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Protein supplements are taken to ensure a positive nitrogen balance and to stimulate protein synthesis for maximum lean muscle mass gain. Most supplements are designed to make the amino acids available to cells as soon as possible causing a big, but transient peak in protein synthesis. However, preventing muscle protein breakdown is just as important as stimulating new synthesis, and this is where organic micellar casein comes in.

As a result of low blood glucose or catabolic hormones, the body regularly breaks down the proteins in your muscles to release free amino acids that can be turned to glucose in the liver. Fast acting protein supplements, such as whey are not very good at preventing a catabolic state, since their effects at elevating free plasma amino acid levels fade quickly after ingestion. Organic Micellar casein, on the other hand, releases amino acids into the blood slowly over a number of hours, and is particularly effective at preventing protein breakdown.

Less protein breakdown when combined with training and supplements that stimulate protein synthesis, means increased lean muscle mass over time.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins 

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Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. When you consume protein it is digested into amino acids in the stomach, which are then used to build proteins in the body. Of the 20 amino acids in our proteins, ten are essential – they cannot be synthesised and have to be obtained through the diet. Some amino acids also have important signalling roles, for example the branched chain amino acid leucine, which stimulates protein synthesis by acting through the mTOR pathway.

Amino acids can also be metabolised for energy. When glucose levels are low and glycogen stores are depleted they are turned into glucose by the liver in a process known as gluconeogenesis. This is obviously not good news if you are trying to increase your muscle mass. Falling into a catabolic state is particularly likely when you are cutting down on carbohydrates, or even in the early morning, when your glycogen stores are depleted and levels of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol are at its highest. Using organic micellar casein to prevent muscle protein breakdown should be an important part in your muscle gain strategy.

Casein is one of the two major types of protein in milk, the other type being whey. Cow’s milk is 80% casein. Because of its hydrophobic nature the protein is not very soluble in water and exists as a suspension on tiny particles known as micelles, giving it the name micellar casein. When ingested it precipitates in the stomach because of the low pH forming a gelatinous network. This is digested very slowly. However, it also has a very low gastric clearing rate, which means that it stays in the stomach for a long time. Despite the slow digestion you will get the amino acids contained in the micellar casein you’ve taken, it will just take a long time. This is perfect for creating a moderately elevated amino acid concentration in the serum over a long period of time to protect from a catabolic state. You can just take your organic micellar casein supplement in the morning and/or in the evening and not worry about protein breakdown.

To achieve the same effects with fast-acting types of proteins you would have to take them once an hour. Researchers have found that amino acid levels are still elevated seven hours after taking Organic micellar casein. Because the supplement maintains free amino acids in plasma, there is no need to breakdown muscle proteins to release free amino acids. The result is that organic micellar casein protects against a catabolic state, and leads to increased lean muscle gain.

Micellar increasing anabolic state 

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A study by a team from the Université Clermont Auvergne in France, found that taking an organic micellar casein supplement caused a prolonged plateau of elevated amino acid levels. Although this is not as effective at stimulating new protein synthesis as the big peak found after ingesting fast-digesting proteins like whey, it is very good at increasing anabolic state and last for many hours. The researchers found that organic mice llar casein caused a 34% decrease in whole protein breakdown. It also produced a 31% increase in protein synthesis, which is significant.

Whey protein supplements, on the other hand, caused a big surge in protein synthesis rates, but did not have an effect on protein breakdown. The two types of milk proteins obviously work synergistically together. The scientists discovered that the catabolism-preventing effects of organic micellar casein can last for seven hours after ingestion.

The best strategy appears to be taking organic micellar casein in the morning and evening, when it will maintain amino acid levels even when you are not consuming any food, and taking fast-acting protein supplements such as whey post workout when it will support the maximum lean muscle gain. With this strategy you will ensure optimal amino acid levels for putting down new muscle fibres while preventing the breakdown of body proteins during the times when you are not taking in nutrients and experience a drop in blood sugar levels.

Organic micellar casein is a protein supplement prepared from organic milk that plays an important part in increasing lean muscle mass by preventing protein breakdown. The special properties of casein come from the fact that it precipitates in the stomach and forms a gel, which is digested slowly but remains in the stomach for a long period of time. After taking a micellar casein supplement you will experience a prolonged plateau of moderately elevated plasma amino acid levels, which will prevent the body from going into a catabolic state. This is particularly helpful in periods when you will not be eating for several hours, such as during the night or when trying to cut down on carbohydrates. Preventing muscle protein breakdown is an plays an important part in increasing lean muscle mass.

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Further Reading:

The effect of micellar casein on amino acid levels and protein metabolism:

Milk proteins are superior in increasing muscle mass:

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