branched-chain amino acid leucine, valine, isoleucine. While casein contains portions of other acids such as histidine, methionine, and phenylalanine. All amino acids are considered important for building muscles; leucine helps to kick start the process with a jump. However, it is still not concluded whether this stimulation in protein synthesis results in long term muscle growth or not.
Suitable time for consuming each protein
As whey protein can be digested quickly it is excellent to consume at any point of time such as before, after, or during a workout session, since it can charge your muscles with the minimum amount of GI distress. Casein, on the contrary, can be consumed before fasting, and it will probably be the best time, such as before bed or a day packed up with a tight schedule. It is recommended so as because it slowly releases the amino acids, and this helps in keeping full for longer. You can also opt for adding it to the meals.
Slow digesting property of Casein makes it unfit for drinking during or after training since at this time you need amino acids quickly into the system. Rather it is a great option when you are trying to keep hunger at bay and longing to lose fat.
Whey and casein mixing
Some people have whey and casein together after going through a workout session, and this way they get the benefit of both fast and steady amino acid this way.
Some believe that consuming both types together can slow down the spike of amino acid from whey, thus slowing its absorption. Try both methods to observe which one suits your body. All that matters is that your body should get enough amount of amino acid.
Amino Acid in protein powders
If it is already described by the product the amount of amino acid that they contain or whey they try to show that their product has a good amino acid profile, you can simply let it go. It doesn’t matter; an amino acid profile is important when two or more protein sources are compared to each other. Moreover, as whey and casein are derived from milk, they tend to have a similar amino acid profile.
Directions to use the available protein powders
Whey protein powders go extremely well with almost anything. You can try mixing it with water, milk, protein shakes, yogurt, oats, etc. If you are fond of baking, then you can also try mixing the best whey protein powders available in your batter to enjoy some healthy recipes.
On the other hand, Casein can make a great midnight snack. Try mixing it some milk or water or add it to yogurt. You can also try making some fancy snacks and some bed recipes by mixing both casein and whey proteins available.
Research on Whey and Casein
A study was done to look at the process of normal protein intake. The participants were made to fast for 10 hours, and after that, they were given either of the two available protein whey protein or casein protein in equal proportion.
It was noticed that after one hour of ingestion the leucine level in blood peaked. However, the whey protein was noticed to reach a peak in one hour and then again was there at the bottom line after 4 hours. The casein protein didn’t peak much initially and was still there after even seven hours and did not reach the baseline. Studies were carried out to know the benefits of both the available proteins. However, it should always be kept in mind that a mixture of both proteins when consumed will have different absorption rate in our body. Consuming the proteins together will also change the rate of effects on protein synthesis and muscle breakdown.
From the information gathered after the study, the fact of having something after every two-three hours to reduce muscle can be questioned. Consuming casein protein can help to keep the amino acid level in your body elevated for a longer period in between meals.
There was a different study held which concluded that consuming available milk protein – whey or casein post-workout showed a significant increase in muscle protein balance. This results in net muscle protein synthesis despite getting different patterns of responses from blood amino acid level.
This concludes that even if it suggested to consume whey before or after workout and casein should be consumed before fasting, the matter of concern is to get enough amount of protein in general. The source of such protein may not matter whether it is coming from whey, casein, plant-based protein powder or any other source.
Whey and Casein
Different proteins contain different bio active components, both whey and casein may vary a little when it comes to their nutrition data. It should always be kept in mind that nutrition facts may also vary depending on the product that is being bought; that is why it is very important to read the labels carefully. Casein is considered to be expensive than whey, and whey tends to have a good mixing property, and it also tastes better than casein.
We also recommend buying a mixture of whey and casein protein available so that the benefits of each can be gained at a single point in time.
Casein is considered to be anti-catabolic because it is a slow-digesting protein. It also prevents the breakdown of excessive protein. Whey, on the other hand, can be digested rapidly and is anabolic, which stimulates the process of protein synthesis. Both anabolism and catabolism can be maintained in the body by following a diet that contains both whey and casein. Both tend to play different important roles in the body and also have several health benefits.