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What is Casein Protein?
There are two main categories of protein extracted from cow’s milk, Whey protein, and Micellar Casein protein, or just casein.
Both products can be reduced into a powder form without compromising the integrity, are beneficial to overall health, and have uniquely different properties and functions.
Of particular interest though, is casein protein powder.
Unlike its whey counterpart, casein is a very slow releasing protein due to its slow digestion rate.
Both can be taken pre or post workout and are very high in naturally occurring amino acids.
Article at a glance
- 1 What is Casein Protein?
- 1.1 What are the benefits of Casein Protein?
- 1.2 The 7 Best Casein Protein Supplements in 2018
- 1.3 Summing It Up
What are the benefits of Casein Protein?
Casein protein powder has typically taken a backseat to whey protein powder likely because it is not fast acting and most benefits are behind the scenes so to speak.
It is vital to muscle building and should be a main component of the protein profile.
Following is a list of some of the main benefits:
Slow 24/7 Release
Casein protein powder has a built-in mechanism which slowly releases amino acids into the blood stream, having the effect of repairing and re-building muscles during down times between workouts and while sleeping.
Muscle building activity does not occur during the workout, but rather, between workouts.
Studies have shown that taking a combination of casein protein and whey protein together has a much greater effect on building lean muscle mass that using each separately.
Therefore, it is safe to say that a protein complex should be consideration for those looking to maximize the addition of muscle mass.
First, proteins in general have the effect of making people feel full for long periods of time.
In addition, casein protein powder, has the added effect of increasing metabolic rate meaning that it burns fat faster reducing in weight loss.
Therefore, the combination of increased satiety levels and increased metabolism make casein protein powder a perfect supplement for those looking to build muscle mass while burning fat.
The term catabolic in nutrition refers to the deterioration of muscle.
This can happen after a workout if muscles are not provided the proper nutrient to allow the muscle to repair and recovery.
During sleep is a prime time for this to happen as the body is not fed nutrients for 7 – 9 hours.
So often body builders go to bed feeling pumped only to wake up feeling that the gains they made the previous day are gone.
Casein protein powder is often called the sleep formula due to its slow release anti-catabolic properties.
During the night, a casein protein powder taken earlier in the day is still working to build the muscle mass.
The 7 Best Casein Protein Supplements in 2018
This casein protein powder is called “naked” as it uses as few ingredients as possible.
By eliminating additives, fillers, preservatives, and gimmicky marketing, Naked Nutrition can deliver a quality product at a preferable price.
Less Naked Casein Protein, is derived from cows at US farms which are not exposed to growth hormones, rBGH or rBST, and like all casein protein powders, provide a slow release resulting continual repair and maintenance of muscle mass.
This casein protein powder is gluten free, soy free, and GMO free, while adding no artificial colors, sweeteners, or dyes.
Each serving contains 26 Grams of casein protein and 5.4 grams of naturally occurring BCAA’s which increase the effectiveness of the protein.
Naked Nutrition: Less Naked Casein Protein has a 4 Star rating on 30 customer reviews, which is not indicative of the effectiveness of the product.
- True to the name, contains only 3 ingredients which are 100% Micellar Casein Protein, Vanilla, and Organic Coconut Sugar
- Each serving includes 26g of Protein, 5g of Sugar, 6g of Carbs, 130 Calories, and 5.4g of BCAAs
- Processed using cold technology meaning that chemicals, acids, bleaches, additives, or metals are no present
- Flavored with vanilla and organic coconut sugar making it easy to mix with liquids or sed in baking
- Tends to be light on flavor with suggestions to mix with fruit juice or something to disguise taste
- Very poor mixability with water, much better in a smoothie
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein Powder can be used pre and post workout to supply the body with muscle building to assist in recovery, however, it slow digestion properties allow absorption during sleep when the body is not receiving any food.
In addition to building muscle and strength, Gold Standard Casein Powder is perfect for those looking to lose weight as each serving contains 120 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 3 carbohydrates.
Further, ON Casein Powder is high in calcium supporting bone, hair, and skin health and contains 5 grams of naturally occurring BCAA’s to enhance the effect of the casein protein powder.
Optimum Nutrition has been manufacturing supplements for 30 years and is one of the few companies which own their production facilities, meaning that they have entire control of the process.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein Powder has a 4.3 Star rating based on 1,980 customer reviews and could quite easily been our #1 choice for best casein protein powder.
- 24g of anti-catabolic micellar casein protein providing maximum muscle and strength building
- 5 Grams of naturally occurring BCAAs to enhance and optimize the functions of casein protein
- Slow release of amino acids reduces muscle deterioration during down times
- Mixes up easily in a shaker cup, and tastes consistently good
- Complaints bout poor taste and mixability
When the body has not received food and other nutrients for a 7 – 9-hour period, such as during sleep, the natural tendency is to move into a catabolic state creating the break down of muscle tissue.
Kaged Muscle Kasein is formulated to slowly and continuously feed muscles a steady stream of essential amino acids for several hours to deliver an anti-catabolic effect.
Kaged Muscle Kasein uses a unique cold-pressed microfiltration process to ensure the composition of the micellar casein protein isolate is not compromised.
They have a strong belief in transparency of the ingredients, and as a result, every ingredient is clearly listed on the label after being thoroughly tested by an independent company for purity and potency.
Each serving contains delivers 25 grams of Micellar Casein, 1 gram of lactose, 2.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of sugar.
It is available in Chocolate and Vanilla and most consumers say it mixes very well.
Kaged Muscle KASEIN has a 4.3 Star rating based on 51 customer reviews and seems to have a loyal following.
- Anti-catabolic properties and slow release of amino acids reduce muscle break down
- Ingredient transparency lets you know exactly what you are ingesting
- Proven scientifically to boost muscle growth and increase strength
- Teste by a third party for purity and potency
- Although the taste is good, many consumers find it too sweet
- Contains genetically modified organism which may not sit well with some
Because Dymatize Elite is sold in performance gyms and high supplement store, it is banned substance tested by Informed Choice and gluten free.
Each serving contains 25grams of 100% Micellar protein, 5.4 grams of branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s) to build up the protein, and 2.3 grams of leucine to trigger muscle growth.
Dymatize Elite mixes very well with water or your favorite liquid and is available in a variety of delicious flavors including Cinnamon Bun, Cookies and Cream, Rich Chocolate, and Smooth Vanilla.
Dymatize Elite 100% Micellar Casein Protein has a 4.4 Star rating based on 404 verified customer reviews and has a reputation second to none.
- Designed for the serious athlete or body builder looking for a performance casein protein powder
- Delivers slow release of amino acids to supporting muscle growth and aids in recovery
- 25 grams of 100% micellar casein, 5 grams of BCAAs & 2.3 grams of L-Leucine per serving
- Inherent anti-catabolic effect during down times such as sleep
- Seems to be a common thread that the flavors taste good but are too sweet
- Very thick and clumpy, doesn’t mix well
In addition, as with all the ProMix products, it does not contain soy, gluten, GMOs, and or any other unnecessary additive.
Available in chocolate and unflavored, each serving contains 25 grams of protein, no carbohydrates, and 5.3 grams of BCAA’s.
ProMix – Pasture-Based Casein, as with all high-quality casein protein powders, delivers a slow and long lasting amino aid delivery to ensure that any catabolic effect is kept to a minimum.
ProMix has cultivated long term relationships with the US farms which raise cows, so they are assured that the source ids pure and free from hormones or antibiotics.
With a 3.7 Star rating based on 87 customer reviews, ProMix – Pasture-Based Casein is one of the best unflavored casein protein powders on the market.
- Slow amino acid release allows muscles to repair and rebuild 24/7
- One i=of the highest testing standards in the industry and is soy free, gluten free, non-GMO, hormone free with no acid or bleaching additives
- A full spectrum casein protein containing Alpha s2, Beta, and Kappa-casein
- BCAA’s added to enhance and build upon the casein protein
- Majority of complaints are related to a chalky texture and poor taste
- Although advertised 0 carbs it still has 6 grams sugar
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder is a casein protein powder but also contains whey and egg albumen, which delivers fast, slow, and medium releasing amino acids to facilitate rapid recovery and long-term repair of muscle tissue.
In fact, MusclePharm is backed by scientific studies and designed for athletes who wish to optimize recovery, build muscle, and increase strength.
Each serving contains 25 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 96 calories which has one of the highest protein / calorie ratios in the supplement industry.
Additionally, MusclePharm has added BCAAs to intensify the protein benefit, glutamine to stimulate protein synthesis, & enzymes to enhance digestion.
This protein powder is available in a variety of unique flavors including Triple Berry, Vanilla, Chocolate Milk, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Banana Cream.
MusclePharm Combat Protein Powder has a 4.2 Star rating based on 3,328 customer reviews and is a tremendous combination protein powder for the athlete who wants to build muscle fast.
- Packed with 25 grams of protein and delivers a slow, fast and medium release of proteins and amino acids
- Fantastic taste which mixes well with water, milk, almond milk, fruits, and vegetables
- Certified by Informed Choice to ensure it does not contain banned substances
- BCAAs added to enhance the protein benefit, glutamine to facilitate protein synthesis, & enzymes to enhance digestion
- Not 100% casein protein powder as it also contains whey protein powder
BSN targets people with an active lifestyle, heavily involved in physical exercise, and its primary purpose is to repair and build muscle.
The manufacturer Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc., (BSN), is dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation, and as a result, has gained a reputation of being a World leader in sport nutrition supplements.
Each scoop of BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder contains 22 grams protein per serving, 5 grams of fiber per serving, and 10 grams of essential amino acids.
It is available in 10 delicious flavors and is by far the best tasting protein powder on the market.
BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder has a 4.6 Star rating based on 5,929 customer reviews and is without question a premium protein powder for women.
- Excellent blend of proteins including Micellar Protein and Whey Protein Concentrate and Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Milk Protein Isolate to maximize muscle repair and building
- Come in 10 flavors and tastes exactly like a smooth, creamy milkshake
- Packed with 22 grams of protein in conjunction with fiber and amino acids
- Can be taken morning, day or night, and is effective pre and post workout
- Uses sucralose, an artificial sweetener to add flavor
- Some complaints of bloating and gas which a side effect of high protein drinks
Summing It Up
As you can see casein protein powders play an important role in increasing muscle mass as well as reducing fat.
At the top of our list of 7 Best Casein Protein Powders in 2018, is Naked Nutrition: Less Naked Casein Protein.
This product uses the word “Naked” in its name and advertising, as it uses as few ingredients as possible.
It is extremely clean, pure, and contains nor additives or artificial ingredients.
The Less Naked version have flavoring, however, the pure Naked version is unflavored