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Whey Protein vs Casein Protein

The two most popular proteins in the industry have to be whey protein and casein protein. They are definitely best sellers for us, and customers always have questions regarding them. Most of the time the questions deal with what's better for you, or when to take whey protein vs when to take casein protein. We love answering these questions, which is why we decided to make a video discussing them. John and Glenn break it down and give you the differences between these two popular protein supplements.



John: Hello again everybody this is John with Glenn from BestPriceNutrition, again we're doing a video based on some of your request and questions, we appreciate those, so keep those coming. Today we're going to cover protein, specifically casein and whey protein, two of the more common ones that you'll see in powders. Want to cover the Whey protein first?

Glenn: Yeah we'll start with Whey, it's generally seen as a faster absorbing protein due to the whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, whey protein hydrolysate, all that generally means and what I like to tell the customers is that a whey protein concentrate, think of it as an orange juice from concentrate, it has extra things with it, so it's just whey protein with lactose and fat, a very small amount. Then there's whey protein isolate which is just isolated whey protein and then there's the whey protein hyodrolysate, which is whey protein broken down into smaller amino-acid chains, generally in times of use you'd want a hydrolysate post workout because it can absorb pretty rapidly. Then the concentrate and isolate, generally those are blended together, good as a daily use protein.

John: Yeah typically that's for economic reasons, as you'll see, isolates tend to cost a little more, for instance the All Max Isoflex is a phenomenal protein. What I've seen some people do is actually mix that with a cheaper whey protein or a casein and make their own kind. If you can afford that, it's a decent price I make it sound like it's overly expensive, it's a whey protein isolate. Specifically most of it is cross micro-filtration whey protein isolate, I believe, which is just a process where they are using ceramic filters; it's done at a cold temperature; the pH is balanced, so two things that really affect the structure of your protein are going to be the pH and the temperature. When it gets into your stomach actually that's when it starts to get broken down and you start to see the degradation of the protein, which is fine, it's what you want but, not before it gets into your system.

if you went home and boiled milk, what would happen? Curdle and then denature and come to the top, you basically break the tertiary structure of the protein. For our purposes, if you're somebody that has a lactose intolerance or if you have any digestive issues, a whey protein isolate is going to be much better for you; you're not going to have any lactose in there, there's not going to be any fat in there or junk basically; it will be just whey protein.

One unique thing about whey protein is that it's a little bit alkaline actually, so somebody with heartburn problems and stuff, whey protein is actually pretty alternative because most proteins tend to be acid forming, just a quick fact and also did you cover the absorption and how it absorbs a little bit faster than casein?

Glenn: Yeah generally whey protein can be anywhere from a half hour to around 3 hours for absorption It's faster absorbing and that's why it's nice for a daily protein, protein you're taking in between meals or right after your workout, where some people want to get in some a half hour to an hour before you work out. It does absorb faster and it actually has a higher concentration of BCAAs which is nice, which are the muscle building amino-acids.

John: The texture of it is very liquidy, so if you mix it you can see how much water you used obviously, but it doesn't tend to coagulate or form a gel like casein does alternatively which we'll cover. Whey is very light and very liquid. You can drink it and it's like drinking something that's a consistency of water or juice and they are even flavored like...

Glenn: Mixes relatively easy also, you can use a spoon.

John: If it's not mixing easily, then I would question the quality of the whey protein you're looking at. Something else that, just to keep an eye on in the future, you're probably going to see a lot more of is something called native whey, I know they're using it in hospitals and what not, it's actual whey protein without virtually any processing done to it, I guess is the best way I can put it. A lot of the research that you've read has actually been done on native whey which is not cheap, so we'll see over time if it becomes cheaper and we'll start to see it in more supplements, possibly a pure native whey so that's just an aside. Casein protein alternatively is a little bit thicker, it's going to be more like a milkshake type consistency I always tell people, it tends to gel or coagulate in your stomach so that's part of the reason why it absorbs slower.

Glenn: Yeah it generally forms what they call a micelle, which is a complete casein protein which sort of sits along the linings in your intestines, in your stomach and you get this continual release of amino-acids, generally it can be up to 7 hours which is nice, It's preferred as a pre-bed protein, because it does absorb over that 7 hour period of time, so it's giving you amino-acids while you're sleeping and generally while you're sleeping that's when your recovering, so that's very important.

John: And also,I think, some people find it curbs their appetite a little better, since it is a little bit more filling. Think about when you drink milk; milk protein is 80% casein and 20% whey, so when you drink milk it's kind of filling, You know you kind of get full. I don't know how you feel, but when I drink a glass of milk, that's typically how I feel, but that's because 80% of that is casein so you' can expect to get that feeling when you drink it.

Now many proteins out there are a blend of whey and casein and some even have egg in there, a really popular one right now is Aisle Fusion from [Inaudible 00:04:58] nutrition, I think Syntha-6 from BSN is got different forms of whey, casein and I believe there is egg in that one as well. So most companies are doing some kind of a blend, some people like to take them separate, obviously these 2 proteins are; this is a pure casein, this is a pure whey protein, so some of the things people have to consider when they're buying these proteins is how well do they mix? The convenience? The digestibility? Do you have trouble digesting certain forms of protein? Consistency? Are you going to get sick if you have to drink something thick and more shake-like? If your lactose intolerant or allergies...

Glenn: Generally it would go about if you wanted just a daily protein, something to take every day to supplement your diet it would be whey. And as you get more specific, you can get a casein protein and take it pre-bed, or right before you get to bed because like I said they have a 7 hour digestion period.

John: Both of these can be mixed in water, a lot of people mix them in milk and you don't have to, now if you are taking a whey protein and you want to do it before bed like Glenn mentioned you can mix your whey protein with milk and you'll get that little bit slower absorption. Some people also put essential fats in there, I personally put Udo's Oil in there, a tablespoon of that in there and the nice thing about that is that it's a little more filling, slows down the absorption of the protein and also with a protein powder when you supplement these, you don't just have to look at the whole meal as a supplement. You know, what I do a lot of the time is I'll drink a whey protein shake and I'll eat an apple, or I'll have some almonds, or a banana or something like that, so I'm getting a nice blend of whole food and protein.

It's not easy to always have protein with you on the go, you know if you're out somewhere and you need to keep something cold and you don't have a cold pack with you, the nice thing about this is that you can throw a scoop in a half or however much you need in the bottom of a shaker cup and you're ready. If you have a water, shake it, you can just drink it and if you have an apple or banana with it, you have a really nice meal. That's definitely one of the great things about protein.

Now real quick, we are looking at protein powders, another couple of forms you can get your protein from are bars and ready to drinks. I would say that powders by far and away are going to be the highest quality; there's not going to be any junk in there that I'd like to think of because they don't have to stabilize it if it's in a liquid, or stabilize it in a bar to keep it soft and moist.

Glenn: Yeah a lot of time in bars they use a hydrolex collagen which is just think of knuckles and close of cows ground up, that's basically what it is, definitely this is far superior than a bar would be - even though bars are nice because they are convenient, you are getting protein and it's going to be healthier than eating a Big Mac or something like that.

John: They've gotten a lot better over the years when the bars came out you'd be chewing them and you'd be getting a jaw workout, so that's quite nice. So just to break that down again, powder is going to be superior and ready to drinks and bars, depending on which one you're looking at as a source of protein, that's how I would rank them, and also cost, powders are much cheaper also so you kind of get a nice dual benefit there, not only are they going to be the best quality, but they are also going to be giving you the most cost benefit, because when you're buying bars and ready to drinks your buying because of the convenience. Again with these powders, when you're looking at them, it's good to talkto somebody who is informed and find out what's best for you. Typically, the more you spend, you're going to get a little bit better quality, but that's not always the case. Sometimes things are just marked up. Look for isolates if you're looking for really high quality whey protein.

Glenn: Look for micelle or casein when you're looking for casein proteins, like I said that micelle is the whole complete structure of casein and includes 5 different caseins inside of there, so that's definitely what you want, the superior source of casein.

John: If you look at our essentials video, you'll see that we have protein powder ranked number 1, towards the top of the list, it's hard for me personally for the top 3 between protein powders, essential fats, and a multi-vitamin, has a healthy dose of vitamin D, to disseminate which one is more important. If you're trying to build muscle and your taking creatine and all these pre-workouts but you're not getting enough protein, then forget it, just stop because you can't build muscle without enough protein and it's very difficult to get to get it through whole food all the time. We do want you to eat whole food, obviously we're in the business of supplements and we want you to buy supplements however powders are going to make it a lot easier for you to get enough protein. So if you drink a protein shake, there's no need to eat a chicken breast, but on your next meal if you get a chicken breast then there's no need to have a protein shake, so think of it like that.

John: I hope this answered a lot of your questions involving protein, specifically casein and whey, if you have any questions please feel free to post them in the comments we'll try and answer them for you, keep it coming with the requests for us to make videos, thanks and have a great day.

Glenn: Thank you.

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