Whey vs.Casein: Decoding Facts Behind The Research
If you are confused between choosing Whey and Casein, know that you aren’t alone. Today, these two protein supplements dominate the supplement market. Both have significant physiological benefits, especially when it comes to those who undertake weight training. But how do they face up to one another? And which one is the right choice for you? Let us find out!
Whey and Casein are both proteins derived from milk. Both have their own benefits and utility in the supplementation stack of a fitness enthusiast. But neither is without disadvantages either. For most people, it is very difficult to decide which amongst these two makes for a better investment. Whey is the fast digesting protein supplement that is recommended for pre-workout and post-workout nutrition. Casein is the slow digesting protein supplement that is recommended between meals and before bedtime to offer sustained flow of amino acids to recovering and developing muscles. But there is much more than these simple facts when it comes to the epic battle between Whey vs. Casein and today, that is what we are here to decode.
What Exactly Is Whey Protein?
Whey is the remaining part of milk that is left behind after cheese is made. This liquid is removed and purified by using different techniques to create different concentrations of the protein.
The three most common types are:
- Whey concentrates
- Whey isolates
- Hydrolyzed whey powder
When you talk about Bovine milk or cow milk, whey makes about 20% of the proteins, while the remaining 80% protein in cow’s milk is casein. Whey protein is high in BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids, Vitamins and Minerals. Whey Concentrates are ideal for athletes because they have the most bio-available kind of protein components.
What Is Casein Protein?
As mentioned above, Casein makes for 80% of the proteins found in cow’s milk, and is the reason milk is white in color. A complete milk protein, Casein has several biologically active peptides and is also rich in both Phosphorus and Calcium. Casein exists as a Micelle molecule and can form a clot in the stomach. Why is that so interesting? This clot has the ability o digest very slowly, which means that the body is supplied with a steady stream of amino acids and nutrients, and the clot can last inside the stomach for several hours. This promotes a positive Nitrogen balance in the body and increases nitrogen utilization in the muscle tissues.
Whey vs. Casein: What Research Has revealed?
In the last 10 years, a lot of scientific research has been done to study the benefits of both whey and casein supplements. One of the most significant research was done in 1997 by Boirie et al, which revealed that 30grams of Whey and Casein has very different effects. “Following Whey Protein ingestion, the plasma appearance of amino acids is fast, high and transient compared to casein which was absorbed much more slowly, producing a much less dramatic rise in plasma amino acid concentrations”, stated the researchers.
Let us see the impact of this difference in various spheres:
1. Protein Synthesis –
The findings of the study done by Boirie et al revealed that Whey proteins can stimulate protein synthesis by 68% while Casein proteins can only stimulate protein synthesis in the body by 31%. Also, Casein proteins have a higher ‘Net Leucine’ balance when checked post 7 hours of ingestion, whereas Whey protein ingestion showed no such rise in Leucine levels. That means – while whey will result in accelerated protein synthesis, a large chunk of this is used up as fuel. On the other hand, Casein proteins result in better protein accretion in a longer period of time.
2. Composition –
Those both Whey and Casein are complete milk proteins, their amino acid profile as well as composition differs largely. Whey has 21.9g of Glutamine and 11.1g of Leucine per serving, whereas Casein has 11.6g of Glutamine and 8.8g of Leucine per serving. However, it is important to understand that the amino acid composition is not as important as the digestion rate of the protein in the body.
3. Effects On Strength And Mass Gains –
A study done over 12 weeks on overweight police officers revealed that those who supplemented with Casein showed more lean muscle mass and strength gains by the end of the study, as compared to those who supplemented with Whey. Both groups supplemented twice a day. This reveals that over a longer period of time, those who want to lose weight will benefit more from Casein proteins as compared to Whey proteins.
4. What About The Effects On Athletes –
It has been seen that though Whey protein supplementation offer greater protein synthesis in the beginning, over a longer period of time it is Casein proteins that offers a remarkable increase in protein synthesis. All scientist have stated that the difference between the two is based on the different rates with which are absorbed within the human body.
So, Which Is The Right Supplement For You?
All evidence points in one direction – Casein proteins cannot be ignored if one wants substantial muscle and strength gains. However, the benefits of whey proteins can also not be questioned, since the body needs a faster digesting protein supplement in the crucial moments before and after extensive workout. The best way to supplement your diet with adequate proteins that result in accelerated protein synthesis is to use a combination of both. You could either use Whey and Casein differently, or buy a product that offers a ready-made blend of both.
If you want to use Whey proteins for pre-workout and post workout nutrition and use different Casein supplement for between meals and pre-bedtime, try:
- Bodyfuelz 100% Whey protein
- MetRx Ultramyosyn Whey Isolate
- Cytosport Complete Casein
- On Gold Standard 100% Casein
If you want a blend of both Whey and Casein proteins in a single supplement that works 24X7, try:
- Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion Probiotic
- Dymatize Elite XT
- Labrada Lean Body MRP Original