Anyone serious about sculpting their body and getting results should be taking advantage of Casein protein powder.
In today’s article, we are going to explain exactly why Casein protein powder is so important, and recommend the 8 best Casein protein powders that you can buy today.
Are You Eating Your Protein?
The research has been done and the verdict is in. Increasing protein intake, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, is one of the best ways to gain muscle, lose weight, and effectively train for any physical endeavour.
The amount of protein that someone in serious training should eat is pretty massive, which explains why protein powders have become so popular.
They are an effective way to boost your protein intake without having to spend the entire day eating, or get caught in the trap of eating too many calories.
But not all proteins, or protein powders, are the same. The type of protein that you should be eating for the best results depends on your diet, your exercise regime, and what exactly it is that you are trying to achieve.
For the best results, you want to be eating a variety of different proteins at different points during the day, and, assuming that you aren’t vegan, one of those proteins should be Casein protein.
Casein Protein and its Benefits
Like Whey protein, Casein protein is derived from milk. But Casein protein is very different to Whey.
Whey protein, which is about 20 percent of the natural protein found in milk, exists in the watery part of the milk. It is fast-digesting and absorbing, and therefore ideal when you need a protein boost in a hurry.
Casein protein is the other 80 percent of the protein that occurs in milk. It exists in the jelly-like substance that rises to the top. Unlike Whey, it is a slow-digesting and absorbing protein. Your system can be working on this protein for four hours or more after you’ve eaten it.
Why is that important?
It can reduce muscle loss
If you have a lot of muscle and not much fat, you probably also have a pretty fast-acting metabolism. This means that when you don’t eat for an extended period of time, such as the eight hours you spend sleeping, your body can become desperate for energy. You don’t have fat for it to burn, so it starts eating away at your muscles.
Eating Casein protein before going to bed, or any other period of fasting, gives your body dietary protein to burn as energy, which means that your metabolism is less likely to start eating up your muscles.
It can boost muscle gains at the gym
Casein protein is a complete protein because it contains, in large quantities, all the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce. This is true of all animal-derived proteins, but most plant-based proteins are light in a few of the essential amino acids, especially leucine, so they can be less effective.
Leucine is particularly important to anyone trying to build muscle, as it is what initiates muscle protein synthesis.
Casein protein is high in leucine, even for animal-derived proteins, so it can be a much-needed boost when it comes to kickstarting muscle growth.
It reduces appetite
The slow digestion rate of Casein protein can also leave you feeling fuller for longer, which can make it easier to stick to a calorie-controlled diet.
It offers a variety of other health benefits
Research suggests that Casein protein offers a variety of other health benefits that make it a welcome addition to any diet. Chief among them are that it:
- Provides antibacterial and immunity benefits;
- Reduces blood pressure;
- Reduces triglyceride levels after meals;
- Has an antioxidant effect that reduces the build-up of harmful free-radicals;
- Reduces the effect of enamel erosion on teeth.
Get the Right Casein Protein
When buying Casein protein powder, it is best to go for Micellar Casein rather than Hydrolysate Casein.
Micellar Casein is the most natural form of Casein that closely resembles its chemical structure found in milk. This type of Casein groups together in tiny balls called micelles that allows it to clot in your stomach when digested, which slows the absorption and gives you that slow digestion.
Casein Hydrolysate is artificially broken down to allow for faster absorption and digestion. This can be beneficial for a pre- or post-workout protein boost, but you are probably better off choosing a protein that is naturally fast-absorbing, such as Whey, rather than using this type of Casein protein.
8 Best Casein Protein Powders
Star Nutrition Supreme Casein
This Micellar Casein protein powder is extremely high in protein, with 76 to 83 percent of protein per serving while being very low in sugar.
If you are looking for something palatable before bed, this powder comes in a variety of palatable flavours including chocolate, chocolate banana, chocolate milk, chocolate peanut, salty caramel, strawberry milkshake, and vanilla.
The formula also contains added lactase, which helps with the digestion of lactose, which is the main component that can make Casein protein difficult for some people to digest.
- £24 per KG
- 77 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 363 calories per 100 grams
- Available in a variety of flavours
- Enriched with lactase
Bulk Micellar Casein Protein Powder
If you are looking for the maximum protein delivery from your Casein powder, then check out this affordable option from Bulk powders, which delivers 83 grams of protein per 100 grams.
The powder is very palatable, available in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, or unflavoured for the purists.
This is the best affordable Micellar Casein protein powder available on the market.
- £17.19 per KG
- 83 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 354 calories per 100 grams
- Available in a variety of flavours, including unflavoured
- Highly concentrated
AlpenPower Organic Micellar Casein Protein
If you are looking for an organic powder from a reliable brand, this option from German company AlpenPowder is an excellent choice.
It is unflavoured, so there is no need to worry about any nasty additives, though it does mean that it is a bit less palatable than some of the other options on this list.
Ideal for purists that prioritize quality above all else.
- £39.87 per KG
- 76 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 362 calories per 100 grams
- 100% bio-organic
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein
Those looking to buy in bulk will appreciate this convenient powder from Optimum Nutrition, which comes in four tasty flavours including chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, or strawberry.
The formula is also fortified with additional zinc and magnesium, which also contributes to the development of muscles, boosting the metabolism, and managing sleep.
- £25.80 per KG
- 73 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 352 calories per 100 grams
- Variety of flavours
- Added zinc and magnesium
PBN Micellar Casein
PBN is one of the most affordable supplement brands on the market that still offers top quality products.
This formula is just pure micellar casein, flavoured with either chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, as well as some sweeteners and thickeners that won’t appeal to everyone, but can also make the powder more palatable.
- £16.00 per KG
- 77 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 346 grams per 100 grams
- Variety of flavours
- Discount brand
The Protein Works 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder
This affordable Casein protein from The Protein Works is available in a variety of flavours, including banana, chocolate, strawberries and cream, and vanilla.
It is high in protein and very low in fats and sugars, which will appeal to anyone looking for a supplement to help them lose weight.
Warning, this particular formula also contains soya, which may not agree with everyone.
- £19.00 per KG
- 78 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 342 calories per 100 grams
- Variety of flavours
- Contains Soya
Bodybuilding Warehouse Pure Micellar Casein
This Casein protein powder option from the Bodybuilding Warehouse contains less soy than many of its competitors, containing just 1% soy in the form of Soy Lecithin as an instantizing agent.
It is available in a variety of flavours including chocolate, caramel, millionaires shortcake, strawberry, and vanilla.
- £20 per KG
- 74 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 375 calories per 1000 grams
- Variety of flavours
- Minimal soy content
Organic Casein Protein
If you are looking for a premium, organic source of Casein protein, you might appreciate this powder from Ekopura.
It is 100% organic made from milk from happy grass-fed cows and is pure and unflavoured, with no artificial additives, added sweeteners, or soy.
It is one of the more expensive labels, but you can be sure of what you are putting into your stomach.
- £45 per KG
- 78 grams of protein per 100 grams
- 350 calories per 100 grams
- Happy grass-fed cows
- 100% organic
How Much Protein Do You Need?
How much protein do you really need to consume to maintain to reach your fitness goals?
Dietitians recommend that the average sedentary person needs 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. That’s not too much, and a level that you are likely to be able to get from a healthy diet without the use of protein powders.
However, if you are looking to transform your body, whether that be losing weight or gaining muscle, you need a lot more.
The exact amount depends on what you want to achieve, but if you want a general rule, you should be consuming 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass.
We say “lean body mass” as the idea is to be feeding your muscles, tissues, and essential organs, but not any excess fat that you might be carrying around.
So, for example, if you weigh 90 kg and have 20 percent body fat, you will only be eating for that 72 kg of lean body mass. And yes, that is a whopping 158 grams of protein per day.
So, this is where protein powders come in, to help boost the amount of protein that you are consuming without dramatically increasing the amount of food that you need to consume.
How to Eat Casein Protein?
Casein protein powder is best eaten before a long period of fasting, as it is slow digesting and will stave off the amount of time before your body is tempted to burn existing muscles for energy.
This can mean before bed, but the same logic applies to any extended period of time when you know you won’t be eating any protein. It can also make this extended fasting period feel a little easier, as Casein protein leaves you feeling fuller for longer.
Casein protein is naturally creamy, and has a naturally creamy flavour and consistency. This means that, depending on your tastebuds, an unflavoured Casein protein powder mixed with water can taste quite palatable.
But, if this flavour isn’t for you, most of the options come in a variety of flavours such as chocolate and caramel that will make it easy to drink down.
You can try pre-mixing your protein powder and putting it in the freezer to make a dessert that seems a little like ice-cream or cold mouse.
Which protein powder is the healthiest?
The healthiest protein powders are the ones that are as close to the natural proteins as possible, and do not contain any artificial additives or other nasties that can play unexpected havoc on your system.
As to which type of protein you should be using, this depends on what you are trying to achieve. For example, pre- and post-workout you want a fast-absorbing protein that immediately gives your body the fuel that it needs to do its work.
Before sleeping or another long period of fasting, you want a slow-absorbing protein, such as Casein protein, that boosts your metabolism as it works to digest, and prevents your body from burning muscle for fuel.
A diet should always be healthy and varied, so mixing up your protein powders, rather than eating the same type of protein powder multiple times a day for weeks on end can be a good idea.
What are the side effects of protein powder?
The main side effect of protein powder is a change in your bowel movements. This is not because protein powder is bad for you, but rather because your body is not accustomed to eating the amounts of protein that you are feeding it.
It can take a few days or a few weeks for your body to adjust to an increased protein intake. In order to avoid problems associated with this, it can be a good idea to increase your protein intake gradually, rather than suddenly doubling or trebling your protein intake.
Do you really need protein powder?
Your body needs protein, and it needs a lot of protein if you want to transform your body, either by building muscle or losing weight. It can be very difficult to get the level of protein that you need from a normal diet. Few people want to eat meat three times a day and snack on eggs (raw or boiled) between meals.
Protein powder is an easy way to increase your protein intake without having to spend the entire day eating. It also helps you control calorie intake when increasing protein.
While most people know that protein can significantly boost results, whether you are trying to bulk up and lose weight, but fewer people understand that you can get even better results if you eat the right kind of protein at the right time of day.
Casein protein is ideal for eating in the evening, or before any relatively long period of fasting.
This is because Casein is a slow-digesting protein that can take around 4 hours for your body to digest and absorb. This means that you boost your metabolism as your body works to process this food overnight.
You also reduce the possibility that your body will run out of energy and start burning that muscle mass that you’ve been working hard to build for energy during the night.
So, Casein is the ideal protein to eat before bed. But immediately before or after a workout, you will want a fast-digesting protein, such as way, to give your body the fuel that it needs immediately.
- The effects of protein and amino acid supplements on performance and training adaptations – PubMed NCBI
- Comparison of 2 diets with either 25% or 10% of energy as casein on energy expenditure, substrate balance, and appetite profile – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss – PubMed NCBI
- Inhibition of dental erosion by casein and casein-derived proteins – PubMed NCBI
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API