An Abbreviated Review of Casein… The Good, the Bad, the Unexplained.
So, what is this Goopy Mess in my Sippy Cup?
As you may know, consuming casein gives you a feeling of fullness much quicker and for a significantly longer period of time than most other protein products. That is because casein gels in the stomach during digestion. There are some obvious benefits to this, including a slower release of amino acids into the bloodstream, as well as a feeling of satiation satiety for long periods of time due to casein coagulating due to precipitation by the stomach’s digestive juices.
These levels may cause serum amino acid levels to be increased for upwards of eight hours. One major benefit to this, when compared to other types of protein, is that it helps suppress protein breakdown in skeletal muscle.
Though this type of protein will help reduce prolonged muscle catabolism, it also has its drawbacks. Unlike its cousin Whey, Casein is not as plentiful in BCAAs and supports protein synthesis significantly less.
Calcium Caseinate … The Crap
Calcium Caseinate is produced using the insoluble portion of milk protein and pushing it through a chemical filtration system which produces casein protein. This is the crappier stuff, and therefore, most of the time will be much cheaper, it is heavily processed, more so than micellar casein. The cheapest stuff you can buy when it comes to casein.
Micellar Casein goes through a non-chemical filtration process by separating whey from the insoluble casein in milk. Both will have the same result, and both have the same anti-catabolic effects more so than whey. It all depends on whether you care about the chemical vs non-chemical process of filtration.
Hydrolysis is a method of refinement which breaks casein down into smaller peptides than that which are contained in calcium Caseinate and micellar casein. Casein Hydrolysate is so refined that it acts more like whey during digestion, and is most beneficial immediately after a workout. It is also closest to whey protein when it comes to BCAA content at around 20% of its makeup.
Casein Pudding, Casein Creamer, Casein Gumbo…
Since casein gels and binds, it is used as an emulsifier, assisting fats with maintaining suspension in water-based products. This means that casein could be used for much cooler stuff than whey –
Think about it… protein puddings, coffee creamers, protein ice cream… unflavored casein could also be used to bind together processed meats! Yes, you too can grind your meat into a pulp, shape it into a dinosaur, and make a tasty, high protein meatloaf out of it.
So, what’s better?
If you are looking for sustained digestion of protein while sleeping or just a good protein, micellar casein is just fine. Casein hydrolysate has similar properties to whey; however, you will pay the price for it.
Here’s a common-sense suggestion – Use both. You will find LOTS of choices to meet your goals in mid-December by clicking here. Sign up at our store for 30% off your first order, no obligation, no spam, just discounts!
I prefer whey as an intra- and post-workout supplement, and casein either during the day or at night. I do feel much fuller with casein than whey, and taking straight whey does fly right through me. I am typically on an intermittent fasting cycle, so my casein is taken at the end of my feeding window, which keeps me going until the next day.
Using a combination of both in your supplementation will not only provide you with a quick shot of insulin post workout as well as a flood of BCAAs (with whey), you will also be able to consistently promote protein synthesis throughout the day and at night (with casein), which will better inhibit protein catabolism.
A good carbohydrate supplement coupled with your whey provides an outstanding intra-workout drink. Peri-workout nutrition is simply the concept of strategically consuming nutrition before, during and/or after your workout. Many believe that peri-workout nutrition is a legit concept, some believe that it is complete bullshit.
The key here is the word believe. You must learn what works for your body, and the only way to do that is to test and track. If you don’t know where to start, contact us and follow us! We are all about tracking, measuring and simplifying life!
The China Study Rocked the Boat… and Perhaps Tipped It.
In 2005, The China Study, a compilation of research by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell was published. Basically, a 417-page book based on over 15 years of research. In the book, 367 different variables were analyzed within 65 counties in China, studying over 6,500 adults. The results yielded over 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease.
One primary point of the book was that animal protein, to include dairy protein caused cancer in humans, and ultimately if you’re not only eating plants, you’re going to die.
Fortunately for us carnivores, there were many problems with the study that still allows us to eat our weekly… daily… Frito pies and steak burritos. The assumption was, that based on the book’s conclusion that casein caused cancer in humans, all animal proteins must cause cancer. As a matter of fact, an entire chapter in the book was based on the evils of casein. The study was shown to leave out many details, and overlook several important parts that would allow for a strong conclusion. Pasteurization, low-temperature dehydration, high-temperature spray-drying and fermentation were all
overlooked as factors that could contribute to cancer from the consumption of processed casein. Additionally, the same low-casein diet that protected the rats against aflatoxin-induced cancer dramatically increased the vulnerability of these rats to the acute toxicity of aflatoxin, or that the high-casein diets provided the rats with dramatic protection against cancer when they were fed before or during the aflatoxin dosing rather than after.
There are more articles, blogs and YouTube videos out there on The China Study, probably books sold. Maybe not – but the point is, is that there is A LOT of information
out there post-China Study since 2005.
 Hall, W. L., D. J. Millward, S. J. Long, and L. M. Morgan. “Casein and Whey Exert Different Effects on Plasma Amino Acid Profiles, Gastrointestinal Hormone Secretion and Appetite.” British Journal of Nutrition 89.02 (2003): 239. Web.