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casein 101

Casein 101: Overview, Benefits, & Side Effects

casein 101

Why read a Casein 101 article?

Let’s start off our Casein 101 with a question: if there’s one nutrient that has always been tied down to body-building, what is it? It’s definitely protein.

Never can you see a bodybuilding buff going to the gym to beef up without having their fix of protein – either from a protein shake or protein supplement. This macronutrient has been a reliable go-to for those who have been trying to build muscles.

With several protein choices on the market, casein remains as one of the favorites over time. Read more to know why casein is an essential protein for building muscles and why it should be an essential fitness supplement.

Getting to Know Casein a Little Better

milk and casein

Casein is a family of related phosphoproteins which are commonly found in mammal-produced milk.

Cow’s milk has 80% casein protein while you can find 20% and 45% casein protein in human’s milk. Human milk has the least amount of casein protein while buffalo and sheep milk have the highest content.

Just like other types of proteins sourced from animals, casein provides a complete source of protein. It supplies your body with all the necessary amino acids it needs for repair and growth.

Milk products such as sour cream, yogurt, cream, pudding, cheese, and butter are also a good source of casein. Other sources of casein are ghee, processed meats, snack crackers, cheese-flavored chips, cereal bars, and tuna.

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Casein 101: Health Benefits

People often compare whey and casein. Whilst both of these proteins are found in milk, whey protein is digested quickly while casein takes much longer to digest.

Having casein in your diet provides many health benefits such as:

Muscle Growth

muscle growth

Casein is coined as a “time-release” protein because it is digested slowly in the gut. It supplies amino acids to your cells at a low level over a long period of time. This is the same reason why casein is great for muscle growth.

It’s a good source of leucine which is essential for the process of muscle protein synthesis. It also reduces protein breakdown, and as a result, it enhances long-term muscle mass.

Weight Loss

scale and measuring tape

High protein foods can increase your satiety and casein is no exemption. Because it makes you feel full for a longer period of time, you won’t have to deal with unnecessary cravings and excess calorie intake. It also helps increase your metabolism which is essential in burning excess calories and fat.

Better Sleep

male in deep sleep

Casein contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that is important for regulating sleep. It also contains a peptide called AlphaS-1 Peptide which is known to be effective in reducing sleep and anxiety.

Increased Strength

increased strength

Casein is not only great for muscle mass but for building strength too. It serves as a rich source of strength and energy for you to be able to perform longer resistance and high-intensity workout.

Other extra benefits are:

Improved Immune Function

Casein contains bioactive peptides that have antimicrobial and immune-enhancing properties. These peptides can help bolster your immune system, making you more resilient to infections and illnesses.

Dental Health

Casein phosphopeptides have been shown to improve dental health by enhancing remineralization and reducing enamel demineralization. This makes casein beneficial in preventing cavities and maintaining overall oral health.

Antioxidant Properties

Casein protein exhibits antioxidant properties that help in scavenging free radicals. This can reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Bone Health

Casein contains high levels of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones. Regular intake of casein can improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, particularly in post-menopausal women.

Casein 101: Side Effects

Though casein brings many health benefits, we can’t overlook the possible dangers it brings too. After all, casein found in milk may not be as healthy as it was before.

Gut Inflammation and Digestive Discomfort

Casein milk contains both A1 and A2 beta-caseins which may cause stomach discomfort and inflammation of the gut.

Adverse Reactions in Some People With Lactose Intolerance

Some people who are allergic to dairy may experience severe reactions after consuming dairy foods. Possible side effects may include swelling of throat and face, hives, itchy skin, coughing, and wheezing. Another potential side effect which requires medical attention is anaphylaxis.


Since casein can delay intestinal transit, it may lead to difficulty in bowel movement. Consumers may also experience gas and bloatedness.

Kidney Stress

High protein intake, including from casein, can put extra stress on the kidneys, particularly in individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions. It is essential to monitor protein intake if you have kidney issues and consult a healthcare provider.

Potential Allergen

Besides lactose intolerance, some people might be specifically allergic to casein itself. This allergy can lead to gastrointestinal distress, skin rashes, or respiratory issues.

Hormonal Imbalance

There is some concern that high intake of dairy proteins, including casein, can affect hormone levels. Dairy products contain hormones that might disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, potentially affecting reproductive health.

Though some of these negative side effects can sound alarming, take note that casein is generally safe and only a small number of users have reported experiencing any of these side effects.

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Casein 101: Why Is It Among the Commonly Used Ingredients in Supplements?

Because we can’t get every nutrient that our body needs from our diet, most bodybuilders seek help from supplements to complete their dietary needs.

Protein supplements are one of the most popular supplements that are used by people who are physically active. And if you look at the ingredients of those supplements, there’s a common ingredient that you will find – casein.

Why do supplement manufacturers include casein as an ingredient in their product?

Well, the answer is pretty simple.

Because of casein’s ability to promote muscle growth and repair, it just makes sense to have it in included in a fitness supplement. Casein releases amino acids that facilitate repair of torn muscles and rebuild body tissues. It provides a steady supply of amino acids over longer hours and this results in an improved weight training performance.

How Do You Take Casein to Maximize Your Fitness Goal?

maximize your fitness goals with casein

Since it takes longer for casein to be digested, it is best to take it before you go to bed. It delivers a steady supply of amino acids that are essential for muscle recovery and this process works best when you are sleeping. It can also give your muscles protection from breaking down overnight when you don’t have protein supplied from meals.

The general recommendation of casein intake before going to bed is about 30-40 grams, although it varies on every individual based on their age, gender and strength capacity.

Similarly, taking casein is helpful for those who are doing intermittent fasting. Because it gives you a feeling of satiety, taking casein supplement before bed will help eliminate hunger pangs before your first meal.

You can get your daily dose of casein from natural dairy products such as cheese, yogurt or milk. But if you’re supplementing with casein protein powder, there are several ways on how to do it. You can simply mix 1-2 scoops of casein powder with water. You can also put this mixture in a blender with some ice for a cooler refreshment.


Taking casein every day does not just increase your protein intake daily but it also provides many benefits that are beneficial for your health. If you’re someone who wants to maximize the result of his weight training workouts, then trying casein supplement won’t hurt.


Cespedes, A. (2018). Foods That Contain the Protein Casein. Retrieved from

Harris-Fry, N. (2018). Casein Protein Basics: What Is It, What Are The Benefits And What Are The Side Effects?. Retrieved from

Mawer, R. (2016). Why Casein Is One of The Best Proteins You Can Take. Retrieved from

Picincu, A. (2019). Dangers of Casein Protein. Retrieved from

Tzemis, P. (2018). Casein. Retrieved from

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