Slow digestion vs. fast digestion
There are a few different types of protein powders available, but in terms of popularity and usage, there is really just three:
- Whey – The “Fast Protein”
- Casein – The “Slow Protein”
- Hemp – The “Slow Protein”, highly digestible, highest percentage of protein.
While whey and Casein both are derived from milk, there are some differences between them you should know…
By far the more popular of the two milk-based proteins is whey protein powder known as the “fast” protein. This is due to the fact that it is the fastest digesting protein there is.
So, if there happened to be any times when it would be ideal for protein to be digested and absorbed by your body as quickly as possible, whey protein powder would be the best possible choice. The following times are ideal for fast digestion:
- Immediately before your workout (only needed if you’re consuming this meal less than 30 minutes before your workout).
- During your workout
- Immediately after your workout (the most common use of all).
Athletes, bodybuilders and regular people who just want to look great with or without clothes on have used whey protein powder for years as their protein source in the meals surrounding their workouts. Whether or not whey truly is “better” than a normal high protein food in your post workout meal is hard to say with absolute certainty. Either way, whey protein is definitely the protein source that is most often recommended for this purposes.
Casein protein is known as the “slow” protein. This is due to the fact that it is the slowest digesting protein there is (significantly slower than whey), which is why casein is not recommended for the meals around your workout.
However, casein is an ideal choice when you don’t care about digestion speed, or when you just purposely want protein to digest slowly. For this reason, casein protein is a perfectly fine choice for when you need a non-workout related protein source during the day as part of any normal meal.
Of course, whey protein combined with anormal meal containing carbohydrates, fat and/or other nutrients will actually slow down whey’s digestion to the point where it’s likely just as suitable as casein for those meals.
Having said that, there is still one time of the day when casein universally beats whey in terms of usage and recommendations: the last meal before bed.
It has long been felt that it would be beneficial to have some protein in your system while you’re sleeping, and your body is doing most of its recovering/repairing. Since you spend those 8 or so hours in a fasted state, it became a common recommendation to consume a slow digesting source of protein in your last meal of the day.
It is hard to say if the benefits of doing this as significant as some people think. However, since doing so won’t hurt you then using casein protein is definitely the ideal slow digesting source of protein for this situation.
Hemp protein is slow digesting, making it ideal for supplementation between meals and before bedtime, and works for the same purpose as Casein protein.
© Copyright – Hector Sectzer