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Protein plays a key role in curbing hunger and ensuring the weight you lose is fat and not muscle (or the weight you put on is muscle and not fat!). If you are counting calories or find it difficult to eat a balanced diet, consuming whey or casein protein powder is the best way to ensure you receive adequate amounts. Deciding which one is the best protein powder will depend on a number of factors.
Approximately 20 percent of the protein found in milk is whey, a by-product of the cheese-making process. It is high in Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs-substances that stimulate protein synthesis in the muscles. Protein synthesis involves amino acids bonding together to form proteins that in turn help to build muscle. Whey also contains high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and lactose, along with traces of fat.
Whey increases protein synthesis, and is quickly absorbed by the body. As such, it is the best protein powder whenever you would like for protein to be digested and absorbed quickly. It is highly regarded for its antioxidant properties and ability to enhance the immune system. Even so, its benefits are rather short lived, meaning that repeated doses may be needed in order to provide the desired effects.
Nearly 80% of milk protein is casein protein. This is a relatively insoluble form of protein that provides for a slow and steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream. Casein contains high amounts of dairy calcium, and also has a high amino acid content. This type of protein is known for its anti-catabolic effects, meaning it reduces the way amino acids break down muscle tissue. In fact, one study showed that casein resulted in a 34% reduction in protein breakdown.
Unlike whey, casein is slowly absorbed and digested, providing results for up to seven hours after consumption. Some people may experience gas or bloating as a result. Casein is not effective whenever you need to get amino acids into your system quickly, but can nonetheless be the best protein powder for helping your body repair muscle tissue over the long term. For this reason, casein protein may provide you with greater effects when taken just before bedtime.
If you are looking for the best protein powder to provide you with both immediate and long-term benefits, include both whey and casein protein in your supplemental regimen. Approximately 20 grams of a whey/casein mixture one hour before a workout and immediately afterwards will provide you with enough amino acids to improve protein synthesis as well as long-term muscle repair benefits. You may also want to enjoy a whey protein shake during breakfast, and include a casein protein shake in your pre-bedtime routine to ensure you are consuming an adequate amount of both types.
Protein is an essential nutrient for anyone who wishes to increase muscle and reduce fat. Even so, too much of any one type of protein may not produce the effects you desire, which is why you should include both whey and casein for best results. Click here to learn more about the best muscle building supplement as well as other protein blends.