New Research: Whey/Casein Blend PWO
In the world of bodybuilding, it is a well known “fact” that after working out you absolutely need fast-acting proteins ingested immediately and a huge dose of simple carbohydrates to spike insulin levels. This is supposed to be the proper recipe for massive gains. This prescribed post-workout (PWO) nutrition plan has led to the explosion of whey protein supplements. And in truth, research does show that whey protein supplementation after resistance exercise does lead to increased muscle gain. But should this be the “gold standard” of PWO nutrition? What does the science say? As it turns out, perhaps the speed of digestion isn’t the only factor…
In a recent study at Baylor University, researchers compared the effects of whey protein supplementation on body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capacity during 10 weeks of resistance training (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16937979). The interesting thing about this study, however, was that they added casein protein into the mix. Here is how the 3 test groups broke down:
WC Group : 40 g casein+ 8g’s whey
W Group: 40 g whey+3g BCAA+5g glutamine
P Group: 48 g carbohydrate
With these three groups, we would expect to see a certain trend if whey protein is the most effective PWO protein source. Specifically, we would expect to see the most positive gains in lean body mass (LBM) in the W group, followed by the WC group and then finally the P group. What did the study show?
In spite of the fact that casein protein is typically known as a “slow” protein, the WC group experienced the greatest increases in DEXA lean mass, followed by the W group and then the P group. What does this tell us? Well, it is only one study, so clearly more research needs to be done. However, this study does in fact suggest it may be more beneficial to take a blend of whey/casein protein PWO than to use a whey protein alone.
So how should we handle the peri-workout window with this new information? Here is a little sample that should be quite effective:
45-60 minutes before workout: 1 cup of oatmeal
15 minutes before: an apple, whey protein shake
immediately after: whey/casein blend (such as Nitrocore 24 or Dymatize Elite Gourmet — I would highly recommend the Sensational Cinnamon Roll flavor of Nitrocore 24 its amazing) as well as a 1 cup of oatmeal or 10 oz of sweet potato
As new science comes in as it relates to bodybuilding, we must learn to adjust our training and nutrition as we learn. When it comes to post-workout nutrition, it now seems that a whey/casein blend is measurably better than whey protein alone in as little as 10 weeks. Give it a try and see what happens for you.