Whey Vs. Casein: Which Protein is Better?

Whey Vs. Casein: Which Protein is Better?

People often ask me about the differences between whey and casein protein – and which is better. The truth is, both offer certain advantages and disadvantages.

First things first, both whey and casein are derived from milk. Whey makes up 20% of the protein content found in milk; casein is the other 80%.

The big difference between whey and casein often boils down to digestion. In a nutshell, whey protein is absorbed very quickly by the body. Casein protein, on the other hand, is absorbed slowly – and over a longer period of time.

In a recent study led by Stuart Phillips of McMaster University, researchers examined the effects of absorption time. For one group of participants, 25 grams of whey protein was consumed immediately after a workout. For another group, smaller doses of 2.5 grams were consumed 10x over an extended period of time to simulate the digestion of casein protein. Based on the resulting data, researchers concluded that the 25 gram shot of whey protein was more effective on protein synthesis.

In other words, the researchers found that whey protein is ideal for post-workout consumption. These findings have been supported by numerous other studies.

But that doesn’t mean you should write off casein altogether. Since casein protein is absorbed slowly and doesn’t result in the same spike as whey, it’s great to take during the day (or before bed) as general protein supplementation. It provides your body with a constant stream of protein fuel for an extended period of time.

The bottom line: Both whey and casein provide important benefits; supplementing with both will provide optimal results.

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Comments

  1. Yup!

  2. jamie epps says:

    I also mix in powdered egg white and plasma protein (from bovine serum). The plasma contains some naturally-occurring growth hormones. If you tend to be hyperglycemic (fast metabolism / high insulin, creatine helps a lot with reducing cravings.

  3. christopher says:

    i concur-ive seen both at a health store just yesterday-both are excellent-whey-for the here and now-casein-for the long term-i choose both.

  4. They say ” 10x over an extended period of time to simulate the digestion of casein protein” but digestive speed is not the only difference between whey and casein and so this “simulation” could well be quite inaccurate.

    What the study actually shows is that taking the why in a single shot is better. It may, not may not, tell us something about casein.

  5. What’s your take on the recent research released on the independent study of 3 groups of police officers over 12 weeks. http://xtremestack.com/wtf-is-stacking-anyways-and-whats-the-benefit-for-me/

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  7. That study was done on 8 men…. I really don’t think that you can generalise the findings from one study to say that whey is exclusively the best protein type for post-workout. Just because this effect was seen on 8 healthy males, it doens’t mean this result would be seen on older females for example. Perhaps putting some evidence from larger peer-reviewed clinical trials would be more convincing that 8 healthy guys who do not represent the majority of the population.

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  2. […] Whey Vs. Casein: Which Protein is Better? – In other words, the researchers found that whey protein is ideal for post-workout consumption. These findings have been supported by numerous other studies. But that doesn’t mean you should write off casein altogether. Since casein protein … […]