Casein is a family of phosphoproteins found mainly in fresh milk and constitutes its first source of protein by abundance: about three-quarters of all milk proteins belong to this family.
Hydrolyzed caseins vs Whey
Hydrolyzed caseins are milk proteins obtained by hydrolyzation, an artificial enzymatic digestion process where the protein bonds of caseins are split, transforming proteins into smaller and more easily digestible molecules: peptides.
This type of casein is particularly appreciated by athletes for its amino acid spike similar to that of the classic whey protein while maintaining a very prolonged amino acidemia, even though they are small amino acid peptides with a very fast absorption capacity. In some comparative studies between caseins and wheys, there is a significant increase in protein synthesis for over six hours after taking it.
Furthermore, the insulin response induced by caseins compared to isolated or concentrated whey is a factor that facilitates a better formation of glycogen, especially if they are combined with carbohydrates, to obtain a faster signal (nutrient material) for a more efficient response of muscle reconstruction.
Characteristics of hydrolyzed caseins
A solid food protein is too large to be absorbed directly from the intestinal tract. Our body must first digest it and break it down into smaller portions to be absorbed. Only single amino acids and di- or tripeptides can be absorbed directly from the intestine via specific transport. For this reason, hydrolyzed caseins that contain a high percentage (70/80%) of small di- and tripeptides will quickly reach the bloodstream.
This is ideal in the delicate moment of post-workout, where you need quickly assimilable "bricks" for muscle reconstruction and to recover from acute inflammation, localized hyperemia, altered hormonal environment. Pure hydrolyzed caseins, without alterations given by aromas or sweeteners, have the following peculiarities:
- they are easily soluble in water;
- they remain stable even in an acid environment;
- they are hypoallergenic;
- have a rapid bioavailability. Being predigested, they are ideal for the post-workout moment, where a solid meal would require a digestive effort not appreciated by the body with consequent absorption altered in time and its efficiency;
- they stimulate the release of insulin, the powerful "storage" hormone in our body which must be consulted and helped at the right time.
Thanks to the specificity of hydrolyzed caseins, the athlete who takes during or post-workout drinks based on simple carbohydrates to which amino acids and electrolytes are added can also have these small but effective peptide chains available to restore recovery processes more quickly.