Best casein protein powder


Dairy Intolerance: Is it Lactose? Casein? or Whey?

Dairy Intolerance: Is it Lactose? Casein? or Whey?

Posted by Andrea Rossi, RHN, R.BIE in Allergies


Having a food intolerance is not fun. It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linked to food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema.

Dairy is just one of those foods that many people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey.

Milk Sugar (Lactose) Intolerance

It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant. Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally found in most dairy products. Lactose intolerance is so common you can buy lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks the lactose down before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.

The lactase enzyme is naturally released from your intestine as one of your digestive enzymes. It breaks down the lactose sugar in the gut. When someone doesn’t have enough lactase, the lactose doesn’t get broken down the way it should. Undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes. As they ferment the lactose, they create gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

Lactose is in dairy but is in lower amounts in fermented dairy (e.g. cheese & yogurt) and butter. Steering clear of lactose isn’t that easy as it is added to other foods like baked goods, soups, and sauces. And if you’re taking any medications or supplements, check to see if it’s in there too, as lactose is a common ingredient in them.

If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, keep an eye on food, medication, and supplement labels.

Milk Protein (Casein & Whey) Allergy

Milk is a known, and common, food allergen. In Canada, it is considered a “priority allergen” and must be declared on food labels.

So, what are the allergens in milk? You’ve heard of “curds and whey?” Well, these are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds (made of casein), and the liquid is the dissolved whey.

Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response and be considered a true allergy by promoting an IgE response from the immune system. And this immune response can cause inflammation. In fact, we don’t know how many people have these milk allergies, but most estimates put it far below that of lactose intolerance.

However, even if an IgE immediate immune response is not observed, a lot of people still get reactions from the casein and whey and therefore find themselves intolerance to these proteins.

Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too. They’re not just in dairy but are often the base of many protein powders as well (ie. “whey” protein powder).

Some of the symptoms of milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things like nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. And casein seems to be linked with belly fat.

Interestingly, people who have gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins like whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand for their protein molecular structure is very similar.

Like lactose intolerance, if you’re allergic to casein and whey keep an eye on labels so you can avoid these.

Worried about your Calcium Intake?

While dairy may be often considered an entire food group, it is not an essential nutrient. Calcium is by far the one mineral that most people worry about consuming enough when they decide to remove dairy from their diets. And there is definitely a big misconception that dairy is the only good source of calcium.

Good news! All the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods. 🤓 I put together this quick summary organized by amount of calcium available by serving size. I focused on the foods over 50mg per serving, although my no means is this an exhaustive list. I just wanted to give you a good idea on where you can get non-dairy sources of calcium.

You’ll see I kept yogurt and milk on the list. I wanted you to compare their calcium values to others to give you a good comparison.

Note that the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for calcium is as follows:

Birth to 6 months: 200mg
7 – 12 months: 260mg
1 – 3 years: 700mg
4 – 8 years: 1000mg
9 – 18 years: 1300mg
19 – 50 years: 1000mg
During pregnancy: 1200mg
Women over 50 yrs: 1200mg
Men over 70 yrs: 1200mg


If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may have a lactose intolerance. If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey.

If you experience these symptoms, I would suggest you try removing dairy from your diet for at least 2 weeks to see if your symptoms improve. You may find improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may find improved nasal congestion, or even less belly fat.

After the 2 weeks, start by re-introducing a higher fat dairy source like cheese to see how you feel. If you have no issues, wait 3 days and then reintroduce yogurt and see how you feel. And then lastly dairy milk should you choose.

Because milk has less fat content that the other sources of dairy like cheese and yogurt, it’s often harder to digest since it’s farther from being “whole”. Sticking with dairy full in fat is easiest to digest.

*Interesting fact, parents who struggle with their children and bedwetting find that by removing dairy or other food sensitivities notice an immediate improvement!

If you’re not sure if you’re reacting to the lactose, whey, or casein and you want some help you identify how your body is reacting, I can help you identify how your body is reacting to each of these components.

Sign up for my free 30 min consultation and get your Whole Body Health Profile to see what underlying problem could be affecting you.

Much Love,

Casein Protein

Casein is a form of protein that helps prevent muscle breakdown, increase fullness and improve body composition. Alongside whey, casein protein is extracted from milk (both cow’s milk and human milk contain differing amounts of casein) (1).

While whey protein powder is by far the most popular protein supplement with fitness enthusiasts and athletes, casein protein is also very popular due to slightly different benefits that it offers.

Whey protein is one of the fastest absorbed protein sources around, which is why it is often taken immediately post workout, in the (possibly mistaken) belief that this will speed up protein synthesis. Casein protein on the other hand is much slower when it comes to digestion, due to it forming a “clot” in the stomach and drip feeding nutrients and amino acids into the blood stream over a longer period (2).

This can help keep you feeling fuller for longer, and also help with maintaining raised protein synthesis rates post workout. Many protein shakes now offer combinations of whey and casein protein, finding that this can lead to even greater results than taking either supplement separately (3).

Best Casein

1Bulk Supplements Casein

Bulk Supplements is one of the cleanest companies on the planet, and makes a strong case for being the best casein protein powder on the market. They offer 100% pure casein protein powder with no other ingredients, fillers or additives.

Each supplement is tested in our in-house laboratory before distribution, ensuring that all products are safe for consumption. Their FDA-registered cGMP manufacturing and distribution facility has a staff of over 60 full-time employees that take pride in providing excellent customer service and producing quality products for our customers.

If you want guaranteed quality, bulk supplements is the way to go.

2Ascent Native Fuel Casein

Ascent Native Fuel Casein protein is a phenomenal product, containing 25g protein per scoop and 11g of naturally occurring BCAAs. They use zero artificial ingredients and are certified gluten-free and Informed Sport Certified.

Where Ascent really shines is quality control. Unlike most companies, they don’t buy protein from anyone else. Ascent buy Grade A milk from trusted dairy farmers and then filter the proteins in our own facilities – and they’ve have been doing this for over 30 years.

3Naked Casein

Naked casein has only one ingredient: 100% micellar casein protein powder with no growth hormones, no rBGH and no rBST. No additives mean your casein shakes, smoothies and recipes will provide clean muscle gains and maximum recovery.

Naked Casein is cold processed, which means there is no contamination from chemical detergents (no acid or bleach), synthetic additives, or heavy metals.

Naked Casein is brought to you only from US farms to ensure that our unflavored casein protein powder is packed full of essential amino acids, clean protein and BCAAs. It’s one of the cleanest products in the marketplace.

4Legion Athletics Casein+

Casein+ is a naturally sweetened and flavored, made from exceptionally high-quality milk from small dairy farms in Ireland. It’s 100% micellar casein protein with no GMOs, MSG, hormones, artificial food dyes, or unwanted fillers or chemical junk.

What’s more, Casein+ tastes delicious, mixes great, and is packed with essential amino acids, including leucine.

5Rivalus Promasil Casein

Promasil Casein protein powder contains a blend of 4 casein protein types: native micellar casein, micellar casein, partially hydrolyzed casein, and alpha-lactalbumin to maximize the release or protein into the bloodstream over hours and hours.

The advantage of extended digestion time is hours-long delivery of amino acids – an attribute that is particularly advantageous throughout the night while you sleep. All Rivalus products are free of banned substances and built in world class facilities.

6Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein

Optimum Nutrition has been a leader in protein powders since they were pretty much invented, due to their superior formula’s. Each serving of Gold Standard Casein contains 24 grams of time-released protein, over 5 grams of BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) and nearly 5 grams of Glutamine & glutamine precursors in every scoop.

It also contains Aminogen digestive enzymes to enhance utilization.

7MuscleTech Casein Gold

Nitro Tech Casein Gold is superior to other casein protein powders – more protein per scoop, fewer carbs and more servings. It delivers 24g of high-quality protein taken from multiple premium casein protein sources.

Nitro Tech Casein Gold Smooth is a great-tasting protein powder that doesn’t pack the extra sugar and carbs you’ll see in other whey protein and casein protein powders.

8Dymatize Elite Casein

Dymatize elite casein provides a sustained release of muscle building amino acids to support muscle growth and recovery. It contains 25 grams of 100% micellar casein, 5 grams of BCAAs & 2.3 grams of L-leucine per serving.

Elite Casein uses a cross-flow microfiltration processing to help preserve the natural state of casein protein’s important muscle building properties.

Elite Casein is formulated by in-house research and development scientists by carefully selecting ingredients that meet strict quality standards and specification.

9Kaged Muscle Kasein

Kaged Muscle Kasein is a complete protein that gives you essential amino acids to help repair and rebuild muscle during recovery. Each serving contains 25 g of ultra-premium cold-pressed micellar casein isolate for a sustained-release protein that helps prevent muscle breakdown.

Kaged Muscle Kasein is manufactured using an innovative microfiltration process that preserves the structural integrity of the protein. Each tub of Kaged Muscle Kasein has 100 percent ingredient transparency on the label so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

10Six Star Elite Series Casein Protein Powder

Six Star Elite Series casein protein powder ensures a continued flow of amino acids to your muscles with their sustained delivery formula. Each scoop serves up 24g of protein and 4.9g of BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine and valine – to fuel you up, day in and day out.

Six Star Casein Protein comes in a delectable triple chocolate flavor, distinguished by the Gold Medal from the American Masters of Taste, a prestigious panel of chefs and flavor experts.

How We Rank

Casein protein powders have seen a rise in popularity over the past few years, due to the sustained release of amino acids and its superior ability for muscle building and recovery.

The first step we took to find the best products was to see which products were 100% casein and which ones were protein blends with casein. While protein blends can have some advantages, 100% casein is what we wanted for this ranking. This is why BSN Syhtna-6, which is a blend of multiple proteins (including casein), as well as BioTrust are not found on this list.

The second thing we looked at was the formulation. Was it pure protein powder, or did it have a ton of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and undesirable additives? We preferred products with ingredient lists of less than 5 for our rankings, and ideally 1-2. This is why you’ll find Naked Casein (which only has one ingredient: casein protein), at the top of our list.

Lastly, we looked at flavoring and mixability. Casein protein can be challenging to make taste right and mix well. It often requires superior manufacturing and attention to detail in the processing. Products like Legion Casein+ and Ascent Native Fuel are ranked at the top because they go the extra mile to ensure high quality casein mixes well.


1Casein protein can prevent muscle breakdown. Exercising in a fasted state is generally seen as a bad idea, but it used to be promoted as a fantastic way to burn fat.

This belief was pretty much laid to rest by an article by Brad Schoenfeld where he stated that not only is there no increase in fat loss, but due to a lack of energy, the workout will potentially lead to less fat burning as performance will have dropped (4).

But people still do it, often due to training very early in the morning.

If you train in a fasted state, then your body will not have any protein stores to begin protein synthesis. This means that taking some immediately after a workout would be beneficial. A 2009 study found that taking a protein and carbohydrate meal immediately post workout (fasted) will prevent muscle protein breakdown (5).

A combination of whey protein, casein protein, and a carbohydrate source would be perfect.

2Casein protein can protect against muscle loss. For weight loss to occur you need to be in a calorie deficit, that is the only way that you can drop body fat. The bigger the deficit, the faster the fat loss (up to a certain point). This is why crash diets and week-long fasts can cause such incredibly fast weight loss results.

The downside of creating a big deficit is that you can actually begin to lose muscle mass (there are of course many other physiological and psychological downsides – which is why crash diets are such a poor nutritional strategy). But even a sensible diet can lead to some muscle loss, the trick is to limit this as much as possible. Studies have shown that increasing protein intake can prevent muscle loss during short-term calorie deficit diets.

A 2013 study found that consuming twice as much protein as recommended can protect fat-free mass during a short-term diet (6).

Whey protein or casein protein, or a combination of both would be perfect for this.

3Casein protein can increases satiety . Satiety is another word for feeling full after a meal, the fuller (or more sated) you feel after a meal the less likely you are to want to eat. This means that foods that can increase satiety after a meal are better on diets. The most satiating food according to the satiety index for common foods is the boiled potato (7).

But high protein foods that are also satiating are better due to their ability to increase your metabolism and protect muscle.

Many studies have compared casein protein powder to whey and other protein powders and have found mixed results, some found casein to be more satiating while others found whey. A 2011 study compared casein, pea protein, whey, and egg albumin (protein powder) to find which was the most satiating (8).

It found that casein and pea protein were significantly more satiating than the other sources.

A 2014 study found that whey protein was more satiating than casein and also more satiating than a carbohydrate supplement (9).

This may seem a bit confusing, and it is.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a consensus on why whey and casein might/might not be more satiating than the other. Casein is slower to be absorbed and travels through the intestines at a slower rate, which makes it work like fiber and theoretically should make it more satiating. But whey may cause a different hormonal response.

A 2008 study explains it like this:

“Different proteins cause different nutrient related responses of (an) orexigenic hormones. Protein-induced satiety coincides with a relatively high GLP-1 release, stimulated by the carbohydrate content of the diet, PYY release, while Ghrelin does not seem to be especially affected, and little information is available on CCK.” (10)

In other words, different protein sources can stimulate different hormones which deal with appetite, but at the moment science is not certain which proteins affect which hormones. On the other hand, a study in 1998 failed to find any difference between protein types, and instead posited that protein intake is more important (how much protein you have) (11).

They also suggested that because you usually consume protein as part of a meal the other foods will influence satiety overall. Of course, this is clearly not the case when taking a casein or whey protein shake as they are taken in isolation. Whatever the science says, one thing is for certain – casein protein can increase satiety and is therefore a good supplement to take while on a diet.

4Casein protein can help improve body composition. Due to casein protein being effective at protecting fat-free mass during a diet, and improving dieting adherence by increasing satiety, it is perhaps no surprise that casein protein can improve body composition. It is well established that reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein intake can improve body composition, and studies have demonstrated this (12).

A high protein diet can increase thermogenesis (slightly), increase satiety (as we mentioned above) and as a result improve weight loss (13).

Both whey and casein protein have been shown to do this, particularly when combined (milk protein). A 2013 study found that milk protein can improve metabolic health and reduce body fat (14).

5Casein protein taken before bed can improve post-exercise recovery. A 2012 study looked at post-exercise recovery and casein protein (15).

The study involved 16 healthy young men who all performed a resistance workout (free weights and machines) at 8pm after consuming a standard diet.

30 minutes before sleep (11:30pm) they took either 40g of casein protein powder, or they took a placebo. The study measured their blood and muscles to assess how much protein synthesis occurred during sleep (7.5 hours). The study found that casein protein taken immediately before bed (or within a 30 minute window if you want to be specific) increased whole body protein synthesis rates and improved the subjects’ net protein balance. An increase of 22%.

One of the reasons for casein being so effective pre-bed is that it is slow releasing, because casein has slower motility than whey protein, it can spend more time releasing amino acids (particularly Leucine) into the blood. This means that it can elevate protein synthesis for longer than whey protein (16).

6Casein protein may help improve sleep quality. A lot of articles and fitness professionals claim that casein is good for improving sleep quality, but there is surprisingly little evidence for this. One of the main reasons why casein is said to improve sleep is that it contains tryptophan. This is an amino acid that helps regulate sleep, but only 1.1% of casein is made up of tryptophan (17).

There are other foods (such as egg whites) that contain much higher quantities of tryptophan than casein.

In fact it might not have anything to do with tryptophan, casein may help improve sleep quality because it contains a peptide called AlphaS-1 Peptide. This peptide is known for reducing anxiety (called an anxiolytic) and reduce stress.

A study on rats suffering from chronic stress found that AlphaS-1 peptide found in casein protein helped to improve sleep (18).

You could also theoretically claim that casein protein may help reduce stress and anxiety too, but there are no human studies that confirm this.

7Casein protein can help build muscle. The link between protein supplementation and muscle mass is well known. Provided you are performing adequate exercise whey or casein protein will absolutely help increase muscle mass.

A systematic review on the effects of protein supplements on muscle mass found that protein supplementation can enhance gains in muscle mass (hypertrophy) and strength, it also found improvements in aerobic and anaerobic performance (19).

Provided there is enough stress on the muscles from resistance exercise of course.

A 2012 study looked at the effect of protein supplementation on the muscle mass of both young people and older people (20).

It found that prolonged exercise, combined with whey, casein, or a combination of whey and casein led to significant increases in both populations.

A similar study found that whey and casein protein were more effective than soy protein when it came to muscle accretion in both young and elderly people (21).

There was an interesting study that looked to find the best protein supplement, comparing whey, casein, bovine colostrum (also a milk protein), and soy protein. They found that:

“In athletes supplementing their diets with additional protein, casein has been shown to provide the greatest benefit for increases in protein synthesis for a prolonged duration. However, whey protein has a greater initial benefit for protein synthesis. These differences are related to their rates of absorption. It is likely a combination of the two could be beneficial” (22).

8Casein protein can help build greater strength when combined with resistance exercise. If casein protein can increase muscle mass, then it stands to reason that it can also help build strength too. A 2013 study found that a combination of resistance exercises and pre and post workout protein shakes led to changes in performance, they found no difference between casein and whey protein (23).

A 2006 scientific review article found that combining whey and casein protein led to the greatest gains in strength and fat-free mass over a 10 week period (24).

A similar study in 2005 found that milk protein (a combination of whey and casein) combined with a 12 week training program led to greater gains in strength and hypertrophy than a soy based protein (25).

9Casein protein can help with weight loss. A study out of Netherlands showed that casein protein could help increase the metabolic rate during sleep. The study also showed a massive 33% increase in feeling full, helping you eat less food overall (26).

Another 2004 study showed that casein could help men double their fat loss over a 12 week period (8% vs 4%) (47).

9Casein protein is long lasting. Casein is considered a slow digesting protein because it takes hours for the amino acids to leave the bloodstreamm. This means muscle tissues have a longer opportunity to use the amino acids for repair work and growth. This is especially beneficial over night when you are not consuming any protein or amino acids.

10Casein protein helps promote colon health. In a study performed out of Australia, researchers investigated the health benefits of various proteins and found that dairy proteins promote colon health better than meat and soy (27).

11Casein protein is good for your teeth. According to a study conducted in the United Kingdom, one way to help prevent a more expensive dental visit might be to consume casein. Their research found that casein proteins have the potential to reduce or prevent the effects of enamel erosion (28).

Side Effects

1Casein protein can cause minor side effects in people with a dairy allergy. Due to casein being free of lactose, a lot more people are able to consume it than they are other dairy protein sources. But you can still be allergic to it if you have a dairy allergy. The side effects of this can be nausea, bloating, headaches, and similar minor complaints, but nothing too serious.

2Casein protein has been found with low levels of contamination. One issue that has surfaced recently is contamination, a recent study by the clean label project found that many protein powders had levels of lead, cadmium, and BPA within them (29).

Now there should be some context given here, while the levels were higher than expected, they were still well within safe levels. Secondly, milk and egg based proteins (including casein) were found to be much safer than vegan and plant based protein powders.

3Casein protein may lead to a higher risk of mortality in a higher protein diet. There is a lot of debate at the moment on whether high protein diets are safe or not. The worry about kidney problems occurring has finally been laid to rest (protein will not affect healthy kidneys at all) but some studies indicate that lower protein diets lead to a lower risk of mortality in under 65s (30).

That same study also found that people who were over 65 actually benefited from higher protein, possibly due to the increased requirement of Leucine in the elderly (31).

Recommended Dosage

How much protein you require is influenced by many factors, whether you are young or old, whether you are active or inactive (studies have shown that athletes require twice as much protein as sedentary people (32).

If you are looking to build muscle, or lose weight can also affect this. Your body weight, and muscle mass can also have an impact, as can your gender.

Examine probably gives the best advice – due to it only considering studies performed on humans, and aiming their information at a variety of individuals.


When should you take casein protein? Because casein is a slow digesting protein, its best suited to take it before bed or as a meal replacement instead of post workout.

Can you be allergic to casein protein? If a glass of milk or a slice of pizza causes swollen lips, hives, or other significant symptoms, you may have an allergy to casein, a protein in milk. Another milk protein associated with food allergies is whey. Some people are allergic to both casein and whey

Are protein powders regulated by the FDA? Protein powder is viewed as a dietary supplement by the FDA. As a dietary supplement, the FDA allows manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of their products independently. Though this is the case, however, consumers can still a large amount of research independently for the best possible information about the protein powder they choose

Is whey or casein protein better? Whey is considered a “fast” protein, because it is rapidly digested in as little as an hour, whereas casein is a “slow” protein that is digested over several hours. Neither is better than the other as they serve different purposes.

Are protein shakes safe for long-term consumption? Unfortunately, there is not much information or research to confirm the long-term effects of protein powder use. It is important that consumers understand some of the risks involved with unknown factors. Despite this, however, protein powder has so far not been linked to any chronic issues or concerns.

Do eggs contain casein protein? Eggs do not contain casein, though some dishes that contain eggs may have it, depending on ingredients.

Is casein protein cancerous? most milk proteins including casein can promote the growth of both normal cells and cancer cells. However this isn’t confirmed in human studies to be harmful.

Can I lose weight by just drinking protein shakes? Manufacturers of protein shakes may claim that their products help decrease body fat or promote weight loss, but protein shakes aren’t a magic bullet for weight loss. Replacing meals with protein shakes may help you reduce your daily calories, which can help you lose weight.

What foods have casein protein in them? Because casein is a protein, it’s found mostly in dairy products with moderate-to-high protein content such as low-fat milk, yogurt, kefir and cheese.

Is it ok to take casein protein in the morning? Yes, anytime that isn’t post workout is ideal for casein.

Is ghee free of casein protein? Ghee or clarified butter (also known as drawn butter) is a casein free alternative to regular butter. Both ghee and clarified butter have the milk proteins casein and whey removed and what remains is butter fat.

What is soy lecithin and why is it in many casein protein powders? Soy lecithin is used in protein powder (and many other foods) to help stabilize certain mixtures of ingredients. While it’s generally a good idea to limit your intake of soy products (and soy protein in particular), there’s a big difference between what’s in casein supplements and eating tofu every day. Unless you are very allergic to soy, you can rest assured that the tiny amount of soy lecithin in casein protein powders is harmless.

How much casein protein can I eat per day? There really is no upper limit too much you can consume per day. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that getting at least 50% of your daily protein from whole food sources is a good rule of thumb.

Do protein shakes cause weight gain? Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. If your daily protein shake contains 200 calories in excess of your body needs, it could result in a gain of 21 pounds in a year.

Is slow-digesting casein protein better for building muscle? There is evidence that using a slower-digesting protein like casein may result in more muscle growth over the long term. More research is needed to confirm these findings however.

Is casein protein powder good for weight loss? Yes, casein is a “slow” protein and is believed to help improve the chance of muscle growth and fat loss.

Do protein shakes make you fart? Sometimes protein can cause intestinal distress leading to protein farts. Taking a probiotic or a high-quality protein powder should remedy this. You may need to switch to a different type of protein if it persists.

What type of protein shake is best for me? Protein shakes come in a variety of types. The best way to determine which protein shake is right for you; it is always a good idea to identify your specific goals and research which type will give the best results.

Can you ever have too much protein? Generally, the recommended amount of protein would want to be maintained. Though the likelihood of ingesting too much protein per day is not likely, it is important to maintain a balanced diet whenever possible.

Does casein protein have any side effects? Casein may cause some digestive distress, especially in those who are lactose intolerant.

Does casein protein spike insulin? Casein protein does not cause the same massive spike in insulin that whey protein does.

Is casein protein bad for you? Casein can cause minor side effects in people with a dairy allergy. Due to caseinbeing free of lactose, a lot more people are able to consume it than they are other dairy protein sources. But you can still be allergic to it if you have a dairy allergy.


Casein protein is a great protein supplement for people looking to build muscle, increase strength, preserve muscle, or lose weight. It appears to have a few benefits over whey protein when it comes to satiety and protein synthesis, but whey has other benefits that casein doesn’t.

There seems to be a growing consensus that combining whey and casein together leads to better results. You could either take a scoop of each, or have a whey protein shake post workout, and a casein protein shake before bed. Lots of supplement companies pre-mix the two together, but find the option that provides the best value for money and protein per serving.

There are essentially no side effects to taking casein, unless you have a lactose or dairy allergy. The fear of contamination is overblown, particularly for animal sources of protein. But you can always check the clean label project website to find which products have the lowest levels.

If you are an athlete, bodybuilder, or just someone who goes to the gym twice per week, there are many benefits to taking casein. Even sedentary people will benefit from casein, with increased satiety, an improved metabolism, and better sleep (possibly).

Best Casein Protein Powders for Your Post-Workout Shake

All products and services featured here are selected by Everyday Health’s commerce team and chosen for their potential to inspire and enable your wellness. Everyday Health may earn an affiliate commission on items you purchase.

For years now, athletes and bodybuilders have relied on casein supplements to build and strengthen their muscles. And with good reason. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says casein is a granular protein precipitate that comes from skim milk and is used as a protein supplement. Research also says casein protein can help fortify certain muscles in the chest, legs, and shoulders.

“Casein is known as a time-release protein because it has a slower absorption rate in the gut, meaning it releases smaller amounts of amino acids over a longer period of time,” says Amy Shapiro, RD, who is in private practice in New York City. “It provides the necessary amino acids for repair, and is especially effective for muscle growth.” Because it releases amino acids slowly, many people take casein before bed.

How Much Protein Do You Need on a Daily Basis?

According to the Institute of Medicine, the average adult requires .8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight on a daily basis.

The American College of Sports Medicine, the American Dietetic Association, and the Dietitians of Canada also recommend that athletes consume between 1.2 and 1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight on a daily basis. Endurance athletes should have between 1.2 and 1.4 g of protein per kg of body weight, while individuals involved in strength training should have between 1.2 and 1.7 g of protein per kg of body weight.

It’s also important to note how much casein protein powder you should consume with a glass of milk before or after exercise. Shapiro says the daily dosage of casein protein powder should be less than 30 g, between 0.8 and 2.2 g per kg of body weight each day.

How to Pick a Safe Casein Powder Considering a Lack of FDA Regulation

Before diving into any supplement, it’s critical to recognize that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not required to review the effectiveness or safety of supplements before they hit the market. Rather it’s up to the distributor and manufacturer to ensure that there are no impurities and that their packaging is accurately labeled (per Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines). However, the FDA can take a product off the market if it’s discovered to be unsafe or if its claims are misleading.

To be a savvy and informed shopper, the FDA recommends looking to government and/or non-commercial sites such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Health (NIH) before you buy a supplement. Even better, address any questions and concerns with your healthcare provider. Be wary if a product touts its total safety or claims zero side effects. Moreover, all supplement labels are required to include both the name and location of either the distributor or manufacturer. You can reach out directly if you want more information about their product. And if you do experience a potential problem, be sure to report it to the FDA.

Additional Factors to Consider When Choosing a Casein Powder

  • Type of Casein You’ll typically find one of two forms of casein used in supplements: micellar and hydrolyzed. Micellar is the purest/least adulterated version and the one used most often. Hydrolyzed casein is actually micellar casein that’s been broken down into smaller peptides. But, it’s generally more expensive than micellar casein because of the extra processing that’s needed.
  • Ingredients Take a peek at the ingredients before buying your casein. As with other supplements, be wary of products that have long lists. Shapiro says casein should contain between 23 g and 29 g of total protein and have about 100 to 140 calories per serving.
  • Solubility When purchasing a powder supplement, you want to be sure it will dissolve quickly and easily. After all, you don’t want to sit there endlessly stirring your drink. And you definitely don’t want to drink chunks of powder!
  • Reason for Consumption Some people take protein supplements to build muscle and bulk while others take it to lose weight. If you’re taking it for the former, you should buy supplements that have additional calories. For the latter, you’ll want to find a brand that’s just 100 percent protein.
  • Allergies Casein might not be the right protein for you, especially if you have dairy allergies. Shapiro recommends speaking with a doctor if you think you might be lactose intolerant before using casein protein powders.

Here are our top picks for casein supplements.

The hidden dangers of protein powders

They may contain added sugar, calories, or even toxic chemicals.

Published: September, 2018

Image: © jirkaejc/Getty Images

Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Top 5 Best Casein Protein Powders: How to Pick the Right One

Casein protein is derived from milk protein, which is mix of whey and casein protein, in 20% : 80% ratio. When consumed, casein is slowly digested and it feeds the body for 6-8 hours with almost constant stream of amino acids. This is very important during the night, especially during periods of diet and hard workouts. There are many casein protein supplements on the market, we have chosen 5 the best according to our opinion, but we have mentioned few more, too.

Updated: December 13, 2019.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best casein protein powder: taste, macro- and micronutrient content, packages, price, mixability, flavors, availability, type and amount of natural and artificial aromas, sweeteners and other compounds which are added to sport supplements etc.

Following table lists most common casein protein powders and their content per single servings. Note that supplements are listed alphabetically – if there are more flavors, flavor with the highest protein content is listed.

Casein Protein Reviews Flavor Single Serving Protein Total Carbs Sugars Fibers Fats Calcium Amazon Link
Cellucor Cor-Performance Casein Vanilla 32.5g 25g 3g 1g 0g 1g 60% RDA Check Price
Dymatize Elite Casein Smooth Vanilla 33g 25g 2g 0g 0g 1.5g 60% RDA Check Price
EAS Myoplex Micellar Casein Vanilla 40g 26g 4g 2g 2g 1.5g 1000 mg Check Price
Labrada 100% Micellar Casein Vanilla 32g 24g 2g 1g 0g 0.5g 60% RDA Check Price
MusclePharm Combat 100% Casein Chocolate Milk, Vanilla 34.5g 28g 2g 1g 0g 0g 60% RDA Check Price
MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein Vanilla Ice Cream 30g 24g 2g 1g 0g 0.5g 570 mg Check Price
Naked Nutrition Micellar Casein Protein Unflavored 30g 26g 2g 2g 0g 0g 618 mg Check Price
Now Foods Micellar Casein Powder Unflavored 24g 19g <1g <1g 0g 0.5g 33% RDA Check Price
Optimum Gold Standard 100% Casein Creamy Vanilla 33g 24g 3g 1g 1g 1g 50% RDA Check Price
Universal Nutrition Casein Pro Vanilla Soft Serve 33g 24g 3g 1g 1g 1g 55% RDA Check Price

Note: Amazon affiliate links in the table open in the new windows.

Pure casein protein powder is very low on carbs, fats, fibers, cholesterol, has some sodium and potassium and is very rich in protein and calcium.

Best Tasting Casein Protein

Taste of unflavored casein protein powder is somewhere between chalk and sand, with some sawdust added. Seriously, unflavored casein protein is excellent source of lean, slow digesting protein and calcium, but it doesn’t taste well.

Also, mixability of such powder is not good – in order to improve the mixability, compounds like lecithin is used. This and additional flavors (vanilla, cocoa, various fruits, nuts etc.) increase amounts of fats, but 1-2g more fats per single serving is, IMHO, acceptable for much improved mixability and taste.

In any case, mixing casein powder in shaker with plastic/metal mash makes shake (almost) free of lumps, but also creates some foam – in most cases, foam settles in few seconds.

Some casein proteins are so instantized that they can be mixed in the glass with cold water, using nothing but the spoon.

Personally, the best tasting casein protein powder, with excellent mixability is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein.

Dymatize Elite Casein is right behind Optimum Casein in terms of taste and mixability. However, other casein protein powders are very close and it would be rather hard to single out the third one.

Except perhaps Naked Nutrition Micellar Casein Protein – it is manufactured from milk from US farms, and it is non-GMO product which is also soy free, gluten free, growth hormone free, and contains no rBGH (or rBST). Also, it is manufactured via cold, acid-free and bleach-free process – there are absolutely no heavy metals or other similar pollutants. And it is anything but budget friendly casein protein 🙂

Best of all, it is not the worst tasting casein around.

Personally, I cycle my supplements, casein protein powders included.

Optimum and Dymatize casein supplements are great, but others are good, too, especially if one needs supplement with minimum carbs and fats, regardless of the taste and mixability.

Such supplements are excellent for healthy shakes and smoothies, where protein powder is combined with other foods and mixed with the blenders.

The Best Casein Protein Powder

Thus, we have come to the final question – which casein protein is the best?

5. Labrada Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein

Labrada Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein is typical Labrada product – high quality at reasonable price. It is pure casein protein powder and is excellent for bedtime shakes and smoothies and for daily snacks and meals, especially when on low-calorie diet.

Labrada supplements are not the cheapest supplements around, but they are far from Naked Nutrition prices 🙂

Labrada Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein comes in 4 pounds (1.8 kg) packages and ‘only’ two flavors – Chocolate and Vanilla.

Labrada Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein is gluten-free casein supplement and is not cheap, it doesn’t taste ‘the best’, it cannot be mixed ‘just with the spoon’, but it is one of the best, high-quality casein powders on the market. Chocolate flavor is, IMHO, better, but Vanilla is also good, especially when mixed with berries.

Read our Labrada Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein full review, or check the price on Amazon.

4. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein is excellent casein-only protein supplement, featuring high amount of protein per gram of powder, very low amounts of fats and carbs. And it tastes good, especially Gourmet Milk Chocolate flavor.

Powder comes in two packages – 1.83 pounds (828 grams) and 3.75 pounds (1.70 kg) and three flavors: Gourmet Milk Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Strawberry Shortcake.

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein mixes well in the shaker – this is casein powder and it requires some practice to add the right amount of water. If too little water is added, powder doesn’t mix well, leading to thick, but also potentially grainy shake. If one adds too much water, taste could be lost, especially in Vanilla Ice Cream.

If you need high quality casein protein powder, that mixes acceptably well and has acceptably good flavors, go for MuscleTech Phase 8 Protein Powder. I am little bit picky about mixability in plain, cold water, using nothing but shaker, but that is just me.

Read our MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein full review, or check the price on Amazon.

3. Cellucor Cor-Performance Casein

Cellucor Cor-Performance Casein comes in only two flavors, and in one single package – 30 servings per package.

Both flavors are gluten-free, and have no saturated and no trans fats. They are also very low in cholesterol and sodium.

Cellucor Cor-Performance Protein is excellent source of lean, slow digesting casein protein and calcium, with iron being more abundant in Chocolate flavor.

Both flavors taste good (nothing amazing – this is casein powder, remember?), but Chocolate flavor is IMHO better for powder+water shakes. Vanilla on the other hand, mixes very well with foods like berries and other fruits and can be used to increase slow digesting protein content in other meals.

This is very good 100% casein protein powder. It mixes well, has very low amounts of fats and carbs and it is easy on stomach. Flavor – it could be better, but it is OK – it is not like eating chalk, sand or anything similar 🙂

Obviously, one of my favorite casein supplements!

Read our Cellucor Cor-Performance Protein full review, or check the price on Amazon.

2. Dymatize Elite Casein

Dymatize Elite Casein comes in two packages: 2 pounds (907g) and 4 pounds (1.8 kg) and four flavors: Cinnamon Bun, Cookies and Cream, Rich Chocolate, and Smooth Vanilla.

Dymatize Elite Casein does not contain sugars, saturated and trans fats, while cholesterol is very low. Casein protein supplements are also excellent source of calcium with Dymatize Elite Casein containing 60% of calcium RDA (70% calcium RDA in Rich Chocolate flavor) for 2000 kcal ‘standard’ diet.

Dymatize Elite Casein mixes with water easily, with no lumps, especially when there is plastic mesh in the shaker. Foam settles quickly, within few seconds. Also, it sets easily on the stomach, with no digestive issues.

For short, Dymatize Elite Casein is excellent casein protein supplement. It tastes good, mixes easily, it is easy on stomach, digest slowly, and often can be found on sale.

Read our Dymatize Elite Casein full review or check the price on Amazon.

1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Casein is pure casein protein supplement and as such, it is great for daily snacks and especially for bedtime shakes. Main ingredient is, of course, micellar casein.

It comes in several sizes and many flavors, some of them are: Banana Cream, Blueberry & cream, Chocolate cake batter, Natural – Chocolate Cream, Chocolate peanut butter, Chocolate Supreme, Cookies & Cream, Creamy Vanilla, Natural – French Vanilla, Mint Chocolate Chip, Raspberry Smoothie and Strawberry Cream.

Thanks to added lecithin, which helps with mixability, Optimum casein mixes very well in the common shaker or even in the glass with the spoon.

Powder gives thick texture to the shake, with no lumps and very little foam, even when mixed with cold water. Thickness can be varied by changing the amount or type of added liquids.

Taste differ from flavor to flavor. People who like chocolate taste will prefer chocolate flavors, while other may like fruity flavors. Creamy Vanilla is great for fruit smoothies and shakes. Cookies & Cream flavor is OK for most of the trainees.

Note that there are casein powders with less carbs and fats and more protein per gram of powder, but Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Powder has great taste, mixability is excellent and it is very easy on the stomach – it is for the reason one of the most popular casein powders on the market for years.

Read our Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein full review, or check the price on Amazon.

Casein protein powders can help one lose or even gain weight, feel better and more energetic in the morning, can be used as full meal or snack, can be used for increasing protein content in other meals and snacks and can be used for many other purposes.

There are other good casein powders on the market – don’t forget that smaller companies must make good supplements at very affordable prices to be able to survive on supplements market.

Also, big and popular brands are there for good reason – they make good products at acceptable prices. And when found on sale, even better … 🙂

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  • 1 Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein
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  • 2 MusclePharm Combat 100% Casein
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  • 3 Naked Casein
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  • 4 Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein
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  • 5 Kaged Muscle Kasein
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  • 6 Bulksupplements Casein Protein Powder
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  • 7 Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein
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  • 8 Universal Nutrition Casein Pro
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  • 9 MuscleTech NitroTech Casein Gold Protein
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  • 10 Six Star Pro Nutrition Casein Protein
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In order to help you find a good product, we’ve researched & compared the best casein protein supplements on the market right now.

Top 10 Casein Protein Powders Compared

ⓘ If you buy something after visiting a link below, we get a commission.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein is a simple but highly effective supplement that truly sets the standard for quality in a highly competitive industry. With 24g of pure casein protein per serving, 100% Casein is an excellent product that will deliver you the casein you want. This award-winning product uses the highest quality ingredients possible and nothing else


  • 24g casein protein per serving
  • High-quality source of protein
  • High calcium content
  • Ideal as a pre-bedtime snack
  • No artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers
  • Amino acid profile
  • Made by Optimum Nutrition, one of the best companies in the industry!
  • Great value for money
  • Available in 6 flavors

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 24g casein protein, consisting of micellar casein and calcium caseinate. One serving of Gold Standard 100% Casein contains 24g of high-quality casein protein, which is packed with vital amino acids like arginine, alanine, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and more.

Who makes it: 100% Casein is made by Optimum Nutrition, as part of their Gold Standard product line. Optimum Nutrition is one of the biggest and best companies in the supplement industry. They have many award-winning and best-selling products on the market and a huge number of loyal fans and customers. In the sports supplement industry, Optimum Nutrition truly sets the Gold Standard for quality, purity, and efficacy.

Full Breakdown: Gold Standard 100% Casein Review

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

2. MusclePharm Combat 100% Casein

Combat 100% Casein is a simple and effective casein supplement made by MusclePharm. With a large 28g serving of high-quality casein protein, plus added digestive enzymes, each serving of this supplement will help get you one step closer to your fitness goals.


  • 28g casein protein per serving
  • Added digestive enzyme blend
  • High calcium content
  • Mixes easily
  • Provides 5+ hours of amino acids
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • Excellent amino acid profile
  • Made by MusclePharm, a very well known and respected company
  • Great value for money

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 28g casein protein, consisting of micellar casein. One serving of MusclePharm Combat 100% Casein will keep a slow and steady stream of important amino acids flowing to your recovering muscles.
  • Digestive enzyme blend, consisting of protease and lactase.

Who makes it: Combat 100% Casein is made by MusclePharm, a large fitness supplement manufacturer founded in 2008. Every day, the dedicated team over at MusclePharm works hard to develop cutting-edge formulas for the next generation of fitness supplements. With an already impressive product line and the backing of hundreds of thousands of loyal fans, MusclePharm is here to stay and is widely considered to be one of the best companies in the industry.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

3. Naked Casein

Naked Casein is a superior-quality product made from only one ingredient: r-GBH-free skim milk from US farms. No colorants, flavorings or sweeteners are added to this product. Naked casein is made using processes that avoid heat, acid or bleach treatment, to give you a slow-release micellar casein that is rich in nutrients. If you’re looking for a superior-quality, slow-release protein source that avoids any added chemicals, then this product is a good choice.


  • 26g protein per serving
  • 4g BCAAs per serving
  • Made from 100% US skim milk
  • Free from Gluten, Soy, and GMO
  • Free from Growth Hormone
  • All-natural
  • Cold-processed

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 26g of slow-release micellar casein. The slow-release of casein into the body makes it an ideal product to consume before bed. One serving of Naked Casein will provide a sustained flow of high-quality protein to your muscles overnight, helping to boost recovery and maintain lean mass.
  • 4g BCAAs. Branched-chain amino acids are the building blocks of protein in the body. This product gives you an extra boost of BCAAs, helping to avoid muscle catabolism overnight.

Who makes it: Naked Casein is made by Naked Nutrition. They aim to market products made with only the purest ingredients. Naked Nutrition is transparent about their formulas so that you can be absolutely sure of what you’re putting into your body.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

4. Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein

Elite Casein is made by Dymatize Nutrition. and comes with 25g of high-quality casein protein per serving, plus an added enzyme blend, Elite Casein has everything you need to keep your muscles fueled with vital amino acids for hours on end. It is priced very affordably, and provides excellent value in each scoop!


  • 25g casein protein per serving
  • Enzyme blend
  • 50% of your daily calcium per serving
  • Excellent amino acid profile
  • Absorbs slowly
  • Available in 4 tasty flavors
  • Made by a very reputable company
  • Excellent value for money

Who makes it: Elite Casein is made by Dymatize Nutrition, a large scale manufacturer of high-quality fitness supplements. Since 1994, Dymatize has employed a team of fitness and health professionals to help create valuable, effective supplements for the next generation of fitness enthusiasts.

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 25g casein protein, consisting of micellar casein and calcium caseinate. With 25g of casein protein per scoop, one serving of Elite Casein is more than enough to keep your muscles fed overnight, allowing you to wake up recovered and ready to hit the gym again!

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

5. Kaged Muscle Kasein

Kaged Muscle Kasein is a cold-processed micellar casein formula that is produced using an innovative microfiltration process. This process protects the natural micellar structure of the protein. Kaged Muscle Kasein provides slow-release protein to your body overnight, creating an anti-catabolic environment and avoiding muscle breakdown. It is available in 2 delicious shake options – Vanilla or Chocolate and contains no artificial colors or flavorings. If you’re looking for something that tastes great, is effective and doesn’t contain and unnecessary additives, then this is the product for you.


  • 24g protein per serving
  • 4.75g BCAAs per serving
  • 5g essential amino acids per serving
  • 10g conditionally essential amino acids per serving
  • 5g glutamine and glutamic acid
  • 100% micellar protein isolate

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 24g of slow-release micellar casein and 4.75g BCAAs. One serving of this product provides your body with the protein and amino acids that it needs to create an anti-catabolic environment overnight, avoiding muscle breakdown.

Who makes it: Kaged Muscle Kasein is made by Kaged Muscle, a nutritional supplements brand than aims to use the highest-quality ingredients and innovative processing methods to provide superior-quality, affordable products.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

6. Bulksupplements Casein Protein Powder

Bulksupplements Casein Protein Powder contains only two ingredients – micellar casein and soy lecithin. It contains 26g of slow-digesting protein per 30g serving, so it an excellent option for athletes looking to build or maintain lean muscle mass. One serving also provides large amounts of calcium and phosphorus – essential minerals to boost bone strength.


  • 26g protein per serving
  • <1g fat per serving
  • <1g carbohydrate per serving
  • <1g fat per serving
  • Contains only 2 ingredients – micellar casein and soy lecithin
  • Contains large amounts of calcium and phosphorous, which boost bone strength

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 26g of protein. One serving of this product provides 26g of slow-digesting protein, to provide your muscles with a sustained source of protein in any situation.
  • Calcium and phosphorous. This product is also a great source of calcium and phosphorus – essential for bone strength.

Who makes it: Bulksupplements Casein Protein Powder is made by Bulksupplements, a US company based in Nevada. Bulksupplements facilities are registered with the FDA, and the company tests its products in-house wherever possible.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

7. Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein

Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein is available in 2 great flavors – Chocolate and Vanilla Bean. The ingredients vary slights by flavor, but both are made using high-quality, all-natural ingredients. Each serving contains 25g of protein, along with 5g of BCAAs and 11 essential amino acids, to help avoid muscle catabolism overnight. This product is also a great source of calcium – an essential nutrient for healthy bones.


  • 25g protein per serving
  • 5g BCAAs per serving
  • Source of 11 essential amino acids
  • Great source of calcium
  • Made from all-natural ingredients
  • Great-tasting

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 25g of protein, plus 5g BCAAs. One serving of this product provides all of the slow-release protein and essential amino acids needed to avoid muscle breakdown overnight.
  • One serving of this product also contains nearly 50% of an adult’s RDA of calcium – a nutrient essential for bone health.

Who makes it: Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein is made by Ascent Food for Athletes, a Colorado-based company that specializes in all-natural protein and pre-workout supplements, made using only ‘real-food’ ingredients.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

8. Universal Nutrition Casein Pro

Casein Pro is a premium quality micellar casein protein powder made by Universal Nutrition. Boasting 24g of pure casein protein per serving, Casein Pro makes the perfect bedtime snack for weightlifters.


  • 24g casein protein per serving
  • Perfect for a snack before bed
  • Good value

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 24g casein protein, consisting of micellar casein. Casein is best known for its ability to be digested slowly over several hours. It’s a favorite of bodybuilders.

Who makes it: Casein Pro is made by Universal Nutrition, one of the oldest and most well-respected companies in the supplement industry. Founded in 1977, Universal Nutrition has nearly 40 years of experience developing and manufacturing high-quality sports nutrition supplements to fit a variety of needs.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

9. MuscleTech NitroTech Casein Gold Protein

MuscleTech NitroTech Casein Gold Protein Powder provides 24g of high-quality protein per serving. The protein used in this formula can release amino acids into the bloodstream for up to 8 hours, making it a great option to use before bed, or between meals, to avoid muscle breakdown and maintain lean mass. This is a great-tasting product that is designed to dissolve easily, avoiding the gritty texture of some other casein powders. This product is also a great source of calcium.


  • 24g protein per serving
  • 620mg calcium per serving (over 60% RDA)
  • 5g fat per serving
  • 2g carbohydrate per serving
  • Great tasting
  • Easy mix formula

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 24g of protein. MuscleTech NitroTech Casein Gold Protein Powder is released into the body for up to 8 hours avoiding muscle catabolism overnight and between meals.
  • One serving of this product contains over 60% of an adult’s RDA of calcium.

Who makes it: Muscle-Tech Nitro-Tech Casein Gold Protein Powder is made by MuscleTech, America’s Number 1 Best-selling Bodybuilding supplement brand. MuscleTech uses patented formulas and tests its formulas rigorously, to provide highly-effective nutritional supplements.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

10. Six Star Pro Nutrition Casein Protein

Six Star Pro Nutrition Elite Casein Protein is an effective casein supplement with 24g of high-quality casein protein in each serving. Developed by the same company behind MuscleTech, the Six Star Pro product line is designed for the hardest-working athletes out there.


  • 24g casein protein per serving
  • 4.9g BCAAs
  • Designed for athletes
  • Made by the company behind MuscleTech
  • Digests slowly
  • Provides extended-release amino acids for many hours
  • Best used before bed
  • Affordable

What’s in it: One serving contains:

  • 24g casein protein, derived from milk protein isolate and micellar casein

Who makes it: This product is made by Six Star Pro Nutrition, which is owned by the guys behind MuscleTech. This product line is designed for professional athletes, weightlifters and anyone else who needs top-notch supplements at a reasonable price.

Where to Get It

Buy on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions About Casein Protein Powders

Casein protein is a complex protein found in dairy products. Foods with casein protein include milk, greek yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products.

Natural casein protein is also found in trace amounts in some processed meats and seafood, but it’s primarily found in dairy. Of all the casein protein foods, cheese has the highest concentration.

Casein is important for bodybuilders because it is absorbed slowly by the body. Unlike whey protein, which digests very quickly, casein takes up to 7 hours to fully digest. Whey protein absorbs/digests at a rate of 8-10g per hour, while casein digests at a rate around 5g per hour.

This slow absorption is very useful for a number of reasons. First, it helps keep you feeling full for several hours. For those on restrictive diets, this can be very beneficial in helping to avoid hunger cravings.

Second, it keeps your muscles fed with amino acids for several hours, which can help them recover more efficiently, and protect them from damage. Many bodybuilders take casein protein before bed to keep their muscles fueled throughout the night.

What Are Casein Protein Powders?

Casein protein powders are simply pure casein protein extracted from milk and processed down into a fine powder. Generally, the powder is then flavored and sweetened, and may or may not be mixed with other forms of protein (such as whey or soy) to make the finished product.

These products will provide a solid dose of natural casein protein in an easy, convenient package. Instead of having to eat large quantities of dairy products, which are high in fat and cholesterol, these casein powders give you a concentrated dose of pure protein. And since you might need more protein than you think, having an easy way to increase your daily intake is important.

There are typically two types of these supplements: pure casein protein powders, which contain only casein protein and flavorings, and protein blends, which contain a variety of protein sources, often including casein, whey, soy, egg, etc. proteins.

What Are the Benefits of Casein Protein?

To fully understand all the positive attributes of these supplements, you should understand the benefits of the protein itself. Here are some of the benefits you may experience from protein:

  • Helps build muscle
  • Keeps your muscles fueled with amino acids for 5+ hours
  • Helps post-workout recovery
  • Helps repair muscle tissues
  • Helps stimulate muscle growth
  • Helps make dieting easier
  • Helps you feel more full
  • May help muscle soreness
  • Easy way to increase protein intake

Casein protein is a milk-derived protein powder that is popular among athletes and weightlifters. It has a variety of potential benefits and uses, including:

Protein Content

A standard casein protein supplement will typically contain 20+ grams of protein. That’s more than 1/3rd of the daily protein intake needed for the average person. And for those on high-protein diets, it presents an easy way to increase protein intake in an affordable manner. Casein is also a complete protein with a good amino acid profile.

Muscle Breakdown

Casein is a slow-digesting protein, which takes your body a lot longer to digest than whey protein and other protein sources. For this reason, casein is considered “anti-catabolic”. When taken after exercise, it helps to feed your cells with a steady stream of amino acids. This can help your cells synthesize protein in times where you would normally be breaking down muscles to keep cells fed, such as when you haven’t eaten in a while.

One in-depth study looked at the absorption rates of whey and casein protein. It found that whey protein caused an initial spike in amino acid levels, followed by a short-lived ongoing stream of aminos. Casein, on the other hand, caused a smaller initial spike, followed by a long and steady flow of amino acids.

Another study found that participants given casein protein reduced the total amount of protein burned for fuel over a 7-hour period, resulting in an improved net protein balance (a key factor for muscle growth).

Muscle Growth

Casein is very effective for stimulating muscle growth when combined with strength training. It contains all the essential amino acids, including a high concentration of leucine – which is key for muscle protein synthesis. Leucine is considered a trigger for the anabolic muscle-building process.

If you have a low to moderate dietary intake of protein, taking casein protein can boost muscle growth simply by increasing your protein intake. Additionally, casein helps to protect muscle mass long-term, by reducing protein breakdown at night and during extended periods without food. It’s particularly effective when taken at night, as it helps keep your muscles fed during rest.

One study found that participants given a casein protein shake before bed helped to increase muscle mass and strength gains following exercise.

Other Benefits of Casein Protein

Casein may have some other benefits, although these are less rigorously studied. Some studies suggest that casein may have immune and antibacterial benefits. Another found that it may help to lower triglyceride levels.

Several studies have found some of the peptides in casein protein may have antioxidant properties. Lastly, taking casein protein may be beneficial for weight loss. More research is needed on these potential benefits.

Overall, casein protein appears to be beneficial for all the applications listed above. It has been studied extensively, and most manufacturer claims are backed up by real science. With that said, many of these same benefits can be obtained through dietary sources of high-quality protein.

Who Can Benefit from Casein Protein?

Casein protein is highly beneficial for a wide range of people. The groups that will notice the most benefits are:

  • Bodybuilders – Bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other strength athletes will experience many benefits of casein protein. Anyone who lifts weights on a regular basis needs quite a bit of protein in their daily diet – so much so that it can become a challenge to meet that requirement with food alone. Casein powders are an affordable and easy way to increase your daily protein intake. Casein is particularly useful for use before bed, as it keeps your muscles fueled throughout the night. As a weightlifter, you want to remain anabolic at all times, and avoid entering a catabolic state at all costs. With a quick casein protein shake before bed, you can keep your muscles happy all night long with a steady stream of amino acids.
  • Athletes – Athletes of all types can benefit from adding a casein supplement to their diets. Whenever you use your body in a strenuous way – whether that’s with running, sports, weightlifting, or something else – you damage your muscles. With proper fuel, your muscles will recover and grow larger – and casein protein is the perfect fuel for muscle growth! Casein protein is the best type of protein powder for athletes wanting to recover faster and more efficiently.
  • Vegetarians – Vegetarians, and others on restrictive diets can benefit from casein protein. As someone who doesn’t eat meat and/or dairy products, it can be difficult to meet daily protein intake needs. Adding a casein protein can help. Keep in mind that, since it’s derived from milk, casein is not technically vegan – although it is vegetarian. If you’re looking for a true vegan protein powder, look for a good vegetable protein and/or soy protein blend.

How Do I Take Casein Protein?

Casein protein is best used for muscle recovery so, it’s good to take after workouts, and before bed to help fuel your muscles at night.

Most experts recommend that you take whey protein immediately following your workouts because whey absorbs faster. This is beneficial because your body needs to absorb nutrients quickly following a workout.

Casein, on the other hand, takes several hours to digest which makes it a better choice for periods of time when you won’t be eating.

Many weightlifters like to use casein protein before bed, because of the unique casein benefits and slow-digesting properties.

This is really the best way to use these supplements. Having a quick casein shake before bed will help keep a steady stream of amino acids flowing to your muscles for up to 7 hours.

To sum up, casein protein is best used in between meals and before bed.

Lastly, we recommend using a BlenderBottle to mix your casein shakes – it’s much easier than using a clunky blender!

Go To: Top 10 Best Shaker Bottles & Mixers

Are There Any Side Effects of Casein Protein?

People often ask us about any potential casein protein dangers or side effects. In general, there’s not much to worry about when taking casein. Some people do experience some side effects, as detailed below:

  • Upset Stomach

Some people experience an upset stomach and/or gassiness when taking casein protein powders. If you find this happens to you, try having your casein shake after a meal and not on an empty stomach.

  • Allergic reactions

A small percentage of people are allergic to casein protein and/or the other ingredients used in these supplements. Allergies can be minor to severe, resulting in anything from upset stomach to vomiting to rashes. If you have an allergic reaction to ANY supplement, stop taking it immediately.

There are more possible side effects for consuming too much protein in general, but that doesn’t apply specifically to casein protein. In general, there are very few casein protein dangers or side effects to be worried about.

To avoid any potential side effects, we recommend that you always follow the dosage instructions on the product packaging. Do not take more than the recommended amount, unless you run it by your doctor first. This applies to ANY supplement you take.

Note: We do not recommend taking any supplements featured on this website without speaking with a doctor first.

How Do I Pick a Good Casein Protein Powder?

In order to find the right casein protein powder for you, you’ll have to weigh your options. There are a TON of different products out there. Be sure to look at these key factors, explained below:

  • Quality of Ingredients – what type of casein protein is used? Micellar casein, casein hydrolysate, calcium caseinate, etc? What type of sweeteners are used? Are there any unnecessary ingredients? The casein product you choose should generally be a simple, clean formula with a solid dose of protein and not much else.
  • Amount of Protein – how much protein is in each serving? The majority of our top recommendations include around 20-30g in each serving, so look for that ballpark.
  • Value for Money – how much does the product cost per serving? Be sure to calculate on the actual per serving cost (or per gram of protein cost), rather than just comparing the price of two different packages. While you don’t necessarily want cheap casein protein, you don’t want to spend more than necessary.
  • Taste/Texture – how does the product taste? Does it mix easily? It can be difficult to tell, so we recommend reading user reviews to get a feel for how people like the taste. Also, make sure to get a flavor that you actually like.

Recently I’ve made a lot of guides regarding fitness equipment, mostly stuff for your own home gym. I realized that it has been sometime since I’ve put together another comprehensive guide about food or supplements. So I decided to great the ultimate guide for best casein protein powders on the market as of now. So without further due, let’s jump right into it.

What is Casein Protein?

Before we jump right to the actual guide, I’d like to talk a bit about Casein. What exactly is it? Casein is a phosphor-protein and it is the most abundant protein in milk. It makes from 60% to 80% of all proteins in mammalian milk and from 20% to 40% of proteins in human milk.

Since it is an abundant milk protein, naturally, it’s a major component of cheese. Particularly as a food source, it contains carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and essential amino acids. EAC’s cannot be created by a human body; therefore, the only possible source is from food.

Most of you know that casein protein is a slow-digesting protein, therefore should be taken before a good night’s sleep. But why is it so? What makes it so special and different from other proteins, like whey protein?

Casein vs. Whey Protein

The main difference between the two is that casein protein is mainly indissoluble and keeps forming micelles structures, which are known to increase solubility in water. When the milk is processed, the micelles structures become fractured and tend to form simpler gelatinous structures. This is the main reason of a slower rate of digestion and thus, steadier release of essential amino acids into body circulation.

Whey protein, on the other hand, is considered a fast-digesting protein, thus, release bigger amounts of amino acids into the circulation in a shorter span of time, thus giving human body a natural burst.

Does Whey Triumph Over Casein?

In short, no, it does not. While whey does offer burst of amino acids into the body and faster increases protein synthesis, it is short lived. There have been several studies that show that the best results came from the usage of both proteins, more precisely Whey protein shortly after training and Casein protein half an hour before sleep.

Best Tasting Casein Protein Powders

With that being said, let’s dive right into our guide of best casein protein powders on the market. Several major brands are producing this kind of protein powders and we will take a closer look at the very best ones.

1) Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder

One of the oldest casein powders on the market developed by Optimum Nutrition has been dominating the market for several years. Gold Standard Casein Protein Powder delivers 24 grams of protein and 4.8 grams of BCAAs per serving (36.5g worth 140 calories). It is best used either between meals or before bedtime. The available sizes are: 2 lbs and 4 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Banana Cream
  • Creamy Vanilla
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Supreme
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Fruit Punch
  • Orange
  • Strawberry Cream
  • Unflavored

I’d suggest being very picky about the flavor. While it differs from user to user, most reported terrible taste of the unflavored and cookie dough flavors.

2) Dymatize Elite 100% Micellar Casein Protein

Casein protein powder by Dymatize is very popular due its very good nutrient values and good taste. One scoop (36 grams in total worth 130 calories) offers 25 grams of protein, 2.3 grams of L-Leucine and 5 grams of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids). The product is also gluten free. The protein is available in 2 sizes, 2 lbs and 4 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Cinnamon Bun
  • Cookies and Cream
  • Rich Chocolate
  • Smooth Vanilla

According to users, this product is sweetened, so if you prefer neutral taste, I’d suggest switching to a different powder.

3) Noble Elephant Supplements 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder

Casein protein developed by Noble Elephant Supplements also made it to our list of best casein protein powders on the market. While the protein is not very well known, it is a well-established casein protein powder. Offers outstanding 27 grams of protein per serving, which is only 110 calories in total. It’s considered the best casein protein for weight loss. Contains milk & soy and does not contain any additives. The powder sells in 5 different sizes: 0.55 lbs, 1.1 lbs, 2.2 lbs, 5.5 lbs and 11 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Unflavored

Pleases note that this particular casein protein powder comes unflavored. If you like sweetened proteins, then look for an alternative.

4) Signature Casein Protein Powder

You may be surprised that was founded in 1999. Promoting many supplements, they also produced their very own casein protein powder. But that’s only one reason why it made to our list of best tasting casein powders. Offering 25 grams of protein per serving (32 grams total worth 110 calories), it is definitely considered a great, filler-free supplement and a great casein protein for weight loss. The protein comes only in one size: 4 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate

This particular powder has been reported to taste very well with water and milk alike.

5) Ascent Native Fuel Micellar Casein Protein Powder

Casein protein powder by Ascent is one of the greatest tasting proteins out there and therefore, made it to our list of best casein protein powders on the market. It offers near-standard 25 grams of protein and incredible 11 grams of BCAA per serving (32 grams worth 110 calories). It’s also completely gluten free. It is noteworthy that the protein is “Informed Sport Certified”, meaning it has been properly tested and it does not contain any banned substances. It comes in 2 sizes: 2lbs and 4lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Cappuccino

Many users have reported that all 3 flavors taste way better with milk rather than with water. It’s also great for weight loss dieting.

6) MuscleTech NitroTech Casein Gold Protein Powder

This particular protein definitely deserves a spot in our best casein proteins list. It delivers 24 grams of protein per serving (32 grams worth 110 calories) along with 10 grams of BCAAs, precursors and L-Glutamine. It is also considered one of the best casein protein powders for weight loss. The protein comes in two seizes, 2.5 lbs and 5 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Chocolate Supreme
  • Vanilla Bliss

It is an excellent tasteful super-slow digesting protein worth the name.

7) ProMix Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Powder

ProMix casein protein is the last but not least protein that made it to our list of best protein powders on the market. It features 25 grams of protein per serving (39 grams worth 145 calories). One scoop also includes 7g of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat. The protein is also completely free of gluten and soy. It has been also tested and confirmed that no GMO, no chemical bleaching and no additives were added. The protein comes in two sizes: 1 lbs and 5 lbs.

Available flavors:

  • Chocolate
  • Unflavored

Several users have agreed that the protein tastes like chalky and it is recommended to be sweetened.

Final Thoughts

There we have it. Our list of best casein protein powders is complete. Now we know the difference between whey and casein proteins and when to use which. Remember that not every protein tastes the same and not every protein holds the same amount of calories or BCAAs. I’ve tried my best to point out the most important notes and ingredients for each casein powder. I hope that my list was helpful to you and that you are now able get the right casein protein for you.

But before you go, I have a small bonus for you…

Bonus: How to Make Your Own Casein Pudding

What you will need:

  • 100% casein protein powder (for example one from our list).
  • Water
  • Some sweetener (optional)
  • Your favorite topping


  • 1. Fill one protein scoop (30-40 grams) of casein protein and put it into a bowl.
  • 2. Start adding water (slowly) until you see a pudding-like resemblance. Do not add too much, though, remember, we are not making a shake.
  • 3. This step is optional. You can add a little bit of syrup if you like the pudding sweetened. However, if you have rich-flavored casein protein, make sure to test it before you sweeten it.
  • 4. Put the bowl into a fridge for 40 minutes (considering you have used room-temperature water).
  • 5. Take it out of the fridge and add your favorite topping on top.
  • 6. Enjoy your very own Casein Protein Pudding. 🙂

Best Casein Protein Powders of 2020

First off, let’s clear something up. There are two proteins that come from milk: whey and casein. Whey receives much of the love, and deservedly so, as it makes a super-fast-digesting protein powder that’s great for building muscle. But casein, which makes up a full 80 percent of the protein in milk, is also a heavy hitter.

Like whey, casein protein is naturally high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which enable your body to build new muscle and hang onto what it has. But while whey’s amino acids are digested and absorbed at lightning speed, casein is digested much more slowly.

This means casein isn’t as good for quickly refueling after a workout. But since casein gives you a slow, steady stream of amino acids drawn out over several hours, it’s ideal for helping to avoid catabolism (muscle breakdown) when you’ll be going a long time without a meal.

Casein is the best protein for taking before bed. It prevents your muscles from feeding on themselves when you run out of fuel in your system overnight, and helps you avoid waking up hungry at 4 a.m.

Casein protein also helps you out when you’re dieting because it keeps you feeling full with relatively few calories. And again, it helps prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown) when you’re operating on a calorie deficit.

When you need a steady source of amino acids to fuel your muscles for long periods of time, these are the best casein protein powders to reach for.

There are two main milk-based protein powders on the market, whey protein and casein. While everyone loves whey protein, casein is often seen as the less desirable of the two. But there are many benefits to taking casein as well as, or instead of whey. Studies have shown that taking casein protein right before bed can increase muscle protein synthesis, and that casein is more effective as a pre-bed protein shake than whey is. We also wrote about does Creatine timing make a difference?

Casein is slow-digesting which means that it may not be as effective as whey as a post-workout supplement (where you want your muscles supplied with protein as soon as possible). But being slow-digesting means that Casein is more effective as a pre-bed protein, and as a way to prevent hunger between meals. Some fitness experts even recommend casein as a pre-workout as it can be taken about an hour before a workout and still be effective.

In this article, we are going to look at ten of the best casein protein powders that are currently on the market.

Our Best 10 Casein Protein Powders of 2019

1. Apollon Nutrition 50/50 Formula-X

What’s unique about this protein is that it brings to the table a unique mix of 50% Protein Isolate and 50% Micellar Casein protein. As you can see in the full Apollon Nutrition 50/50 Formula-x review video, this is not only a high-quality formula, it is also the best tasting protein on this list. The only real downside to this protein is the price. But this list is about the ‘best out there’, so if you are willing to pay for quality, the combination of flavor and quality of this protein is very hard to beat.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Apollon Nutrition 50/50 Formula X

Our 50/50 Formula-X Youtube Review:

2. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein

Winner of’s Best Casein Protein Powder in 2013 and 2015, we have another Optimum Nutrition Casein powder on our hands here. While this version only contains 24g of protein per serving, rather than the 30g that Platinum Tri-Celle Casein offers, you have to remember that it is a less expensive version. It contains 5g of BCAAs per serving which will really help stimulate protein synthesis, and there are 5g of Glutamine too. Large flavor variery is a great help also.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein Gold Standard


Another great product from Kris Gethin, we’ve looked at quite a few of his supplements in the past and always been impressed. His Casein supplement (or “Kasein” if you choose to spell it wrong just like Kris) contains 25g of protein per serving, 7g of carbs, and 2.5g of fat.

There are 10g of Essential Amino Acids (Tryptophan, Valine, Theonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Methionine), and 10g of Conditional Amino Acids (Arginine, Cysteine, Tyrosine, Histidine, Proline, Glutamine, and Glutamic acid). Kris has added coconut oil to his casein to help slow the breakdown of casein, and as a source of healthy fats. This is a well thought out protein powder with a delicious taste, and a lot of interesting ingredients.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Kaged Muscle Kasein

3. NutraBio Micellar Casein

A decent serving of 25g of protein, with only 1g of fat and 3g of carbohydrates makes NutraBio’s Micellar Casein a great choice for the calorie-conscious. Each serving also contains 6.2g of BCAAS and 6.2g of Glutamine which will really help boost recovery overnight. A high protein ratio, a nice flavor, and a short ingredient list make this product a great no-thrills casein protein that is perfect for anyone who wants to recover after a hard workout.

COMPARE PRICES FOR NutraBio 100% Micellar Casein

4. PES Select Protein

This protein shake by PE Science is not a true Casein protein but rather a mix of both Whey and Casein. Studies have shown that as a post workout, casein and whey combined can be more effective than whey or casein separately. There’s only 1g of fat and 4g of carbohydrate in each serving, and there are 23g of protein, so a nice and simple whey and casein blend that would make an excellent pre or post-workout shake.


5. Dymatize Elite Casein

We always enjoy reviewing Dymatize products as they are high quality, great tasting (check out our review on Dymatize’s Birthday cake flavor on best 10 tasting protein powders), and filled with good ingredients. Their Casein supplement is as great as usual, there are 25g of protein per serving, 5.4g of BCAAs, 2.3g of Leucine, and only 130 calories per serving. Try Cinnamon Bun flavor, which is the most popular of the 4 available and with good reason.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Dymatize Elite Casein

6. MYPROTEIN Milk Protein Smooth

This is another combination protein, with 80% coming from Casein and 20% coming from Whey. Each serving contains 24g of protein, 0.5g of fat, and 1.5g of carbohydrates for a total of only 106 calories! There are 4 flavors available: Unflavored, Chocolate Smooth, Strawberry Cream, and Vanilla. As always with MyProtein, the value for money is fantastic no-frills just simple and effective.


7. MuscleTech Platinum Casein

Platinum Casein from MuscleTech has 24g of protein per serving, only 110 calories, 5.2g of BCAAs, and 4.9g of Glutamine. This is a very decent casein protein powder which mixes well, tastes great, and is great value for money. There are three flavors available: Strawberry Shortcake, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Gourmet Milk Chocolate.

COMPARE PRICES FOR MuscleTech Platinum 100% Casein

8. MusclePharm Combat 100% Casein

The lowest calorie casein shake that we’ve reviewed so far with only 100 calories per serving, all from protein! Yep, that’s right there are 24g of protein (96 calories) and only 100 calories making this the highest protein ratio we’ve covered. Perfect if you are on a diet, and also as a macro-filler. Considering that it has no sugar and no fat, the taste is surprisingly decent, with Chocolate Milk being a standout.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Muscle Pharm Combat 100% Casein

9. Cellucor Cor-Performance Casein

Cor-Performance Casein by Cellucor is a really nice-tasting casein powder to finish off this list with. At 25g it’s got a decent amount of protein, it’s only 120 calories, and there’s minimal sugar, and minimal fat. You have two flavor choices, chocolate, and vanilla, with vanilla being most people’s favorite.

COMPARE PRICES FOR Cellucor COR-Performance Casein

Fresh deals hunted daily! See the latest Protein Powder Deals from around the web!

Why choose casein over whey?
Casein protein powders have a few significant advantages over whey products.
Peptides included in casein powders have positive effects on heart health, blood pressure, and digestion. Casein powder is also slowly absorbed by the body and promotes long-lasting satiety.
Whey powder, on the other hand, moves quickly through the digestive system. This makes it a better post-workout choice, but not as good of a meal supplement.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Some people find they tolerate casein better than whey, and vice versa.
If it tastes terrible, you’re unlikely to include a protein powder in your diet. While unflavored options may sound appealing, most leave behind a distinct aftertaste.
It may take time to find a flavor that you find pleasant. When selecting a flavor, think about how you intend to use the powder. Are you planning to bake high-protein snacks? An unflavored option may be preferable. If you want to mix protein powder into a smoothie, a fruit or chocolate option is a great choice.
Peruse user reviews to explore descriptions of flavors and find a powder that sounds like the correct fit for your palate.
The nutritional makeup of a protein powder is a critical consideration. Before you buy, check the label to identify the breakdown of a serving size (typically a scoop). Casein protein powders usually have fewer carbs than other types, and a single scoop should net you around 25 grams of protein.
Casein protein powder ranges from 50 cents to $1.50 per ounce. More expensive powders typically contain high-quality ingredients and are free of additives and fillers. Container pricing varies between $15 to well over $100.
Q. Is casein protein powder appropriate for those who are lactose-intolerant?
A. Casein is a milk protein and does not contain lactose, but the milk-derived ingredient may trigger reactions in those allergic to milk.
Q. What is micellar casein?
A. The casein included in micellar protein powders is extracted using filtration as opposed to heat or acid. Some believe that this extraction method is gentler and maintains the nutritional integrity of the protein.
Casein protein powders we recommend
Best of the best: NAKED Nutrition’s Naked Casein 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder
Our take: A high-quality protein powder with a formula free from additives and preservatives.
What we like: Micellar protein delivers high-quality results. A single serving provides 26 grams of protein with only 110 calories. Carb and fat-free.
What we dislike: Doesn’t mix or dissolve easily. Fairly expensive.
Best bang for your buck: Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder
Our take: A delicious-tasting protein powder that’s easy to mix into smoothies and other foods.
What we like: Each serving contains 24 grams of protein and 120 calories. Added Aminogen helps with digestion and protein absorption. Plenty of tasty flavors available.
What we dislike: Formula includes sweeteners and additives.
Choice 3: BulkSupplements’ Casein Protein Powder
Our take: An ideal try-before-you buy format for those interested in sampling a casein protein powder.
What we like: Clean formula consisting of micellar extracted casein. Whopping 26 grams of protein per serving. The flavor is mild and not overpowering.
What we dislike: Soy is included in the formula.
Steph Coelho is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

You know by now that nomming on protein is pretty helpful for fat loss, muscle gain and – oh – our overall health. But it’s likely you’ve also heard the hype about the best protein powders for women, too, and got a little confused. Fret not, all will be revealed about supplementing this essential macronutrient.

For starters, if high-protein foods like eggs, chicken and Greek yoghurt exist, why on earth do we need it in a flavoured scoop? ‘Your muscles are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein,’ explains Dr Stuart Gray from the University of Glasgow. ‘Powders deliver a huge amount of amino acids to the muscles.’

And with females needing to consume 0.8g per kilo of bodyweight (usually between 50 and 60g) a day, sometimes a little extra help won’t go amiss – particularly if you’ve got fitness PBs to smash. Whether you’re vegan, dairy free or lift a lot in the gym, there’s a protein powder just for you.

Related Story

Here’s our handy guide on what sets pea apart from casein, and whether hemp tops brown rice in the nutrition department. Whey to go, indeed.

So, what are the best protein powders for women?

Here’s 11 to try – plus why you should add them to your post-workout shake.


Who for? Women who lift weights

Gives you…30g has 104 cals, 21g protein and 1.9g fat*

What is it? Basically, it’s the liquid scraped off cheese. Revolting, but also the most effective protein for the body to use, says the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Why best? ‘Whey concentrate is around 65-70% protein, which is higher than any plant-based options,’ says nutritionist Drew Price. Protein’s gold-star nutrient is leucine, an amino acid that triggers muscle growth and repair.

‘Around 13% of the protein in whey is leucine, compared with, say, hemp’s 7%,’ says Price. ‘If you’re training regularly at a high intensity, have 15g before your workout and 15g after to get it working faster.’

Dairy issues? Use whey isolate (it’s had the milk sugar removed) and you should be fine.

Whey Protein Shake £24.00


Who for? Women after fat loss

Gives you…30g has 117 cals, 26g protein and 0.5g fat*

What is it? Another dairy by-product, its fat-blasting reputation means it’s a favourite with the body-building crowd.

Why best? Despite its meathead associations, casein is actually ideal for anyone with a get-lean goal. ‘Casein is digested more slowly than whey and forms a jelly in the stomach that keeps you feeling full,’ says Price. ‘It also stops muscle from breaking down, enabling you to lose weight without losing muscle,’ he adds.

Take it in the evening. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that ingesting 40g of casein pre-sleep improved protein repair rates by 22% – essentially speeding up your progress by around one-fifth. Still not good for the dairy-averse though.

Slow-Release Casein Myprotein £34.42


Who for? Women can suffer from bloating.

Gives you…30g has 107 cals, 23g protein and 0.6g fat*

What is it? Made by extracting the soluble protein from fibre-rich yellow split peas, this gives a vegan protein punch – minus the gassy side effects.

Why best? High in superstar amino acid leucine, pea protein outranks other plant-based proteins according to The Journal of Nutrition and a study found it as effective as whey at increasing muscle mass during a 12-week training programme.

It’s popular post-workout because its zero fibre (compared with hemp’s 8g per 30g scoop) content makes it easier on the gut, but since it’s a little light on crucial amino acids, pair it with another plant protein, like oat bran, which contains plenty. Just add a 30g scoop to a smoothie or make yourself a protein porridge with the oats themselves. Delicious.

Performance Protein £26.00

Brown rice

Who for? Women who enjoy smart snacks

Gives you…30g has 127 cals, 23g protein and 0.6g fat*

What is it? Rice grains are ground and treated with enzymes to separate the protein. You’d need to eat 500g of rice to get the same protein as in a 30g scoop. That’s a lot of risotto.

Why best? Easy on the stomach, rice may seem like a decent alternative to whey – one study in Nutrition Journal found it to be as effective on all counts – but Price has a word of warning.

‘Rice doesn’t compare in terms of amino acids so I’d guess the subjects in the study were getting a lot of protein from elsewhere in the diet, evening things out.’ He advises you do the same; ‘Fill up on quinoa at mealtimes and snack on peanut butter or edamame beans.’ Don’t mind if we do.

Brown Rice Protein Powder £13.09


Who for? Vegan eaters.

Gives you…30g has 124 cals, 16g protein and 3.6g fat*

What is it? Made from pressed and ground hemp seeds this vegan superfood powder will go divinely with your slogan tee and designer yoga mat.

Why best? Good news: Hemp contains anti-inflammatory omega -3 and -6 fatty acids, which are difficult to find on a plant-based diet.

Bad news: ‘Although hemp protein has all 21 amino acids, it doesn’t have the optimum amounts you’d find in casein or whey. It’s particularly low in leucine, so try combining 15g of hemp with 15g of leucine-rich pea protein powder to boost the amino acid profile and speed up your body’s rate of repair,’ advises Price.

Finally, be warned: ‘It can cause bloating, probably down to the high amount of fibre,’ says Price. Worth remembering if you don’t want to let one rip mid-yoga sesh.

Hemp Protein+ with Flaxseed, Bio Cultures, Vitamin D and Co-Enzyme Q10 £8.49

Norvia Active Formula

Who for? Busy AF women.

Why? Not many proteins powders mix well with only water, but Norvia does – we’re putting it down to the fact that its designed as a shake as opposed to being sold as powder. With this in mind, slip one of the portioned sachets into you gym bag and guzzle post-session when you’re short of time. Aside from a healthy protein hit each shake offers a good dose of vitamin B12 and B6 – both are essential for warding off tiredness. From £2.58 a portion.

Norvia Active Performance €29.95

*The nutritional information stated is approximated from national averages for protein brands.

Protein Powders WH Team Rate

Neat Nutrition Whey Protein Powder £1.67 A powder with high levels of essential amino acids to build lean muscle. This is perfect for those looking for a protein top-up, an added boost and faster recovery without the feel of bulking.
Gold Standard 100% Casein Optimum Nutrition US$32.97 Build muscle in your sleep – literally. This slow digesting protein supports muscle growth and repair while you sleep. Add a scoop to your late night milk for the ultimate protein combo.
Pea Protein Isolate Myprotein £10.52 An all-natural option to gaining muscle mass. The perfect option for those who are gluten and lactose intolerant. Brown Rice Protein 80 £10.99 The mother of all proteins. Containing an impressive 80% protein, your bound to reap the reward of your workout. Despite its high concentration of protein, it’s easy to mix – simply add your scoop to a shaker or glass, have give it a swirl and it’s ready to go.
Naturya Organic Hemp Protein Powder £8.99 An organic plant protein with a nutty taste. Designed to help grow your muscles, keep you energised and aid your recovery – perfect for a post-work out smoothie.
Vegan Protein Blend Myprotein £23.99

Because vegan’s need protein too. With a blend of pea and fava bean protein, this is a natural powder won’t compromise on results.

ELITE WHEY + DIGESTIVE ENZYMES £38.00 A performance assured protein, used by the GB hockey women’s, 2016 Olympic gold medalists. But don’t worry, you don’t have to play at an Olympic’s to feel the benefit of this protein. Not only will it help build muscle, its combination of probiotics and prebiotics with optimise your gut health, keeping you fit and healthy for longer. Clear Whey Isolate Myprotein £19.99

A protein that tastes more like a juice than a milky protein shake. Good alternative for those that find shakes a little too much. Plus, it’s avaliable in five fruity flavours including Bitter Lemon, Orange Mango, Peach Tea, Mojito, and Rainbow Candy.

Ok – so now you know your options, this is how much protein you actually need to be scooping into your diet.

There are so many proteins out there. It can get really confusing when you are deciding which to use for your supplementation. Although all proteins are used for the same desired effect, they are broken down differently by our bodies and so we should be wise in which protein we partake of.

Casein protein is one such protein that should be considered. This article will give you all the information you need to benefit from casein protein.

Jump straight to the list of 10 best casein protein powders in 2020 based on a collaborative effort between ourselves and reviews from fitness experts and enthusiasts.

Table of Contents

What is casein protein and what does it do?

Casein protein is a protein derived from cow’s milk. It makes up about 80% of the protein that comes from milk, while the other 20% comes from whey.

Its name comes from the Latin word meaning cheese. A great source of casein is actually cottage cheese but it is found in all dairy products.

Casein is made by treating milk with a chemical called chymosin. This chemical causes the milk to clot and form solids which are the casein molecules. They are further purified through microfilters and the result is concentrated casein protein.

Casein comes in two different forms: micellar casein and calcium casein. The former is a better choice because it is in its rawest form and is digested more slowly. The latter is altered to be easily digested and mixed with other ingredients.

Like all other protein, its amino acids are beneficial for muscle growth and so much more. Casein is a complete protein, meaning that is complete to repair your body because it contains all the essential amino acids. No other protein needs to be taken in conjunction with casein protein for your body to reap the benefits.

What are the benefits of casein protein?

Casein protein has many benefits associated with its supplementation. Below are listed the benefits that casein protein can boast:

Muscle growth

For anyone who has a hard time eating enough protein, supplementing with casein will definitely help you gain muscle mass. However, studies show that casein supplementation along with a workout will double your muscle gain and triple your fat loss than just by working out alone.

Boost immune system

There was a study done with the intent to find the health benefits of milk. This study proved that certain nutrients found in the casein of the milk proved beneficial for bolstering the immune function of the cells. It proved to increase the growth of healthy bacteria and antibodies as well as strengthen the immune system.

Reduces triglyceride levels

One study showed that people who supplemented with casein had lower triglyceride levels after eating a high-fat meal. Having high triglyceride levels in your blood can make you more susceptible to heart problems.

This study was done on healthy overweight males. Are you a healthy overweight male looking to reduce your triglycerides? Casein might just do the trick.

Antioxidant effect

The same study was done showing the immune-strengthening effects of milk also discussed the antioxidant effect of milk. When the individual components of milk are dissected it was found that the casein protein contained two antioxidants, pepsin, and trypsin. These two peptides were the most powerful at combating free radicals and fighting diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and atherosclerosis.

Prevents muscle breakdown

When your body goes a long period of time without food, it will start to break down your muscle cells for energy. Because casein protein is broken down so slowly, it remains in the body for longer, preventing this muscle break down.

Reduce enamel erosion

Casein protein was proven in a study to help protect your teeth by strengthening the enamel. This can help in the long run to protect from cavities, tooth decay, sensitivity, and just all around ugly teeth. Keep your smile beautiful and make sure to get enough casein.

Increase metabolic rate while you sleep

One of the top reasons people decide to add casein protein in their diet is because of the magical things it does while you sleep. We’ll talk more about that below but it has been proven to help your body maintain a higher basal metabolic rate while you sleep.

May help with fat loss

Because casein protein is anti-catabolic, meaning it prevents the breakdown of muscle and helps to grow new muscle tissue, added to the ability to increase your metabolism while you sleep, this protein is a very good choice for fat loss. When your body is holding onto muscle but burning energy, it can only burn energy from one place; fat.

Casein vs whey protein

Whey protein has been the king of protein since the dawn of time, and for good reason. There is another protein that deserves to sit beside whey on the throne, or at least in a close second and that is casein protein.

If you are used to supplementing with whey, you’ll be quite surprised the first time you try casein. The consistency is more gel-like and thicker than whey.

Side by side you wouldn’t think that whey protein and casein are much different but they do have some significant differences that distinguish one from the other.

Whey is known to give your muscles a quick supply of amino acids right when the body needs it because of its quick absorption rate. Casein, on the other hand, will supply your body with a constant trickle of protein. They both help the body to grow muscle so long as they are properly used.

Whey is known to help pump your muscles and see incredible growth. Casein protein supplemented the right way will help to keep it there.

The best way to see results is to mix the two together for post workout and possibly add another serving of casein right before bed.

Casein protein for women

It’s been said that women might need to supplement their protein intake more than men because generally, men eat more protein in their diet naturally. If a woman is working out but isn’t getting enough protein, it could cause many bad things to happen to her body.

There is no reason to think that casein protein isn’t just as useful as a supplement for women as it is for men. Every benefit that casein provides for men will also be beneficial in the same way.

Because most women are looking to lose weight as part of their fitness goals, casein may actually be even a more appealing form of protein. Read on to understand more.

Casein protein for weight loss

Protein powder is the lowest calorie source for your protein needs. So, supplementing with any form of protein powder will help you lose weight.

Casein powder, however, might be more effective in weight loss than other forms of protein supplementation because of its staying effect. The protein thickens and is digested slower, remaining in the body longer and satiating your hunger for longer.

This results in less hunger between meals, less cheating on your diet, and more control over your eating habits. This will convert into weight loss by a sheer calorie deficit.

And these results come all without starving yourself and lashing out from hunger crankiness. Your friends and family will be just as glad as you when you use casein to help with weight loss.

How should I take casein protein?

Casein protein typically comes in powder form which is convenient to use in a protein shake or just mixed with water or milk. You can also blend it with ice to make a slushie-like drink.

If you are using it post workout, I suggest you blend it with whey protein to get the immediate uptake of protein from whey as well as the prolonged uptake from casein. Don’t mix it until you are finished with your workout, as it can get quite thick and form a pudding.

It has been used as an addition in dessert mixes or just stirred with milk and frozen for a nice ice cream like a treat before bed.

Should I take casein protein before bed?

Speaking of before bed, it has been mentioned on numerous occasions in this article the qualities that casein has, make it very useful to take before bed. This is true but it doesn’t mean that before bed is the only time you can take it.

It can be taken hours before a workout or between meals. It is great for a long car ride or another situation when you know you’ll be without food for an extended period of time. Some have chosen to supplement with casein for an extremely long workout or a hike.

The most important time to take casein is before bed. This is the time when your body is recovering and repairing muscle tissue. Casein acts as the fuel for your body to do this more efficiently.

Casein provides a slow release of protein to the muscles for up to 7 hours. That is the recommended hours of sleep an adult should get per night. Coincidence? I think not.

Better repair and recovery means less sore muscles, more energy throughout the day, and less time between workouts.

How much casein protein should I take?

The recommended dosage of daily protein intake can greatly differ based on your goals, weight, gender, and age.

The basic recommendation is between ½ gram and 2 grams per pound per day. So if you weigh 180lbs. you would want to consume between 90-360 grams of protein per day.

The more muscle you are trying to gain, the more protein you should be eating. Bodybuilders would be eating on the higher range of protein. Marathon runners would be consuming the lower range of protein. The average athlete would find themselves somewhere in between.

It’s important to remember that these numbers are for the TOTAL protein intake. If you also supplement with whey protein take that into consideration. Also, you will be getting some protein from your foods. Take all these factors into account when deciding how much casein protein to use.

The average serving suggestion is 1-2 scoops of casein protein powder. This is somewhere between 25-50 grams of protein and can be taken 2-3 times per day.

Casein protein side effects and risks

There a very few side effects and risks to consuming casein protein. Because it is milk derived, those who are lactose intolerant will suffer some side effects. Other than occasional bloating, reports of side effects have not been recorded from healthy individuals.

If you are currently suffering from kidney or liver disease, limiting your protein intake has been recommended.

On very rare occasions, someone might be allergic to casein protein supplement. However, when they switch to hydrolyzed casein protein, the symptoms are gone because this type of protein is already broken down part way and easier to digest.

What to look for when buying casein protein?

Since we don’t have the FDA checking our protein supplements for effectiveness and purity, it’s our job to make sure we are shopping wisely when choosing a casein protein powder.

The first thing to do is to check the label for ingredients. You should be looking for the purest form of micellar casein possible.

You’ll also want to check to see how many grams of protein are in each serving. The aim should be between 20-30 grams. There are higher calorie protein products. These would be best for those looking to bulk up.

If you are looking to lose weight and maintain muscle mass, go for the product that contains the least amount of calories per gram of protein.

Because many people use casein protein before bed, some companies have added additional ingredients that are meant to help you fall asleep and stay asleep easier. If you tend to have trouble sleeping, one of these products could be a good choice for you.

A few other things to check for is whether it comes from a reputable brand, the flavor (you wouldn’t want to buy a product you couldn’t hold down), and price. You pay for what you get for the most part but you don’t want to break the bank.

10 Best casein protein supplements in 2020

Below we put together a list of top 10 casein protein supplements for men and women based on a collaborative effort between ourselves and reviews from fitness experts and enthusiasts.

If you would like to ensure a consistent flow of protein in your body, casein is an excellent and convenient choice that can help you meet your goals.

1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein Protein Powder

This product contains 24 grams of micellar casein in each serving. It also contains 50% of your daily need of calcium which is pretty good as many of us have difficulties getting our calcium in during the day. Each serving has 120 calories and 240mg of sodium, a little high on the salt but not too many calories. It comes in four different flavors; chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, chocolate supreme, and creamy vanilla. This a very popular choice among the bodybuilders, from amateurs to the pros.

Why we like it

  • High dose of casein
  • Good taste and texture
  • Decently priced

2. BulkSupplements Pure Casein Powder

Again, this company delivers on its name. This product contains two ingredients: micellar casein and soy lecithin as an emulsifier. They offer an 11-pound bag and 44-pound bag but let’s keep it smaller and talk about their 2.2-pound bag. Each serving also contains 112 calories and is flavorless. You can add this powder to any drinks and shakes. This is a very pure product and the only complaint is that the bags resealable pouch doesn’t reseal very well.

  • The purest form of casein
  • No artificial flavors or additives

3. Syntha 6 Ultra-Premium Protein Matrix

This is a blend of different proteins including casein, two different wheys, calcium caseinate, micellar casein, milk protein isolate, egg albumen, and glutamine peptides. There is no real way of knowing how much casein per serving, as it’s a mixture of all the proteins but there are 22 grams of protein in total in each serving. It contains a lot of other unnecessary stuff like sunflower creamer, MCT powder, salt, and sucralose. It does well to make it taste good but each serving contains 200 calories.

  • Tastes good
  • Cheap

4. Dymatize Elite 100% Micellar Casein

This is very similar to Optimum Nutrition’s casein but it contains an extra gram of protein per serving and costs the same amount. Its flavors are the cinnamon bun, cookies and cream, rich chocolate, and smooth vanilla. It also contains quite a bit of sodium, 250mg per serving. Dymatize is an award-winning company for their protein so they are definitely a safe bet.

  • High dose of casein
  • Good flavors
  • Reputable company

5. JYM Supplement Science Pro JYM

This is another protein blend only this one tells you exactly how much of each protein you are getting which is great. It contains 7.5 grams of whey, 7 grams of micellar casein, 7 grams of milk protein isolate, and 2.5 grams of egg white protein in each serving. It comes in nine whole flavors including unique ones like root beer float, caramel macchiato, and banana cream pie. It is a little more expensive than the competition, however, they claim to not only have superior protein, but also the precise protein blend to maximize muscle gains.

  • High-quality protein blend
  • Great flavors

6. Kaged Muscle Kasein

This product contains micellar casein, coconut oil, and natural flavorings along with a few other ingredients. They use cold processed micellar casein to preserve the protein at its closest to the natural state. Each serving contains 24 grams of protein and more than half the daily need of calcium. This product only comes in two flavors; vanilla or chocolate. This product is a little on the expensive side but many swear by it.

  • High-quality protein
  • Good tasting flavors

7. Legion Casein+

This product has 25 or 26 grams of high-quality casein per serving. This product also boasts that it is non-GMO and uses milk from cows that haven’t been treated with hormones or antibiotics. The ingredients in this product are all natural including sea salt, stevia, and natural cocoa or vanilla, which are for its two different flavors chocolate or vanilla. For some reason, these flavors have different protein levels and calories but only by very little. This is a very clean product but as expected it costs a little more.

  • Very clean product with natural ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Antibiotic and hormone free

8. MuscleTech Phase8 Protein Powder

This product has 7 different proteins that each digest at different phases, hence the name Phase8, although Phase7 would be more fitting. It contains 26 grams of protein and 150 calories per serving. Although it does contain some casein, it is mostly whey protein isolate. It comes in four different flavors; milk chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and cookies and cream.

  • High in protein
  • Lowe calories
  • Affordable

9. Nitro Tech Casein Gold

This protein powder is a mix of different caseins; micellar casein, calcium caseinate, and milk protein isolate. Each serving contains 24 grams of protein and 110 calories. Three different flavors include chocolate supreme, cookies and cream, and creamy vanilla. It does contain some unnecessary additives but is supposed to be rated high in taste. It delivers 60% of your daily needs of calcium and 10 grams of BCAAs. It isn’t high in purity but it delivers in the protein department which is what we’re looking for.

  • High in calcium
  • Low in calories
  • Good taste
  • Affordable

10. MET-Rx Metamyosyn Protein Plus

This is another protein blend but this one doesn’t tell you how much of each protein there is per serving. Each scoop has 110 calories and 21 grams of protein. This is a pretty basic protein powder with no real benefits other than maybe the price. It comes in either vanilla or chocolate flavor.

  • Provides both whey and casein protein
  • Good taste

Best Protein Powders for Women

It’s time to change the conversation around fitness. We need to stop worrying about losing weight and start worrying about building muscle. Even if (especially if) weight loss is your goal, muscle is what’s going to get you there. And protein is what’s going to get you muscle (along with your gym routine, of course).

Why Women Need Muscle

The more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism burns—making it easier to shred calories and fat all day, every day. It’s a lot more effective (and healthier) to lose weight by building muscle rather than simply trying to eat less. And most women have zero chance of getting beefy and bulky just by lifting weights and loading up on protein. It takes a lot more than that.

Muscle is made out of amino acids, which you get from protein. In addition to building muscle strength and size, protein also helps you recover from your workouts and control hunger, both of which are key for weight loss. It’s all kinds of good.

Why Women Need Protein Powder

It can be tough to get enough protein every day, especially when you’re following a strict diet or have a crazy-busy life. That’s where protein powder comes in. You can mix a protein shake in seconds, which is way more convenient than roasting a chicken when you’re on the go. Protein powder is also a lot lower in carbs and calories than many other protein sources, so it’s easy to stick to your nutrition plan and see the results you want.

You can use a protein shake before or after workouts, or as a protein snack any time of day. You can also add it to recipes to make them healthier. No matter how you use it, it’s important to use a high-octane protein powder made with good ingredients.

Here’s our shortlist of the best protein powders for women, whether your goal is building muscle, getting strong, losing weight, or all of the above.

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