Whey and casein are the two dominant proteins available, and both have some similar and different properties. They are similar as they promote MPS (muscle protein synthesis) and the biggest difference is in their digestion and the rate of action. This article aims at discussing some of the properties of both whey and casein and then their hybrid – micellar whey, which is relatively new in the market.
There are many articles on The Zone that explain why we need protein and what the benefits are. There are articles that talk about whey protein as well as its different types, and articles covering casein protein too. The scope of this article is to talk less about whey and casein protein but to extract out information that relates to a new hybrid protein known as micellar whey protein.
Casein Versus Whey Protein – The Old Debate
Casein is a slow digesting protein. Consumption of slow-digesting protein releases aminos slowly into the blood stream. Casein is usually a bedtime protein because of its anti-catabolic action. Casein contains more glutamine and less of leucine amino acid – a greater amount of leucine in protein increases the rate of protein synthesis. This inhibits the protein breakdown and that’s why casein is preferred as a bedtime protein.
Whey protein is a fast-release protein due to its higher leucine content then soy or casein, and due to its rapid rate of digestion. Whey protein increases MPS at much higher rate. Whey protein has different hybrids like isolate or hydrolyzed, which have even faster digestion rates.
Recent developments have created a blended protein which has both the goodness of both whey and casein proteins. A mixture like this is expected to have both slow and fast digestive actions without compensating on leucine content and MPS. Casein is an anti-catabolic protein so it would prevent muscle and protein breakdown and whey, being anabolic, would help in gaining muscles.
The Power of One with the Goodness of Two
Whey protein is anabolic, has higher leucine content that increases Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) resulting in more muscle formation. On the other hand, casein is anti-catabolic, has lower leucine levels and prevents breaking down of muscles. A hybrid that has all the properties of whey and the anti-catabolic nature of casein has recently been developed. There are blended and milk proteins available but the casein content of these may mean the absorbency rate is slow.
Welcome to the World of Micellar Whey
Scientists wanted to find out a way to produce whey that has anabolic effects of whey and has a slower digestion rate as that of casein. Many studies were carried out and with some changes in whey protein production, they were able to slow down the rate of whey solubility while keeping its complete amino acid profile intact. The research gave birth to micellar whey.
How is Micellar Whey Different to Normal Whey?
There are significant research being carried out into micellar whey. More and more research might conclude that Casein is not necessary and can be replaced by Micellar Whey due to its whey+ casein like effects.
In Actual, Whey Protein is filtered through a special process and then undergoes some proprietary process that modifies its properties. The specialized process uses protein polymerization technology through which whey particle size gets doubled. Even the molecular weight is also twice. It makes sense when I say that big size decreases the rate of digestion and acts like casein though its whey, have higher Leucine content. The end product is Micellar Whey Protein.
Micellar Whey Studies
A recent study showed the results are promising. Pre-clinical in-vitro research was conducted to determine the rate of digestion of micellar whey versus casein and WPC.
It was observed that micellar whey had same rate of digestion as that of casein for 6 hours. The leucine content was also evaluated and it was found that micellar whey had it on the higher side and was able to synthesize protein quickly – a typical property of whey.
The above research shows that micellar whey protein could be the next answer to all protein needs. The current studies are promising and it can be the next groundbreaking and the most researched product up next.