Casein v Whey

Whey Protein v Casein Protein – What’s the Difference?


With the hundreds of protein supplements on the market, both Whey Protein and Casein Protein are two of the most popular protein supplements on the market and probably will be for years to come. Both are brilliant sources of protein, bio available with a high quantity of Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs for short. Both of these protein sources are milk based products however, they work very differently.

I will be going over the differences between these two protein sources, their benefits and how they could help you along with your goals.

Let’s dive in.

Where do they come from?

Both Whey and Casein are the two proteins found in cows milk. Cows milk is made up of 80% Casein and 20% Whey. So, if you regularly consume various dairy products you are generally getting a combination of the two. Whey protein is separated from the Casein in milk or formed as a byproduct of making cheese.

Whey Protein

This is probably the most popular of the two protein powders and the most widely used. This is really the main one I would choose when building muscle. Whilst both do have essential amino acid content, Whey Protein is considered to more anabolic, due to its ability to kick start muscle protein synthesis, this maybe due to it’s higher Leucine which is the one to jump start the process.

This is the perfect Protein source following a workout as it will only take 20 minutes for this to be digested andWhey Protein absorbed into the blood. Whilst after a workout your body will be in a catabolic state, Whey Protein will quickly increase amino acids which stimulates muscle protein synthesis.

Whey Protein is a bit more versatile than Casein and can be mixed with various ingredients, normally mixed with either water, it can also be mixed with milk, almond milk, greek yogurt and peanut butter. I have also used it when making homemade Protein Bars. (they tasted great by the way).

Nutrition Per Scoop :

Calories : 110

Fat : 1g

Carbs : 2g

Protein : 24g

Calcium : 141mg (50% RDI)

This is based on Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard – this can change depending on the brand.

Casein Protein

Casein Protein is slow digesting, which means when you consume it, it will deliver amino acids in smaller amounts and over a longer period of time than Whey Protein, this can be generally over 2-4 hours. This is often why I have used Casein Protein before bed as it will help with recovery and reduce muscle breakdown while sleeping, which in turn will help retain lean muscle mass even if you are on a calorie deficit.Casein Protein

This protein source may also help towards weight/fat loss as well due to the slow digestion help you eat less which in turn decrease your appetite, meaning that you’re more likely to curb cravings while supplementing, which can lead to increase fat loss.

This is also perfect for a between meal to keep your hunger satisfied and feel fuller so you don’t experience hunger throughout the day, especially if you are on a calorie deficit or restrictive diet.

Nutrition Per Scoop:

Calories : 130

Fat : 0.5g

Carbs : 3g

Protein : 24.4g

Calcium : 600mg (60% RDI)

This also based on Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard and can differ from brand to brand.

When to take each Protein

Due to the nature of Whey Protein being quicker to be absorbed into the blood this would be better to consume either before, during or after your workout, as this will fuel your muscles quickly.

Casein Protein on the other hand due to it being a slower digesting protein source this would be better before a fast for example before bed or if you know you have a busy day ahead and will struggle to get the correct amount of meals in.Whey Protein

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking to either build muscle or lose fat then both proteins have their place, provided they are used at the correct time and in the correct way.

As I always say though, supplements are their to help you enhanced your performance and should never be used instead of a healthy diet.

Both Casein Protein and Whey Protein I feel are a great addition to any muscle or fat loss program.

I hope you enjoyed this article and they is more coming soon – feel free to leave a comment.

6 thoughts on “Whey Protein v Casein Protein – What’s the Difference?

  1. Great article and informative. If I am honest I have only heard of whey protein and I am going to the gym with my work now so I think I may need to add this for the muscle mass. Thanks very much for a great article and awesome site design by the way.

  2. I always think about buying protein powder to add to my diet. Actually, I didn’t even know there was a difference with how these proteins are absorbed in the body. As you said, I would like to take Whey after my workout. But I also like the calcium content in the Casein protein. So I would like to take both. Is that ok?

    1. Hi Carol,

      I am glad you enjoyed my post, yes you can take both however, why is better post workout and casein is better for before bed. Some do mix them both together however I would never suggest this.

  3. Thanks for providing information on this. I really didn’t know what the difference was. After my workout, I feel absolutely exhausted. My main goal is to lose body fat. So I’m thinking Whey Protein after my workout?

    1. Hi Anne

      I am glad you enjoyed my post, yes Whey Protein is perfect for post workout. However, if you are looking to lose body fat then I would also suggest looking at your overall diet as well not just supplementation. Look at what your maintenance calories are and work from there.

      I hope this helps.

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