Fast vs. Slow Protein... Is Casein Bogus?
- 12-05-2007, 11:30 AM
Fast vs. Slow Protein... Is Casein Bogus?
Fast vs. Slow Protein... Is Casein Bogus?
by Will Brink
Enter stage right, the “fast vs. slow” protein craze. The study that got this craze rolling was called “Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion” and was responsible for causing a resurgence of interest in casein. The basic premise of this much-touted study was that the speed of absorption of dietary amino acids (from ingested proteins) varies according to the type of dietary protein a person eats.
The researchers wanted to see if the type of protein eaten would affect postprandial (e.g., after a meal) protein synthesis, breakdown, and deposition. To test the hypothesis, they fed casein (CAS) and whey protein (WP) to a group of healthy adults, a single meal of casein (CAS) or whey WP following an overnight fast (10 h). Using this specific study design, they found:
•WP induced a dramatic but short increase of plasma amino acids.
•CAS induced a prolonged plateau of a moderate increase in amino acids (hyperaminoacidemia)
•Whole body protein breakdown was inhibited by 34% after CAS ingestion but not after WP ingestion.
•Postprandial protein synthesis was stimulated by 68% with the WP meal and to a lesser extent (+31%) with the CAS meal.
The basic non-science summary is: the study found that CAS was good at preventing protein breakdown (proteolysis), but was not so good for increasing protein synthesis. WP had basically the opposite effects: it increased protein synthesis but didn’t prevent protein breakdown. The problem is that they were using fasted subjects for a single meal. ***
Keep that in mind as we move along here…
So far so good right? So what can we conclude from this study and how useful are the results? Like so many studies, the results were interesting—and of little use to people in the real world. Do these results hold up under more “real world” conditions where people are eating every few hours and/or mixing the proteins with other macronutrients (i.e., carbs and fats)?
The answer is probably not, which is exactly what the researchers found when they attempted to mimic a more realistic eating pattern of multiple meals and or the addition of other macronutrients. The follow up study was called “The digestion rate of protein is an independent regulating factor of postprandial protein retention.” Four groups of five to six healthy young men received:
• a single meal of slowly digested casein (CAS).
• a single meal of free amino acids mimicking the composition of casein (AA).
• a single meal of rapidly digested whey proteins (WP).
• repeated meals of whey proteins (RPT-WP) mimicking slow digestion rate of casein (i.e., reflecting how people really eat).
So what did they find? In a nut shell, giving people multiple doses of whey—which more closely mimics how people really eat-—had basically the same effects as a single dose of casein, and mixing either with fats and proteins pretty much nullified any big differences between the two proteins.
*Edit: I'm not saying that I "buy" what this guy is saying regarding whey/casein or his other points. Although, I personally never have spent 1 extra cent on casein. I'm just throwing this out there to get feedback.
- 12-05-2007, 01:29 PM
celc, I supplement with both proteins and use casein exclusively right before bedtime. That's really where I see the value of casein; I don't have to get up in the middle of the night for a whey protein shake essentially. I want to see what others think as well.
- 12-07-2007, 10:39 AM
I believe Casein serves a purpose.
Will be using it before bedtime as well.
12-07-2007, 11:10 AM
12-07-2007, 11:20 AM
I use UP all the time. I get all I need, and I beleive is essential to eat casein in the morning, as well as at night.
12-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Very interesting. I have never purchased casein protein mix, but I eat about 1/2 cup of cottage cheese right before bed. Pretty much the same thing. Other than that, I do not focus on getting any casein throughout the day.
What this guy appears to be saying is that several whey protein meals throughout the day has the same effect over the course of that day as 1 casein meal. That's all well and good during a standard day, but if I want slow digesting protein in my belly while I sleep, it still seems like casein is the way to go. I'm not going to get up several times during the night to slam a WP shake.
02-01-2008, 05:00 PM
I don't think one should conclude casein is worthless from the above info per se.
02-01-2008, 06:15 PM
Now that I look at your link, you make a good point regarding the context. I can't remember how I stumbled upon your article in the first place. In hindsight, I wish I would have posted a link to clarify. Thanks for chiming in
02-01-2008, 07:27 PM
02-01-2008, 08:40 PM
There is a product out there that I use that has 3 differ processed WP along with alpha/beta caseins in it...I also go with the morning, after workout, before bed routine but I do have a question...
Eating anything raises body's insulin...it is said that natural body's GH will not release/remain in the blood if there is insulin present...so wouldn't having casein before bed cause GH to not be released for a long time during the night when we need GH to grow/repair/heal?
02-02-2008, 01:54 PM
i think all he's saying is don't take casein during the day and expect to be able to change your normal eating patterns. i have always liked will's articles about diet
02-02-2008, 08:11 PM
I have just been intrigued enough to wonder about this idea...
03-05-2008, 02:18 PM
It definitely seems there are uses for both type of protein. I'm not sure if it is necessary to invest extra in casein protein. If you are drinking milk, you are already getting a lot of casein. I think the breakdown of protein in milk is around 75% casein, 25% whey.
03-05-2008, 02:35 PM
Other studies that I've read have also shown an increase in overall protein synthesis when whey/casein were consumed after a workout, as opposed to just whey or casein alone. I'm sure it's impart due to the quick release of amino's from the whey and the sustained release of the casein over the hours that followed said workout. I personally try to consume a mixture of the two through out the day and then just casein at night. I have noticed better results from this than whey or casein supplementation alone by far. So take from that what you want.........
03-05-2008, 06:19 PM
I've gotten to the point where I don't think that protein absorbtion rates make any difference at all. Blood levels of amino acids stay elevated for so long after a solid food meal that I don't really think that I'm ever in need of fast absorbing protein.
I mean really, if I eat a full meal an hour before I work out, then a protein shake while I'm working out, do I really need some fast absorbing whey shake after the workout. I'm sure that I'm still getting aminos from the digestion of the pre-workout meal at that point.
I think a lot of it is just the propaganda from supp companies trying to create a need for a product to sell.
The Truth is, there is no Truth.
03-05-2008, 07:09 PM
Ps - Anybody else hear awhile back on the news of this woman who died (don't know why or how) but was founded that she had a pantry full of supplements...like over a 1,000 if I remember right that she was taking daily...companies loved her!
03-05-2008, 07:30 PM
In any case, there's too much info and research out there showing HGH release being higher with an empty stomach to ignore.
The Truth is, there is no Truth.
03-05-2008, 07:38 PM
Me too especially when on cycle as I currently am...I eat like a f'n horse and have to eat right up to about bedtime...
03-09-2008, 03:20 PM
chances are you're eating a lot of it plus drinking more than one shake a day, I mean, unless you go to bed on a completely empty stomach and skip breakfast, you're going to constantly have protein in various stages of intake in your body, period.
03-17-2008, 03:12 PM
Great read Celc, I've actually never used Casein pre bed but it seems that some like the idea where as some don't.
03-17-2008, 08:22 PM
Bout to grab a 4lb. bag of 100% casein from Nutraplanet for bedtime. Anti-catabolism turns me on.
03-18-2008, 08:39 AM
Nice to see you here, Will!
Will's a hella smart guy, he used to hang in MFW back in the days of Kellner, Roberts & PA in the early days of Pat's ascendency. He doesn't make products, but sells his info, intellect, broad experience & judgment.
Make him welcome, gentlemen: he's worth having around!
(now, if we could just get Kidwell, Krista & CLC to turn up, we'd have a *real* party...).
03-18-2008, 10:06 AM
03-19-2008, 05:32 PM
03-19-2008, 05:43 PM
03-19-2008, 05:56 PM
Insulin is released because of elevated levels of blood glucose. Protein doesn't have a big enough impact on blood glucose levels, from what I understand.
EDIT: Sorry, kind of trailed off in mid thought there. I think that the 20 to 40gr that most people take at night won't have a huge effect on the blood glucose levels mostly because of the slow rate of digestion. Also, compared to most carbs, the BG levels won't be raised as high by casein.
03-19-2008, 06:08 PM
03-19-2008, 11:26 PM
03-20-2008, 01:53 AM
Still, I feel that there is a pretty good plase for casein. I take milk protein (largely casein) right before bedtime and it at least gives me peace of mind unlike whey where it digests so fast. morning i see a good place too, sometimes i go 25g casein 25g whey and it serves its purpose.
03-20-2008, 06:55 AM
03-20-2008, 11:32 AM
10-08-2008, 08:33 AM
Useful discussion. Fellas, just want to point out the difference between "casein" and "micellar casein". If you're familiar with the Boirie studies, keep in mind they used MC... Micellar casein is not to be confused with calcium or sodium caseinates.
10-08-2008, 10:11 AM
10-09-2008, 04:51 PM
micellar undergoes a much more gentle manufacturing process, supposedly leaving more growth fractions still intact
10-10-2008, 08:56 AM
Millk basically contains two parts--the curd and the whey. The curd is what "precipitates" out and what's used to make cheese. The curd is also the part that's used to make micellar casein and caseinates for use in supps. Casein is made up of five things--alpha casein, beta casein, gamma casein, delta casein and kappa casein.
Long story short, the manufacturing process to get to micellar casein and caseinates are different. Caseinates use acid or rennet (enzyme) which destroy the micelle structure. Once destroyed, it can't be reformed. When this casein has been processed (to make it more water soluble), it's called caseinate. Micellar casein, on the other, goes through a process with the micelles are left intact.
Micellar casein is basically casein that occurs in a more natural state, without all the extra manufacturing steps. Micellar casein digests more effectively, contains important bioactive peptides, and is generally considered a higher quality protein.
The landmark studies looking at "fast" vs. "slow" proteins (Boirie) used micellar casein, not caseinates. Yet when most people talk about fast and slow proteins, they are not referring to micellar casein. Micellar casein is more expensive and harder to work with, but superior IMHO.
10-10-2008, 11:07 AM
There is another study*, which you've probably read, comparing isolated whey protein, isolated casein (micellar) and total milk protein isolate which suggests a synergisitc effect of the 20% whey and 80% casein in TMP.
*Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;84(5):1070-9. [/URL]
My first post at AM.
10-10-2008, 12:25 PM
But IMHO, that's not necessarily a compelling reason to run micellar casein. MC ain't that easy to work with, if ya ever tried it.
I agree with ya on the whole balance thing--like I said in the flaxseed vs. fishoil thread here, I think balance is key. When I run my own homebrews, I definitely blend with TMPs.
10-10-2008, 01:07 PM
10-10-2008, 01:13 PM
10-10-2008, 05:03 PM
Casein ain't bogus but it sucks if you're lactose intolerant.
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