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What is Calcium Caseinate?

By Micki Elizabeth
Updated Feb 19, 2024
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Calcium caseinate is a protein extracted from the insoluble portion of milk and purified in a chemical process. It has the ability to neutralize the active ingredient capsaicin, which causes the hot sensation found in peppers such as jalapenos and habaneros. Calcium caseinate is often used in powder form as a dietary supplement, particularly by bodybuilders, due to its tendency to release proteins at a slow, steady rate. The supplement is commonly ingested in conjunction with other types of proteins, as it has both pros and cons.

Athletes, weightlifters and others who require extra protein added to their diets may find many potential benefits from ingesting this powdered supplement. It is perhaps most well-known for the ability to be digested slowly. Casein proteins are able to stay in the acidic environment of the stomach, thereby releasing helpful muscle-building amino acids for hours longer than other protein powders. Bodybuilders generally take calcium caseinate before bed and with breakfast in the morning for that reason. Due to the slow release of proteins, the caseinate can also make one feel full throughout the day, possibly eliminating the desire for unhealthy snacks or unnecessarily high-calorie meals.

Proteins derived from fresh milk are often high in a particular type of amino acid called glutamic acid, essential to building muscles. Amino acids are fuel for a body’s metabolism and are created when the body breaks down proteins. Glutamic acids can help not only with feeding the muscles, but with disposing of waste and nitrogen as well.

Some do find that calcium caseinate has downsides. The powder is sometimes considered blander, chalkier and thicker than other protein powders. An unpleasant taste or feeling can be left in the mouth after ingestion. Those who are used to the supplement, however, say they have found ways to mix caseinates with certain ingredients and combine it with the use of a blender to mask any unwanted taste or texture.

Bodybuilders and others who should pay particular attention to protein intake sometimes find that the best way to use calcium caseinate may be in conjunction with whey proteins. Whey has the ability to synthesize twice as much protein and works faster than calcium caseinate. Many athletes believe that by using whey immediately before and after workouts along with caseinate proteins once or twice per day, appropriate protein levels may best be reached. It is generally a good idea for individuals to consult a doctor or nutritionist before introducing a strict supplement regimen into the diet.

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Discussion Comments
By anon256778 — On Mar 23, 2012

Muscle milk has this protein in it, and is milk and lactose free, if that helps anyone. They also have a muscle milk light.

By Hawthorne — On Aug 02, 2011

I love this stuff! I take calcium caseinate twice daily, and not only do I see a marked difference in my muscle-building efforts, but I also don't want to eat any junk food anymore. I mean, I can watch others eat sugary stuff and fattening fast food and I'm just plain not interested. It's great.

I recommend taking calcium caseinate for people trying to lose weight, because it will help you avoid eating a bunch of garbage so you can focus on putting good things into your body instead. Good luck!

By TheGraham — On Aug 02, 2011

Man, why does everything that's best for building muscles have to be milk-based? I'm severely allergic to milk, but I want to pump up too!

Does anybody know if you can get calcium casienate or some other kind of casein that works equally well from a non-dairy source? If so, what's it called? I want to look into it.

I'm really serious about getting more muscular, and I work out and follow a healthy diet already. Some kind of supplement drink seems like the best step to give me an extra edge on this. Thanks for any help you can give me.

By seHiro — On Aug 01, 2011

I find it really interesting that calcium caseinate is the stuff that can neutralize the spiciness in hot peppers! I guess that's why some people swear you should drink milk after eating a dangerously hot pepper to prevent you from burning your esophagus and stomach.

In the bodybuilding sense, calcium caseinate sounds very useful. I have never heard of it before since all of the bodybuilding supplement drinks I see in my local stores are made with (and blare information about) whey protein powder.

Does whey protein powder work better over all than calcium caseinate, or is the best possible combination to have both calcium caseinate and whey protein powder together in one drink?

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