Protein is the basic macromechanical component of the human body consisting of amino acids. At a very high demand, we often choose to take supplements that complement its deficiencies. Then, athletes, or physically active people, opt for easily and widely available protein supplements. The most popular ones are those based on whey protein and casein. Below you will learn the main differences between these two types.
Protein supplements are nothing more than preparations that have in their composition a high ratio of protein to other macronutrients. Usually, this is a minimum of 70% of the content. Milk-based products are the most friendly to our bodies, the easiest to produce and the most popular.
Depending on the purpose, production process, and bioavailability, we distinguish whey protein and casein, which are definitely different from each other.
Whey protein is formed from milk in the process of microfiltration, ultrafiltration or ion exchange. It is available in 3 forms
They are characterized by a high content of exogenous amino acids, ie those that the body is unable to produce itself and must be taken from the outside. Very good bioavailability and high biological value put the whey protein in the first place among protein supplements.
The use of whey protein does not only close on protein supplements. It also occurs in Gainer or Bulk type nutrients, protein bars, health supplements (eg for patients after injuries who can not take protein in the form of meals). They are still gaining recognition among dieticians and doctors.
The main advantages of whey protein
– they are easy to digest, the body after 2-3 hours is able to completely absorb the adopted supplement
– we can take them at any time of the day, even before training
– they usually do not contain lactose, so it does not harm even a person with poor milk tolerance
– they are easily soluble and can be stored in all conditions
Casein is a milk protein. It occurs very abundantly in dairy products, i.e. cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, kefir. In the form of protein supplements, we can get it in the form of concentrates and isolates. As well as whey protein, casein also has a high content of essential amino acids and a high proportion of BCAAs. Among the preparations with casein protein are the most popular
– calcium caseinate – formed as a result of the dissolution of casein with calcium hydroxide
Casein protein is found not only in mono-preparations, but also in carbohydrate-protein nutrients and protein bars. Their form after dissolving is not too smooth and resembles pudding more. Typically, high calcium content occurs in the casein-containing ingredients.
The main advantages of casein protein
– high anti-catabolic potential, due to the slow digestion process, which lasts up to 8 hours.
– provide satiety for many hours
– after reconstitution take the form of pudding, which can be eaten with a spoon
Differences between whey protein and micellar casein
Both types of protein are derived from milk, therefore they contain similar amounts and the ratio of amino acids. Casein contains much more tyrosine, glutamic acid and isoleucine and valine. However, whey dominates the higher content of leucine (the amino acid considered the most crucial for anabolism) and arginine. In addition to the above minor derogations in the amino-gram composition, we can confidently define both types as exemplary and full-value.
The biggest fundamental difference between whey protein and casein protein is the time of digestion and absorption of amino acids.
Isolate, concentrate and hydrolyzate of whey protein are fast-digestible types, whose period of digestion and absorption lasts from 1 to 3 hours. This allows you to eat nutrients at any time of the day with no digestive discomfort. With the aforementioned state, there will be a high release of amino acids into the bloodstream in a short time.
The most popular among casein proteins – micellar casein and calcium caseinate – are freewheel proteins. This period lasts up to 8 hours. We gain long-term satiety, but we can also have a feeling of fullness and a bloated stomach. Amino acids are released into the blood slowly and do not have so-called peak point. This situation is conducive to possible long-term breaks between meals.
The remaining differences between whey protein and casein focus on the taste, solubility and percentage of protein in the nutrient.
Micellar casein, which is by far the best form of casein protein. It dissolves and tastes good, and at the same time contains a quite high percentage of protein in 100g of the product. The consistency after reconstitution resembles pudding. Not everyone can like it. It is not suitable for heat treatment (with some exceptions), but it can be boldly used as a “lubricant”, for example, for an omelette. Unfortunately, casein will always remind you when you eat milk, which means that people who have a problem with digestion may feel discomfort.
The whey protein concentrate, the most popular and basic form of protein, dissolves well and occurs in a huge number of flavors. In the form of whey protein isolate, we obtain the best solubility and the highest percentage of protein per 100g of product. Deprived of lactose, it can be consumed even by people who do not tolerate it. Depending on the type of whey it is suitable for virtually all food applications (for all treatments, including thermal).
Whey protein and casein – practical use
Depending on the diet and the time of eating protein supplement we choose the right kind for ourselves. The next condition of choice will of course also lactose tolerance. This, however, we can do a bit by using nutrients with lactase.
Whey protein is an ideal choice to supplement amino acids in the morning, around the training and as an addition to any meals. The form of isolate or hydrolyzate is ideally suited to shakka, for example, pre-and post-training. The form of the concentrate during the day, as a shake or as an addition, eg to omelets, own protein cakes, etc.
Casein protein is a great solution in the case of a long break between meals and in the evenings before bedtime. We eliminate the urge to snack at night, which many people have a problem on a daily basis.
Both types of protein are suitable for use during the reduction period. They can be boldly combined to create a mix of free and fast proteins. Portions offered by producers are only illustrative values. Everything should be chosen individually. It is worth checking the tolerance and digestive comfort in choosing the type of milk proteins. The diet should not be a nuisance, but a pleasure, hence it is worth considering the choice of a protein supplement.