6: Use a mixed protein powder
Decades of research recommends focusing on using whey protein powders. And that advice remains the same but with a little tweak to it. That tweak is to add bio-active peptides to your whey. Bio-active peptides like those found in BIO-GRO and 100% BIO-ACTIVE WHEY are shown in human studies to improve the rate of recovery or protein synthesis, helping you build muscle faster. Whey is definitely the king of protein. For one, it is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s). It also provides special peptides and microfractions that other protein sources or straight-up aminos can’t. In fact, a recent study comparing whey protein to an amino acid mix that provided the same exact amino acids whey provides showed whey outperformed the amino acids.
Whey also happens to be the fastest digesting protein you can consume, which means it delivers its critical BCAA’s, peptides, and microfractions to your muscles quickly. This is important for energy during the workout and for muscle growth after. So yes, the first protein you want to concern yourself with is whey protein, especially before and after, and/or during workouts, as well as in the morning and at any points between meals where a protein shake will do.
The second protein source to drink is a slow-digesting protein, such as casein, and particularly micellar casein. Micellar casein is casein in its natural form found in milk. It has been shown to provide a slow and steady supply of aminos for as long as seven hours. This is due to the fact that casein forms a clot when it is in the stomach. To visualize this, consider when you mix a whey protein powder compared to when you mix a casein protein powder. The whey tends to mix very easily, yet the casein tends to form clumps in the fluid. This is similar to what happens in your stomach when you consume casein. Although the clumps of casein may be bad for palatability when drinking a casein shake, it provides benefits when these clumps form in your stomach. These clumps decrease the surface area of the casein available to digestive enzymes. The enzymes must digest the casein clumps one layer at a time, much like peeling the layers off an onion. This means casein provides a slow and steady supply of aminos. That has been shown to keep protein synthesis extended for longer, and it has also been shown to decrease muscle protein breakdown.
Remember muscle grows when protein synthesis is greater than muscle breakdown. Casein actually works on both ends to promote muscle growth by increasing muscle protein synthesis and decreasing muscle protein breakdown. One easy way to get micellar casein you may not have realized is from protein powders and drinks that provide milk protein isolate or milk protein concentrate.
Make sure you are using both a fast-acting protein like whey in the morning and around your workout, while utilizing micellar casein before bed and one other time each day. You can also mix up your protein source with a protein like egg from time to time to deliver a different amino acid profile and rate of digestion.