Casein a Better Muscle Builder Than Whey…
The Safe Whey
“Oh no,” you say, “not my beloved and coveted whey protein…the holy grail of all proteins!”
Don’t worry; your whey protein is still safe in the muscle-building hall of fame, but take a closer look at casein (specifically micellar casein) and a good argument could be made that it is a better all-around muscle builder than whey.
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese manufacturing, and before the miracle of its amino acid properties was discovered you could find whey flowing down the waste pipes of the manufacturing process. Whey – in concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate forms – is a fast-digesting source of amino acids. It’s this fast breakdown of amino acids and a rich concentration of Leucine that leaves us clamoring for a whey shake after a workout. How, then, do we make a compelling argument for casein to reign supreme as a top muscle builder?
What is Casein?
For starters, casein is not a byproduct; it is produced directly from milk. The more sophisticated “micellar” version of casein has a natural spherical structure and is made from all five casein milk proteins (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and kappa). Remove just one of these proteins and the micelle of the casein is destroyed. It is these five proteins or structures that give micellar casein its extremely high level of bioactivity in the body.
The clumping characteristic of micellar casein means it gives a gradual release of amino acids and high levels of Leucine. This leads to extended periods of protein syntheses and high levels of nitrogen retention. This extended delivery is extremely anti-catabolic, making it not just a good muscle builder but an excellent muscle preserver. Think of your muscles like your money…a muscle saved is a muscle earned!
Two Birds One Stone
The takeaway…. Keep taking your whey after workouts, but consider adding some micellar casein along with some fast-acting carbohydrates to take advantage of their combined qualities. Rotate the proteins you use both in diet and supplement form for the best results. For long periods between meals during the day, and especially at night, make micellar casein your new muscle-building buddy.
What’s the difference between Cottage Cheese and Casein?
Driven Nutrition’s Jason Rule digs into a couple of surface-level differences of Cottage Cheese.