Milk protein can be found in a wide variety of nutritional products, such as MRP’s, nutrition bars, and protein drink mixes. With good reason: as a combination of casein and whey protein, milk protein includes the best properties of each, including high amino acid profiles for increased muscle repair, recovery, and growth, as well as improved immune function. Plus, it’s fat free, low in calories, and easy to digest.
total milk protein (TMP), milk protein concentrate (MPC), milk protein isolate (MPI)
Milk protein is derived from cow’s milk, which is three to five percent protein and consists of two basic types: casein and whey. Milk protein consists of about 80% casein and 20% whey protein.
Tip Look for milk proteins that are manufactured under low temperature conditions, which avoid denaturing the protein and reducing its activity within the body.
It has been clearly established that athletes and fitness enthusiasts (of all types) under the stress of intense training have an increased need for protein — put simply, protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Considering milk protein contains both casein and whey protein, it is an excellent source of the quality protein active folks require.
Milk protein’s high quality and value make it a popular addition to many protein powders, meal-replacement drinks, and nutrition bars. Thus, you rarely have to go looking for it — pick up a supplemental protein, and it will be staring back at you from the label.
No deficiency conditions are known to exist.
In case you haven’t already heard the news, you can’t support, maintain, repair, or grow muscle tissue without protein (which the body breaks down into the all-important amino acids). Which means, you can’t build muscle unless you consume protein. Period. Need it put another way? Regardless of you overall goal, protein should be the foundation of all nutrition and supplementation programs for athletes, weight trainers, and fitness enthusiasts alike simply because studies have shown exercising, dieting (restricting calories), or being physically active places greater demands on the body, thereby increasing needs for rich sources of high-quality protein.
Milk protein is usually not found by itself like its counterparts whey and casein. In fact, it’s usually part of a protein blend found in meal-replacements, nutrition bars, or protein drink mixes. Check out the Nutrition Facts on the labels of just about any of these products, and you’ll find that milk protein is added to other high-quality proteins (such as soy, albumin, etc.) to create a “proprietary protein blend.”
A combination of both whey and casein, milk protein is actually used more as a labeling cosmetic than anything else. And, the benefits of milk protein are literally the same as those of whey and casein. Which is logically since milk protein is 80% casein and 20% whey.
Whey protein, one of the two forms of protein derived from milk protein, is quite possibly the highest quality protein available. Considered by many experts as the foundation for building and maintaining lean mass, whey has gained a solid reputation as the “supreme” protein supplement because of five key qualities:
What these elements add up to is that whey protein is the “must-have” for all active individuals.
The “other” protein derived from milk, casein, has been found in recent studies to not only supply the most critical amino acids our bodies need to spare muscle mass during intense training sessions but to even help increase muscle mass.
*To discover additional benefits and learn more about casein or whey protein, please refer to our complete supplement profile for each.
In sum, considering milk protein is merely a combination of both casein and whey protein, in an 80:20 ratio, it provides many of the benefits of both proteins while giving manufacturers a great resource for upping the protein levels of their products and making them taste better too. Milk protein is sort of like the “best of both worlds” in protein.
Research shows that active people, especially hard-training athletes and weight trainers, require greater amounts of protein than sedentary people — this is scientifically documented, regardless of what some of the folks in labcoats try to suggest.
First, you must determine your daily requirements for protein, for both whole food and protein-containing supplements. Since the requirements for daily protein are much higher for those who are physically active than for “normal,” sedentary persons, protein intake is suggested as follows:
Depending on the daily protein requirements (as determined from above), supplemental protein should be consumed throughout the normal course of a day in place of a whole-food meal (in the form of an MRP or simply a protein supplement by itself with some whole food, such as an apple).
Most importantly, though, make sure adequate amounts are consumed within an hour after a workout and before bedtime. These two times are optimal because after a workout, an “open window” exists that allows for instant protein uptake/use, and consuming protein before bedtime helps keep the body in a positive nitrogen balance, allowing for a constant “muscle-building” state during rest.
No synergists have been noted.
If you have milk allergies (such as to lactose or casein), be cautious about consuming milk protein.
No known toxicity.