What’s the Difference Between Whey Protein and Casein?

Those of you who like to exercise to build muscle may often hear about whey and casein protein. Both are useful for increasing muscle mass because they contain high amino acids. However, do you know what is the difference between whey and casein?

Whey & casein are both proteins that come from milk. Both have differences in form, the speed of digestion in the body, as well as active compounds that affect muscle development. Following are further characteristics of both.

What is whey protein?

Whey is a protein contained in the liquid part of milk. About 20% of the protein content of milk is whey. The process of digestion and absorption of protein is fairly fast, which is only about 20 minutes from the time the food starts to digest.

Superior whey protein with a high biological value, which is 104 (higher than eggs with a value of 100). The biological value indicates the amount of protein absorbed by the body from a food. This value makes whey protein more usable by the body.

Video Credit: PictureFit

Whey is an effective anabolic protein for building and maintaining muscle mass. This is because whey supports spikes in blood levels of amino acids that are essential for initiating muscle protein formation.

Thanks to its function, whey protein is perfect for use before, during, or after exercise. Your body is able to digest and absorb this protein quickly so that muscle protein needs are met immediately.

What is casein protein?

Casein is a protein found in curd, the part of milk that clumps and becomes solid. Casein clots are usually processed into protein powders or added to protein dairy products. About 80% of milk protein consists of this protein.

The process of digestion of casein is slower than whey protein. The body needs about 5-7 hours to digest this protein, so it is not surprising that it’s biological value is low, namely 77. This means that casein is less efficient for the body to use.

Unlike whey protein, casein is known as an anticatabolic protein and its function for muscles is different. Casein can produce amino acids over time so that it can prevent muscle damage and maintain muscle tissue.

Because it takes a long time to digest, casein is best taken when you’re not exercising. This protein can also make you full longer so it is suitable as a complement to dinner before bed.

Which is more suitable for building muscle?

Whey protein and casein protein are equally beneficial for those who are building muscle mass. Whey and casein certainly have different functions and their effect on muscle development is not the same, but these two proteins complement each other.

Whey protein is basically better for building muscle. Apart from being able to absorb it quickly, whey also contains more branched-chain amino acids ( BCAAs ) such as leucine, valine, and isoleucine.

Leucine is an amino acid that promotes the process of muscle building. This process is then supported by isoleucine, valine, and other amino acids. These benefits will be even more pronounced when you consume them during exercise.

While whey is generally superior, casein also has its advantages. While whey is superior in triggering muscle building, casein is even more effective at multiplying muscle growth and preventing loss of muscle mass.

Video Credit: PictureFit

This is because casein is able to reduce the breakdown of protein that occurs due to a lack of energy in your body. This process occurs when the body does not have energy reserves and amino acids, so it switches to taking energy from the muscles.

For this reason, casein is often used at night to prevent muscle breakdown during sleep. This is because when you sleep, the body does not get food for a long time so it tends to lack energy.

Although they differ in the mechanism of muscle building, the use of whey protein and casein at the same time is ideal for building muscle mass. In fact, not a few who consume a mixture of whey protein powder and casein after exercise.

The key is to balance the amount of whey and casein protein you use by adjusting your exercise program. That way, you can get your daily protein intake in the right type and amount.

Leave a Comment