Micellar Casein is a dairy protein derived from milk and accounts for approximately 80% of the protein found within milk. Micellar Casein is undenatured casein that exists in its natural globular structure (known as a micelle). The group of milk proteins we generally call casein are comprised of alpha casein, beta casein, gamma casein, delta casein, and kappa casein. A casein micelle is composed of all five of the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and kappa caseins. If one removes, or modifies, any one of the five caseins, the casein micelle is destroyed. Micellar Casein differs from other caseins / caseinates as it exists in its natural form and is more readily digested and assimilated by the body. On the other hand non micellar caseins and/or caseinates have been exposed to acid and alkali processes during their production in order to make them more palatable for use in food. As a result of these harsh processes they have a lower level of bioactivity due to the natural micellar structure of the casein being irreparably destroyed which results in the protein being denatured / damaged.
What is it used for?
Traditionally, Micellar Casein has been used as a sustained release protein due its tendency to gel in the small intestine and gradually release out over 6-7 hours. It is commonly labelled as an anti-catabolic protein because of its sustained release properties. However, it should also be pointed out that because of the sustained release properties and the unique bio-active micro-fractions within Micellar Casein it can also be considered a highly anabolic protein as well. Most bodybuilders often tend to use Micellar Casein prior to bed at night. However, Micellar Casein is also ideal as a general purpose protein for daytime use as well. General purpose use of Micellar Casein subsequently results in greater nitrogen retention for longer periods of time. This type of usage promotes ongoing muscle protein synthesis through the continual release of critical muscle building and immune enhancing amino acids like leucine, arginine and glutamine.
Who should use it?
Anybody seeking to retain or increase lean muscle mass. Individuals on low calorie diets would also do well to use Micellar Casein as it helps maintain satiety (feelings of fullness) for longer periods.