What’s the Difference Between Whey Protein and Casein Protein (And Which is Right for You)?

What’s the Difference Between Whey Protein and Casein Protein (And Which is Right for You?)

Finding the perfect protein product for your health and fitness goals can be daunting. Just spend five seconds in the protein powder aisle of any supermarket or health food store and you’ll be heading to the couch to lay down—not the gym!

Whey protein, casein protein—how do these two popular proteins stack up? Is there one that’s best for you?

Whey protein is a hugely popular protein choice. According to Dr. Josh Axe, it’s the most popular protein powder in the world because of its muscle-building and weight-loss benefits. 

Whey’s also an excellent source of amino acids and the super antioxidant, glutathione. Because of whey’s complex chemical profile, it’s been linked to numerous health benefits aside from those that impact your fitness routine. It’s no wonder it’s so popular.

But what about casein protein?

Both whey and casein come from cow’s milk. But that doesn’t mean they’re the same. Casein may also be promoted as “milk protein” because casein is so abundant in milk—about 80 percent of the protein in milk is casein. 

Like whey, casein is loaded with branched-chain amino acids. It’s an easily digestible protein, but it stays in the body longer, which may aid in boosting your muscle mass by enhancing protein synthesis.

But if you’re looking for a protein powder to enhance your workout performance, whey might be the better choice because it contains more of the branched-chain amino acids than casein. Whey also works faster, meaning your muscles are going to reap the benefits more quickly with whey than with casein.

Casein is also the protein that causes dairy allergies or sensitivities. So if you have a history of dairy issues, whey is going to be the safer choice. 

When choosing either a whey protein or casein protein product, make sure to look for organic and grass-fed sources as they’re going to provide a much cleaner and more nutritious product than conventionally-raised dairy.

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