Casein, a category or family of phosphoproteins, is a protein that is commonly found in cow’s milk. Like that of other animal proteins, casein is completely 100% protein. Casein provides copious amounts of amino acids and takes longer to digest in comparison with that of other proteins. Hence, this results in the amino acids being released into the bloodstream over a long period of time. According to the International Journal of Exercise Science, casein protein releases amino acids for approximately 7 hours, while other proteins digest in 3. Casein is about 80% of the cow’s milk protein, while it’s around 20-60% of the proteins in human milk. Casein protein is also found in all of the alternative forms of milk, be it yoghurt, cheese, creams, butter or puddings etc.
Casein protein is also available in powder form and it’s constituents make it an excellent supplement for athletes, or those who gym regularly. Since it is a slow-digesting protein it enables the muscle to recover and grow better after physical activity. In addition to that, this protein powder increases your daily protein intake aiding in muscle gain and weight loss among individuals.
Some other forms of proteins are whey, which release amino acids into your bloodstream quicker. So this may be opted before or after a workout. Casein rich foods can also be processed food like salad dressings, nutrition bars, baked goods, even formulas for babies. A few other examples of casein protein content are processed meat and cereals. Tuna, semi-sweet chocolate, crackers and ghee may contain some levels of casein.
Cheese is a food that is loaded with casein protein. No other organic product consists of casein protein as much as cheese. Since during the cheese making process, whey and lactose are separated, therefore the curd consists of more casein. Cottage cheese is another high casein protein food. It’s relatively lower fat component makes it a good alternative to regular cheese. Anything natural or processed with cheese provides a good amount of casein. However, there is a large group of people who cannot digest milk and milk products properly. This is called lactose intolerance and it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the ingredients lists of the things you purchase. Even ingredients like ‘lactic acid’ and artificial flavourings’ may indicate the presence of casein. Another thing to be noted is that even though the label claims dairy-free, it does not necessarily have to be casein free.