Whilst Casein supplements are better known for their role in helping body builders gain more muscle mass and recover quicker after strenuous workouts, more and more people trying to shed those extra pounds are discovering the benefits of including this supplement in their diet plan in helping them reach their goals more quickly. Read on to find out how Casein can help you
- Lose more weight
- Raise your metabolism
- Keep hunger at bay
- Absorb less dietary fat
How Can Casein Help Me Lose Weight?
Casein comes from milk. Whey makes up around 20% of the protein content of milk, Casein accounts for the other 80%. However, it is very different from whey in that it is insoluble and makes up the solid part of milk.
If you think about the cheese making process where rennet is added to milk and causes the Casein to clump together or ‘gel’, forming the curds that are turned into cheese, this gives you a better understanding of what happens when you take a shake or smoothie containing Casein and it reaches your stomach.
Like rennet, the stomach acid causes the casein to gel, clumping together and making the digestive process much slower. If you are dieting and trying to lose weight, this obviously helps you to feel fuller after a shake or smoothie including this type of protein powder.
Slower digestion makes for better absorption
If these benefits are not enough to persuade you to try this supplement to help you reach your weight loss goals, there is an even bigger benefit:
Casein boosts the metabolic rate
The higher our metabolic rate, the faster we burn fat. We can increase our metabolic rate by taking exercise, but Casein actually increases the basal metabolic rate – which is just a fancy way of saying that our metabolism will go up, even when we are at rest, helping us to burn more calories and therefore, shed more weight 24/7.
When Should I Take This Protein Powder
When dieting, for best results, do not take any supplement containing Casein around the time you are taking exercise. If you still want to consume a protein shake around these times and your digestive system can tolerate it, take a whey supplement instead.
Make sure you never get hungry on your diet. Take supplementation between your main meals so that you are eating something every two hours or so. The reason for this is that on a reduced calorie diet, if you get hungry in between meals, your body will start taking what it needs from your muscles, rather than your fat. Keeping your intake of good quality protein consistent throughout the day will help with this.
Avoid the ‘Midnight Munchies’!
Take a milky drink with some Casein powder in it before bedtime. If you are on a diet, this will ensure you don’t get an attack of the ‘midnight munchies’ and raid the fridge in the middle of the night when your willpower is at its lowest!
How To Take Casein Supplements
Many people like to combine protein powders and add whey to their supplementation routine.
It is very simple to use this form of protein powder in any drink you like, this could be milk (either dairy milk, soy, or one of the delicious nut milks available like almond or coconut). Fruit juice also makes a great base – or if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to mess, just mix it with plain tap water.
If you want to make a meal replacement smoothie or shake, there are lots of great recipes into which you can incorporate Casein – even if the recipe does not state this, you can add it to any recipe you like or substitute it for another type of protein powder mentioned in the ingredients list.
Watch Those Hidden Calories Though
If you are watching your calorie intake, you will want to check the calorie content of the other ingredients in the recipe as those including fruits and fruit juices often contain quite a bit of sugar which can really ramp up the calorie content without you realizing.
A blender or smoothie maker is ideal if you are making these drinks at home. On the go though, a simple shaker bottle is all you need. Just combine liquid and powder in the container, make sure the lid is on firmly and shake everything together until thoroughly mixed.
High Calcium Content Also Helps With Fat Loss!
Results of research published in the International Journal of Obesity concluded that
“A short-term increase in dietary calcium intake, together with a normal protein intake, increased fecal fat and energy excretion by approximately 350 kJ/day. This observation may contribute to explain why a high-calcium diet produces weight loss, and it suggests that an interaction with dietary protein level may be important.”
In a nutshell, this means that a higher intake of calcium, combined with a good level of protein intake, results in less dietary fat being absorbed by the body. If it doesn’t get absorbed, it gets excreted (i.e. it comes out in your poo!).
It wouldn’t be beneficial to just take more calcium, it needs to be combined with good quality protein to get this effect. However, it seems that the greatest effect is obtained when calcium is combined with moderate amounts of protein so there is no benefit in increasing your supplement intake beyond sensible limits. Casein supplementation is an ideal way to get the benefit and give your diet a boost.
Our recommended Casein Product
We recommend Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein protein. It comes in a range of delicious flavors (chocolate supreme, creamy vanilla, raspberry smoothie, Cookies and cream, blueberries and cream, chocolate cream, banana, chocolate peanut butter and French vanilla) and either a 2lb or 4lb tub.