Whey vs Casein for Muscle: Which is Better?

protein timing, infinite_labs

Whey vs Casein for Muscle: Which is Better

by: Robbie Durand

A large number of athletes and exercisers have turned to protein supplements to meet these excess demands on the body placed by lifting weights or the rigors of sports. Many studies have been performed proving the positive impact of protein supplementation consumption both pre- and post-exercise. Benefits of protein timing include: muscle maintenance and hypertrophy, improved exercise recovery, improved body composition and enhanced immune function during periods of intense training. There has been debate as whether whey or casein is the best source of protein powder to use. Whey protein is water soluble and is quickly digested in the body, earning it the “fast protein” title. Amino acids are quickly available in large quantities after consumption of whey protein. Alternately, the use of a casein supplement results in a slower availability of amino acids, labeled a “slow protein.” To determine if any one protein type is more beneficial than another, more studies should be performed. Therefore, researchers wanted to investigate the potential anabolic effects of whey and casein protein ingestion in conjunction with a controlled resistance training program using collegiate female, anaerobic athletes.

protein timing, infinite_labsSixteen NCAA Division III female basketball players were matched according to body mass and randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to consume either:

– 24 grams of whey protein or 24 grams of casein protein immediately pre- and post-exercise for eight weeks.

Subjects participated in a supervised 4-day per week undulating periodized training program. At 0 and 8 weeks, subjects underwent body composition analysis, strength testing, and performance measurements.

At the end of the study, the study found no significant difference in the type of protein consumption on overall performance gains during an eight-week undulating resistance training and conditioning program. The overall result indicated that the total protein synthesis response after consuming either a whey or casein protein supplement post-exercise was beneficial and that neither supplement displayed a significantly superior response. The combination of a controlled undulating resistance training program with pre- and post-exercise protein supplementation had a significant impact on performance and body composition factors for both whey protein and casein protein groups. There does not appear to be a difference in the performance enhancing effects of whey versus casein proteins, and both prove to be beneficial to athletic performance in female athletes for both strength and body composition.

The author made three key points from the article:

-Subject’s can experience and increase in performance makers from consuming protein after resistance training.

-Subject’s can have a decreased body fat composition when ingesting protein with daily resistance training and conditioning.

-There was no significant difference in performance markers between whey and casein.

Wilborn CD, Taylor LW, Outlaw J, et al. The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 2013;12(1):74-79.

Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, La Bounty P, Roberts M, Burke D, Landis J, Lopez H, Antonio J International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Sep 26; 4():8.

Wilson J, Wilson GJ. Contemporary issues in protein requirements and consumption for resistance trained athletes. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2006 Jun 5; 3():7-27.

Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Carey MF, Hayes A. The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Oct; 16(5):494-509.