Archive for the tag - casein

When is the Best Time to Take Protein Supplements?

Last week, I wrote about the best type of protein to take before going to sleep for the night. After posting the article, I received a number of emails from exercise enthusiasts who didn’t realize the importance of consuming protein before bed. With that in mind, today’s post will cover the four times (including before bed) when protein consumption is most often recommended.

Obviously, protein requirements vary greatly from person to person. So, first things first, it’s important to calculate your daily protein requirements. For some people with high protein diets or lower protein needs, protein supplementation in the form of powders and shakes may be less important. For others, it can be crucial for success.

1. First Thing in the Morning

When you wake up, your body is in a catabolic state and hasn’t received proper nutrition for a good eight hours. It needs protein, and it needs protein quickly. I usually opt for a whey protein shake because the protein is absorbed quickly by the body. Just like brushing my teeth and flossing, protein consumption is part of my morning routine.

2. Before Your Workout

Some trainers recommend protein consumption 30 minutes before exercise. This will set up your “anabolic window” to help repair and rebuild the damage done during lifting. Again, a fast-acting whey protein works well here.

3. After Your Workout

After exercise is the most important time to consume protein. If you only take one protein supplement a day, this is the time to take it. Research has shown that sooner is better, so you may even want to take your protein powder or shake to the gym. Whey protein, due to its fast absorption, is the best choice.

4. Before Bed

Because your body will essentially be fasting during sleep, it’s important to consume a protein that’s slow to absorb. Before going to bed, I recommend casein protein because it takes 5 – 8 hours to fully breakdown.

Obviously, protein supplements are really just that – they supplement the protein that we get through a proper diet. The extent to which you’ll need to supplement depends on your fitness regime and diet, so just use this advice as a general guideline.

And, keep in mind that more protein isn’t always better! Too much protein can result in weight gain, kidney problems and even heart disease. So don’t overdo it!

Which Protein is Best to Take at Night?

Muscles like these need are built by protein - but not all protein sources and supplements are created equal.

We know that protein is essential for muscle growth – and that not all types of protein are created equal. If you go to a nutrition store, you’ll see protein supplement varieties including whey concentrate, whey isolates, casein, soy, etc. Moreover, protein can be found naturally in foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and more.

So, which type of protein is best to take at night or before bed?

Each type of protein has it’s advantages. For example, whey isolates are a good value and very quick to be absorbed by the body. For this reason, they’re a great post-workout protein source when your body needs nutrients quickly. But when considering a protein to consume before bed, you’ll want something that will be absorbed slowly throughout the night.

Casein protein is the best slow-digesting protein – and it’s the perfect protein supplement to take before bed. Since casein takes anywhere from 5 – 8 hours to fully breakdown, you’ll fuel your body and your muscles throughout the night. Casein is derived from milk, so it may not be suitable for individuals with lactose sensitivities – and it’s not vegan.

Most bodybuilders or athletes get their casein as a powdered protein from nutrition stores. But, if you prefer, casein can be found naturally in foods like milk, cheese and cottage cheese. A single cup of cottage cheese, for example, can have 30 grams of protein – and much of it is casein.

Keep in mind, you can slow the absorption of non-casein proteins by combining them with foods that are slow to digest. Foods that are rich in fat or fiber take much longer to digest. Making a peanut-butter and soy protein/soy milk shake, for example, will result in a suitable nighttime alternative for vegans or people with lactose sensitivities.

The bottom line: When it comes to nighttime protein consumption, casein is king.

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.