T Nation

Whey Or Whey + Casein?


I was wondering what everyone's take on this is: is it more beneficial to use--in general--a straight whey protein, or a whey + casein mixed protein?

The reason I pose this question is that opinions on this subject seem to be somewhat contradictory. I remember when it was widely advocated that one should use a mixed protein so as to get the increase in MPS (muscle protein synthesis)rates from the rapid rise in amino acid levels from the whey portion, while maintaining a steady supply of aminos to take advantage of this increased MPS rate through the casein portion.

Then it seems that some began to advocate the use of straight whey and/or whey and casein hydrolysates. The idea being that the more rapid the rise in amino acid levels, certain ones in particular, the greater the increase in MPS rates, and that, in parrticular, the greater the difference between "resting" (or baseline) Leucine levels and the spiked level, the greater the increase in MPS rates.

So, allowing amino acid levels in the blood to drop and then spike very rapidly and very high would create the greatest increase in MPS rates. Whey and/or whey and casein hydrolysates would thus seem to be the logical choice.

However, I still see people advocating the use of mixed proteins. Their reasoning is that research that has now been replicated a half-dozen times or so seems to indicate that because whey is so rapidly absorbed and causes such a large increase in amino acid levels, the body attemps to counter this and maintain homeostasis by filtering out much of these amino acids through the liver. Thus, there are not enough amino acids left in the blood beyond a very transient spike for the muscles to be able to take advantage of the temporary increase in MPS rates.

I would love it if the powers to be here could bring this question to the attention of Dr. Lowery, or one of the many other very knowledgeable people here.




I hear. Id go with straight whey personally.


Id personally want a solid form of both every day. If money dosent allow it then just whey. If u can, buy a tub of whey and a tub of Casein.


The studies and opinions can be quite frustrating and confusing no?

Whenever I read opposing studies that seems to contradict one another, I sort of go back to a tenet that works for me: variety is not only the spice of life, but an absolute necessity FOR growing life.

Putting this into practice, this means just like changing weight lifting techniques and philosophies often to keep the body guessing and continually strive to push the recovery and adaptation mechanisms to keep them on their toes, I feel the same about diet, especially protein supplementation. I do not believe staying with a mixed protein supplement day in and day out is optimal, nor do I believe the fast protein diets (casein hydro, whey) day in day out are going to be optimal either. But switching off between periods of taking them will be the best of both worlds. Then the research will be in concert with one another!

My 2 cents.


Thanks for the reply, guys. I guess what I'm specifically wondering about is the use of protein powders throughout the day--as a replacement for, or an addition to, whole food protein. I'm very comfortable with the idea behind the Anaconda protocol FOR PERI-WORKOUT; but I think this is a unique physiological time frame. I'm more concerned with supplemental protein intake throughout the rest of the day.

So, right now I use Anaconda #2 peri-workout, whey isolate at various times during the day in order to supplement or replace whole food protein, and a whey/casein mix as a last "meal".

I'm familiar with the idea of a difference in resting or baseline and "spiked" levels of a particular biologically active substance--in this case leuceine--turning on a process in the body. So, untill I hear more of a consensus in this area I guess I'll continue on as is.



Didn't The Mighty Stu mention something about the superiority of mixed protein over straight whey at some point? Or am I imagining things?



Don't recall reading that, but I truly think the jury is still out regarding what is superior or not....I think there are almost an equal number of studies that indicate one or the other is better.

Also, what works for one individual definitely does not mean it will work for another. Even if Stu indicated it worked for him unfortunately can't be taken to mean it can be taken as a generality.

I like mixed proteins myself...but on many occassions I've gone the "quick protein" route with either MAG-10 or whey isolate. I've realized good results from either supplemental protocol.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that since Stu said so (and I'm not even sure if I remember that correctly!) then the case is closed. It's just one more opinion coming from someone who knows what he's talking about.

I think the jury will be out regarding what's more effective for quite some time.