What is the difference between casein and whey protein and which is better for you ?

When thinking of fulfilling your nutritional requirement of protein, ever got confused between casein and whey protein ? Then this article is meant for you! Continue reading to know about these two popular protein powders.

Whey and casein: Making process


Whey is made from the milk derived from the cheesemaking process. Special enzymes are added to separate the curd from liquid whey which is then pasteurized, purified and filtered into a powdered product containing 80-95% protein, which is known as whey protein.


The primary protein component present in cow’s milk is casein. It is prepared from skim milk( milk from which cream has been removed) by precipitation of acid or by rennet coagulation. The purpose of rennet coagulation is to make a clot out of milk by adding enzymes to it. It can also be prepared at home from skim milk and vinegar.

In simple words, the protein powder which is prepared from the liquid part during cheesemaking process is called whey protein whereas the solid part, the curds of casein which is dried to form powder is called casein protein.

Benefits of whey 

Whey is a high quality protein that serves various benefits. It helps building muscle mass and promotes bone health. Apart from that, it is also being associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Whey protein helps reducing fat, promotes stamina, release of dietary antioxidants in body and reduced hair loss problems is just a by product.

Side effects of whey

With some benefits comes side effects too. The side effects of high doses of whey may include thirst, bloating, acne, nausea, reduced appetite and headache.

Benefits of casein

Various benefits of casein include increased muscle mass, endurance of body strength and burning fat. Casein also contributes to aid muscle recovery help boost the immunity and increase the level of energy in body.

Side effects of casein

The side effects of casein protein might include itches on skin, coughing, hives, wheezing and swelling.

Whey and casein : Digestion process

Our body breaks down protein into small molecules called amino acids which stay in the bloodstream until they are absorbed. Both the protein contains incredible range of amino acids. The major difference between whey and casein is how our body absorbs it. And when it comes to absorbing, whey is a fast acting protein. 20 g of whey gets absorbed by the body in nearly 2 hrs. i.e. it gets absorbed at the rate 10g per hour. On the other hand, casein gets absorbed and digested slowly. 6/7 g of casein gets absorbed in an hour. Because of the slow absorption rate, casein is an ideal choice of protein if someone wants to consume it before going to bed. While whey protein because of it’s fast absorption rate is considered ideal to consume before working out.

To sum up, whey is a faster protein supplement and casein is a slower supplement. Although the nutritional factors of whey and casein varies little, whey is little better much before workouts because of it’s absorption rate. Casein could also be beneficial for muscle recovery and boosting immune system. Both the proteins can help your muscles grow when you work out and help the fatigued muscles reform after exercise.

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