While whole-food sources of protein should comprise the majority of your daily protein intake, sometimes it's just too expensive or too inconvenient to realistically meet your daily needs. And there are times when it's just not optimal to ingest slow digesting proteins, such as pre, peri, and post workout, or before you retire for a restful night of sleep.
I typically recommend supplementing with a high-grade fast-acting whey protein and/or a slower digesting protein categorized as casein. Both of these protein sources are derived from milk, and while I recommend utilizing both protein sources for those involved in any type of training regimen, casein protein can be utilized in anybody's diet to preserve lean muscle tissue, promote fat loss, and supply essential amino acids to the body that are necessary for a host of body functions and aid in tissue repair.
Here is my personal protein supplemention regemin: One scoop of Optimum Nutrition all natural chocolate creme protein in the morning after breakfast, mixed with water and/or unsweetened coconut milk, and then one scoop before bed. And a half scoop of Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey chocolate protein immediately before and after my daily workouts. When I'm in a cutting or fat loss stage and operating on a calorie restriction, I also do a half scoop of the Hydro Whey in the morning before breakfast.
Now for the rationale: the hydrolyzed whey is a predigested whey peptide chain that is digests very rapidly and spikes blood amino acid concentrations for about an hour and requires very little digestive assimilation from the body. The casein, on the other hand, is a very slow digesting protein with a slow and steady amino acid dispersion that trickles amino acids into your system over a seven-hour time period. So, while the whey is more of a muscle-building or anabolic protein source, you can view the casein as more of an insurance policy for your lean muscle tissue due to it's anti-catabolic (muscle wasting) properties.
There is also some research out there that casein protein can also stimulate body-fat loss when under a calorie restriction, so I highly suggest this for bariatric patients or for those with a primary goal of weight loss. Or for those that work in a very physically demanding job where opportunities to eat are few and far between. This may protect the lean body mass that you have, and more lean body mass means a higher resting metabolism.
Both of these products can be ordered from DPS Nutrition for about half the price you will find them in health food stores, and the order typically arrives two days after it is placed, and they have stellar customer service.
please post any questions or comments below, and I would be happy to go into further detail.