Casein protein is a protein found in milk that gives milk its white color. Cow's milk consists of around 80% casein protein. In addition to milk, casein protein is found in yogurt, cheese, and infant formulas, as well as in a variety of dietary supplements. Do not confuse casein protein with casein peptides. Casein peptides are made by breaking casein protein down into smaller pieces.
Casein protein is taken by mouth to improve athletic performance, diabetes, liver disease due to alcohol consumption, and many other conditions.
Muscle growth and casein:
Bodybuilders and athletes have used this supplement for decades.
Like other animal proteins, it contains all the essential amino acids that your own body is unable to produce naturally. Most importantly, it provides a high amount of leucine, which initiates muscle protein synthesis.
If you only consume a low or moderate amount of protein, it may help you boost muscle growth simply by increasing your protein intake.
One study compared those who took casein to two other groups. One consumed whey protein and the other had no protein.
The researchers found that the casein group experienced double the muscle growth and triple the fat loss compared to the placebo group. The casein group also experienced more fat loss than the whey group.
It may also enhance long-term muscle mass by reducing protein breakdown. This process occurs on a daily basis when your body is low on energy and amino acids. It’s accelerated during exercise or weight loss.
For this reason, casein is often used at night to prevent the protein breakdown that may occur, since you go through a relatively long period without food while you sleep.
In one study, a casein protein shake before bedtime helped strength-training men increase type 2 muscle fiber size by 8.4 cm2 in the supplement group, compared to 4.8 cm2 in the training-only group.
They also found the casein group increased strength to a greater extent, or about 20% more than the training-only group.
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