Milk Proteins Rock!

As you may already know, milk is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, particularly protein. There are two main proteins found in milk: whey and casein. Whey is about 20 percent of the total protein found in milk while casein makes up the other 80 percent. Both proteins can be isolated from milk and processed into powder form. Casein and whey protein supplements are absorbed more efficiently by the body compared to milk, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking to build and maintain lean muscle mass.

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Whey protein

Whey protein supplements come in two varieties: isolates and concentrates. Whey protein isolates (WPI) are the purest form of whey protein, containing usually 90 percent or more protein by weight. Whey protein concentrates (WPC) are usually less expensive compared to WPI formulas due to the fact they contain a lesser amount of protein – usually 29 to 89 percent protein – compared to isolates. WPC contains more lactose and fat compared to WPI.

The greatest benefit of whey protein is its superior absorption rate in the human body. Whey protein features the highest biological value (BV) of any protein, meaning it is absorbed and used better by your body compared to any other protein. It is also a fast-absorbing protein that is completely absorbed in your body within about 1.5-hours after ingesting it. This makes whey protein an ideal choice for a post-workout drink.

Casein Protein

Casein protein is another source of high-quality protein that absorbs much more slowly compared to whey protein. It may take several hours – up to seven hours – before your blood amino acids level out after consuming casein. Casein does not cause as high of a spike in your blood amino acid levels compared to whey; however, it helps keep these levels steadily high for much longer than whey. When your blood amino acids levels are high, your body is primed to build, repair and maintain lean muscle tissue.

Since casein protein is a slow-absorbing protein, it’s best consumed as a nighttime drink. It can help keep your blood amino acid levels steady while you sleep. A pre-bedtime shake is very beneficial if you’re looking to build muscle. Your body is in a state of fasting while you sleep, and if you do not supply it with a steady stream of amino acids – the building blocks of protein – it can start to breakdown muscle tissue to be used as an energy source. This is not a good situation if you’re trying to build muscle. Casein can help minimize risks associated with muscle-breakdown as you sleep.

Before trying whey and/or casein protein supplements, be sure to consult your doctor to be sure it’s a good choice for you.

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