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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Cellucor Cor-Performance Casein
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!
2. Dymatize Elite Casein
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.
1. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% 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.
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 ... :)