What is casein protein? When is the best to eat? What are the types of casein proteins? If you’ve ever had a choice of casein or whey – read this article!
What is casein?
Casein is the most important protein found in milk – it constitutes about 80% of milk protein content. Casein protein is very rich in amino acids, almost identical to whey protein (a by-product during cheese production), which means that it contains all the essential amino acids responsible for the synthesis of muscle proteins. Proteins are created by peptide bonds. These bonds are responsible for combining amino acids (in carbon-nitrogen binding). The digestion process chemically breaks these bonds, therefore depending on the type of protein there is a different absorption time.
Where is the casein?
Casein is found in milk and its products. In milk, the casein concentration is quite low and amounts to about 2.5%. In the case of dairy products, the content may be higher. Particularly high content of casein is found in white cheese and young yellow cheese. Choose those that contain not very high fat content.
Action of casein
Casein, unlike other proteins, has a unique feature – poor solubility in low PH (stomach acids). Thus, casein exposed to stomach acids (due to coagulation properties) is longer digested. This results in slowing the release of amino acids into the small intestine where they are absorbed. Casein protein is characterized by many hours of action. Just like whey protein contains all the essential amino acids, but it allows you to protect your muscles from catabolism for longer.
When to use casein?
Thanks to its properties, casein is a perfect solution for use when an extended absorption time is needed. Extended absorption time is needed when you go to sleep, or when you know that you will not be able to deliver enough protein to your body for a longer period of time. Casein has anti-catabolic properties. It works longer than other proteins, so it is considered the “perfect protein for the night”.
Casein in conditioners
Casein is found in various types of bodybuilding nutrients. You can meet monopreparaty and complex nutrients – so-called protein matrixes. The most commonly used casein forms are
Casein hydrolyzate. As with whey protein hydrolyzate, it undergoes a hydrolysis process, which consists in pre-digesting, thereby improving its absorbability. The hydrolysis process consists in changing the structure of the protein – the protein molecules are “digested” into smaller peptide chains.
Micellar casein. Micellar casein is defined as a complete, unprocessed protein. Casein micelles are colloidal particles whose aim is to transport insoluble calcium phosphate compounds in liquid form to the stomach, where they “clot” and undergo digestion. Over 90% of calcium found in milk is associated with casein micelles.
Calcium caseinate. It’s another slow-absorbable protein. Calcium caseinate itself occurs only in matrices that are a mixture of casein and other protein sources.
Casein or whey?
Comparing which of these proteins is better is comparing the F1 formula to the Jeep. Both of these cars, however, are designed for completely different applications. Similarly for casein and whey. Both products are proteins. However, whey is used when there is a need to quickly deliver protein to the body while casein when the need for a long time to absorb protein into the body. Both of these products are very much needed in the diet of any bodybuilder, one does not exclude the other.