The study suggests that consuming a high-quality mixed protein drink is needed to increase lean muscle mass but don't get too caught up in the ratio of blends as total protein is the most important factor, not blend ratio.
ARTICLE OVERVIEW OF WHEY AND CASEIN BLEND PROTEIN POWDER
- A blend of whey and casein protein powder doesn’t appear to offer more muscle growth benefits than using whey or casein alone.
Despite whey protein resulting in greater increases in leucine and insulin than casein, long-term muscle gain is similar with whey and casein protein powders.
Mass gainers and whey protein are both popular supplements for building muscle, but they work in different ways. Mass gainers are high-calorie supplements that contain a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Whey protein, on the other hand, is a fast-digesting protein that is quickly absorbed by the body. It is designed to help you recover from workouts and build lean muscle mass. Understanding the differences between these two supplements can help you choose the one that is best for your goals.
ARE WHEY AND CASEIN PROTEIN POWDERS BETTER FOR PROTEIN SYNTHESIS?
Weight gainers for increasing muscle mass are often advocated as the best supplements for bulking up. Best beginner supplements to gain muscle often contain creatine combined with whey and casein blends. Muscle growth has been suggested to be enhanced when taking whey protein powder and casein protein.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein is a commonly purchased whey protein supplement. When consuming a protein shake to build muscle, some have suggested combining a whey and casein blend protein powder (i.e., micellar casein) for optimal essential amino acids (i.e., amino acid profile), muscle protein synthesis, and muscle recovery.
CASEIN PROTEIN POWDER
Baking with pure casein protein powder is very common in the bodybuilding community. Athletes often boost their protein intake by baking with casein protein powder with casein protein powder recipes and protein bar recipes. Casein chocolate protein powder and whey/casein blend vanilla protein powder recipes are commonly used for protein brownies and casein desserts.
It is well known that milk proteins have different rates of protein absorption and availability. Milk and other dairy products are complete proteins containing two protein fractions, whey, and casein, characterized as “fast” and “slow” proteins, respectively, based on their digestion rate and speed of amino acid absorption. Most protein powders are whey and casein blend protein powders.
Research documents show that whey protein supplementation increases protein synthesis after resistance exercise more significantly. However, casein offers more “anti-catabolic” effects, sustaining protein synthesis for a longer duration. For instance, a study revealed that ingesting casein reduces whole-body protein breakdown by about 30%. For those who are lactose intolerant, whey protein isolate is the better option.
Casein Protein Powders
Researchers hypothesize that when you combine whey and casein, it leads to superior body composition results. This is because whey quickly increases protein synthesis, while casein provides a long-term anti-catabolic effect.
Various protein supplements on the market have different whey-to-casein ratios. Post-exercise protein supplementation has additive effects beyond the muscle responses to exercises alone.
Studies indicate that when individuals ingest supplements containing either whey protein alone or combined with casein and other ingredients, they experience improvements in lean body mass. Furthermore, after 6-12 weeks of resistance training, these individuals show gains in both upper and lower body strength compared to those consuming carbohydrates or other protein sources.
IS PURE WHEY PROTEIN POWDER BETTER THAN A WHEY AND CASEIN PROTEIN POWDER?
To compare the effects of 2 different protein supplements, varying by the ratio between whey protein (fast-digested protein) and casein (slow-digested protein), on changes in muscle size during a long-term strength training program. Two different groups with various whey-to-casein ratios were given:
- -20 g of whey protein (100% whey)
- -10 g of whey protein and 10 g of casein proteins (50 % whey/50% casein) or
- – 4 g of whey protein and 16 g of casein proteins (20% whey/ 80% casein).
Subjects performed four workouts per week for nine weeks, using full-body workouts. At the end of the study, ingestion of 100% whey protein and 50% whey and casein drinks resulted in higher leucine bioavailability, compared to 20% whey/ 80% casein, whose composition is close to that of the milk, containing 4g of fast protein and 16g of slow protein.
Despite the greater leucine bioavailability, there were no differences between the groups in body composition. Muscle all the groups, but there were no significant differences between the groups. Combined fast and slow protein intakes may be important factors in predicting benefits from increased dietary protein during resistance training.
From a practical standpoint for lifters and athletes, the study suggests that although the nutritional supplement comprising a mix of high casein to whey resulted in lower aminoacidemia when compared with both whey protein (100%) and a whey and casein combination (50% whey, 50% casein).
The researchers stated, “What really matters to maximize the responses to resistance training is to provide a sufficient amount of high-quality proteins at the end of exercise, and the ratio of fast-to-slow digested proteins makes little difference.” So the study suggests that consuming a high-quality mixed protein drink is needed to increase lean muscle mass but don’t get too caught up in the ratio of blends as total protein seems to be the most important factor, not blend ratio.
Naclerio, F. and Larumbe-Zabala, E. (2016). Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis. Sports Med. 46(1):125-37.
Fabre M, Hausswirth C, Tiollier E, Molle O, Louis J, Durguerian A, Neuveux N, Bigard X. Effects of Post-Exercise Protein Intake on Muscle Mass and Strength During Resistance Training: is There an Optimal Ratio Between Fast and Slow Proteins? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017 Apr 19:1-23.