This type of protein is most commonly found in dairy products such as milk. It has a slower digestion rate than whey protein which can be beneficial as it positively impacts muscle protein synthesis, which helps build muscle in the long term.
Casein protein has also been shown to benefit muscle protein breakdown. This may seem counterintuitive but sometimes it is necessary to break down protein to be used for energy. This helps you to secure positive muscle protein turnover which is crucial in gaining muscle. Because of this, the most optimal time to take casein protein is before you sleep.
Protein blends describe protein supplements which contain both whey and casein. This combination is designed to provide you with the best of both worlds. The whey protein element will provide the initial influx on protein synthesis and the casein will help prolong the higher rate of protein synthesis.
Research has consistently shown that in combination with resistance training, a protein blend is more effective then either whey protein or casein alone.
In terms of the best protein supplement for muscle gain, creatine is often unbeaten. Evidence consistently suggests that creatine can help you gain twice as much muscle! The exact metabolic process in which creatine triggers is largely unclear. However, what we do know is that muscles are able to work at an increased capacity when there is an increased amount of creatine in the system, therefore more high quality training can be undertaken.
When your creatine stores are full, you should be able to complete extra reps and push yourself that little bit further in order to gain more muscle.
BCAAs are also called branch-chained amino acids. They enhance the rate of muscle protein synthesis as BCAA contains leucine. This supplement has also been shown to boost meals that would otherwise be low in protein as they increase protein synthesis rates in your muscles.
Therefore, BCAA is an extremely useful supplement for vegetarians and vegans to boost protein intake.
HMB is also called beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate which sounds more complicated than it is. HMB basically describes the after product of leucine consumption. By consuming HMB after regular training with weights or resistance bands can increase muscle grain of up to 1kg with 3-6 weeks worth of training!
The way HMB works is by increasing the speed of the muscle regeneration process post exercise. In addition to this, HMB also minimises protein breakdown. Taking 1.5-3g of HMB daily is the most optimal way to consume this supplement.
How to use supplements for muscle gain?
By being in a positive protein balance you will have a headstart in building muscle, this is where protein supplements come in. A continuous turnover of muscle protein is taking place in your body all the time, this describes a level high protein synthesis over some periods and a level level of muscle protein breakdown through other periods.
However, muscle gain is only built when the level of muscle protein synthesis is higher than the level of muscle protein breakdown. It is important to keep these levels in mind whilst trying to build muscle and taking protein supplements alongside your training. Your muscle protein synthesis can be easily increased if your diet is high in protein and you engage in regular resistance training.
To be successful in building muscle, ensure you are consuming enough protein in your diet and ensure the level of muscle protein synthesis is higher than the level of muscle protein breakdown in your body. This can be enhanced by muscle gain supplements.