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Do You Really Need to Use Casein Protein Powder to Maximize Your Muscle Building Results?

  Jul 27th, 2011
Casein protein powder has become a protein of choice among many bodybuilders today. I am going to explain the properties that differentiate casein protein from whey protein and break-down the benefits associated with using a casein supplement.

Whey and Casein Protein Comparison

Whey and casein proteins are each complete proteins in the sense that they contain the 8 essential amino acids required for muscle growth. However, casein protein powder contains a much higher concentration of the amino acid, glutamine, which has been shown to prevent the catabolic breakdown and loss of muscle tissue.

Here is a link to my review of glutamine supplements in case you want to know more about this popular supplement:

Glutamine Benefits for Bodybuilders

The main characteristic that separates whey protein from casein protein is the rate at which each is digested.

Whey protein is a fast absorbing protein that is quickly digested by the body. This is why whey protein is an ideal protein source to be consumed before and after weight training when you need to get a quick source of immediately available protein to your muscles when they need it most – during and after training.

Casein protein powder is digested much slower than whey protein and will provide your muscles with usable complete protein for extended periods of time. This can be particularly useful at times when your body will not be provided with usable protein for prolonged periods of time.

It is for this reason that casein protein powder is typically consumed just before going to sleep for the night. Ingesting casein protein an hour or two before bed provides your muscles with protein for as long as 7 or 8 hours throughout the night when the greatest potential for muscle growth exists.

Is Casein Protein Necessary?

While the muscle building benefit of consuming a slow digesting protein before bed is undeniable, casein protein powder is not the only source of slow digesting complete proteins.

Dairy products actually contain a high percentage of casein protein, and when ingested before bed, can be just as beneficial as using a casein protein powder supplement. The protein in milk (and most other dairy products) is made up of approximately 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein. This makes dairy products a great source of casein protein.

I personally have never used casein protein powder supplements. Instead, I like to eat two or three low-fat cheese sticks with a cup of skim milk an hour before bed. This gives my body a good dose of slow digesting protein that is also better at satisfying my hunger than a casein protein shake.

That being said, I 100% endorse the use of casein protein powder supplements before bed as a way to get a fast and convenient source of slow digesting complete protein to feed your muscles throughout all hours of the night. If you prefer drinking a quick casein protein shake before bed, by all means, get yourself some casein protein.

The most important thing is that you are supplying your body with slow digesting protein before bed – whether it is in the form of food, or your favorite casein protein powder.

If you need to buy casein protein powder, bodybuilding.com will be the cheapest place to buy casein protein online and is where I buy all of my supplements.



 

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