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Casein Protein Before Bed?

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One of the most important aspects of training is recovery. I’d argue that it’s actually THE most important aspect.  In order to build muscle, burn fat, develop neurologically, etc.. we must put our bodies through the stress-recovery cycle.  When we sleep, our bodies go into repair mode.  It is a time massive protein synthesis and synapse development.  Ever solve a difficult problem in your sleep?  That’s actually really common… you wake up and feel like a genius!

Now, imagine you got ready to build a wall to your dream home and you realized that you had very few bricks to work with.  The wall simply wouldn’t get finished.  When we consume proteins, our bodies break them down into peptides (short chains of amino acids).  They are then further broken down into amino acids that can safely be allowed into our bloodstreams through the intestinal wall.  We don’t just absorb whole proteins into our bloodstreams.  This would trigger an immune system response and cause lots of inflammation (which is exactly what happens when we have leaky gut, but that’s for another article!).  This breakdown into peptides and then into amino acids is largely what separates one protein source from another.

Whey protein is a very popular milk-based protein among athletes. It breaks down rapidly and hits the bloodstream within an hour and a half or so.  Casein protein, another milk-based protein, takes much longer to break down and hit the bloodstream.  In fact, you get a steady stream of amino acids into your bloodstream for hours after consuming a casein shake.  This is an ideal situation for a body that is continuously rebuilding tissue.

Casein is protein is very thick (it’s used to make Elmer’s Glue!).  So I recommend skipping the shaker bottle and using a blender. Consume it about an hour before bed.  And you might just find that you sleep better, wake up more refreshed (not feeling incredibly hungry), and your lean body mass will begin to increase a bit more (which will aid in fat catabolism!).

We will soon be carrying some whey and casein protein powders. In the meantime, you might consider picking some up from the local vitamin shop!