What Runners Can Learn From Bodybuilders

Photo: Scott Draper

Casein Protein: Delaying Catabolism

Your body undergoes catabolism every night while you’re asleep. While you’re sleeping, your body is literally eating its own muscle  because you’ve been fasting since your head hit the pillow. When you’re trying to recover from a hard workout or prepare your body for an upcoming track session, this is far from optimal.

To delay and lessen instances of catabolism at night, it’s necessary to supplement your diet with a protein that is slow to digest and provides your body with muscle-building nutrients while you’re sleeping. Luckily, bodybuilders have done the heavy lifting for us (pun intended) and found the perfect slow-digesting form of protein — it’s called casein.

Casein is a protein derived from milk that releases a steady stream of amino acids over a 3 to 4 hour period. Therefore, it is the perfect protein and ideal supplement to consume before bedtime. In one study, consuming casein protein before bedtime resulted in a 34% reduction in muscle breakdown. In essence, consuming casein protein before bedtime could speed up your rate of recovery by 34 percent.

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