Much has been made about the benefits of so-called "slow" proteins in the last year or so. The popularity amongst some bodybuilders is based on some early research by French scientists, who found that a type of protein called micellar casein, which is found in cottage cheese, skimmed milk powder, etc.. might be better than whey protein for slowing protein breakdown. Theoretically, it was worked out that this would therefore lead to greater muscle growth over a few months.
However, the research has very limited relevance for people wanting to build muscle and lose fat. For example, none of the subjects taking part in the study exercised regularly, and were given just one meal over a seven-hour period. Most people, especially if they’re training to build muscle and lose fat, eat far more often. What’s more, the most recent research published in the Journal of Physiology in 2003 shows that whey protein, consumed as part of a healthy diet that contains carbohydrate and fat (which, let's face it, is how we all really eat) is far more effective than casein alone.
The bottom line is that there is no evidence to show that micellar casein is better than whey protein for promoting muscle growth or fat loss in people who exercise regularly. What's more, whey protein is not easily obtained from food. Casein, on the other hand, is easily found in foods like cottage cheese and skimmed milk. If you want to take advantage of a slow protein source (before bed, for example, to limit protein loss while you sleep) then simply mix a whey protein powder like Promax with skimmed milk or have some cottage cheese and crackers. This is far more cost effective and convenient than wasting your money on expensive casein protein powders which are nothing more than fancy packaged skimmed milk powder.
Dangin, M., Guillet, C., Garcia-Rodenas, C., Gachon, P., Bouteloup-Demange, C., Reiffers-Magnani, K., Fauquant, J., Ballevre, O., & Beaufrere, B. (2003). The rate of protein digestion affects protein gain differently during aging in humans. Journal of Physiology, 28,