Casein is an abundant protein in milk, serving as a building block of new muscle.

What are its health benefits?

Casein works as a slow-digesting protein, allowing for the more efficient use of amino acids.

Casein forms a gel as it comes into contact with stomach acid during digestion. This reduces the rate of digestion, creating a more efficient release and use of casein's amino acids. This means that muscles receive food over a longer period of time.

Casein supplementation may have the following benefits:

  • It is used in bodybuilding and by athletes to assist in building muscle mass and aiding in energy production
  • Assists in the stimulation of muscle protein production after workout
  • Assists in appetite control, as it keeps you fuller for longer so may aid in weight loss
  • May aid in the breakdown of muscle
  • Supports bone health, as it is a rich source of calcium
  • Assists in the management of fatigue and anxiety

It may also be used to assist in the management of:

Find it in these food sources

  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Some processed foods

Casein is also available in supplement form. It is often marketed as an alternative to whey protein (also dairy-based).

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

Dosage will vary deepening on your age, goals, lifestyle and metabolic factors. If you are considering taking casein, first talk to your doctor or Clicks pharmacist about whether you should be taking it and the correct dosage if so. 

Possible side effects

Possible side effects include:

  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Bloating
  • Gastro-intestinal discomfort (stomach aches and cramps)
  • Anaphylactic (allergic) reactions

Warnings

The use of casein during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided.

It’s also best to avoid it if you have a milk allergy.

Casein can affect blood pressure. If you are scheduled for surgery, stop taking casein peptides at least two weeks before.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in September 2015