I’ve gathered everything about casein. In this article, what does casein do? How to use casein? I touched on many issues until the question.
We talked earlier about how important the time and amount of protein intake is for individuals who exercise. In addition to time and amount, if the supplement is used, the type of protein is also important.
A lot of research is done to find the right option when the topic is important. While this is the case, studying casein holds an important place for me.
What is casein in this article? What is casein good for? To the question, should I buy a casein? When should casein be used? I will examine many subjects until the question and answer the questions.
If you are ready we go!
What is casein protein?
It is a type of protein found in milk, known for its slow digestibility, and takes its name from the Latin “causes” meaning cheese.
The reason why it is so famous by athletes is not that it is in milk like whey protein.
What makes it important is that it is digested slowly (within about 7 hours).
However, casein protein belongs to the “complete protein” group.
The definition of “complete protein” for casein means that it contains all of the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must take from outside.
Because while athletes regulate their nutrition and supplementation, they also need protein sources that release slow and long-term protein as well as protein sources that mix with fast blood.
What does casein do?
It is generally used by individuals who want to increase muscle mass or supplement their macros in the diet.
So why is casein so famous compared to other protein supplements?
Let’s examine it.
1. Caseins and anti-catabolic effect
Paracasein gets its slow digestion feature from its micellar structure. Since this micellar structure is insoluble in water, it does not mix with the gastric fluid like other protein sources (whey, for example). This structure, which does not mix with the gastric juice, causes digestive enzymes to act later and slower protein release for a longer period of time.
What really matters here is the precise amount of protein the muscles take and the positive nitrogen balance that is constantly forming in the blood. Because in individuals who want to develop muscle mass, if blood amino acid levels do not remain on the positive side, especially after exercise, the muscle may respond as catabolism.
We know that fast-digesting protein sources have a real handicap in this regard. Instead, the slow but steady release of amino acids is something we always prefer, especially for middle and beginner athletes, including low-weight professionals with low muscle mass.
As a result, caseins highlights its anti-catabolic feature with its continuous release of amino acids.
The continuous flow of amino acids prevents catabolism and supports anabolism, ie muscle mass increase. This is related to the fact that the muscles meet the amino acids they need instantly.
I would like to share with you a study that examines the change in blood levels of the amino acid leucine, which has an important role in muscle mass increase, with the consumption of caseins and whey.
A study is being conducted with healthy individuals to investigate the change in leucine levels after intake of whey and casein protein. Participants are given equal amounts of whey and caseins protein, and their blood leucine levels are measured.
When the measurements are evaluated at the end of the research,
- While the leucine level increase after the supplement intake was 64% in whey users, it remained at the level of 31% in casein users,
- Total leucine oxidation (wastage) was found as 373 ± 56 micromoles.kg-1 in whey areas and 272 ± 91 micromoles.kg-1 in casein areas.
As a result, caseins creates more anabolism with the continuous release of amino acids and causes less amino acid waste. Besides, it peaks less than whey protein. Thus, more muscle mass gain can be achieved by maintaining anabolism for a long time.
This can be important for professionals with excess muscle mass. Because high-weight professionals respond better to the instantaneous increase in amino acid levels. This is because muscle mass, which is much more than normal individuals, can absorb the entire concentration of amino acids that peaks.
In addition, because such professionals often work for more than one muscle group during the day, the increased need for amino acids can be met with a preference for fast-digesting protein.
But there is a big handicap here. With the consumption of fast-digesting protein sources, your blood amino acid level will decrease rapidly and protein consumption will be needed again.
Should I buy casein?
Caseins contains less BCAA and essential amino acids than whey protein. This makes casein protein a bad choice for individuals who only need a quality source of amino acids.
Caseins is a complete source of protein as I mentioned earlier. I would like to mention above that whey protein contains more BCAAs in quantity.
Never make an inference as “the amino acid profile of casein protein is bad”.
On the other hand, it can be a very favorable choice because it provides a continuous flow of amino acids due to its slow digestion and minimizes the loss of amino acids.
For this reason, casein protein,
- For those who need high BCAA and essential amino acids,
- Those who will use it for protein consumption after training,
Should not choose. If,
- If you want to reduce the catabolic effect,
- If you are hungry for a long time
- If you are a low weight athlete,
- If you have enough essential amino acid intake,
Casein may be right for you.
How and when to use?
As I mentioned in the previous sections of the article, the most important feature of caseins protein is that it is digested slowly. In order to use this feature, you should analyze yourself and get to know your diet well. When you are hungry for a long time, the use of caseins will prevent the catabolic effect.
In addition, you can prefer caseins protein, which is another feature of suppressing hunger better than other types of protein, instead of whey protein during dieting periods. When is caseins used? A good answer to the question would be consumption before training (a few hours) or before sleep.
Although everyone has positive comments about the intake of casein before sleep, it will be the most correct consumption recommendation not to overdo it and consume it at least 2 hours before sleep.
Because excessive (more than 25 grams) caseins consumption may impair sleep quality.
Finally, I would like to state that the amount of casein to be used at one time should be between 25 and 40 grams. The total daily intake will determine the protein need and diet.
Are caseins harmful?
Casein consumption has no reported side effects. The important thing here is not to exceed the protein level you should take daily.
I would like to mention a few things about casein A1 and A2 consumption. It is a topic that has been discussed frequently lately.
You know, casein protein is found in milk. While 20% of milk protein is whey, 80% is casein. This casein protein has two different types, A1 and A2, depending on cow genetics.
While most cows produce mixed milk containing A1 and A2 type casein, some cows produce milk containing only A1 casein.
Although some studies have made statements that A1 casein is harmful, there is currently no proven and definite difference between A1 and A2 casein types.
Of course, I will share the developments with future research.
If you do not exceed the limit, it is unlikely that the casein protein used in healthy individuals will cause any kidney and liver damage. Of course, it is very important to discuss and get an opinion from the physician who follows you before using any supplement.
In addition, individuals with lactose intolerance (sensitivity to dairy products) may experience diarrhea and intense gas complaints along with excessive casein consumption. In such cases, it would be best to stop consuming casein.