Does Casein Affect Sleep?
Casein shake is a favourite nighttime snack of many athletes. It contains essential amino acids that support the natural healing process of people who perform tough exercises during the day. Besides this, casein also provides amino acids that promote healthy sleep.
Are you curious whether a casein supplement will help you enjoy a better sleep or not? Then keep reading to find out!
Micellar Casein Protein
Casein is a milk protein that is obtained during cheese production. It is the curd-like by-product that is obtained during the production of cheese. It is actually a family of different phosphoproteins. Some of which have many health benefits.
Casein is separated from the milk and further processed until it becomes pure powder. It is the most common casein supplement that people consume globally. Casein is a healthy source of proteins, carbohydrates, calcium and phosphorus.
It contains all the essential amino acids that your body cannot make and depends on external sources to acquire them. It makes casein a complete protein. The casein supplement is sold in two different forms. Micellar casein protein is the form that digests slower. Casein hydrolysate is the form of casein supplement that is pre-digested and absorbs fast in the body.
Casein is composed of different elements. Its one scoop of 33 grams contains the following elements.
- Protein: 24 grams
- Carbs: 3 grams
- Fats: 1 gram
- Calories: 120
- Calcium: 50% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
Besides these components, it also contains phosphorus and iron in different proportions. Keep in mind that the nutritional value of a casein supplement may vary from one product to the other. You should always read the list of ingredients to identify which elements are used in it.
Benefits of taking casein supplement at night
More efficient in nutrient supply
Micellar casein protein takes more time to get fully absorbed in the system compared to the other forms of protein. Upon entering the stomach, it transforms into a thick substance that does not get digested easily. It means, unlike whey protein, it delivers the amino acids (components that make casein protein) for several hours after ingestion.
That is why people who take casein feel fuller for a longer duration and also notice a reduction in their appetite. At night when you are sleeping and not eating anything, having casein in your system will support the body by constantly supplying amino acids.
Supports the natural healing process
Protein is essential for the muscle recovery and healing process that occurs during sleep. Your muscles are made up of proteins that they need to function, perform activities, and build. When you provide your body with the casein supplement, you actually help it sustain a flow of amino acids that assist the muscles to heal and recover fast.
Because of the slow absorption of casein, it keeps adding amino acids to the blood that reaches muscles and begins the muscle protein synthesis process.
Prevents muscle breakdown
At night, when you do not feed your body it may start feeding on its muscles in order to meet its protein demands. If you have a casein supplement before sleep, you supply your body with the amino acids it needs while you sleep. It will prevent the process of muscle breakdown.  Due to this reason, casein is also named anti-catabolic.
One study found that participants who consumed casein or whey protein had amino acids in their bloodstream for around seven hours.  It indicates how having a micellar casein protein shake can help you preserve your muscles and reduce their breakdown. You will be able to sustain the muscle gain that you achieved after performing several hard exercises.
Increases fat metabolism
Micellar casein protein can make your metabolism fast which will eventually burn the stored fats. One study of 12 weeks concluded that people who consumed a protein supplement for a certain period of time had lost more fat compared to those who took a placebo.  It shows that taking the casein supplement may help you lose fat even when you are sleeping.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays several roles in the body. It is required for the synthesis of certain hormones like serotonin.  Serotonin is produced in the brain. It is a calming hormone that induces the feeling of happiness, relaxes your muscles, and helps you fall asleep. This way, a casein supplement may also help you enjoy quality sleep at night.
Hibernate Micellar Casein Protein with 5-HTP
Hibernate Micellar Casein Protein contains 22 grams of casein protein and 50 milligrams of 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan) per serving. It has the added tryptophan to help you regulate the sleep/wake cycle and fall asleep easily. This casein supplement comes in two flavours to make the nighttime snack healthy as well as delicious. One is the white chocolate flavour and the other is the double chocolate brownie flavour.
It has 100% grass-fed micellar casein which makes it even more effective. It also has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that fuel your body and different organs. These MCTs are derived from coconut oil and also have antimicrobial properties. It means they support your immune system as well. This casein supplement is reasonably priced and its one jar contains 30 servings.
If you are looking for a casein and tryptophan mixture that can help you maintain your muscle mass, boost muscle growth, and sleep better at night then you must try Hibernate Micellar Casein Protein with 5-HTP.
The bottom line
Casein provides the body with tryptophan amino acids that stimulate the production of serotonin hormone in the brain. Having a casein shake at night can help you enjoy a good night’s sleep and improve your muscle recovery and healing.
- Postprandial kinetics of dietary amino acids are the main determinant of their metabolism after soy or milk protein ingestion in humans (nih.gov)
- Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion (nih.gov)
- Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss in overweight police officers (nih.gov)
- 6 Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Medication (healthline)