4 March 2021

Think You Know About Time 4 Whey Protein? Think Again…

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Any discussion on carbohydrate is likely to address its various types, their effects on health and performance and optimal time for consumption. However, when it comes to protein, the traditional approach has typically been just to ensure that sufficient amounts of complete proteins are consumed with perhaps some mention of timing.

This is now changing, as the effects of different types of protein and the use of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ proteins to achieve optimal results for health and performance have become the subject of scientific investigation.

Here at Time 4 Nutrition, we pride ourselves on employing the findings of  the latest cutting-edge research to produce the most effective and innovative products.  In this article, we are going to review some of that research and explain how there’s a lot more to Time 4 Whey Protein than the name suggests.


What’s in Time 4 Whey Protein?

Time 4 Whey Protein is a specially formulated blend of whey and micellar casein proteins, glutamine, branch chain amino acids and probiotics. As we look at each of these ingredients in-depth, you’ll begin to see why Time 4 Whey Protein is such a great product.


What is Whey Protein?

Whey protein is the protein fraction of whey, the liquid portion of milk that separates from the curds during the cheese making process.  It comprises 20% of total milk protein and is rich in branch chain and essential amino acids, functional peptides, antioxidants and immunoglobulins (17).

It is a complete, high-quality, easily digested protein which has been shown scientifically to provide numerous potential benefits for health and performance. These include increasing muscle mass (1, 12, 15, 16,), reducing body fat (1, 2, 4), helping to maintain muscle mass during weight loss (4), suppressing appetite to aid fat loss, increasing metabolism (2), improving immune function, reducing blood pressure (5), reducing unhealthy blood fats (7), improving blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics, and increasing the production of glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant(8). It also confers benefits against a wide range of metabolic diseases such as cardiovascular complications, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cancer and phenylketonuria (17).


How Does Whey Protein Compare To Other Proteins?

Having reviewed the data supporting the role for whey protein consumption in the regulation of muscle mass and body composition, Devries and Philips (18) concluded that whey protein is one of the highest-quality proteins, given its amino acid content (high essential amino acids, branch chain amino acids, and leucine amino acid content) and rapid digestibility. They further suggest that whey protein has the ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis to a greater degree than other proteins.


 Is It Just The Young And Athletic Who Can Benefit From The Consumption Of Whey Protein?


Camargo and colleagues (19) conducted a systematic review of 35 research papers to evaluate the consumption of whey protein for the elderly and the association with physical performance and clinical outcomes. The results of the review suggest that whey protein supplements promote protein synthesis in the elderly, improving muscle performance and aerobic capacity, protecting against sarcopenia and reducing the risk for falls. Whey protein also appears to contribute to improved health, recovery from disease, prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic risks, and hepatic steatosis complications.


Are All Whey Proteins The Same?

There are various types of whey protein, which differ slightly in the processing they have undergone, their composition and the benefits they provide.

Time 4 Whey Protein is a blend of low temperature undenatured whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.

Low temperature undenatured whey protein concentrate is a form of whey protein typically low in fat and cholesterol, containing bioactive compounds as well as growth factors and small amounts of carbohydrates in the form of lactose, and is quickly absorbed by the body. It is also rich in both branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine. We’ll look at BCAAs and glutamine in some detail a little later.

The term ‘undenatured’ means that the whey is cold processed, rather than being heated to high temperature, allowing it to maintain all of its amino acids. The bioactive compounds and growth factors contained within whey protein concentrate provide significant health benefits but must remain in their undenatured form in order to exert these properties.

Low temperature undenatured whey protein isolate is a form of whey protein, which has undergone greater processing than whey concentrate. This results in a reduction in some bioactive compounds and growth factors, but provides a greater protein content and lower levels of carbohydrates, lactose and fat than whey concentrate.  It is also more quickly absorbed by the body than whey protein concentrate.


What Is Micellar Casein Protein?

In addition to whey, Time 4 Whey Protein also contains Low Temperature Undenatured micellar casein Protein.

While whey comprises 20% of milk protein, casein accounts for the remaining 80%. Like whey protein, casein is a complete protein which provides all of the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair (9).

There are two main forms of casein protein. These are casein hydrolysate, which is pre-digested and rapidly absorbed, and micellar casein.

In contrast to whey protein’s rapid digestion, micellar casein protein is referred to as a ‘time-release’ protein because it is digested slowly, feeding your muscles with amino acids at a low level over a period of up to 8 hours after consumption to ensure optimum growth and recovery (10, 11).

This makes it ideal to take before bed when it can reduce muscle breakdown as you fast overnight. In short, this means that your muscle cells are able to synthesize protein during times when your body might normally be breaking down its own muscle tissue. Consequently, this ability of micellar casein protein has led to it being referred as ‘anti-catabolic’.

However, it is important to note that micellar casein protein isn’t just for consumption at night; it can provide its valuable time release benefits any time of the day. For example, you may not be able to consume high quality protein every 3-4 hours due to the restrictions of a busy work or life schedule. In these situations, micellar casein protein can provide you with that vital supply of essential amino acids for longer periods.


Just How Effective Is Consuming Casein Protein Before Bed?

A study by Snijders and colleagues (20) assessed the impact of casein protein supplementation before sleep on muscle mass and strength gains during a resistance training programme. The results of the study showed that those subjects consuming a casein protein supplement before bed increased type 2 muscle fibre size by 8.4 cm2 compared to 4.8 cm2 in the placebo group. The study also found the casein group achieved significantly greater gains in strength (20%) in comparison to the placebo group.

In light of evidence such as this, the International Institute of Sports Nutritionists now recommend a pre-sleep intake of casein protein to increase overnight muscle protein synthesis (21).


What Are The Benefits Of Micellar Casein Protein?

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Micellar casein protein is very effective for promoting muscle growth and strength, as it not only provides all of the essential amino acids, but also contains a high level of leucine, which initiates muscle protein synthesis (12, 13, 14). It may also enhance long-term muscle mass by reducing protein breakdown (10, 11). This process occurs on a daily basis when your body is low on energy and amino acids, and is accelerated during exercise or weight loss.

In addition to increasing muscle mass, casein protein has also been shown to help reduce body fat levels (14).

For example, a study by Demling and DeSanti (14) compared the effects of a moderate hypo-caloric, high-protein diet and resistance training, using two different protein supplements, versus hypo-caloric diet alone on body compositional changes in overweight police officers. The results of the study showed that the casein protein group’s fat loss was three times greater than the placebo group.

Lean mass gains in the three groups did not change for diet alone, versus gains of 4 +/- 1.4 and 2 +/- 0.7 kg in the casein and whey groups, respectively. Mean increase in strength for chest, shoulder and legs was 59 +/- 9% for casein and 29 +/- 9% for whey. The authors concluded that this significant difference in body composition and strength is likely due to improved nitrogen retention and overall anticatabolic effects caused by the peptide components of the casein protein.

In addition to enhancing muscle mass and reducing body fat, casein protein has been shown to provide a number of other potential health benefits. These include, but are not limited to, reducing blood triglyceride levels (22), reducing free radicals (23), and enhancing immune function (24).

Note: The Micellar Casein protein used in Time 4 Whey Protein is low temperature undenatured, allowing it to maintain all of its amino acids, bioactive compounds and growth factors in their most powerful natural state.


Combining Whey And Casein Protein: What Does The Science Say?

We have seen that both whey and casein protein can provide numerous benefits but is there additional benefit to be gained from combining them?

The speed of absorption of dietary amino acids by the gut varies according to the type of ingested dietary protein, which can affect post-feeding protein synthesis, breakdown, and deposition. To test this hypothesis, Boirie et al., (10) had a group of healthy adults consume a casein (CAS) and whey protein (WP) supplement in a single meal.

The results showed that WP induced a dramatic but short increase of plasma amino acids, while CAS induced a moderate increase with a prolonged plateau. Whole body protein breakdown was inhibited by 34% after CAS ingestion but not after WP ingestion. Postprandial protein synthesis was stimulated by 68% with the WP meal and to a lesser extent (+31%) with the CAS.

The authors concluded that the speed of protein digestion and amino acid absorption from the gut has a major effect on whole body protein anabolism after a single meal. Therefore, the body’s response to slow and fast proteins has implications for both health and performance.

The bottom line is that a combination of the both whey and casein protein provides a better anabolic effect as it delivers a sustained feed of muscle building amino acids into the blood stream to ensure optimum growth and recovery.


What Is Glutamine?

We have also added glutamine to our Time 4 Whey Formula. This is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. It makes up approximately 60 percent of our skeletal muscle and plays an important role in protein synthesis and the function of the immune system. Glutamine also plays a vital role in gut health, as it can aid nutrient absorption and digestion and helps to protect the lining of the digestive system.

Muscle tissue is a major site of glutamine production, where it forms the anabolic precursor for muscle growth. It is referred to as a ‘conditionally essential amino acid’. This means that although the body can synthesize it from other amino acids, under certain conditions, such as illness, surgery and periods of intense training, the glutamine needs of our body may exceed its ability to produce it and so it must be obtained from dietary sources.

The use of glutamine supplementation is supported by numerous scientific studies which demonstrate the wide variety of performance and health benefits it may provide. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing muscle mass (25, 26),
  • Increasing strength and power (25)
  • Reducing body fat (25, 26)
  • Increasing testosterone and IGF-1 levels (25)
  • Increasing growth hormone levels (25, 27)
  • Decreasing cortisol levels (25)
  • Enhancing recovery and decreasing muscle soreness after resistance training (28)
  • Restoring immune function and reducing the immuno suppressive effects of heavy-load training (29)
  • Enhancing carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise (30)
  • Helping to maintain a healthy gut (31)
  • Enhancing brain health (32)


What Are Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?

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Although whey and casein proteins are good sources of both essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids, we have further supplemented Time 4 Whey protein with additional branch chain amino acids. These are a group of three essential amino acids comprising leucine, isoleucine and valine, which make up approximately one-third of skeletal muscle protein and account for 40% of the total amino acids required by the body. They are grouped together because they all have a branched molecular structure and perform many similar functions:

Leucine is important for protein synthesis and many other functions including the regulation of blood-sugar levels, growth and repair of muscle and bone tissue, growth hormone production, and wound healing. It also prevents the breakdown of muscle proteins after trauma or severe stress. It is leucine which provides the signal to switch from a catabolic state, in which muscle tissue is being broken down, to an anabolic state in which it begins to rebuild. The quicker your body receives this signal after training, the sooner it switches from breaking muscle down to building and repairing it to ensure a full and speedy recovery.

Isoleucine is concentrated in muscle tissues in humans and has a range of functions including regulating blood sugar and energy levels, assisting wound healing, stimulating immune function, promoting the secretion of several hormones, and haemoglobin production. It may also help to prevent the breakdown of muscle during exercise, and so enhance recovery.

Valine plays a role in muscle growth, tissue repair, and energy production. It also maintains mental vigour, muscle coordination, and emotional calm.


What Are The Benefits Of BCAA Supplementation?

The use of BCAA supplementation is supported by numerous scientific studies which demonstrate the wide variety of performance benefits it can provide. These include, but are not limited to:

Increasing muscle mass (33, 34, 35, 36, 46, 47)

Increasing muscular strength (36)

Reducing exercise induced fatigue (37, 38, 39)

Reducing post-exercise soreness (40, 41, 44, 45, 47)

Enhancing recovery after strength training (42, 45, 46, 47)

Helping to prevent weight gain and aid fat loss (36, 43, 44, 45)


Note: The BCAAs used in Time 4 Whey Protein are fermented. This means that they are produced by the fermentation of cultures.  No animal products nor harsh industrial processes are used in their manufacture. This provides a high quality, allergen-free product which is suitable for vegetarians.


What Are Probiotics?

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Time 4 Whey Protein also contains bio-cultures in the form of Lactobacillus Coagulans. This is a type of probiotic found in various foods. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.   These ‘friendly bacteria’ can help to keep the gut healthy to aid digestion and boost immune function.


What Does Time 4 Whey Protein Taste Like?

Last but not least, we come to the flavour of Time 4 Whey Protein. Gone are the days of having to force yourself to drink an unpleasant tasting supplement to gain the benefits of whey protein.  We understand that there is little point in creating an effective product that is unpalatable. This is why we have worked with a top Italian flavour house to produce a range of flavours which not only taste great, but also have a smooth pleasant texture and no unpleasant aftertaste. They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Judging by the feedback from our customers, Time 4 Whey Protein is the best tasting whey protein blend on the market.


To sum up…

We have seen that Time 4 Whey Protein provides you with combination of whey and micellar casein proteins, which has been shown scientifically to deliver a sustained feed of muscle building amino acids to ensure optimum growth and recovery. It also contains high levels of branch chain amino acids. Each of these sources of protein is recommended by The American College of Sports Medicine, who state:

“Whey protein is beneficial in supporting muscle adaptations due to its rapid absorption rate in addition to casein that has a slower and more sustained rate of amino acid absorption over a few hours. Branch chain amino acids are similarly beneficial and have been shown to aid in recovery from exercise with respect to not only protein synthesis but also aiding in replacing our muscle glycogen and delaying fatigue associated with exercise” (48).


We have also added glutamine to maximise absorption, probiotics to aid digestion, and provide a range of great tasting flavours.


You may still be thinking do I really need Time 4 Whey Protein? This is perhaps best answered by the International Institute of Sports Nutritionists in its position stand on protein and exercise, which suggests that:

“While it is possible for physically active individuals to obtain their daily protein requirements through the consumption of whole foods, supplementation is a practical way of ensuring intake of adequate protein quality and quantity, while minimizing caloric intake, particularly for athletes who typically complete high volumes of training” (21).

Time 4 Whey Protein contains a time release blend of undenatured whey protein concentrate, undenatured whey protein isolate and micellar casein. We have also included a fermented amino acid blend of glutamine, leucine, isoleucine and valine and we have added probiotics for gut health.