Fitness & Fat Loss

Micellar Casein Protein: Build Serious Muscle By Maintaining Amino Acid Levels

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Scoop of protein powderMost discussions about muscle building protein seem centered around one kind, whey. Yet, there are other protein sources that are just as important. That they work differently from whey is actually a good thing. One of these is micellar casein protein.

Bodybuilders and other individuals into weight training often try to ingest protein sources that are absorbed very quickly, in the hopes that this will help boost their lean muscle mass and shorten their recovery time. What they often forget about is the importance of protein sources that help contribute to constantly elevated levels of amino acids in the body.

How much protein you consume and how quickly it is absorbed are only two of the things you should think about when figuring out your required daily protein intake. Maintaining relatively constant elevated amino acid levels is just as important as consuming special protein products engineered to be absorbed quickly.

What is Micellar Casein Protein?

Micellar casein protein is a special form of casein derived from milk without the use of chemicals. It is a very high-quality protein. Its main advantage over other protein sources (like whey) is that it is absorbed very gradually and consequently it provides the muscles with amino acids for hours and hours.

When to Use Micellar Casein Protein

Since this is a slow-digesting protein it is best taken at certain times and in certain situations. These include:

  • Right before going to bed
  • When you know you won’t be eating for several hours
  • Any time you start craving unhealthy foods

Casein is often overlooked by professional and recreational bodybuilders because it does not receive nearly as much marketing as its close cousin, whey. This is a mistake on the part of bodybuilders because they are depriving themselves of a very high quality and reliable protein source.

Casein is a complete protein, [1] which means it contains all the amino acids the human body needs to function well.

What Protein Sources to Use for Best Results with Weight Training

There is no single ideal protein source. You should use a combination of high-quality protein sources. You need both quickly absorbed protein sources and slowly absorbed protein sources.

There is no “exact” right way to use protein supplements either. You can, just as an example, use whey protein powder immediately after weight training workouts in order to give your muscles an instant boost. You then use micellar casein protein powder when you aren’t working out and want to give your body a constant supply of protein.

Incorporating Casein into Your Diet

Casein protein powder is easier to incorporate into your diet than whey because it tastes better (though individual tastes, brands and flavors can differ) and blends very well into milk. There are lots of different foods you can mix casein protein powder into.

In time, you will work out some simple recipes that you can use again and again with good results. Just remember to try to keep things simple. The simpler your recipes with casein protein powder are, the more likely it is that you will make sure you get enough protein each day.

Foods Casein Protein Powder Goes Well With

  • Milk. Because casein protein powder is derived from milk, it blends with milk and milk-based beverages pretty well.
  • Nut butters. Blending casein protein powder into nut butters like peanut butter or hazelnut butter makes a delicious protein packed snack.
  • Breakfast cereals. Sprinkle a little casein onto your breakfast cereal in the morning for an extra protein boost.
  • Bean or avocado based spreads. Feeling like a little Mexican food? Enhance your Latin style spreads with protein powder.

How to Tell If You’re Getting Enough Protein

Because every individual metabolizes protein at least slightly differently, it is only possible to estimate your required daily protein intake. Generally speaking, individuals seriously involved with weight training should be ingesting about three quarters of a gram of protein daily for every pound of body weight. [2] That means that if you’re a 160 pound individual, you need to ingest about 120 grams of protein every day.

Most trainers and others experts in the weight lifting sports recommend one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is easier to remember so I would go with this.

What Are The Side Effects Of Supplementing With Micellar Casein?

A major downside of casein protein products in general is that side effects are not uncommon. These have nothing to do with lactose intolerance: they are “stand alone” side effects. Howevever these are typically mild.

The side effects include abdominal discomfort including cramps and bloating. Others are heartburn, rash, and hives.

You may want to start with small quantities of micellar casein protein and build it up according to your tolerance. Also, try different brands as they are not all made the same way. Going cheap is rarely a good idea when it comes to supplements. Of course, consulting a knowledgeable doctor (some doctors know very little about supplements) is always advised.

Supplements Alone Are Not Enough

What you get out of weight training depends at least as much on your training program and diet as it does on the protein supplements you are taking. Whatever you do, you do not want to be in a situation where you are trying to compensate for the effects of a bad diet and exercise program by taking supplements.

Use protein supplements, including casein protein, to enhance the results you are getting with a good diet and a good exercise program.


References:

1. Indiana University Southeast: Isolation and Identification of Casein From Milk Course Notes

2. University of Florida: With protein supplements, whey is the way to go


* None of the statements on this page have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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