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Caseinate Protein (casein)


Casein is also a milk derived protein and comes in various forms including calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, and micellar casein.  Casein has a reputation for being the “anti-catabolic” protein and has some advantages over whey.  First, casein is absorbed more slowly and can provide a sustained release of amino acids into the blood stream over a longer period of time.  It forms a gel in the stomach and the amino acids are extracted more slowly and may be better absorbed over the long run.  There are a few good studies that confirm the benefits of casein over whey including the famous Boire study which showed casein’s powerful ability to reduce muscle breakdown and increase protein synthesis and a more recent study in police officers which showed   

that the special casein group lost more body fat, gained more lean muscle mass, and had greater strength increases than the whey protein group.  The authors of the study attributed it to the anti-catabolic effects of the peptides (chains of amino acids) found naturally in casein.  Peptides are absorbed better than amino acids due to peptide transport systems in the gut.  “Casein is definitely making a comeback due to its anti-catabolic and hunger reducing effects” says Andrich. 


BENEFITS: It is more slowly absorbed so there is a longer release of amino acids into the bloodstream and it has a very high glutamine content (especially in the better absorbed peptide form).  Micellar casein which is undenatured (not heat treated) contains some milk fractions which can boost immune function and increase growth factors in the body. 


DOWNSIDES: Casein does have a higher lactose and sodium content so water retention and some stomach discomfort could result. 


BEST USES: As a pre-bed time drink to lower muscle breakdown during sleep or for breakfast to provide a steady stream of amino acids in the morning. 



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