Casein or whey protein – advantages and disadvantages everyone should know


Protein, along with carbohydrates and fats, is a macronutrient that forms the basis of any diet. There are several types of proteins, however, the most known and most commonly used are casein protein and whey protein. There is a lot of controversy on a subject that is better. Each of them has unique advantages. Below is information that directly compares casein and whey protein.


Casein protein

Casein protein, colloquially also called casein, is of dairy origin. It constitutes about 80% of proteins found in milk. Although casein is a dairy product, it has little to do with lactose, so people with intolerance to this sugar have no reason to worry. The main feature of casein protein is its insolubility in an acidic environment, i.e. as it occurs in the stomach. Thanks to its coagulation properties, a clot forms which slowly absorbs. This ensures constant access of amino acids to the body, lasting up to 8 hours.



The advantages of using casein

The use of casein-containing products has many benefits. It supports the synthesis of muscle proteins by providing a constant rate of amino acid absorption. Casein protein is rich in calcium, thanks to which it positively influences the loss of fat tissue and bone health. During long-term absorption may affect the appetite suppression, as well as prolong the anti-catabolic effect.


Disadvantages of using casein

Excess casein can lead to allergies. Particularly cautious should be people with hypersensitivity to dairy products and suffering from chronic indigestion. Even in healthy people, using too much casein can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, as well as digestive disorders.


When is best to use casein?

Considering the longer digestion of casein, it is an excellent protein when the body has a fairly large break between meals, which will ensure a constant supply of amino acids to the blood. The same applies to the break between dinner and breakfast.


Sources and types of casein protein

The main source of casein protein is milk and protein supplements, such as casein hydrolyzate or micelline casein. The first of these is also called a protein hydrolyzate, which has a faster rate of absorption. The other is an unprocessed, full-form protein with good taste. It is thanks to it that clots in the stomach form, which cause slow and constant release of amino acids into the small intestine, and then their absorption into the bloodstream.


Whey protein

Whey protein is the most popular protein component that is obtained from milk through ion exchange or as a result of a process called microfiltration. Whey, due to its high biological activity, is relatively quickly digested and absorbed.


The advantages of using whey protein

Whey protein contains a large number of BCAA amino acids, i.e. having branched chains, which have the effect of reducing the rate of breakdown of muscle proteins during very intense workouts, as well as immediately after their completion. In addition, it increases the production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which is a powerful hormone with anabolic and anti-catabolic effects. The greatest advantage of using whey protein is to restore muscle tissue and provide the appropriate pool of amino acids at a fairly rapid pace.


Disadvantages of using whey protein

As for the side effects of using whey protein, they are the same as when using casein. In appropriate portions, no ailments should occur in people who do not have digestive problems.


When is best to use whey protein?

Considering the fast rate of digestion and absorption, whey protein is recommended in the okotinning period, or as a meal supplement.


Sources and types of whey protein

Milk and its preserves are an excellent source of whey. Like casein, whey is available as a protein supplement. We distinguish three types of whey protein concentrate (WPC), whey protein isolate (WPI) and whey protein hydrolyzate (WPH). The first one contains about 80% protein, the other is almost pure protein, while the third one has an additional important property – it has greater absorbability.


Casein vs. whey protein

By juxtaposing the above proteins, it can be stated that both casein and whey are very important sources of this macronutrient, and their use depends on the purpose for which we want to use them.

Studies have shown that the level of leucine in the blood reached its peak after 1 hour from the intake of both casein and whey protein. However, whey protein contributed to the fact that the leucine level reached a higher level and returned to normal after 4 hours. However, after consumption of casein, the level of leucine reached a lower peak, but did not return to the level of “zero”, before 7 hours.

Another study showed that whey protein increases protein synthesis (after protein synthesis at 68% was stimulated by whey protein), but does not affect the protein distribution. Casein, on the other hand, reduced the breakdown of proteins (protein breakdown was 34% lower after consumption of casein), but it did not affect their synthesis.

In conclusion, if the body will have a fairly large break between meals, it is worth using casein protein, which will ensure a constant supply of amino acids to the blood. The same applies to the use of protein overnight. However, when it is necessary to quickly provide this macroelectric component, e.g. in the okotinning period, whey protein should be used

Posted on: October 25, 2018

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