What is it?
Micellar Casein is a dairy protein derived from milk and accounts for approximately 80% of the protein found within milk. Micellar Casein is undenatured casein that exists in its natural globular structure. Casein protein has long been a staple in the bodybuilder’s arsenal as a night-time protein due to its ‘slow-release’ properties. Also, people focused on leaning up often turn to casein because it fills them up for longer stretches of time than other proteins.
How it works?
Casein protein, unlike whey protein, which is soluble in liquid and therefore rapidly digested and absorbed, casein protein takes the form of tiny micelles, or globules, which are insoluble in liquid and actually form a gel in the stomach. That’s not a bad thing; it just means that casein proteins take much longer to digest and absorb than the other milk proteins.
This has its advantages, as casein helps to enhance muscle growth by decreasing muscle breakdown over longer stretches of time. While fast-digesting proteins reach your muscles more quickly, they also leave your body more quickly. Casein, on the other hand, reaches your muscles more slowly, but also stays with your body longer, helping to protect muscle mass from catabolism.
Who should use it?
Micellar casein an ideal night-time choice for athletes and bodybuilders who want to preserve hard-earned muscle mass while they sleep. Research shows that casein taken after workouts can increase muscle growth, especially when taken with whey.
Micellar casein is also great for dieting when you want to maintain muscle while losing body fat. As micellar casein is digested at a slower rate than other types of protein, it is an effective way to help your feeling of fullness and satiety after eating, which is useful when you are trying to manage your appetite and control your calorie intake.
How do I take it?
Casein, like whey, can be used any time of the day. However, due to casein’s slow digestion and amino acid release, it’s best taken when you might be without food for a period of time such as during sleep. For best results, use micellar casein in conjunction with whey protein, which is best used pre-workout and post-workout. Here are some dosing guidelines for the best times to supplement with casein.
- Post workout: Add 10 – 20g of casein, in the form of micellar casein to your whey protein post-workout shake.
- Before bed: Take 20 – 40g of micellar casein right before going to bed each night.
- Between meals: Use 30 – 40g of micellar casein between meals.
Due to the naturally hydroscopic nature of casein proteins, casein protein powders are noticeably thicker and smoother than other non-casein based products. You can adjust the intensity of casein protein drinks by altering the quantity of liquid.