What is Casein Protein? – Ultimate Casein Protein Guide

In the highly competitive world of sports supplementation, there’s one supplement that reigns supreme. That supplement is whey protein. Whilst whey grabs all of the headlines and gets all of the attention, there’s another equally as beneficial protein hiding in the shadows. That protein is casein. Casein is like the Batman of the supplement world. It’s there to help and do good, not to gain credit or recognition.

Casein simply does what it is designed to do. But what is casein protein and what exactly is it designed to do? If you are into your training and are looking to build muscle, if your supplement stack doesn’t contain casein protein, you may wish to rectify this ASAP. Here is the ultimate guide to casein.

What is casein protein?

Casein protein is a highly-beneficial yet vastly underrated protein supplement. Just like whey, it too is derived from cow’s milk. In fact, of the total protein content found in milk, casein makes up roughly 80%. The final 20% comes from whey. It provides the exact same amino acid profile as whey protein, yet it behaves very differently in the body.

When enzymes are added to milk to cause it to split, it separates into solid curds, and liquid whey. The solid curds are where the casein protein is found. It has a thicker, more gelatinous structure, which means that, once processed and filtered into a protein powder, it is absorbed differently to whey. Whey is a fast-absorbing protein whereas casein is absorbed much slower.

Why use casein when you already have whey?

A lot of people tend to favour whey protein over casein, and as they are already using one protein supplement, surely, they don’t need to use another as well? Well, actually they do. You see, casein behaves very differently in the body when compared with whey.

Whey is a rapid-absorbing protein that quickly enters the cells in your muscles after being consumed. While beneficial at certain times, it does mean that the protein is used up very quickly. Casein on the other hand, is a slow-digesting protein, so it is absorbed at a much more lethargic pace. This is very beneficial at certain times of the day, and the night. You see, without proteins and the amino acids making up the proteins, your body goes from being in an anabolic (muscle building) environment to a catabolic environment. When your body is catabolic, your body actually breaks down its own muscle tissues for fuel when no other energy is available.

This is why people drink a casein protein before bed. This slow-release protein provides a slow and gradual release of proteins and amino acids as you sleep, helping to stave off muscle catabolism and ensuring you remain in an anabolic environment. To cut a long story short, casein provides a trickle of proteins and amino acids for your muscles when you sleep, or simply during long durations where you don’t have access to whole foods and proteins. A whey protein shake before bed would be used by the body at a much quicker rate, which is why casein is preferred in these instances.

Creatine and Muscle Building – Your Secret Weapon for Muscle Growth

Whatever your health and fitness goals may be, it never hurts to get a little help from someone, or something, now and then. This is why bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness fanatics in general, spend so much of their hard-earned cash on supplements.

The supplement industry is worth billions, and with so many great supplements out there, proven to work time and time again, you can understand why. Creatine for example, is a staple ingredient in many bodybuilder’s and athlete’s supplement stacks. It’s the second most-popular sports supplement in the world and after you familiarize yourself with what it is and how it works, you’ll know precisely why that is. Here’s a look at creatine and muscle building.

What is creatine?

No, creatine isn’t a steroid before anybody starts. Nor is it a protein as some people wrongly believe. Creatine is a natural organic compound. It’s so natural in fact, that we have creatine in our own bodies. That’s right, creatine is a nitrogenous compound which is produced within our livers. It is also present in foods like meat and fish. As it is nitrogenous, it contains nitrogen, along with being comprised of 3 individual amino acids: Arginine, Methionine, and Glycine. In our bodies, we store 95% of our creatine in our skeletal muscles. Here it is present as creatine phosphate, and can serve as a donor for this phosphate molecule to help promote and enhance energy and athletic performance.

How does creatine work?

Creatine is popular with bodybuilders and is considered by many to be the secrete weapon for muscle growth. Creatine doesn’t build muscle in the same way as protein does however. Creatine actually helps to increase your energy levels so that you can become more efficient and productive in the gym as you pump iron. Creatine works by increasing natural ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) productions. ATP is a primary energy source for muscle cells. In our bodies, creatine is stored as creatine phosphate.

When it steps into action, creatine donates its phosphate molecule. As we exercise, ATP is quickly used up and broken down into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). When this occurs, it loses a phosphate molecule and its ability to power your cells. Creatine however, sees this and steps in. Selflessly, it donates a phosphate molecule, allowing ADP to once again become ATP. Now, your muscle cells once again have access to more energy. More energy for them means that your muscles can perform to a higher standard and can work harder, and for longer durations of time.

Why use creatine?

Basically, the average individual stores around 120g of creatine. Despite this, we have the ability to store as much as 160g. Increasing the amount of creatine we store means that our muscle cells can generate more energy.

This enables the muscles to work harder, to generate more power, and to work for longer durations of time before fatigue sets in. Creatine also helps to buffer lactic acid productions. All of this combined means that your workouts become more productive, and the more productive they become, the more muscle you will generally be building.

3 Benefits of Whey Protein Powders

These days, it seems as if the average 18 – 35-year old is obsessed with chasing the ‘gains’ as they call it. More and more young adults are now spending more time in the gym than ever before, and generally that’s a very good thing. If you’re looking to bulk up, fill out your Gym Shark vest and take some seriously impressive gym selfies for social media, it’s vital that you choose the correct supplement stack. Assuming that your diet and training are both on point, the next logical step is to consider supplements. No bodybuilder will buy supplements and not first choose a protein supplement, and it just so happens that whey protein is the most popular supplement of all. But what is it about whey protein that makes it so beneficial? Let’s find out, as we’ll now be looking at 3 benefits of whey protein powders.

Muscle growth and recovery

Bodybuilders consume more protein than the average person. They do this because protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. But why? Well, when we lift weights in the gym, we are actually destroying our muscles and wearing them down.

With each rep we are placing the muscles under pressure and causing microscopic rips and tears in the tissue. We build muscle in a state of recovery, as the body tries to rebuild the muscle tissue to be bigger and stronger than it once was. It does this via a process known as protein synthesis. In order for protein synthesis to occur however, the body needs protein and the amino acids making up protein molecules. Using a protein powder supplement is a great way to give your body the materials it needs to recover.

Fast-absorbing

After training, protein and glycogen levels in the muscle cells are extremely low, if not empty. They have also expanded slightly so they can actually temporarily absorb more nutrients. Your muscles are at their most vulnerable after a workout, which is why it’s so important to drink a post-workout protein shake.

Whey protein is the perfect post-workout supplement because it is fast digesting and is rapidly absorbed. This means you can give your muscles what they need in record time. Some bodybuilders will even drink their shakes with added dextrose sugar, to create an insulin spike to help force more of the proteins and amino acids into the cells even quicker.

Convenient

Finally, the last reason why whey protein supplements are considered so popular is because they are so convenient. One shake provides around 35g – 40g of protein per serving. To get that much protein from food would require you to consume a large meal.

That’s all well and good at some points in the day, but at other times we don’t have the time nor the motivation to eat yet another plate of chicken and broccoli. This is where a protein shake is so ideal. Simply add to mix or water, mix or blend, and enjoy. It really is as simple as that.

10 Reasons to Eat More Protein – Backed by Science

10 Reasons to Eat More Protein – Backed by Science

There are all kinds of weird and wonderful diet plans out there. Some are high in fats and low in carbs, whilst others are low in fats but high in carbs. In terms of importance however, one macronutrient has proven to be very beneficial for our health and well-being, and that macro is protein.

Protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, and for cellular health and function, but are we getting enough? If your diet is considerably lacking in protein, you could wind up paying the price later down the line. Here are 10 reasons to eat more protein, all of which are backed by science.

1) Reduced hunger and cravings

One thing that people fail to realise about protein, is the fact that it actually helps to suppress your appetite and can therefore help curb cravings for junk. Protein is a thermogenic macronutrient, which means that it actually boosts the metabolism and burns off more calories as it digests. The reason why it suppresses hunger is the fact that the body finds it much harder to digest it and break it down. It therefore stays in your stomach for longer, which in turn means that you feel full for longer. The science behind this comes due to the fact that protein helps to suppress ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone, while promoting an increase in hormones responsible for satiety.

2) Build muscle and strength

Bodybuilders don’t follow high protein diets because they like the taste of plain chicken breasts. They consume so much protein because protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Protein promotes an increase in protein synthesis, which is a natural process in the body, whereby your body synthesizes new muscle proteins. Without adequate amounts of this macro, protein synthesis would not occur. Therefore, if muscle growth and strength are on your agenda, protein is a must.

3) Assists with weight loss

Okay, we’ve looked at how protein can suppress hunger and reduce cravings, but now we’ll look at how this will promote weight loss. It’s actually very simple. As protein keeps you feeling full for longer, you are likely to consume fewer calories. Fewer calories being consumed will make it easier to achieve a caloric deficit. On top of that, protein also suppresses the appetite by reducing the amounts of ghrelin you produce. Less of this hormone means less hunger. Protein also promotes lean muscle tissue. To maintain itself, lean muscle requires more calories for maintenance, so the metabolism is forced to increase. Roll all of this together and you can see why protein is so ideal for people looking to drop a few pounds.

4) Protein strengthens the bones

Protein, contrary to what some believe, is not bad for the bones. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Protein actually helps to strengthen the bones. Protein helps to increase bone strength and bone density and can therefore assist with conditions such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease.

5) Protein reduces blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the biggest killers in the world. What’s more, it’s especially dangerous because it is so tough to detect. This is why it’s known as the silent killer. Hypertension can be a precursor for all kinds of ailments and medical conditions including: heart disease, heart attack, strokes, renal failure, and more. High protein diets however, have been found to help reduce blood pressure levels and can reduce other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including LDL cholesterol levels.

6) Protein can boost the metabolism

By now, you’ve learnt how protein is able to boost the metabolism, buy why is that so important? Well, to begin with, by boosting the metabolism you will find it easier to lose weight as you will consume fewer calories. The less calories you consume, the less-likely you will be to gain weight. Having a fast metabolism is also important however, as it will help to keep your energy levels high. High energy levels will help you out in the gym, and in everyday life, and will make life that much easier and you more productive.

7) Protein assists with recovery

After working out in the gym, you will often find that your muscles are sore, stiff, and aching. This is because you have literally caused damage to them. We rebuild muscle when we recover, via protein synthesis. Protein can therefore help initiate the post-workout recovery process. On top of that, protein can also help your body to repair itself in other ways. If you have picked up an injury, protein will help you to recover much faster. This is because protein basically makes up the building blocks of all of your body’s tissues and major organs. Protein is vital for cellular function and repair, and as we ourselves are made up of cells, that alone should prove just how beneficial protein can be.

8) Protein is not bad for healthy kidneys

One reason why a lot of people stay clear of high protein diets is because there is a common misconception that high protein diets are bad for the kidneys. There is some truth to this myth, as high protein intakes have been found to cause slight damage to unhealthy kidneys. As far as healthy kidneys are concerned however, high protein diets are perfectly safe, as long as you don’t take things too extreme.

9) Protein helps promote longevity

As we grow older, our bodies and our minds begin to slow down and deteriorate. They fail to work as effectively as they once did, which is why it’s so important to look after ourselves as we age. Protein and the amino acids that make up the protein molecules not only help to prevent age-related muscular atrophy, but they also help to boost cognitive health and function, making this macro ideal for the brain.

10) Protein is versatile

Finally, the last reason to eat more protein is because there are so many different varieties to choose from. There are various types of meat, fish, and seafood. There are eggs, there’s dairy, and there are even plenty of plant-based protein sources. Combine this with the many protein supplements out there to choose from, and getting enough protein as part of your everyday diet could not be easier.

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