Relying on supplements is definitely frowned upon in the nutrition world. Supplements do exactly what their name permits: they SUPPLEMENT your diet. You’ve heard the phrase “you can’t out train a bad diet” well you definitely can’t use supplements as miracle agents either. You must have a good diet, supplement it accordingly, and train hard to be healthy from the inside out. When I say, supplement it accordingly it means that you need to find what works best for you. It definitely takes some time.
Where am I going with this? Well, like I said, I hate to rely on supplements, so I don’t. BUT if there were one supplement that I could not live without it would be Casein Protein. Casein Protein is a slow-digesting, slow-releasing protein. Usually, your body needs a fast-digesting protein especially after a good workout but there is a time when you want to continuously supply your body with proper nutrients. That time is when you are sleeping. It’s best to eat/drink casein protein just before you lay down to get some shut eye. In doing so, your body will get a constant supply of nutrients while you sleep which will help your muscles to recover and prepare for your next training session.
But what happened to the rule of not eating after 7pm? Screw that garbage. You need to supply your body with nutrients at all times. Your metabolism doesn’t shut off at 7pm, nor at midnight. What you don’t need after 7pm is carbohydrates… but that’s a whole ‘nother rant.
Now if you aren’t weight lifting and training intensely on a regular basis, then you probably shouldn’t waste your time/money on casein. The main goal for Casein is to quickly restore your muscles to prepare you for the next upcoming workout. You can also get casein protein from whole foods such as cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
I was first introduced to Casein Protein during Kris Gethin’s hardcore trainer. At first I was putting it into a shaker bottle and drinking it just as I would with Whey protein. Then, I started experimenting in the kitchen making “pro-fro-yo”. The most basic recipe is mixing casein with a few tablespoons of water or almond milk. Sometimes I like to add some cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Then just pop that baby in the freezer for about 30 minutes and it comes out like a frozen yogurt icy delicious treat. It’s like having ice cream for dessert every night! But it doesn’t stop there. Depending on your goals and your macros you can add any ice cream topping you’d like! I like to add a tablespoon of peanut butter! That usually satisfies my cravings. (Combining casein with healthy fats is so beneficial because fats are slow-digesting as well!) Other toppings may be coconut flakes, 1 crushed dark chocolate square, Walden Farms chocolate syrup, or maybe a touch of granola(remember, easy on the carbs late at night!)
I swear the only reason I am able to survive and not cheat on a “diet” because of my nightly casein treat. The nights are the hardest for me. I finish my workout and my homework/lesson planning and I’d have some time to spare which is very very bad because when I’m bored, I tend to eat and eat and eat. Knowing that I’m able to have a sweet clean eating treat(hehe) right before bed is the only way I can stop myself from binge eating. It is the perfect reward for working so hard during the day.