There seems to be much confusion surrounding casein protein and what it is. A lot of that is due to the fact that like whey, it is derived from milk. Like whey it is often found in most cheeses, and contains BCAAs (Branch Chained Amino Acids) and calcium.
Differences between Casien and Whey Protein:
Unlike whey, casein protein has a number of uses outside of milk product additives and dietary supplement. Casein is used in the production of certain types of paints, as well as due to its “sticky” properties, can be manufactured into fibers that can be used to make fabric. In the past, casein protein was also used to manufacture glue.
Interestingly, despite the marked similarities between whey and casein, they do provide suprisingly different benefits for those who use the protein as a primarily workout supplement.
Also, Casein provides significantly less anti oxidants, and unlike whey protein which has been shown to have a correlation between a reduced incidence of cancer when taken daily, casein has actually been shown to increase the risk of cancer in rats.
So why would someone want to take Casein Protein?….
The primary reasons why anyone would want to take casein as a dietary supplement, especially with its correlation with an increased risk of cancer, is due to its “sticky” properties noted above. When digested, casein protein congeals and clots in the stomach meaning that the overall digestion of the protein is extremely slow and long lasting, unlike whey protein. This is important to body builders as it allows them to take protein both as a pre workout and post workout supplement, as the protein digestion lasts throughout the workout, and when taken post workout, provides protein to the body for muscle repair for hours.
Overall i would not recommend that anyone takes casein protein, especially when their is a readily available comparable substance (whey protein) available that provides significantly greater benefits, with non of the downsides of casein. The only other reason i could logically see someone taking casein would be if they were a competitive athlete or bodybuilder whose livelihood depends on that very slight increase in muscle repair post workout.