Reading up on all the different varieties of protein powder and feeling a little confused? If so, you aren't alone. With so many different options available to you, it can get a bit difficult trying to decide which is going to give you the best results and work in favor of your overall goals.
It's important that you do spend some time researching the types of protein powder options that are available because certain ones are definitely more applicable to take in during certain situations.
If you can perfectly match the type of protein powder with your aim at that exact moment, there is no doubt that you will receive benefits from using it.
One particular type of protein powder that does get mentioned quite frequently is casein protein powder. This form comes in many different flavors and price points and can offer you a number of advantages.
Let's have a quick look at some of the key points associated with casein protein powder so you can be better informed to make your decision if it is right for you.
The Benefits Of Casein
1. Greater Muscle Retention
Whenever you're going on a lower calorie diet, one of the first issues that will become a growing concern is lean muscle mass loss. Since you will not be supplying enough calories to fully support all the energy needs required throughout the day, you're forcing your body to turn to stored body tissues for energy.
In the best case scenario this will come from your body fat tissue, and in the worst case scenario the body will tap into your muscle for energy. Typically on the average weight loss diet it's a mix of both.
One study performed out of Boston tested the variations in lean muscle mass gains as well as total fat loss when subjects either took casein protein hydrolysate in comparison with a whey protein hydrolysate, while also eating a hypocalorie diet and performing resistance training.
While both groups did show fat loss, the group using the casein protein showed greater mean fat loss and higher increases in strength for the chest, shoulders, and legs.
In addition to this, it was also noted that the casein group came out of the study with a higher total body percentage of lean mass compared with their previous measure. This indicates a greater lean body retention rate, demonstrating casein to be especially effective at maintaining muscle.
It also should be mentioned that both protein groups did bump their protein intake up to 1.5 per kilogram of body weight per day, so that must be in place for any of these factors to come into play.
If you aren't taking enough protein in during a diet, it won't make a difference what form you're using, you will still lose muscle tissue.
2. Greater Fat Loss
Since casein protein is a form of protein that is higher in calcium content that also proves to be a benefit in terms of total fat loss. Many individuals are quick to turn away from dairy products while attempting to lose body fat because they feel it will slow them down.
This is completely opposite from the truth. One study that was conducted by the International Journal of Obesity observed that those who combined a high calcium intake over a twenty four hour period with a normal protein intake showed increased fecal fat and energy excretion for that day of approximately 350 kJ greater than those who either took in a low calcium, normal protein intake or those who consumed a high protein, high calcium intake.
This study makes mention of the importance of total protein intake with this factor, stating that it appears as though moderate levels of protein create this effect with the calcium greater than very high protein intakes do.
It appears from this research then that it's best to find a good balance between calcium and protein intake, rather than just increasing protein up higher to promote fat loss.
Casein protein powder will help you accomplish both goals of having a higher calcium intake as well as boosting your protein intake, allowing you to maximize your fat loss benefits.
3. Helps Promote Colon Health
Another very important benefit of casein protein powder is that it helps promote colon health. In a study performed out of Australia, researchers investigated the health benefits of various proteins and found that dairy proteins promote colon health better than meat and soy. This proves to be yet another reason why you should strongly consider adding casein protein to your daily intake.
4. Higher Quality Of Protein
Finally, the last benefit you'll receive by introducing casein protein into your diet is that of it being one of the best high quality sources of protein available.
While meeting your minimum protein requirements is always top priority, if you're taking in high quality sources of protein to meet these requirements less will be excreted by the body and you'll need less overall to maintain lean muscle mass.
If you were taking in lower quality sources of protein and just meeting your recommended minimum requirements, this will negatively impact you because if not all of that protein is absorbed, you then will not actually be meeting those minimum requirements.
In one study published by the Journal of Nutrition researchers did note that casein protein is especially of a higher quality when compared to soy, making it an important source of protein to be getting.
If you happen to be following a vegetarian diet where meat is limited (another high quality source of protein), then adding in casein if you're okay with dairy products will be your next best bet.
So next time you're shopping for protein powder, it would be a smart move to make sure you have a casein variety on your list. While these are not traditionally the best proteins for immediately after a workout (as they are digested slower), they make for a very good protein to be using throughout the day in addition to your whole food sources.
- Astrup, A. et al. (2005). Effect of Short-Term High Dietary Calcium Intake on 24-h Energy Expenditure, Fat Oxidation, and Fecal Fat Excretion. International Journal of Obesity. 29, 292-301.
- Demling, R. & DeSanti, L. (2000) Effect of a Hypocaloric Diet, Increased Protein Intake and Resistance Training on Lean Mass Gains and Fat Mass Loss in Overweight Police Officers. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. 44:21-29
- Le Leu, R. et al. (1998). Whey Proteins as Functional Food Ingredients. International Dairy Journal. Vol 8, Issue 5-6: 425-434.
- Deutz, N. et al. (2005). Casein and soy protein meals differentially affect whole-body and splanchnical of Nutrition. Vol. 135, No. 5, pp. 1080-1087.