Which is the best protein powder amongst casein and whey? Though this is a simple question, it surely does not have a simple answer. While whey protein digests fast, thereby emptying the stomach quickly causing an increase in plasma amino acids, casein, on the other hand, is insoluble and hence, forms structures that increase solubility in water.
Both whey protein and casein are obtained from dairy products, particularly milk and cheese, are extremely useful for fat loss, weight loss, and bodybuilding. Just like any other thing that has its respective pros and cons, so do have casein and whey protein.
Although whey powder is the first choice amongst most bodybuilders, casein, too, provides various benefits, though it has earned a bad reputation for itself. So, which of the two is better? Read on to know the difference between whey protein and casein.
- Whey protein is extracted from the liquid whey of cheese and casein, derived from milk, during its manufacturing. Sweet whey and sour whey are two types of whey protein. Sour whey is obtained while making acidic types of cheeses, while sweet whey is procured during the process of sweet cheese making.
- Casein is a phosphor protein, constituting mainly of salt and calcium. It contains praline peptides in a high percentage and has poor water solubility property. It is popular for its excellent amino acid content, slow digestion, and anti-catabolic effect.
- Whey protein constitutes 20% of total milk proteins while casein forms the remaining 80% milk protein content.
- Whey protein is a fast-acting protein, while casein is a slow-acting protein. This means that whey protein is digested, absorbed, and amino acids are distributed throughout the blood quickly and very efficiently, compared to casein which shows slow effects.
- Whey protein is largely used for bodybuilding due to its immediate effects on promoting the synthesis of the muscles. But the effects are not long-lasting, with just about 1 hour. On contrary, casein lasts up to 7 hours, thereby known for its last-longing effects.
- Whey protein is taken in the morning, usually after workouts to acquire the most of its benefits and enhance muscle growth. Casein, on the other hand, is taken before bedtime. Since no food is consumed during sleep, the body is likely to break the available protein. As such, casein stops this breakdown, thereby keeping the muscle-building process continuous.
- Due to its extreme slow digestion process, casein leads to several side effects, such as decreased calcium levels in women, indigestion, stomach ache, elevated nitrogen levels, stomach cramps, and casein allergy symptoms like hives, eczema, runny nose, and loss of appetite. Alternatively, over-consumption of whey protein causes severe adverse effects, including liver diseases, liver failure, kidney diseases, kidney failure, osteoporosis, and symptoms similar to those of lactose intolerance.
When used in the right combination, whey protein and casein complement each other. The short-lasting effects of whey protein are useful for protein synthesis while casein’s long-lasting effects are perfect for maintaining this protein synthesis by preventing the breakdown.