Body Building Resources

Is Casein Protein Good For Building Muscle?

Whey protein is the most talked-about protein in the bodybuilding industry but what about casein protein? Milk contains 80% casein and 20% whey and during the cheese making process, casein is extracted. Casein protein does not get the attention it fully deserves but the truth is it's one of the most effective protein you can use for several reasons:

Slow-Digesting Protein

As compared to whey which is a fast-acting protein, casein is a slow-digesting protein meaning it can feed your muscles gradually and slowly within a long period of time talk about 6+ hours. Casein is not ideal pre-workout or post-workout and the best time to take it is at night before bed. This is the time when your muscles will be without food for several hours and casein protein will provide a sustained release of amino acids to your muscles keeping your body anabolic that is building muscle.

Anti-Catabolic Effect

Due to its slow digestion and absorption rate, casein protein keeps your body into an anabolic mode and prevents muscle breakdown, hence it offers an anti-catabolic effect. In particular for bodybuilders, maintaining muscle mass is important and fueling your muscles with time released protein like casein does the job really well.

High Protein

Casein contains a lot of protein. A ½ cup of dry curd cottage cheese(120 grams) which is rich in casein has about 18 grams of protein. Casein protein supplements are also convenient and handy. Just before bed, simply use 1-2 scoops of casein protein powder mixed with some skim milk and you have a high-protein and satiating low-calorie meal which can keep hunger pangs at bay. 1 scoop of casein powder can give about 24 grams of protein.

Muscle-Building Amino Acids

Casein protein contains branched chain amino acids(BCAAs) like Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine and these 3 important amino acids play a key role in protein synthesis by activating key enzymes which are vital for protein synthesis and a more effective protein synthesis results in better muscle gains. BCAAs also prevent muscle catabolism and ignite muscle recovery.

Another important amino acid casein protein contains is glutamine which is the most abundant amino acid found in the human body. Glutamine also stimulates protein synthesis and reduces muscle breakdown. While naturally found in the body, glutamine levels become depleted after intense exercise, this is why proper glutamine supplementation is important to replenish your depleted glutamine stores. Glutamine has been found to be effective in boosting your natural growth hormones, hence it can increase muscle mass.

Meal Replacement

Casein protein, notably casein supplements are convenient and handy and can be used as meal replacement so you don't miss an important meal incase you're busy. It's easy and fast to make a casein protein shake.

If you're looking for casein supplements, I highly recommend Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Natural 100% Casein. Packed with 24 grams of high-quality all-micellar casein protein with no artificial sweeteners, 140 calories per serving, 4 grams of sugar, 9.6 grams essential amino acids and nearly 5 grams of BCAAs and glutamine, this is simply a winner. The French Vanilla flavor is pretty good. In place of artificial flavors, honey powder, cane juice and stevia are used. What I like about this supplement is it's not overly sweet, goes easy on the stomach and it's all natural so if you're health-conscious like me, this supplement is definitely for you.

Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein, French Vanilla, 4 Pound

Other highly recommended natural casein proteins are hands down Naked Nutrition and Muscle Feast.

NAKED CASEIN - 100% Micellar Casein from US Farms - 5lb Bulk

Pure micellar casein, naturally sweetened and come with flavors and no flavor.

Micellar Casein - 4lbs (Unflavored)

Pure micellar casein, unsweetened and unflavored.

Hardcore Micellar Casein - 4lbs

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