As a dairy protein, Casein offers amazing health benefits of essential amino acids and calcium for building and sustaining muscle development. Our bodies produce some amino acids, not the essential amino acids needed in our daily food diet. The amino acids remain in our body for up to eight hours helping to build muscle. Maintaining our muscles keeps our metabolism healthy and us active. Getting enough protein is important to our body.
Casein is a milk protein and available in foods and protein powders. Eighty percent of the protein found in cow’s milk is Casein. Twenty to forty percent of protein found in human breast milk is Casein. A third source of Casein with more protein than cow or goat milk is raw sheep’s milk. There are health precautions of E.coli with raw milk. You will find processed food products made from sheep’s milk.
Even with today’s health awareness, individuals suffer from protein deficiencies for different reasons. Some prefer meatless or low calorie diets while bodybuilding enthusiasts exhaust the body’s amount of protein during workouts.
Using Casein protein in addition to food makes a difference in balancing the amount of protein needed to get through the day and night. The lack of protein does have side effects leading to medical conditions.
7 Benefits of Casein Protein
Animal protein products are considered the most valuable food protein. Casein is considered an animal protein to help our muscles convert energy into physical movement. Our entire body is reliant on muscular motion. Think about the body functions and basic tasks we do throughout the day—walking, using our hands or voice. Each of them needs our muscles to happen. Our muscles rely on foods like Casein protein to trigger our metabolic processes that keep us in shape.
Maybe the greatest benefit of Casein is its slow conversion rate helping to keep the amino acids in the bloodstream longer; increasing the rate and extent of muscle repair, recovery and building. It’s obvious why Casein is being added to diets:
1. Helping to Build New Muscles
Protein is a vital nutrient for muscles and bones. Because our bodies do not store protein, it depends on our diet for a steady supply. The key is managing the amount of protein ingested and the resources to make sure our daily requirements are satisfied. Something to keep in mind, protein does not build muscles—they develop through exercise.
2. Supporting Lean Muscle Tissue Growth
Your health routing is essential to changing and strengthening your body’s shape. Our muscles are made of over twenty-five percent of protein. The other seventy-five percent is water and stored glycogen. Consuming the proper amount of protein maintains lean mass to support muscle growth. The daily-recommended allowance for protein is 0.36 per pound of bodyweight according to the American Dietetic Association.
3. Repairing Muscle Fibers
Muscles differ from our bones for healing because muscles are soft tissues and need collagen to repair and heal itself. Our body use amino acids from Casein protein to make collagen. Scar tissue is weaker and easily damaged again; it is important to allow the nutrients from protein to repair the muscle fibers when the muscles are inactive.
4. Restores Nitrogen Balance during Muscle Recovery
Our bodies need nitrogen to make proteins in our muscles, skin and DNA. Casein protein delivers nitrogen through the amino acids. Tissue growth, cell replacement and repairs depend on nitrogen for a full recovery.
5. Protects and Preserves Existing Muscle
The human body is as complicated as it is amazing. Throughout the day, our bodies draw nutrients from food sources to operate. When we restrict or neglect our needed consumption of protein and our body runs out of amino acids, it breaks down muscle proteins to fuel it. Adding Casein protein throughout the day and before bedtime protects the existing muscle.
6. Helps to Control Your Appetite and Prevent Overeating
Diets consisting of carbs or sugar with low amounts of protein generate hunger sensations more often. Casein helps to increase your intake of protein without increasing your calories suppressing the appetite by making you feel fuller longer.
7. Productive Weight Loss and Maintenance
If you are working on losing weight or maintaining weight loss, Casein protein can replace a meal without the loss of nourishment. It also works great as a snack, replacing a sugary predecessor.
Our Body’s Structure
We think of muscles as being visual but there are three types of muscles inside of our bodies.
- Skeletal muscles move our bones from one direction to another. We have to think about these movements and our brain sends messages to the nerve cell—to do it.
- Smooth muscles are part of the digestive operations, blood vessels, and airways. These movements are automatic reactions within our bodies.
- Cardiac muscles are in the heart and have a capacity for endurance to a certain point.
Casein Side Effects and Allergies
Anytime you start a new diet routine, there are chances of having an allergic reaction or side effect. Since Casein is derived from milk, allergies may develop if you are sensitive to the protein found in milk. Introducing a new food source to our body normally causes a protective defense reaction of trying to eliminate it.
Side effects can be in the form of nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes or coughing. The most serious side effect of milk products like Casein is anaphylaxis.
Reactions can occur quickly after ingesting; causing swelling of the mouth that travels to the throat and into our airways towards the lungs. Dizziness may occur with the individual fainting. If you have a pre-existing health condition or take medications, being allergic to milk products may heighten the reaction.
For most individuals, the side effects can last for a few minutes to several hours along with different body discomforts from upset stomachs, vomiting or diarrhea.
Many people suffer from lactose intolerance. It is a condition more common than we realize. Symptoms of intolerance are gastrointestinal followed with bloating, fatigue, fever and pain. It happens when the body’s immune system mistakes the protein as harmful and produces allergic antibodies for protection.
As the body releases histamines, the mixture of chemicals can cause swelling of the lips, mouth, throat and face. You have may experience nausea, headaches or abdominal pain.
You should always read the food labels and know your own personal health limitations and precautions related to foods, supplements and medications. If you have a question or concern, your doctor can help walk you through the possible side effects and make recommendations before consuming Casein protein.
Casein vs. Whey – What Should I Choose
It is a split decision between the two because they are both proteins and beneficial to our body. Whey is twenty percent of milk’s protein compared to Casein’s eighty percent of the protein in cow’s milk. Whey is an alternative to milk if you are lactose intolerance.
The major difference between the two is how our body absorbs and processes the protein. Casein protein is known for its slow absorption keeping it in the blood stream longer. Whey is absorbed faster and eliminated faster. Whey’s speed of absorption offers an effective source for quick energy.
Facts show, the speed of absorption does not affect the delivery of protein into our body, but Casein may have more health benefits because of the length of time it remains in our system.
Less Intake Requirements
They are both effective for building muscle fast and preserving the body’s lean muscle tissue in athletics, everyday workouts to lose weight or simply to stay in shape. Another noticeable difference between the two has to do with the rate of results for building muscle. Tests results show Casein reduces the total amount of protein burned for fuel over a day improving the net protein balance within the body, which is a critical factor for muscle growth, preservation and maintenance.
Because the Casein protein breaks down slower, the muscle cells were supplied with a consistent amount of amino acids when taking Casein compared to Whey. To get the same results with Whey you need to consume it more frequently throughout the day, but you would still miss the night enrichment benefits offered by Casein.
Higher Fat Loss
The third difference has to do with the amount and speed of fat loss. Testing groups taking Casein show twice the muscle growth and three times the loss of fat compared to groups using only food groups as a source of nutrients. When compared to the Whey testing groups, Casein fat losses were still higher. The results are attributed to the slow breakdown process of Casein protein continuing throughout the night unlike Whey.
Great Strength Building
When it came to testing the differences between the two proteins for strength training, Casein doubled the effect on legs, chest and shoulder results. The findings reported Casein’s anti-catabolic properties as the significant contributor. The term of anti-catabolic refers to Casein’s slow process of breakdown. By slowing the breakdown of protein, our body is forced to use stored fat for energy, increasing muscle development.
In this case, the term catabolic refers to stress, raising cortisol levels in our body preventing the loss of fat or muscle development. It is a common cause for not reaching the desired workout results. Casein makes it possible for the body to get the results by slowing down the absorption rate. Besides taking Casein during the day, it is recommended to have a nighttime shake before going to bed.
Combining Casein and Whey
The two proteins can be taken separately or together, depending on the results you hope to accomplish. The combination or individually works as a meal replacement. The high concentration of essential amino acids is effective for muscle recovery, helping to improve the muscle performance.
10 Foods That Are High In Casein
Everyone agrees and understands we get our primary nutrients from the foods we eat, and from time to time or due to health conditions, we need to add supplements like Casein to our diet. Second, we know staying healthy involves physical activity. What most of us miss is what happens inside of our bodies while our muscles workout.
Our body calls on glucose, sugar that is stored away from the foods eaten. Our body is looking for the energy source required to contract our muscles for movement. Eating proteins is essential to good health, but they also help to build new muscle and lose weight as you work out.
Daily protein requirements depend on the body’s shape, size and condition. It varies among active to moderately active adults, children and individuals who are ill. When Casein is ingested, it turns into a gel substance in the stomach and releases the amino acids.
Research shows our blood amino acids and protein fuse and peak in three to four hours after eating it. It takes seven to eight hours for the total amount of Casein amino acids to be released into our bloodstream. The timing process is perfect for having some ice cream or a Casein shake to get our body through the evening.
Make an effort to understand the information written on food labels. The data is a good source on the calories and nutritional values of the foods we eat. The information is a critical tool in building a healthy body. The nutritional facts are displayed in the order of content in the product per serving.
Here are some foods high in Casein content. Because the Casein is found in milk, it is no surprise to see the bulk of food items may contain high calorie content due to the processing or the added ingredients. Everything should be eaten in moderation for the best results whether you are looking to support a healthy daily diet or working out to build muscles and change the shape of your body.
- Ice cream and milk shakes : you can make your own ice cream or shakes using yogurt and Casein powder.
- Cheese and Cottage : both are made from milk curds. The curds are mostly Casein.
- Baked goods : dairy products are major ingredients for these foods.
- Soups and broths : some brands use milk proteins as binding ingredients.
- Salad dressings : creamy sauces use milk as a base.
- Health snack bars : contain Casein.
- Cereals : dry and instant brands contain milk proteins.
- Milk : cow, buttermilk, goat and sheep milk have similar protein content.
- Whipped topping : uses milk to add flavor and texture.
- Chocolates and hot chocolate : gets the creamy flavor from milk.
Casein protein powder is manufactured from dairy products and natural Casein is made by separating the protein from the milk. A filtering process is used without chemicals to produce a high protein and low calorie Casein powder.
Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
Casein can be part of a vegetarian’s diet, but individuals with dairy allergies or vegan food restrictions need to be cautious when eating foods containing Casein. There are vegetarian markets and grocery stores that carry Casein content diet foods. Non-dairy creamers or soy cheeses contain Casein proteins for nutrients, flavor and texture.
It is important to support good health with diet and exercise, finding the right combination that includes both food and a protein powder supplement is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If you engage in regular exercise programs, be sure to develop a diet that provides you and your body with the nutrients to accomplish your goal.
Casein Protein Powder Recipes
You can enjoy treats even though you are watching your diet or have food restrictions. Here are a few casein recipes to help you stick with a protein diet. Healthy foods are great mood enhancer to keep you motivated.
Delicious Fruit Casein Shake
You can add any flavor you like to this shake, depending on your mood and your diet needs. Adjust the liquids to the consistency you prefer. Combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until its smooth—enjoy.
- 1-2 scoops – Casein protein powder
- 4-6 ounces – Ice cubes or water
- 1-2 cups – Strawberries or a banana
- 1 Tbsp. – Vanilla or sweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp. -Peanut or flax oil to add more protein to the shake
- Add milk, soy or almond for more flavor
Decadent Cream Filling Dessert
This works great as an afternoon snack or a dessert. Mix the yogurt, vanilla and Casein powder together in a bowl. Add the chocolate chips and blend them into the cream mixture. Add the zest to your own taste preference. Chill it or serve at once. Serve it in cup with whole or crumbled Casein graham crackers. I like to use the whole ones and dip them. For a finishing garnish, top it with a just a sprinkle of the zest.
- 1 cup – Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. – Vanilla for flavoring
- 1-2 scoops – Casein Powder to get the thickness you want.
- 2 Tbsp. – Unsweetened chocolate chips
- 1 Tsp. – Orange or lemon zest
Casein Cookie Dough
This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time for when you need a healthy snack. Combine the Casein powder and peanut butter in a bowl and mix—slowly add the water to get a cookie dough mixture. Next, add the chocolate chips, mix them into the dough. You can chill the dough or eat it as it is. I like to cut the dough into cookie pieces and sprinkle crushed Casein graham crumbs for a crunch effect.
- 1-2 scoops – Casein powder
- 1-2 Tbsp. – Peanut butter
- 1/2 cup – Water or milk for more protein—you want a dough consistency, so use less or more as needed.
- 1 Tbsp. – Non-sweetened chocolate chips
The popularity of Casein recipes has created a great choice of homemade food selections. You can add different milks, cheeses, fruits and vegetables to change the flavors and textures. Try to stay within the guideline of healthy servings.
As a protein, Casein provides large health benefits to our muscles, bones and teeth. Each of us is unique with our own health conditions and characteristics, making it critical to consider our health when changing our diets. The same applies to exercise and physical workouts. Talk with your doctor before adding or deleting food sources, supplements and health training to your daily routines.