One of the most common examples of slow-digesting proteins is micellar casein. Casein is one of two types of milk proteins that are derived from dairy products (cow's milk). Approximately four-fifths of the protein content of cow's milk is derived from casein; the rest is whey. The biological purpose of casein is to form “clots” in the stomach that aid the body's digestive process, part of the reason for its slow rate of digestion.
Steak, pork, chicken, turkey, salmon, and sole are just a few of the slow-release protein options in the meat category. While the protein in these foods is digested slightly faster than casein, the meat-based protein breaks down more slowly than that of legumes or grains. Always stick to healthy servings of poultry, meat and fish; a typical recommendation is 3 ounces. Research suggests that eating red meat three times a week is a healthy limit, as it often contains high amounts of fat.
Eating fish three times a week promotes heart health. It's also safe to eat poultry three times a week. Plant (pea, hemp, soy, etc.): Non-animal protein is usually slow to digest. Even soy is slower.
Unfortunately, plant proteins also have much lower bioavailability because that's how plants work. They have no legs or teeth, so they have other mechanisms to protect themselves. Some of these mechanisms, such as fiber and anti-nutrients, reduce our ability to absorb nutrients from plants. There's nothing against choosing to be vegetarian or vegan, but seriously, if you're trying to build muscle, you might not choose a protein source that has the absorptive capacity of my counter.
Fast proteins are digested in 1-2 hours. Your body can quickly use protein for things like muscle protein synthesis. Fast protein intake after a workout is recommended. Slow proteins take about 4 hours to digest.
They provide the body with a slower and more sustained release of amino acids, such as muscle regeneration during the night. The Precision Nutrition site made an interesting review on whey protein and casein protein. Both types of protein come from milk, but whey is digested quickly and casein is digested more slowly. They found that the fastest-digesting protein was more powerful for muscle development.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, and most of that protein is casein. As such, it's a good source of slow digestion. Greek yogurt is produced by straining. This process makes it more protein-dense than most other types of yogurt.
It also gives it a thicker texture, making it more satisfying to eat. Yogurt is also a perfect snack, simply because it's easy to consume. Many different recipes also use Greek yogurt, often because of its creaminess. Even so, you have to be careful when choosing Greek yogurt.
Skyr is an alternative to Greek yogurt, with many similarities. It's also a type of strained yogurt, which is high in slow-digesting casein protein. The production techniques are a little different. As a result, skyr tastes similar to Greek yogurt, but it's not exactly the same.
For many people, Skyr is more attractive. It still has a sharpness that regular yogurt doesn't contain. However, this is less intense than with Greek yogurt. Cottage cheese is especially powerful as a source of slow-digesting protein, more so than Greek yogurt or skyr.
This is because making cottage cheese involves separating fast-digesting whey. Therefore, you only have one slow-digesting protein left. Cottage cheese is also very popular as an appetizer, partly because it's so soft. Can be combined with many different ingredients and flavors.
All hard cheeses contain significant levels of casein, making them good choices. Its digestion time is also considerably longer than cottage cheese. Men's Fitness has a useful guide that highlights the protein content in different types of hard cheeses. Just omit the ricotta (which isn't a hard cheese anyway).
While similar to cottage cheese, ricotta is made with whey and is a fast-digesting source of protein. Milk contains approximately 80% casein, making it a simple source of slow-digesting protein. This is true for low-fat and fat-free versions of milk, along with whole milk. One estimate suggests that beef and lamb take 3 to 4 hours to fully digest.
This depends on a lot of factors (of course), but it's a useful general guide. It digests more slowly than beef or lamb, with an average of 4.5 to 5 hours of digestion time. Pork is a bit controversial, so it's not a good fit for everyone. But, if you like pork, it's a relatively mild meat, which works well in a lot of different dishes.
The slow digestion of proteins is a significant advantage if you eat them at night. While chicken and turkey are digested slowly, this effect isn't as strong as it is with red meat. The difference isn't too surprising, as chicken and turkey tend to be leaner cuts of meat. Chia seeds are also digested slowly.
These tiny seeds can be easily sprinkled on many meals or snacks (including Greek yogurt). For one thing, there are few examples of slow-digesting proteins for vegans. Most of the items on this list come from milk, fish, or meat. Whole egg protein is digested more slowly than egg white protein due to the inclusion of natural fats.
Whey protein is generally considered to be a fast-digesting protein, because it has a faster absorption rate compared to casein. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and the like are alternative options for slow-digesting proteins. Whey and several isolates and hydrolysates are going to be proteins that cover the spectrum of faster digestion. Fast sources of protein help you build strength and muscle, and are particularly powerful when you exercise.
On recovery days, slow-digesting proteins can be used at any time to promote muscle repair in the same way you would consume them before bed. In addition to differences in protein quality (see our blog post on vegetable versus animal protein), there are also differences in protein digestibility. The best recommendation is to include a variety of protein sources in the diet and to incorporate protein supplements as needed to meet daily goals and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Fish is a versatile addition to the diet and is a good source of protein when you want something lighter.
Others simply like the convenience that protein supplements offer for their busy schedule, since it doesn't leave them much time to cook. Slow-release protein can also decrease muscle breakdown while you sleep (also called muscle catabolism). Dairy proteins, such as whey, that are absorbed over a faster period of time are usually ideal after an intense workout, while slow-release options, such as casein, are better for morning and night. If you're short on time or just looking for protein to go, casein protein powder is a great option.