When it comes to purchasing protein supplements there are two types of protein that top the list, casein and whey. So which one should you get ? It can be hard to decide since there is a great deal of controversy over which one is superior, but the truth is that both of them offer distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Maybe to your surprise whey is extremely common and you’ve probably had it since your childhood. How you ask ? well whey is actually made from milk and accounts for 20% of the protein in milk. It is made by being extracted from milk solids, once extracted it is filtered to remove most of the fats and carbohydrates.
- Very Fast Acting (the time it takes to be fully metabolized and absorbed)
- Increased protein synthesis
- Enhances your immune function/antioxidant activity
- High in Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
- More Sulphur containing amino acids leading to a higher level of biological utilization
- Rich in essential minerals/vitamins
- Not effective at decreasing protein degradation
- Since whey is so quickly digested some of the protein is wasted or oxidized as excess
Whey protein is best taken 30-60 minutes before, during or immediately after your workout because of it’s extremely fast absorption rate.
Do you remember that whey protein is only made from a mere 20% of the protein in milk ? well guess what the other 80% is… yep it’s casein.
- Slow digesting which slows down the rate of protein breakdown (lasts up to 7 hours)
- Appears to be anti-catabolic due to slow acting nature
- Less protein is oxidized or wasted because it is absorbed so slowly
- Contains dairy calcium which is important for bone health and body composition
- Contain a high quality blend of essential and nonessential amino acids
- Even though slow digestion can be a positive it can also be a negative simply because after your workout you are trying to get amino acids into your system quickly, which casein just won’t provide
- High sodium content can cause bloating
- Low percentage of BCAAs and lower biological utilization rate
Casein protein is best used at bedtime because while you sleep your muscles repair themselves and casein can aid in that type of repair throughout the night since it lasts for 7 hours. It can also be used as a meal replacement where you know you won’t be eating for 3-4 hours since it is so slow acting.
Hopefully after looking at both the advantages/disadvantages of casein and whey protein you can now decide which one is better for you, or if needed having both available can prove to be even more beneficial than just having to choose one. P.S. just like any other food source, always choose a high quality protein powder whether it be casein or whey because the cheap ones usually contain filler ingredients that are sub par.
If you have anymore questions about whey or casein protein then leave it down below in the comment section.