Paying attention to every element of your nutrition plan is part of being an elite and high performing swimmer. From knowing how much water to drink to what snacks are best for game day, it's important that you are vigilant about what you're eating.
And your protein sources are no different. When you're trying to figure out what protein shakes to drink, pay attention to the casein vs whey ratio. These tips will help you choose the best one for a great performance all season long!
1. The benefits of both
Casein, which makes up the majority of milk protein, is known for it's slow absorption, stellar amino acid profile, and also contributes to bone strength. Whey, on the other hand, only makes up about 20% of milk protein, and is a natural by-product of the cheese making process. Its benefits include quick absorption, supports immune function, and has also shown antioxidant properties.
To get the maximum benefit from these high powered proteins, use them together. Since amino acid absorption is key to protein synthesis and muscle repair, having the fast acting whey is ideal for right after an intense workout, but casein will assist in this process while you sleep. Knowing when to ingest your protein shakes is just as important as what type you are taking, so use a protein powder that has both sources for maximum benefits. The P2Life Nutriboost is one example of a protein shake that has both to help your body build muscle properly.
2. Quality is key
As with any other product out there, the quality of your protein should be the best if you are going to perform with elite swimmers. There are plenty of protein shakes out there that are solely whey protein, and part of the reason is that it is cheaper than casein. But now that we know that your body needs both, it's important to pay attention to the overall quality and ingredients in your shake. Sophisticated caseins, while costlier than whey, are worth the extra money and the nutritional payoff.
Additionally, some sports nutrition manufacturers use fillers in their protein shakes to cut costs. Pay attention to labels and stay away from low quality protein sources like "gelatin and collagen hydrolysate (hydrolyzed collagen), which are made from animal structural tissues (connective tissue, cartilage and bones), are often selected as a more affordable protein source."1
3. Strike a balance
While it's always good to get your protein from whole food sources, "animal sources of dietary protein, despite providing a complete protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, have some health professionals concerned about the amount of saturated fat common in these foods compared to vegetable sources."2 Using a protein shake to balance the heavier sources of protein like meat and chicken is a great way to manage fat intake. Choosing a protein shake that has animal derivative sources like casein and whey is a better choice, and you can even enjoy the muscle repairing benefits with vegetable sources like soy protein. The Nutriboost protein shake has a mixture of high quality casein, whey, and soy protein to give your body the maximum amount of nutrients without a high fat content.
With this new information about the casein vs whey debate, you can rest assured that you are getting the best product with P2Life. For more articles on nutrition for swimmers, check out our blog today!