Casein protein supplementation is quickly becoming a regular feature in the kitchen cupboard. If not a bespoke powder then the concept of mixing a whey protein with milk (80% casein), to provide a slow releasing protein, particularly useful at night time, during the overnight fast. But what is it about Casein that is worth considering?
Protein Quality - Which protein should I use?
Read our article for more information on MaxiNutrition (Formerly Maximuscle) protein, read now.
Biological Value (BV)
BV is a measurement of the quality of protein based on nitrogen balance. Essentially the BV is a measurement of how efficient the body utilises the particular protein as a percentage against whole egg at 100. A food with a high score delivers a high supply of essential amino acids. BV is an understanding of a source of protein but fails to take into account the interaction between other foods and the digestibility.
Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS)
PDCAAS is the most accepted method of measuring the protein value in nutrition. The PDCAAS simply compares the known reference score of the amino acids and corrected it for true faecal digestibility (a score of 1.0 is a good score).
What Is Casein?
Casein is the majority component found in bovine (cows) milk accounting for approximately 80% of the protein in milk and is responsible for the white colouring of milk. Similar to whey, casein is a complete protein with a high PDCAAS of 1.23 (truncated to 1.0). Casein in milk is formed as micelle and therefore due to this construct forms a clot in the stomach. This clot is an effective nutrient provider with a slow release of amino acids into the blood stream.
Research by Van Loon et al. (2012) was the first study to show that casein absorption immediately prior to sleep is an effective way to stimulate protein synthesis and improving whole-body protein balance during sleep. More recently (2017) the ISSMC released a nutrient timing position stand, in which highlights the benefit of consuming 30-40g of casein 30 minutes before bed may increase muscle protein synthesis, improve strength and muscle hypertrophy. It's worth noting that is slightly different than the recommended 0.25 - 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight every three to four hours. As an example, an 80kg individual should consume 20 - 32g (0.25-0.4g/kg/BW) of protein every 3-4 hours, but the pre-bed protein should be 30-40g of Casein.
All dairy contains casein, so you don't have to just stick with milk, yoghurt is a good alternative and for added convenience try MaxiNutrition (Formerly Maximuscle) Micellar Casein, it comes in two great flavours: Chocolate Caramel and Chocolate Mint. For more information click here.
Kerksick, C. M., Arent, S., Schoenfeld, B. J., Stout, J. R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C. D., ... & Willoughby, D. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), 33. Res, P. T., Groen, B., Pennings, B., Beelen, M., Wallis, G. A., Gijsen, A. P., ... & Van Loon, L. J. (2012). Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44(8), 1560-1569.