The power of Casein before bed

11 April 2018

The power of Casein before bed

The power of Casein before bed

Casein is the main milk protein and represents approximately 80% of the total protein. Like Whey, Casein has high biological value – good digestibility and has all the amino acids essential for protein synthesis.

Casein it is a slow absorption protein, because it has low solubility precipitates in the stomach forming clots that delay gastric emptying. It can be found in the form of Micellar Casein, which contains between 85-92% protein and very low levels of fats and lactose, being the most economical form of production. And Calcium Caseinate, which contains about 90% of its weight in protein, low in fat and lactose. It is cheaper, and tastes better than Micellar Casein, but has less biological activity than this.

Before bedtime…

Casein needs about 7 hours to be digested, which is (or should be) more or less the sleep time for ordinary mortals. That is, the amino acids that comprise it take between 3 and 7 hours to be released and absorbed by the body.

As in the sleep period the body does not receive nutrients, if there is a depletion of amino acids in the bloodstream, it uses its muscular reserves to supply this need.

Casein is therefore an excellent pre-bedtime supplement in that it minimizes muscle catabolism, prevents muscle destruction in phases of protein synthesis, intense physical exercise, weight-loss diets or periods of prolonged fasting.

A scoop of micellar casein is sufficient to yield 24g of protein, the recommended dose being usually 35 and 25g, for men and women, respectively.

However, to optimize results, the daily dose of casein should be adjusted according to the physical exercise, body composition, diet practiced and objectives of each athlete.

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In short, the benefits of Casein:

Anti-catabolic and coadjuvant action in the process of preserving muscle mass – by the process described above and because it is a good source of threonine and arginine, which together with glutamine form the so-called glycogenic amino acids, which participate in the metabolism of glucose, aiding its conversion into energy during physical exercise, protecting the muscle from catabolism.

Improvement in post-workout recovery – during a workout, in order to make progress, the muscle fibers have to be torn and repaired. By providing an extensive profile of amino acids, casein allows the repair and recovery of muscle fibers more quickly and efficiently.

- Helps you lose weight – given its slow digestion and absorption, casein is highly satiating and casein supplements low in calories. For this reason, they are often recommended as substitutes for one or two meals a day in weight loss plans.

Casein or Whey? Which protein to choose?

Let’s see …

Whey is the most suitable supplement for a quick replacement of amino acids, being the best option for pre and post workout and even for breakfast after several hours without eating.

Casein has a lower anabolic effect than whey protein, failing to meet momentary needs. In contrast, casein extends the release of its amino acids about 7h, so is ideal for post-workout and before bedtime periods.

No doubt that with the combination of both we get the best of both worlds…

By Joana Correia, Nutritionist