One of the biggest questions I used to get at GNC was which to choose, casein or whey and which one was better? T
he truth of it is, is both proteins provide benefits. You have to decide which one is better for you based on what they do and what you are looking for. Ideally a mixture of both would be best but that’s not possible for most people as proteins can get quite expensive.
Whey Protein is a fast digesting protein which is emptied from your stomach and absorbed quickly. Whey protein includes every essential amino acid and is high in BCAA’s. Whey is generally best used within 30 minutes of working out as it is such a fast acting protein and can help with muscle recovery and boost muscle protein synthesis. Whey is one of the supplements that is almost required for anyone looking to build muscle. Of course you can reach your daily protein goals without supplementation but if you cant then whey protein is an easy fix to help with that while reducing caloric intake.
Whey Protein comes in three forms L Isolate, Concentrate and hydrolysate. Concentrate is the most minimally processed and is usually the cheapest of the three, isolate is usually more processed and has higher filtration which results in a higher protein content (this is usually the best choice for dieters). The last is Hydrolysate is the most processed of the three and is usually the most expensive. You can also find proteins which include all three types of whey.
On the other end of the spectrum is casein protein, casein is a slow digesting protein which includes a high quality blend of essential, nonessential and BCAA’s. Unlike whey, casein is slowly digested into your blood stream and this provides your body with a steady and consistent amount of amino acids that lasts for hours. I typically tell people to only use casein right before bed as it will slowly be absorbed overnight and will last longer than any other protein option out there. Casien could also be used as a meal replacement when you know you might have trouble getting your next meal in. When you sleep your body has the highest potential for muscle repair and casein will aid in that. This is why its best used at night time. Avoid using casein directly after working out as your muscles will not benefit from the slow reaction time your body has to casein. Always supplement with whey after working out.
In summary both proteins are amazing and have their strengths. If you can afford it buy both and supplement with whey after workouts and Casein as a meal replacement or late-night snack. There are some people who use casein/whey blends but I do not and do not recommend it. I say keep them separate and use them as suggested.