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Whey Protein or Casein Protein?

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The benefits of protein as part of a bodybuilding diet and via tried and tested bodybuilding supplements are well known – supplements such as whey protein shakes are a firm staple of the muscle-building diet. But recently there has been some debate, and even more confusion surrounding the relative benefits of whey protein and casein protein, with many people not sure which they should be opting for.

The simple answer to this is to say that there are noted benefits to both whey protein and casein protein, due to the different ways that these proteins metabolise in the human body. However, it certainly pays to look a little more closely into the matter.

At root, both proteins share a number of attributes: they are both complex amino acids which are vital for muscle growth. The more effective the proteins consumed, the greater the protein synthesis which outstrips post-workout muscle breakdown and facilitates the creation of new muscle. Basically, muscle breakdown can only happen if the bodybuilder replenishes it with rest and high protein intake.

Of the two kinds, casein protein is seen as a “slow” protein, which is to say that it takes longer to break down into amino acids after consumption and become part of the bloodstream. After consuming casein protein, it takes up to four hours for the body to reach peak protein synthesis and breakdown, meaning that the beneficial aspects of protein synthesis are harder to achieve – but the slower rate of breakdown helps post-workout recovery.

By the same token, whey protein reaches its peak synthesis some five times faster than casein – usually in around 40 minutes. This means that whey protein is just as essential to enable the muscle synthesis that makes up the other side of the bodybuilding equation.

The key to remember when taking both proteins is that they should not be taken together, as they interact with each other and slow down each others’ effects.


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Disclaimer: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult with a physician prior to use. Individual results may vary. Not for use by individuals under 21 years of age.