Whey Vs Casein | Isolate vs Concentrate
Protein is an essential part of gaining muscle mass and hitting our goals in the gym, we all know this. What most of us do not know is what the difference is between a whey and casein protein and what makes an isolate different from a concentrate. These are all subjects you should be informed on before purchasing a protein powder as you will not be able to optimize your individual performance unless you know what supplement will work best for you and your specific needs.
Roughly 20 percent of Milk protein is whey and the other 80 percent is casein. Both Whey Protein and Casein are made as by products of dairy production. People who are sensitive to dairy will also find they are sensitive to whey protein. Whey Isolate is a better option for those with a dairy intolerance as it contains little lactose. Whey isolate has a higher protein content and is lower in carbohydrate, lactose and fat. Isolate is generally more expensive than Whey concentrate but this is due to the additional manufacturing process in order to get the protein into such a pure form. High quality isolate is over 90 percent protein and contains 0.5 percent lactose and milk fat which makes it a great option for those who have lactose intolerance issues.
The amount of protein in whey protein concentrate is roughly 70-80 percent of the products total makeup. The rest of the product consists of lactose, fat and minerals. Concentrate is less processed than isolate. One advantage of Whey Concentrate is that if you are not lactose intolerant the lack of processing this product goes through leaves some valuable things packed within this protein that you are unable to get in an isolate product such as Lactoferrin; which is a highly bio-active whey peptide which has anti viral and anti microbial effects on the human body. Immunoglobulins are also found within whey concentrate these molecules help support proper immune function.
Both Whey concentrate and Isolate
Both of these protein supplements are great for right after a hard workout. Research shows that Whey protein is rapidly absorbed within the muscle which is favourable for increasing muscle protein synthesis following a workout. In order to maximize protein synthesis try eating a banana or pineapple with your after workout shake; foods with a high GI rating have been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis when taken with a high quality protein powder.
Casein Protein makes up 80 percent of total milk protein; casein has been acknowledged in the research for having a superior amino acid profile, slow digestion, and mixture of healthy peptides. Because Casein is slowly digested it is best to be used outside of the pre and post workout window. Research has shown that consuming 20-24 grams of a Casein based protein powder before bed can help with muscle protein synthesis as you sleep.
Important factors to consider before purchasing a protein powder:
1) amino acid profile look for protein powders that are high in isoleucine and leucine both of these amino acids are readily taken up by muscle and used as a source of energy, they also prevent muscle wasting and are essential for maximizing protein synthesis
2) unless you are looking to put on weight look for a protein powder which is low in carbohydrate
3) short ingredients list; if you can't pronounce half the things in the powder dont drink it.
4) have a simple carbohydrate in conjunction with your post workout shake. Muscle protein synthesis has been shown to maximized when protein and carbohydrate and taken together.