Casein is a great form of protein to aid in slower digestion for the best in terms of muscle growth and repair.
Protein is an essential macronutrient found in all body tissues and it’s responsible for many of our bodily processes and the best casein protein powers can greatly affect your health and performance. It’s composed of amino acids which are the building blocks of the body and it’s important we supply our bodies with enough. Protein is responsible for chemical reactions in the body but it’s a must for muscle growth, repair, performance, and even weight management. Now, casein protein differs from whey in that it’s slow digesting, but both are milk-based and we’ll discuss some differences.
We’ve put together a list of the Best Casein Protein Powders for 2021 so you can enhance all areas of your health, training, and performance. The right product will take your gains to the next level as you seek the best results.
Best Casein For 2021
- Best Casein Overall: Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein
- Best Casein For Muscle Recovery: Kaged Muscle Kasein
- Best Casein For Mixing: Legion Casein+
- Best Casein For Digestion: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein
- Best Casein For Athletes: Dymatize Elite Casein
Best Casein Overall
The best casein overall will be of the highest quality and from a company who prides themselves on honesty and transparency. With the right nutrients and plenty of protein, your growth and recovery needs can be met.
Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein
|Number Of Servings||30|
Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein is the cleanest casein powder around providing essential amino acids to keep you anabolic up to 8 hours. Micellar casein works great to support muscle growth and recovery throughout the night and this powder is gentle on your stomach and tastes great. A fully transparent and honest label, this supplement contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives and has 25g protein with just 120 calories.
Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein is the cleanest casein protein powder with 25g protein and only 120 calories.
- Clean and effective micellar casein supplement
- 25g protein and low in calories with just 120
- No artificial sweeteners, coloring, or preservatives
- Premium priced option
- Only available directly from their website
Price: $59.00/ 30 servings
Check out our individual review for Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein here!
Best Casein For Muscle Recovery
For those looking to recover faster, the right casein products have the ability pump you with protein to alleviate soreness and repair those worn down muscles.
Kaged Muscle Kasein
|Flavors||Vanilla Shake, Chocolate Shake|
|Number Of Servings||27|
Kaged Muscle Kasein is for anyone looking combat muscle breakdown with the best supplement for nighttime recovery. This casein is an ultra-premium cold-processed micellar casein isolate carefully manufactured with a microfiltration process. This ensures the structural integrity of the protein so you get the best casein around. This slow digesting protein works to keep you in an anti-catabolic state, improve muscle recovery, and maximize muscle gains. A clean and fully disclosed formula offers 25g protein and 120 calories for a great casein recovery supplement.
- Great for nighttime recovery and avoiding muscle breakdown
- Carefully manufactured with a microfiltration process
- Clean and fully disclosed label
- Taste is okay on some flavors
- A bit pricey for the number of servings
Price: $34.99/ 27 servings
Best Casein For Mixing
It is always a pain when you have a powder that just won’t mix well. Having the right casein powder to mix with any beverage can take care of this no problem.
|Flavors||Vanilla, Banana Cream Pie, Milk Chocolate, Strawberry|
|Number Of Servings||30 servings|
Legion Casein+ is a 100% natural grass-fed micellar casein protein powder made with milk from sustainable farms in Ireland. With some of the healthiest and cleanest milk in the world being used for this supplement, you can be sure you overall health and performance are kept in mind. Naturally flavored and sweetened, this casein contains no artificial food dyes with a transparent label. A high protein powder, this comes with 26g protein, 120 calories, and 0g sugar.
- Sourced from some of the best milk in the world
- Naturally flavored and sweetened for no added nonsense
- Great amount of protein with 0g sugar
- Servings could be better for the price
Price: $49.99/ 30 servings
Best Casein For Digestion
Digestion is important and many protein powders can cause stomach discomfort. Having a casein protein powder that works well for digestion will allow these nutrients to hit you more efficiently without any discomfort.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein
|Flavors||Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Supreme, Cookies & Cream, Creamy Vanilla|
|Number Of Servings||53|
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein is a great slow digesting option between meals or before bed to provide nighttime support and muscle recovery. This micellar casein contains 24g protein and 120 calories to support the recovery process and keep you in an anti-catabolic state. It also improves satiety to keep you full for longer. With great flavors to choose from, this casein is easy on your stomach and great for digestion.
- Works great for satiety and keeping you in an anti-catabolic state
- Great flavors and balance of macronutrients
- Easy on your stomach for good digestion
- Mixing can be a problem at times and it tends to clump
Price: $54.46/ 53 servings
Best Casein For Athletes
Athletes looking to optimize performance need the right supplements and a great casein protein powder can do just that. With quality ingredients, all your needs can be taken care of with no problem at all for the best results.
Dymatize Elite Casein
|Flavors||Chocolate, Cinnamon Bun, Cookies & Cream, Vanilla|
|Number Of Servings||50|
Dymatize Elite Casein is ideal for overnight sustained muscle growth and repair or for other extended periods of time between meals. This casein provides a sustained release of muscle building amino acids to support growth and recovery with 25g protein and just 130 calories. For athletes looking to get the most out of their recovery, especially during sleep, this casein is a great option for all.
- Sustained release of muscle building amino acids for growth and recovery
- Good flavors and balance of macronutrients
- Great for athletes looking optimize performance
- 2 scoops seems unnecessary for a serving size compared to others on the market
Price: $49.84/ 50 servings
Benefits Of Casein Protein Powder
The benefits of taking a casein protein powder can greatly affect your health and performance as you look to maximize growth and recovery. Benefits of casein include:
- High quality protein: Casein offers a high-quality source of protein for all your overnight needs when it comes to building muscle and enhancing recovery.
- Assist weight loss: This can keep you full and curb cravings while keeping your body active while you sleep for a better metabolism (1).
- Support muscle retention: By giving your body continued fuel to grow, you allow yourself to keep on that hard earned muscle for added definition (2).
- Enhance growth and recovery: As a great source of protein, you allow your body the necessary nutrients to keep your muscles growing and to enhance recovery.
Casein Vs. Whey Protein
There are plenty of studies which prove casein supports muscle protein synthesis (MPS) for extended periods, whereas whey is more instantaneous for MPS (3,4).
Micellar casein protein is the most popular and common form which has many bioactive peptides that are beneficial for digestive and immune health. Plus, it contains all nine amino acids (building blocks of the body) (5). One study found that casein (more than 30g) before bed can improve resting metabolic rate and possibly resistance exercise the following morning. Research also shows that protein improved satiety and weight control and side effects can be minimized by consuming healthy amounts (6). And more research on casein protein has pretty much concluded that it’s effective for the prevention of muscle tissue breakdown overnight (7).
Whey protein also contains all of the essential amino acids and it’s better for short term protein synthesis, especially after a tough workout to give your muscles fuel to grow and repair. But each protein source has its own advantages. However, a blend of casein and whey is very beneficial as an all-around source of muscle-building nutrition.
How We Choose
When choosing the best casein protein powders, we look at a number of factors because your health and overall performance matter. We first look at the brand and the reputation of the brand because you deserve to have a company working on your behalf. We then look at the amount of macronutrients, how much sugar (if any), and other nutritional information because it is possible to find the right casein product without any added nonsense to hurt your health. We then look at price. Supplements can get expensive but it is possible to find a great product at an affordable price to see great gains.
What is the best casein protein powder?
Transparent Labs ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Casein Protein. This is the cleanest casein powder around providing essential amino acids to keep you anabolic up to 8 hours. A fully transparent and honest label, this supplement contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives and has 25g protein with just 120 calories.
When should I take casein?
It is best to take casein right before bed as this will work as a slow digesting protein to aid in growth and repair throughout the night. It will provide continued fuel for your body throughout the night.
Is casein better than whey?
Both work for your benefit in different ways so it is important to know what you’re trying to get out of each. Whey is great to take post-workout as it will hit you faster to provide fuel for your muscles to grow and repair. Casein is slower digesting so taking this at night works to promote overnight repair.
The best casein protein powders are very effective for muscle protein synthesis due to the slow release of nutrients. And anyone serious about their fitness goals should use casein in combination with a quality whey protein for optimal results. Protein is essential for building muscle and maintaining a healthy weight but sometimes we don’t get enough through food. So, these casein products can help you fill the gap and provide nutrients even when you’re sleeping. Casein protein is one of the many forms and it has plenty of additional naturally-occurring, beneficial nutrients for a complete source.
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- Leidy, H.; Clifton, P.; Astrup, A.; Wycherley, T. (2015). “The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance”. (source)
- Tipton, K.; Elliott, T.; Cree, M.; Wolf, S.; et al. (2004). “Ingestion of Casein and Whey Proteins Results in Muscle Anabolism after Resistance Exercise”. (source)
- Phillips, S.; Tang, J.; Moore, D. (2009). “The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons”. (source)
- Hoffman, J.; Falvo, M. (2004). “Protein- Which is Best?”. (source)
- Mohanty, D.; Mohapatra, S.; Misra, S.; Sahu, P. (2016). “Milk derived bioactive peptides and their impact on human health- A review”. (source)
- Pesta, D.; Samuel, V. (2014). “A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats”. (source)
- Res, P.; Groen, B.; Pennings, B.; Beelen, M.; et al. (2012). “Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery”. (source)