Casein (from Latin caseus “cheese”) is a family of related phosphoproteins (αS1, αS2, β, κ) which is the most predominant type of protein in milk. One can find these proteins in mammalian milk, comprising c. 80% of the proteins in cow’s milk and between 20% and 60% of the proteins in human milk. It’s widely used as a pre-sleep protein supplement because it’s a more slowly digested protein source, allowing increases in overnight muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle degradation while you sleep. Casein supplements provide it either in micellar form – milk’s natural casein form or as sodium, potassium, or calcium caseinates, which one can digest more rapidly.
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Aside from being a more natural form of casein, micellar casein usually has a higher preference over caseinates because of its slower digestion rate, which sustains blood amino acid concentrations overnight. This examines casein protein powders based on the following criteria: third-party testing and other quality certifications, the type of casein, the quality of its ingredients and the price. You may know casein as a “time-release” protein because of its slow absorption rate in the gut. This means that it feeds your cells with amino acids at a low level over a long period of time.
13 Best Casein Protein Powders of 2021
You can take casein as a supplement. Casein helps to boost muscles and make the bones strong. Casein is also a complete protein source. That means it provides all the essential amino acids with your body needs for growth and repair. It contains various unique proteins and bioactive compounds, some of which have health benefits. Casein protein has a slow absorption rate that means it feeds cells with amino acids at a low level over a long period of time. This process provides prolonged benefits if used as a bedtime snack. Sleep time of 8 hours is enough to enhance muscle building and recovery of muscles from strenuous workouts.
Many bodybuilders and athletes have used this supplement for decades. Casein protein is very safe for human consumption as whey. Like most protein sources, it is safe for regular consumption and may even provide long-term health benefits.
“Casein is more ‘slow-acting’ (casein is what curdles in milk or helps create texture in yoghurt and cottage cheese, and helps make cheese solid) and digests and releases amino acids more slowly into the body for use,” explains Wendy Bazilian ( a certified exercise physiologist and sports dietitian).
If you want some equipment for your new workout routine:
Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein Protein Powder
One of the very best casein protein powder supplements, it is free of artificial ingredients and tastes great. It is full of top-quality protein. This delicious vanilla-flavored protein powder. Monk fruit extract sweetens it.
This pack contains 25 grams of protein per scoop, with 11 grams of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids. It boasts a clean, minimal ingredient list and is certified gluten-free. It’s simple to mix with your favorite liquid or mix into a pudding for a tasty, protein-packed treat.
NAKED Nutrition Naked Casein Unflavored 100% Micellar Casein Protein
This powder is flavored with artificial ingredients that make the protein taste great. Naked Casein Unflavored protein powder is a great, budget-friendly choice. This powder, available in 1- or 5-pound containers, includes only one ingredient—micellar casein. There are zero grams of fat, saturated fat, sugar, or carbohydrates per serving.
Each scoop of the unflavored powder packs an impressive 26 grams of protein. Colorless, flavorless, and unsweetened, this bare-bones protein contains no growth hormones, rBGH, or rBST. The cold processing of Naked Casein protein also ensures that no chemicals or anything else are added before this protein gets to you. It is stripped down and ideal for those looking for an unflavored, effective casein protein.
Muscle Feast Grass Fed Micellar Casein
Casein powder that is sourced from hormone-free, grass-fed dairy, Muscle Feast’s Micellar Casein, is a top choice. The rBST- and rBGH-free micellar casein is an easy way to boost your diet with clean protein. Each scoop provides 20 grams of protein with only 1 gram of sugar and 1 gram of carbohydrates. The low-carb content also makes Muscle Feast’s Micellar Casein powder a great choice for those who follow a keto diet.
For a super clean protein with only two ingredients, the unflavored variety is the best choice. However, if you prefer a bit more flavor, the supplement also comes in Chocolate and Vanilla varieties. Stevia and natural flavors acts as the sweetener in those. Muscle Feast recommends mixing the powder with milk or a milk substitute instead of water for a better-tasting beverage.
Legion Athletics Casein+ Vanilla Pure Micellar Casein Protein Powder
Apart from whey, pea, and other protein powders, casein powder is its slow release and absorption. For this reason, many athletes use it before they go to sleep and let their bodies keep working while they rest. Evidence suggests that consuming casein before bedtime may improve the resting metabolic rate and the ability to do resistance exercise the next morning.2 If you want to reap the benefits of casein at night, try the Legion Casein+ Vanilla Pure Micellar Casein Protein Powder.
Legion Casein+ is derived from non-GMO, grass-fed cow milk from small, sustainable dairy farms in Ireland. It’s made with only natural flavors and sweetened with stevia. The low-carb, keto-friendly powder contains 26 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of branched-chain amino acids in each scoop. Each scoop is free of added sugars and fat, and it has only 2 grams of carbs.
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ON Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Naturally Flavored 100% Casein
As one of the most reputable, high-quality supplement brands, Optimum Nutrition’s casein powder is one of the best casein protein powder supplements. This casein powder provides 24 grams of protein per serving, along with 4.7 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – three amino acids that help increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis (5Trusted Source). Additionally, ON’s facilities comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. Its products are also Certified for Sport by NSF International, a third-party testing organisation that guarantees the absence of substances banned by many major athletic organisations.
made with 100% micellar casein, contains no artificial flavours, sweeteners, or colours, available in two sizes — 2 and 4 pounds (900 grams and 1.8 kg), available in two flavours – chocolate crème and french vanilla
Cons: contains milk and soy ingredients – two major food allergens, packs 8 grams of carbs per serving and 4 grams of added sugars, Best budget
Dymatize Elite Casein
Dymatize Elite Casein protein powder is one of the best casein proteins produced using cross-flow microfiltration processing, which helps preserve casein’s natural properties and quality. This powder provides 24 grams of protein, with 5.3 grams of BCAAs per serving. It’s also manufactured in GMP- and sport-certified facilities, further demonstrating its high-quality standards.
Pros: made with 100% micellar casein, provides just 3 grams of carbs per serving and no added sugars, certified gluten-free, available in two sizes – 2 and 4 pounds (900 grams and 1.8 kg), available in four flavours — cinnamon bun, rich chocolate, smooth vanilla, and cookies and cream, widely available online and in stores
Cons: contains milk and soy ingredients, Highest quality
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Kaged Muscle Kasein Isolate Powder
Kaged Muscle Kasein Isolate Powder is also produced with microfiltration processing, this time using a cold-pressed filtration method that preserves casein’s integrity. It provides 24 grams of protein and 4.75 grams of BCAAs per serving. The brand’s products are third-party tested for purity and potency, as well as banned-substance-free.
Pros: 100% micellar casein, certified non-GMO, gluten- and soy-free, contains less than 1 gram of lactose per serving, naturally flavoured and didn’t contain artificial colours, available in two flavours -chocolate and vanilla.
Cons: only one size available — 2 pounds (900 grams), contains milk
Muscle Pharm Combat 100% Casein Supplement
The Muscle Pharm Combat is one of the best casein protein powder that has a variety of nutrients. It provides good amounts of potassium, protein, and calcium. For calcium, you can get up to 60 per cent of the daily recommended dose, depending, of course, on your body measurements and age.
It has no saturated or trans fats. It is also a low-carb based formula, with 2g per serving. Another benefit is that you can get up to 4 per cent of your daily iron needs from a single serving.
- a) It has a superior seal on the container.
- b) It contains a good amount of potassium.
It is a limited flavour and quantity variety.
BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder
Unflavored casein powders allow you to enjoy the protein benefit without the use of any added sugar. It is one of the top casein protein which you can be take with any drink.
It contains 25 grams of protein per serving and less than 1 gram of fat and carbs.
- Casein is the only one that is certified both gluten-free as well as sugar-free.
- It is available in bulk amount in multiple sizes ranges from 0.22 pounds (100 grams) to 44 pounds (20 kg)
100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein by Transparent Labs
The number one pick for best casein protein by Transparent Labs because they do workout supplements right!
100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein is the gold standard on what a casein protein powder should be. You can’t just slap a ‘casein powder’ label on a product and call it a day- you’ll need to back it up with quality ingredients and proper dosage too.
Instead of an inferior mix of grain-fed cattle and calcium caseinate, Transparent Labs has chosen micellar casein sourced from grass-fed cattle.
For the uninitiated, grass-fed is better than grain-fed in so many ways. A clean intake of pure casein equals up to eight hours’ worth of anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic status. Also, your body gets phosphorus and calcium for building strong bones.
You’ll know the 100% Grass-Fed Casein is clean as it doesn’t cause side effects such as gas, stomach cramps and bloating. I love how Transparent Labs was able to come up with a superior supplement without adding in artificial compounds, preservatives and GMO. It’s truly one of the best casein protein powders on the market today!
Casein Pro by Universal Nutrition
Under the magnifying glass, Casein Pro is ‘the best nighttime casein’ for several reasons. You get the standard 24 grams of micellar casein for the slow-digesting benefits. Its sustained, time-release mechanism works best when you take it before you sleep and in-between meals. Casein Pro also helps stave off muscle catabolism and improves anabolism as long as it’s in your system.
With all those upsides, there’s bound to be a few cons. Casein Pro comes in several flavors and sizes. There’s the 2- and 4-lbs package and Chocolate Milkshake, Vanilla Soft Serve, Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana. They all sound tasty, but all those flavors come from artificial sources.
Nitro-Tech Casein Gold Protein
If there were a contest on the best-looking packaging, MuscleTech’s Nitro-Tech Casein Gold would probably win. That shiny gold and blue combination is certainly easy on the eyes, but does it deliver on what matters most?
MuscleTech then builds up its reputation further by saying how the inclusion of flavors won’t add unnecessary fat, carbs or sugar.
Casein Gold also promises an 8-hour sustained release formula. So your body and muscles continue getting fed even while you sleep.
Servings per container: 14 servings per pound (you can purchase mixes in 1-pound increments)
Grams of protein per serving: Depends on the mix you create
Why I choose it: With hundreds of possible combinations, True Nutrition is one of the best casein protein powder for serious athletes who want to know exactly what’s in their protein shake and create a personalized blend custom to their fitness goals.
True Nutrition’s protein personalization service allows you to customize your powder in 5% increments per ingredient. For example, you might create a powder that is 25% whey protein isolate, 25% pea protein isolate, 10% MCT oil powder, 10% super greens powder and 5% oat starch powder.
You can also boost your blend with ingredients like turmeric for added micronutrients and choose from a light, regular or heavy flavor intensity. When you’re tweaking and adjusting your diet to reach a specific goal, a service as granular as True Nutrition can help tremendously.
True Nutrition provides you with a dynamic ingredients list and nutrition facts as you adjust your personalized protein powder, generating the final nutrition facts label before you purchase. Prices vary according to the ingredients in your blends.
- 1 13 Best Casein Protein Powders of 2021
- 1.1 Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein Protein Powder
- 1.2 NAKED Nutrition Naked Casein Unflavored 100% Micellar Casein Protein
- 1.3 Muscle Feast Grass Fed Micellar Casein
- 1.4 Legion Athletics Casein+ Vanilla Pure Micellar Casein Protein Powder
- 1.5 ON Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Naturally Flavored 100% Casein
- 1.6 Dymatize Elite Casein
- 1.7 Kaged Muscle Kasein Isolate Powder
- 1.8 Muscle Pharm Combat 100% Casein Supplement
- 1.9 BulkSupplements Casein Protein Powder
- 1.10 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein by Transparent Labs
- 1.11 Casein Pro by Universal Nutrition
- 1.12 Nitro-Tech Casein Gold Protein
- 1.13 True Nutrition