Chances are if you take a protein supplement to boost your workouts or act as a meal replacement, you’ve been taking Whey Protein. Whey is the most popular of all of the protein powders available, and though it’s great for a lot of things, you may want to consider some of the benefits of Casein protein- which I suppose that you are doing right now.
Both Casein and Whey proteins are milk derivatives, but the key difference between them is that Whey is a fast acting protein and Casein is a slow acting protein. What does this mean?
Well, in short, it means that Whey protein is best suited for intense and short-lived spikes of protein synthesis in your body while Casein, which doesn’t digest as quickly, provides a slow and steady stream of amino acids into your system.
In effect, Whey protein is very well suited to increase your energy and durability for a pre- and post- workout setting or even first thing in the morning to give your system a boost.
Casein protein, however, works splendidly as an appetite suppressant and meal replacement as it stays in the system longer to stave off cravings and to leave you feeling more full for more extended periods of time.
On top of that, if you are interested in building muscle mass, studies have shown that consuming a mixture of Casein and Whey protein (as opposed to just Whey protein) can hold the most significant yield of lean, fat-free mass. Regarding strength, this combination can double the effect that Whey itself has on the body as an exercise supplement.
For those of you hoping to slim down, Casein protein on its own has also been shown to improve not only metabolic rate but your metabolic rate while sleeping. So basically, you’ll be losing fat in your sleep, and you’ll feel full while doing it.
We’ve compiled a list of top-rated Casein protein supplements, some with Casein alone and some with Whey, that users love to help you choose the right supplement for your needs.
Best Casein Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein Powder (4 lb)
Their recommendation is to store the bag in the freezer to thicken the consistency and add your favorite toppings to create a delicious protein based Sundae.
Flavors include Banana Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Supreme, Cookie Dough, Cookies and Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Mint Chocolate, Natural Chocolate, Natural French Vanilla, and Strawberry.
This top-rated Casein Protein Powder is not intended for meal replacement, but direction state to take between meals and before bed to stave off cravings and deliver BCAAs to recovering muscles for up to 8 hours.
It contains 24 grams of protein, eight carbs, 2 grams of fat, and is also ideal for alleviating muscle soreness. Users report that though it’s a bit difficult to mix (as all Casein Powders are), it’s easier than some of the other products available and can be combined in a shaker cup.
Though folks are wild about the flavors, mainly Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter, some have reported a ‘proteiny’ smell (though the shake itself doesn’t contain the taste).
For those of you who are fascinated by the idea of a protein shake that tastes like ice cream, they also include a variety of recipes on their website to help you make the most out of your protein powder.
Pros and Cons
- Tastes Delicious
- Comes in Ice Cream Flavors
- Recipes Available
- Contains High Protein and BCAAs
- ‘Protein-y’ Odor
Dymatize Elite 100% Micellar Casein Protein (4 lbs)
This product is meant for sport, and is manufactured in a GMP and Sports Certified facilities, and are therefore free of banned substances and doubly tested by Informed-Choice. All amino acids are naturally occurring in the product. This Casein Protein Powder is also Gluten Free.
Users love that it has no carbs and comes at an amazing price point. People also love that it’s not too sweet – they say it tastes like a Chick Fil A Milkshake. Chocolate gets the win for best flavor.
Comes with Cinnamon Bun, Cookies and Cream, Rich Chocolate, and Smooth Vanilla.
Pros and Cons
- Great Taste
- Low in Carbs
- Formulated for Athletes
- Gluten Free
- Good Price
- Artificial Flavors
Naked Casein 100% Micellar Casein Protein (5 lbs)
With only one part – 100% Micellar Casein Powder – Naked Casein, fitting with the name, is derived from milk containing no growth hormones, rBGH, and rBST.
All milk is sourced from farms based in the US, and this top rated protein powder contains active essential amino acids, BCAAs, and clean protein.
The essential amino acids are active as Naked brand cold processes all of their milk, which also means no chemical contamination, no detergents like acid or bleach, no synthetic additives, and no substantial metals. And, as you would expect, there are non GMOs, Soy, or Gluten in this product.
Because it only contains 100% Micellar Casein and no Lecithin (either soy or sunflower based), users have found that it tends to be a lot foamier when mixed than other Casein products. If you can deal with the foam, however, users love the way that it makes them feel. They also report no strange protein smells, and if you’re not into a milkshake-like protein shake, Naked’s formula is subtly sweet but not overly so.
It comes in Unflavored, Chocolate, and Vanilla varieties and is recommended for use right before bed with 26 grams of protein, 0 carbs, and 2 grams of (natural) sugars.
Pros and Cons
- No Soy, Gluten, or GMOs
- One Ingredient - Micellar Casein
- No Hormones, Milk Sourced from US Farms
- Cold Processed
Bulk Supplements Pure Casein Protein Powder (2.2 lbs)
As with all Casein products, it promotes muscle growth and recovery, healthy teeth, is an excellent source of protein and calcium, and promotes excellent dental and bone health.
Bulk Supplements’ product has been lab tested for quality and purity, and each serving contains 26 grams of protein with a minimal amount (less than 1%) of sugars and carbs. They advertise a clean and pure product, and by skimping on the packaging (it comes in a bag) and keeping it unflavored, they can deliver a quality product for a low price.
Some users, however, do complain about the difficulty of the packaging, so if you enjoy it, you may want to purchase a glass or plastic container for storage.
Otherwise, the inclusion of Soy Lecithin makes it very easy to mix with whatever your heart desires, though it might not be appropriate for those of you who avoid soy. Casein and Soy Lecithin are the only two ingredients.
Unlike some other protein powders, Bulk Supplements’ top-rated Casein Protein Powder doesn’t give off that funky protein smell and is an excellent choice for someone looking for an easily mixable, unflavored, and wallet-friendly Casein Protein option.
Pros and Cons
- Great Price
- Low Carb and Sugars
- Only Two Ingredients
- Contains Soy
- Some Packaging Complaints
Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein
Ascent’s Native Fuel Micellar Casein commits to a partially vertically integrated production process. This means that they don’t buy protein from other companies, but buy milk and process Casein Protein in their facilities.
The family-owned company is based in Denver, Colorado and has been making protein for decades.
Their Micellar Casein Powder contains 25 grams of protein per scoop and 11 grams of naturally occurring Essential Amino Acids and 5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs. The product is sweetened with stevia and comes in Chocolate and Vanilla Bean varieties, and the company provides tasty recipes for those looking to experiment with their protein powder.
It does not contain any artificial ingredients of flavors. The brand makes an effort to precisely label ingredients and not to include anything you can’t pronounce. Their products are also never bleached or dyed.
For the athletes and Gluten Sensitives out there, it’s also Certified Gluten Free and Informed Choice Certified.
Users are most excited about the fantastic customer service, which isn’t surprising from a small, family owned and operated business. Users also say that this particular Casein Powder is thick- even for Casein. It’s recommended that you mix it and place it in the fridge for ten minutes to create a delicious pudding.
Pros and Cons
- Family Owned
- Great Customer Service
- Simple Ingredients
- No Artificial Ingredients, Flavors, Bleaching, or Dyeing
- Gluten Free and Informed Choice Certified
- Very Thick Consistency
Cellucor Micellar Casein Protein Powder (2.3 lbs)
Like other Casein Powders, it provides a slow and steady release of proteins and aminos into the body, allowing for muscle-building benefits and increased satiety.
Unlike other Casein Powders, this top-rated Casein Protein Powder mixes well and is very popular due to its mixability and drinkability.
Though they keep fat and sugar to a minimum, they don’t commit to a lack of additives or potential allergens or banned substances in their products. They do, however, provide a 30 day, Full Money Back Guarantee if you don’t love their protein supplement.
Pros and Cons
- Tastes Great
- No Aftertaste or Smell
- Money Back Guarantee
- Low in Fat and Sugar
- Artificial Flavors and Additives
- Possible Allergens
Kaged Muscle Kasein
Using microfiltration and cold pressed process, the Casein isolate available through this great tasting protein powder is readily bioavailable to help repair and rebuild muscles during recovery. It’s also Certified Banned Substance Free.
The company is committed to ingredient transparency, so all labels are easy to read and don’t contain any crazy ingredients. The sustained release of their patented ingredients, all third-party tested for potency and purity, delivers 25 grams of Micellar Casein with less than one gram of lactose, 2.5 grams of fat and 2 grams of sugar.
Though Kaged Muscle Kasein doesn’t include any Lecithin, users say that it doesn’t clump and the taste is excellent. It comes in Chocolate and Vanilla Shake Flavors.
Pros and Cons
- Banned Substance Free
- Cold Processed and Microfiltered
- Very Bioavailable
- Great for Athletes
- Does Contain Higher Fat and Sugar Content
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder (4 lbs)
Muscle Pharm’s Combat Protein Powder contains a blend of fast, slow, and medium releasing proteins to fit the need for rapid energy, muscle recovery, and proper protein utilization.
This product contains 25 grams of protein with only 5 grams of carbohydrates (an appropriate amount for those with a very active lifestyle). With flavors like Triple Berry, Vanilla, Chocolate Milk, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Banana Cream, it mixes well and contains an added digestive blend for easy absorption.
Though people do love the taste, some do say that it’s a tad too sweet. It does contain artificial ingredients for flavoring, as well as milk, egg, and soy. It’s also manufactured in a facility that produces eggs, tree nuts, sesame, peanuts, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, and wheat products, so it’s probably not a good fit if you’re allergic to any of those ingredients. They do commit, however, to the absence of banned substances. It’s also Gluten Free!
Due to the nature of the blend, the company, MusclePharm, suggests shaking the container once a week to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount of all ingredients.
It’s formulated to be taken during any time of day and is an excellent blend of the best that Whey and Casein Protein Powders have to offer.
Pros and Cons
- Formulated for Active Lifestyles
- Blend of 5 Different Proteins
- Fun Flavors
- Mixes Well
- Contains Artificial Ingredients and Potential Allergens
- Some Say It’s Too Sweet
MuscleTech Platinum 100% Milcellar Casein Protein
All Casein used has been cold processed and microfilter to remove lactose, ash, and fat. What mainly sets this brand apart is their commitment to providing the purest casein available, meaning that all casein forms (Alpha S1, Alpha S2, Beta, and Kappa Casein) are present in this blend.
If amino acids are essential to you, this Platinum 100% Casein Powder provides an incredibly high level of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) as well as 10,000 mg of other essential aminos.
The high levels of glutamine are also a plus, mainly if you’re looking to improve immune function, gut health, and build muscle. This is an excellent option for people looking used Casein Protein Powder as a weight loss strategy.
MusclePharm has received awards for the taste of their blend, and users love the chocolate and peanut butter flavors, though the strawberry flavor has been reported to be very fake tasting.
Pros and Cons
- High-Quality Micellar Casein
- Cold Processed, Microfiltered
- High in Amino Acids and BCAAs
- Delicious Chocolate and Peanut Butter Flavors
- Users Dislike Strawberry Flavor
- Not Certified Allergen, Gluten, Soy Free
Promix 100% Casein Protein Powder ( 5 lbs)
If you’re looking for an all-natural approach to weight loss or muscle gains, this top-rated Casein Protein Powder from Promix provides just that.
They advertise the highest level of quality assurance, including no chemical bleaching or additives.
All Casein is derived from Hormone Free and GMO-Free sources, and this powder is also Soy and Gluten Free. All Casein is sourced from pasture-raised cows on Midwest Dairy Farms. Sunflower Lecithin (as opposed to Soy) is added to increase mixability, and all four forms of Casein are present in this blend. It also includes a significant amount (5.3 grams) of BCAAs, and their formula provides a way to build up your muscle mass, regain energy, and balance your diet. Each serving contains 25 grams of protein with no carbs, sugars, or fat.
This particular protein supplement is intended for nighttime use and purports to maintain muscle while dieting and keep your stomach feeling full. It is available in Chocolate and Unflavored varieties. Users love the Unflavored version and say that it doesn’t have any of the strange smells or aftertastes. Keep in mind, though, that this product is not intended to be a natural smoothie with lots of delicious flavors- it’s very utilitarian, and the taste and texture reflect that.
If a clean protein powder, one without unnecessary additives or ingredients, that’s easy to mix is crucial to you, this may be a great fit!
Pros and Cons
- Hormone Free, Non-GMO
- Soy and Gluten Free
- No Chemical Bleaching or Additives
- Easy to Mix
- More Expensive
- Not Particularly Good Tasting
There are so many reasons to consider adding Casein Protein to your day or night time routine. If you’d like to mitigate muscle loss during recovery, improve lean muscle growth while you sleep, or merely stay more full for longer, Casein Protein could be the answer.
Keep in mind that Casein doesn’t mix like many other protein forms out there, and you should expect that it is more challenging to blend and provides a thicker or foamier consistency. Set yourself up for success by researching recipes or purchasing a great blender to ensure that adding Casein Protein to your lifestyle is as efficient and comfortable as possible.