Casein – what is it?
Milk and milk products occupy an important place in the diet of a healthy person. According to the principles of healthy nutrition, it is recommended to drink 2 glasses of milk a day, one of which can be replaced by milk products such as milk fermented beverages – kefir, buttermilk yogurt, and cheese. Nowadays, more and more people avoid milk and its products primarily due to the poor tolerance of lactose – milk sugar. At the same time, protein nutrients, including cow’s milk protein, or casein, are gaining in popularity. Why is it worth reaching for it?
Casein – what is it?
Casein is a protein that, together with whey protein, is part of milk and its products. It constitutes about 80% of all proteins found in cow’s milk. On average, this milk contains about 3.4% protein. For example – a glass (240 ml) of cow’s milk provides about 10 g of protein, of which casein will constitute 8 g.
There are five types of casein, they are
Casein is a good quality protein containing all the essential amino acids. To understand the role of casein in the body, pay attention to the importance of protein in the daily diet of man. Protein is the most important and basic building block of the body. It is made of amino acids that are connected by a peptide bond.
Amino acids are divided into
– endogenous, which the body can create itself,
– exogenous, which the body can not synthesize and must be supplied with food,
– semi-organic, which the body can synthesize from other exogenous amino acids.
Exogenous amino acids are essential for the proper functioning of the body. A protein characterized by a rich composition of exogenous amino acids is called a full-blown protein. The source of this protein is food products of animal origin, including milk and its products.
The daily recommended protein dose for a healthy human is 0.8-1 g per kilogram of body weight. However, this is not a fixed value. The need for a protein depends on the state of human health and daily physical activity. Demand for this basic ingredient is increasing in diseases with fever, in the case of the debilitated people, with cancer, pregnant women, during lactation and people training and professional athletes.
Casein – properties
Casein is a source of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium determines the proper condition of bones and teeth, and phosphorus is necessary, among others for its proper absorption. Together with calcium, it participates in the regulation of the bone mineralization process. Also, phosphorus plays a key role in energy changes taking place in the body.
Casein exhibits several positive properties for the human body. Gamma-casein acts immunomodulatory, i.e. it has a specific effect on the immune system. Also, it has anticoagulant and antibacterial properties. Kappa-casein inhibits the attachment of Helicobacter pylori to the gastric mucosa, thus prophylactically preventing peptic ulcer disease.
Casein acts as a carrier of calcium and other micronutrients. It provides a feeling of fullness, which allows you to regulate the intake of meals during the day. What’s more, it increases the energy expenditure by enhancing the processes of thermogenesis in the body. As a good quality protein, it supports muscle synthesis (up to 50%). It has been scientifically proven that a diet with a higher protein content can have a positive effect on body composition by supporting the loss of fat and maintaining a constant level of lean body mass or increasing it.
A recent meta-analysis of 22 clinical trials suggests that increased protein intake in the form of a supplement, e.g. casein protein, increases muscle mass and strength during resistance exercise (strength) in both younger and older people. Casein is characterized by the presence of a large amount of the amino acid glutamine, which prevents the weakening of the body’s immune system. Thanks to the slow release of amino acids into the blood, it protects muscles from the breakdown process that occurs during intensive training.
Casein and slimming
Studies show that people with slight overweight who use a high-protein diet, including casein or whey, lose excess body fat effectively. Casein affects the feeling of satiety, which contributes to weight loss. Dr. Heather J. Leidy – assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition and Physiology of Exercises at the University of Missouri, confirms that casein increases the feeling of satiety because the intake of a protein-rich meal inhibits the activity of areas in the brain that are responsible for appetite.
Casein for the night
Casein is slowly metabolized in the body. It does not dissolve in the acidic environment that prevails in the stomach. It has coagulation properties, thanks to which it forms an insoluble clot that slowly absorbs up to 8 hours. Due to the slow absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, it is recommended for people who consume fewer meals at longer intervals. It eliminates the need to snack between meals.
It is recommended to eat it, especially at night because in the long break between dinner and breakfast provides slowly released amino acids. Therefore, it supports the synthesis of muscle proteins throughout the night. Also, experiments on rats have shown the effect of alpha-casein on improving sleep. It works by modulating a specialized GABAA receptor located in the hypothalamus. It has a relaxing and relaxing effect. Therefore, casein may be useful in the treatment of sleep disorders.
Casein – application
Proper protein supply guarantees to maintain the nitrogen balance in the body. Protein intake in less than the recommended dose may cause muscle breakdown. Protein nutrients, including casein protein (micellar casein or calcium caseinate), are becoming more and more popular.
Casein is supplemented in order
– reduction of body fat with the lowest loss of lean body mass,
– expansion of muscle mass,
– increasing the efficiency of the body.
Supplementation with casein is used mainly in the nutrition of athletes and active people, although people who want to lose weight often reach for it.
Casein – harmfulness
There is a myth that casein is pro-cancerous. However, this is not true. The disadvantage of casein is that it hinders the absorption of iron. Also, beta-casein may contribute to the development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia, and autism.
Casein and allergy
Many people do not eat milk and dairy products due to the undesirable symptoms of the digestive system after ingestion. The sugar-lactose contained in milk is blamed for this. However, it is not always her fault. It is very often a casein allergy. Casein can cause abdominal pain and other adverse gastrointestinal symptoms.
Casein – dosage
Producers of protein supplements with casein recommend the consumption of 90 g of casein protein per day in 3 portions, or 30 g per serving. The single portion should be dissolved in milk or water. On workout days, it is recommended to eat one serving in the morning after waking up, the second portion 1.5 hours after training and the third before bedtime. On non-workout days, it is recommended to eat the first portion of nutrients in the morning after waking up, the second between meals and the third before going to sleep.
Casein – contraindications
Caseins should not be consumed by people who are allergic to cow’s milk and pregnant women. Women during lactation before using it should consult a doctor.
Protein is necessary for constant growth, repair and maintenance of muscle mass at a constant level. Not only an athlete, but every person should take care of the appropriate supply of this ingredient in the diet. It is important to choose a high-quality protein that contains exogenous amino acids, such as casein protein. Casein greatly affects the loss of body fat while protecting muscle mass. It will not only work in the diet of athletes but also in the menu of people training amateur.