The best thing you can have in life is the possibility of making a choice. If you are allowed to choose, it will take you somewhere where you will fulfill your other needs. When this almost philosophical question is applied in the field of physical exercise, the choice is usually two-sided – whey or casein.
Same nest, different natures
Both of these proteins are derived from milk. They are produced as by-products of the production of cheese. Also, both of them can play an important role in building muscles and helping your body showcase the results of hard work in the gym or on the track. However, they differ substantially by their nature and the pace at which they are digested. The whey protein is a sprinter, like Carl Lewis, and is ingested very quickly, but it is also short-lived. On the other hand, the process of breaking down casein is a long-run one, like the efforts of Abebe Bikila. The great thing is that these two proteins can have a complimentary function to simultaneously help you build your muscle mass.
Fast runner – whey protein
The whey protein is quickly absorbed and digested, which means that this protein passes through our stomach very fast and swiftly finds its way to our muscle tissue. Also, it carries a large amount of the leucine amino acid. This compound is a strong igniter of protein synthesis. So, it gives our muscle a dope-like effect of short-lived but efficient fill of amino acids. As a result of such a nature of the whey protein, muscles blossom and flourish and grow very fast. However, speed is not everything we need.
Patient runner – casein
The ratio of proteins derived from milk is about 80%-20% in favor of casein. It usually takes a gelatinous form during the milk processing operation. The peptides and the special casein structures called micelles which have a pretty high solubility in water. Thanks to that, casein is digested at a slower pace, giving our body a substantial and regular influx over a period of time. A marathon runner needs to save energy and spend it in small chunks to be able to endure the whole race. That is how casein behaves. Even a few hours after you have taken casein, the level of amino acids in the blood will remain quite high, which helps sustaining a balance of amino acids in the body.
How to use them
If possible, casein has the best effect when taken in form of supplement before you go to sleep. A measure of casein protein powder helps creating anti-anabolic surroundings, which will have a beneficial effect on the level of amino acids in the body. On the other hand, you can mix these two protein supplements in the natural ratio (80-20 in favor of casein) in a glass of milk and have a double effect. It should be taken an hour before your training and immediately after it. The whey protein will give an immediate injection of amino acids to the muscles and casein will secure the balanced level of amino acids in the blood for the next few hours. Of course, they can also be used separately, to examine their individual effect on your body during the process of physical exercise.