Proteins, for a lot of people an unknown subject, but still important to know the basics about it. In this blog article we explain the difference between whey and casein proteins. These are both proteins that can be obtained in powder form. We will explain everything about it below! Are you reading along?
What are proteins and what are they good for?
The body needs protein to build and repair all your cells, hormones, enzymes and defenses. They are the building blocks of the body. All of our body cells are largely made up of proteins that need new supplies every day. The amount of protein you need is very personal. If you are recovering from surgery, you can always eat more protein.
Plant and animal proteins
There are different kinds of proteins. There are both vegetable and animal proteins. Animal proteins are mainly found in meat, fish, milk and cheese. In contrast, vegetable proteins are mainly found in bread, grain products, legumes and nuts.
What are whey proteins?
Whey protein is a natural protein that originated in the production of cheese. During the production of cheese, besides the curds (see picture), a large side stream of whey is released after the milk has curdled. In the past, this side stream was simply thrown away. But people soon realised that this whey contains a lot of proteins. So no more throwing away!
Whey proteins can also be extracted directly from fresh milk. This is then called “native whey” and is one of the purest forms of protein.
By drying the whey, protein powder remains. Whey protein is the most widely used protein source in sports nutrition because it is directly absorbed by the body and is easy to digest. You will read more about this later!
Whey contains proteins with a biological value* of a maximum of 104. In an ordinary egg the biological value is at most 100.
Whey protein properties
What is casein protein?
Caseinate is protein that is made from fresh milk. The curds of fresh milk are filtered and dried with caseinate powder as the end result. Casein proteins have very different properties than whey proteins.
Casein protein properties:
As mentioned before, casein protein has very different properties than whey protein.
After bariatric surgery, it is wiser to consume whey proteins. This is because they are absorbed faster by the body and thus digested faster. Casein proteins are less interesting as they take on a more solid form in the stomach. This can cause a lot of complaints after a bariatric surgery.
* Biological value: ratio of the amount of protein in food to that in the human body. High biological value = all essential amino acids are present in approximately the same proportion in the human body.
* Amino acids: building blocks of proteins. The body breaks down proteins into amino acids. ¼ of this is burned as energy or excreted. The rest is used to produce the body’s own proteins. The body needs these to be able to function properly.