If you’re looking for an additional protein source to boost muscle recovery and keep you feeling fuller for longer, Micellar Casein may be just what you’re after. In this blog, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details about Micellar Casein, but first things first let’s establish exactly what it is.
What is Micellar Casein?
Sourced from Australian cow’s milk, Bulk Nutrients Micellar Casein is a dairy protein. Micellar Casein accounts for around 80% of the protein found in milk with the remainder being whey protein. So if you can jog your memory back to childhood nursery rhymes, do you remember Little Miss Muffet who was eating her curds and whey? Well Micellar Casein is the curds!
It contains a rich spread of amino acids like whey and is very high in essential amino acids which are necessary for muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth).
The term micellar refers to the fact that these proteins naturally aggregate into “micelles” when in a watery medium.
These micelles exist in a natural globular structure and are made up of five caseins; alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and kappa. The removal or modification of any one of the five caseins destroys the natural micelle protein.
Micellar Casein differs from other caseins/caseinates as it exists in its natural form and is more readily digested by the body.
Other caseins and caseinates have been exposed to acid and alkali processes during their production in order to make them more palatable for use in food. As a result of these harsh processes, they have a lower level of bioactivity due to the natural micellar structure of the casein being destroyed and the protein denatured/damaged.
How’s it different to WPC or WPI?
Micellar Casein at a glance
Where Micellar Casein differs from a regular whey protein is its absorption rate. Micellar Casein is a slow release protein powder whereas whey proteins are fast absorbing proteins.
Whey protein is very quickly absorbed by the body, in fact our hydrolysed whey is so fast absorbing around 70% of the protein is hydrolysed with 15 minutes. In comparison, Micellar Casein can deliver amino acids to the muscles for up to 12 hours!
Why is that? Well, when ingested casein forms a gel-like fibre in the stomach which slows down the rate of gastric emptying and therefore affects the rate at which amino acids are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Slower release proteins such as Micellar Casein have shown to be both very effective at anabolism (muscle building) as well as preventing muscle wastage (catabolism).
It has been shown that four hours after ingestion of whey protein, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are no longer being supplied to the body, while Micellar Casein was still able to supply BCAAs at this time.
Furthermore, significantly higher concentrations of leucine (a BCAA) can be found in circulation seven hours after consuming Micellar Casein compared to whey protein.
When should I take Micellar Casein?
As Micellar Casein is slow to digest and delivers protein to muscles slowly over several hours, it’s ideally taken before bed or when frequent meals aren’t possible.
Micellar Casein is known as the ‘bedtime’ protein as it’s such a popular use among athletes. The continued supply of protein to the muscles overnight helps with recovery and muscle growth and can minimise sore and achy muscles upon waking in the morning.
Because you aren’t ingesting food or protein while you sleep your muscles aren’t receiving a constant flow of amino acids to promote recovery. By supplementing with casein before bed, you will have protein in your system throughout the night to increase protein synthesis and help stimulate muscle growth. This is beneficial to anyone who is training regularly in any kind of sport.
We’d recommend taking Micellar Casein every 6 to 7 hours throughout the day (if you want to take it during the day) and prior to bed at night. It’s not recommended that you replace a rapid acting whey or plant-based protein with Micellar Casein within the first 1-2 hours after resistance training.
What does it taste like?
It’s thick and creamy and if we’re 100% honest, seriously delicious. You can simply mix it up in a shaker with water or milk or like a lot of people enjoy it, as a pudding. As Micellar Casein becomes so thick when added to a liquid, it can be made into a custard-like dessert. Just adding a small amount of water, milk or yoghurt at intervals mixing it each time and voila you have a vanilla or chocolate high protein dessert.
Alternatively, Micellar Casein can be added to an existing whey protein blend for the purpose of extending its amino acid release rate.
Is Micellar Casein for me?
As Micellar Casein makes up most of the proteins in milk, it is safely consumed in large quantities by people every day. However, it does contain high levels of lactose, so if you are sensitive to lactose or dairy products, Micellar Casein may not be the best choice for you. However if you’d still like a slow digesting protein, take a look at Calcium Caseinate, it contains virtually zero lactose.
- If you are looking for a slow digesting protein powder
- If you feel achy and sore after training so hard and experience delayed onset muscle soreness
- If you feel hungry at night time and want to prevent snacking
- If you wake up feeling very hungry
- Anybody seeking to retain or increase lean muscle mass
- Individuals on low-calorie diets as it helps maintain satiety (feelings of fullness) for longer periods of time than whey or soy protein