If you’re new to the world of sports nutrition, you probably hear a lot about whey proteins or, if you’re vegan; hemp, pea or rice proteins. These are the everyday sloggers, the grafters you’ll find in smoothies or shakes. If you’re dipping your toe into the fitness sphere, these are the first types of protein you’ll first become aware of.
There are a plethora of protein products available out there, all with a list of benefits and recommended uses. We understand this can be confusing, especially if your only point of reference is those guys in the gym who leave with a shaker in hand. Here at Neat Nutrition, we like to keep it simple. Whey, Lean, Vegan and Slow Release are our four core proteins.
Also known as Casein, Slow Release protein sort of does exactly what it says on the tin (or in our case, brown kraft bag). It releases slowly to feed your muscles over time, which is why it’s perfect for before bed to help your muscles recover while you’re sleeping. It’s also good if you know you’re going to have a long break between meals and want something to keep you feeling fuller.
Why is Slow Release different from Whey? It’s all in the science! Neat Nutrition uses milk to produce our dairy based proteins. Cow’s milk protein breaks down into around 20% Whey and 80% Casesin. Once the milk has been collected, it’s separated into curds and whey. Whey is what’s used to make our whey protein, while the curds are used for our Slow Release (and other dairy items like cheese).
Casein is the solid protein in milk. It has a unique structure, which gives it a reputation as a binding agent. In the case of your body’s reaction to it, when casein reacts with your stomach acid, it forms a gel. This substance takes longer to break down, meaning a more efficient release of those all-important amino acids.
Should Casein and Whey proteins be used exclusively? Not necessarily. We always say, find a balance that suits you. It’s okay to mix your Whey and Slow Release proteins (we mean literally, as in, mix them both in a shake) if you want to. Alternatively, take your Whey for an after gym recovery and your Slow Release before bed – whatever works for you. We’ve seen some amazing recipes using our Slow Release protein on Instagram so share your tips below!