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Casein shakes: The 12 Best Casein Protein Powders


Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews


Casein protein is a protein found in milk that gives milk its white color. Cow’s milk consists of around 80% casein protein. In addition to milk, casein protein is found in yogurt, cheese, and infant formulas, as well as in a variety of dietary supplements. Do not confuse casein protein with casein peptides. Casein peptides are made by breaking casein protein down into smaller pieces.

Casein protein is taken by mouth to improve athletic performance, diabetes, liver disease due to alcohol consumption, and many other conditions, but there is no good evidence to support these uses.

Casein protein provides the body with all of the amino acids necessary to help build muscle. Casein protein is digested more slowly than other proteins, so it might be better at reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Infant development. Most research shows that feeding premature, low-birth weight, and healthy infants a formula containing casein protein does not increase or decrease growth compared to breast milk, whey protein-based formula, rice hydrolysate formula, cow’s milk formula, or amino acid-based formula.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Liver disease in people who drink alcohol. Early research shows that administering a casein protein supplement through a feeding tube for 28 days improves mental status in patients who have liver disease from alcohol consumption. Other early research shows that taking a casein-based formula daily for one year lowers the risk for hospitalization and infection in these patients. But casein protein does not seem to reduce the risk of death.
  • Athletic performance. Some early research shows that taking casein protein before or after exercise improves strength and athletic performance. But not all research agrees. Some research also shows that casein protein works just as well as whey protein or creatine for improving athletic performance. But other research shows that whey protein is better than casein protein.
  • Cirrhosis. Early research shows that drinking a casein protein supplement for 4-6 days improves mental status in people with cirrhosis.
  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often lose muscle function over time. Some studies show that taking casein protein along with exercise builds muscle. But early research shows that taking casein protein daily for 8 weeks does not improve lung or muscle function in people with COPD.
  • Diabetes. Limited research suggests that taking casein protein with food might increase insulin, but not blood sugar levels, in people with diabetes.
  • Diarrhea. Early research in infants with the stomach flu shows that using a formula containing casein protein, instead of cow’s milk, reduces diarrhea.
  • Muscle soreness after exercise. Early research in strength training athletes shows that taking a specific protein supplement containing casein protein and other ingredients before and after exercise does not reduce muscle soreness.
  • Persistent heartburn. Early research in children with brain damage shows that a formula containing casein protein doesn’t work as well as whey protein formula for reducing symptoms of heartburn. But casein protein and whey protein seem to have similar effects in infants with heartburn.
  • Reduced brain function in people with advanced liver disease (hepatic encephalopathy). Early research shows that taking casein protein for 3 months does not improve mental function in people with chronic liver disease.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (hepatitis C). Early research shows that taking casein protein daily for 12 weeks improves quality of life in people with hepatitis C infection.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Most research shows that casein protein does not improve “good” or “bad” cholesterol levels in people with normal cholesterol or in people with high cholesterol. But some small studies show that it might improve these levels in some people. Also, eating casein protein seems to lower the levels of a certain type of cholesterol called lipoprotein(a).
  • High blood pressure. The effect of casein protein on blood pressure is unclear. Some research shows that it can reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number), while other research shows that it can reduce diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
  • Obesity. Most research shows that taking casein protein does not reduce body weight or appetite in people who are overweight or obese. But some early research shows that having a liquid snack containing casein protein reduces hunger in overweight patients. Also, early research shows that taking casein protein for 12 weeks prevents weight gain in obese people who have already lost weight. In overweight children, early research shows that drinking a milk drink containing casein protein daily for 12 weeks instead of water increases body weight.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of casein protein for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Casein protein is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Most adults do not experience side effects when casein protein is taken for as long as 12 months.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Casein protein is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Most adults do not experience side effects when casein protein is taken for as long as 12 months. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if casein protein is safe to use in amounts greater than those found in foods when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Infants and children: Casein protein is POSSIBLY SAFE for children and infants when taken by mouth. Most infants receiving casein protein formulas do not experience side effects.

Milk allergy: People with milk allergy can be allergic to the proteins contained in milk such as casein protein. If you have a milk allergy, it’s best to avoid taking casein protein.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for CASEIN PROTEIN overview.


The appropriate dose of casein protein depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for casein protein. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.

What Is Casein Protein Powder? Plus, the Best to Buy in 2023

Casein or whey protein? If you’re serious about your training and your nutrition, then you should be you serious about your supplements, which makes the aforementioned question one of our most-received.

While an efficient training plan and intuitive nutrition are the two pillars of any smart man’s routine, using the right supplements — such as casein protein — can help unlock a new level of health and potential when it comes to your workouts and recovery.

Related Story
  • The Very Best Protein Powders for Building Muscle

By now, you’re probably up to date on your whey protein and you’re likely to be looking for the next weapon to add to your supplement arsenal. Casein, a slow-release protein, may well do the trick.

Below, we shake up your knowledge on one of the UK’s most popular supplements and bring you a handful of recommendations to help you unlock new potential. Ready, steady, shake.

  • Myprotein Slow-Release Casein

    £38 at MyProtein

    £38 at MyProtein

    Read more

  • Bulk Micellar Casein

    £20 at bulk.com

    £20 at bulk. com

    Read more

  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

    £65 at Amazon

    £65 at Amazon

    Read more

  • Protein Works 100% Micellar Casein

    £20 at theproteinworks.com

    £20 at theproteinworks.com

    Read more

  • Reflex Nutrition Micellar Casein Slow Release Protein Powder

    £23 at Amazon

    £23 at Amazon

    Read more

    Casein protein powder will ’drip-feed’ your muscles over a six-hour period, making it the perfect pre-bedtime top-up

    Rachata Teyparsit / EyeEm//Getty Images

    What Is Casein?

    Casein is a slow-release protein that’s found in milk and in cheese and forms one of two proteins found in these foods. Carrying the same amino acid profile as whey protein, casein protein is actually absorbed at a different rate.

    Related Story
    • 15 of the Best High-Protein Foods

    During the processing of milk, casein protein forms a jelly-like substance that, one formed into protein powder, becomes a slow-acting form of protein that drip-feeds your muscles. Whey protein, for example, feeds your muscles at a faster rate. When you consume casein protein, your blood amino acid ‘peaks’ with your protein synthesis — the rate at which you absorb muscle-building protein — and continues to do so for up to four hours after ingesting.

    iprogressman//Getty Images

    Casein Protein vs Whey Protein

    Casein protein and whey protein are very similar on the surface level, but are quite different a molecular level. While both casein and whey are dairy-based proteins derived from milk, there are some glaring differences.

    Firstly, whey protein is considered the faster-acting supplement over casein. Rapidly digested, whey protein is found in the watery portion of milk, is a mixture of protein isolates and is considered a complete protein, housing each of the nine essential amino acids.

    Related Story
    • 11 of the Most Common Protein Shake Mistakes

    Casein protein, on the other hand, is a slow-releasing protein. In other words, after ingestion, your muscles will be ‘drip-fed’ casein for up to four hours. Casein protein is often considered to be ‘anticatabolic’ (essentially, kinder on your muscles) as it provides a steadier stream of acids and protein supply to stave off muscle breakdown (going catabolic), while whey protein is rapidly digested by your body.

    marekuliasz//Getty Images

    When Should I Take Casein Protein?

    Don’t worry — you don’t have to cancel your protein order and bin your post-workout shake. Whey protein is still the best supplement to have post-workout. Casein protein, on the other hand, is best taken before bed. As we mentioned, casein drip-feeds your muscles for up to four-hours, making a dream scenario for building muscle, especially when you’re dozing. Similarly, if you’re intermittent fasting, casein protein can help stave off hunger pangs before your first meal, as its been found to promote satiety — the feeling of being full.

    Related Story
    • The Best Whey Protein Powders To Buy in 2023

    ‘Because it’s digested slowly, It’s often taken before bed to give a steady delivery of amino acids for muscle recovery,’ says Jo Travers, a registered dietitian and author of The Low-fad Diet. ‘It also protects muscles from being broken down overnight when you aren’t getting protein from meals.’

    SeventyFour//Getty Images

    What Does Science Say About Casein Protein?

    A study of 36 males undergoing strength training discovered that the group consuming a whey and casein combination out-performed those who were on a combination of whey, BCAAs and glutamine.

    However, a 2006 study on the effects of whey protein vs casein protein on strength and body composition found different results. Studying 13 bodybuilders — each taking 1.5g of whey or casein per kg of bodyweight — the results showed that, after 10 total weeks, the whey group had greater gains in strength. Their squats improved by 75.3 kg (against 52.2 kg) and bench press increased by 48kg against 18.5kg in the casein group.

    Related Story
    • The Complete Guide to Bodybuilding

    With that in mind, the latter study concluded ‘more studies comparing the consumption of whey and casein protein pre- and post-exercise are needed to further determine if and/or how the two protein types differ’.

    marekuliasz//Getty Images

    What to Look For in Casein Protein

    By now, you know casein’s effect on muscle-building, fat-loss and more. If you’re ready to invest in casein —the ‘bedtime protein’ — it pays to know what to look for when it comes to the ingredients.

    Protein content: ‘Look for the protein content per scoop,’ advises Travers. ‘You should get around 20g per scoop.’

    Micellar casein: If you want a top-draw supplement, shop for micellar casein. Most casein proteins will contain micellar. ‘This is the natural form of casein,’ says Travers. ‘What makes it a more slowly digested form as oppose to hydrolysed casein which is more quickly absorbed as it has been processed.’

    Ingredients: Before investing in casein protein, be sure to read the label of any brand you’re interested in. Don’t be tempted by click-bait adverts or misleading campaigns — if the casein contains more than seven or eight ingredients, it’s not for you. Our list below is sure to help.

    The Best Casein Protein

    Myprotein Slow-Release Casein

    Myprotein Slow-Release Casein

    £38 at MyProtein

    Per serving (30g)

    Calories (kcal)105

    Available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavours, Myprotein’s slow-release (micellar) casein has received four out of five starts from customers and mixes well with porridge, baked goods and in shakes.

    Bulk Micellar Casein

    Bulk Micellar Casein

    £20 at bulk.com

    Per serving (30g)

    Calories (kcal)111

    Bulk Powders’ Micellar Casein is a strong contender. Available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, it has a 85% protein content, with 25g per 30g serving.

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

    Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein

    Now 19% Off

    £65 at Amazon

    Per serving (33g)

    Calories (kcal)115

    The industry’s first all-micellar Casein, Optimum Nutrition’s Casein contains 24g of slow-digesting casein proteins for muscle support. Add one scoop to water or milk.

    Protein Works 100% Micellar Casein

    Protein Works 100% Micellar Casein

    £20 at theproteinworks.com

    Per serving (30g)

    Calories (kcal)106

    Protein Works’ ultra fine 100% micellar casein protein powder contains 23g of protein per 30g serving and has a smooth and silky texture for adding to shakes, smoothies and baking.

    Reflex Nutrition Micellar Casein Slow Release Protein Powder

    Reflex Nutrition Micellar Casein Slow Release Protein Powder

    £23 at Amazon

    Per serving (33g)

    Calories (kcal)116
    Fat<0. 5g fat

    This protein powder consists of 80% micellar casein, 20% native whey, plus friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes.

    Edward Cooper

    Ed Cooper is the Deputy Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing about anything you want to know about — from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and so much more. Ed has run the MH gauntlet, including transformations, marathons and, er, website re-designs.  He’s awful at pub sports, though. Follow him: @EA_Cooper

    Casein protein – how to take, the benefits and harms of casein, rating

    A variety of sports supplements allows you to choose the option for almost any purpose. It is important, having heard about the effectiveness of a particular remedy, first to figure out what it is, whether it is suitable in your case and how to use it correctly. In this article, we will cover all aspects regarding casein protein.

    Like serum but different

    The name of the supplement is not in vain consonant with goats, casein is of natural origin. This is the most protein-rich dairy product obtained by curdling. It is thanks to him that the production of cheese and cottage cheese is possible. It is contained in them in the form of calcium salts and is considered the best source of this element. In fact, the name comes from the word “caseus”, which means “cheese” in Latin. As an additive, it is a white powder, which is diluted with water or milk. It can be used in cocktails and mixtures, sometimes supplemented with flavorings. By itself, it has no pronounced aroma, the taste is cottage cheese.

    The main characteristic of casein protein is its low absorption rate. Unlike the popular whey, this is a complex slow protein. It can be digested for about 7 hours. At the same time, like other types of proteins, it replenishes the content of amino acids in the muscles, contributing to their growth. In addition, the supplement prevents catabolism.

    Casein types

    There are two types of casein protein on the market:

    • Caseinate. It is a mixture with calcium, sodium and potassium salts. Contains at least 90% protein, highly soluble.
    • Micellar casein. Obtained by special filtration of milk, completely free from whey, fat and lactose. Most effective and suitable for people with lactose intolerance. It is absorbed easier, but longer (up to 10 hours). The powder is poorly soluble in water, the cocktail turns out to be mushy.

    You can also find casein hydrolyzate, but it is used for medical purposes and is available in ampoules. To increase the effectiveness of the protein is mixed with other useful elements. You can prepare the mixture yourself or buy ready-made.

    Slimming casein protein

    A long absorption time guarantees the absence of hunger, therefore the supplement can be used not only by cutting athletes, but also by ordinary people who want to lose weight. The calorie content of casein is only 36 kcal per 10 g. In order to lose weight, a portion of casein can replace one of the meals, but not before bedtime. The recommendation stems from the fact that casein protein causes some release of insulin, which in turn prevents the nighttime release of growth hormone. This secret promotes more active fat burning.

    By consuming casein, you will provide the muscles with the necessary amount of protein. In addition, it will increase the release of heat, and, consequently, will speed up the metabolism. The supplement promotes the burning of subcutaneous and visceral (that is, formed on the internal organs) fat. You can dilute with both milk and water, add a little cocoa, vanilla or cinnamon for taste. 15-20 g is enough for a snack, 35-40 g is enough to replace a full meal. A natural question arises – why, with all the beneficial properties of casein, not to use it in its natural form: cheese, cottage cheese, milk? The fact is that, along with protein, these products also contain a certain amount of fats and carbohydrates. Therefore, as an evening snack for those who are losing weight, it is a portion of protein that is better suited than cottage cheese.

    Protein casein for weight gain

    The use of this supplement after a workout for a bodybuilder is of no benefit: the protein will not have time to restore amino acids in the muscles. For these purposes, it is better to take fast-digesting proteins. It is acceptable to use in combination with whey in a ratio of 1: 2. So you can simultaneously provide long-term muscle nutrition and high anabolism. In order not to lose the desired mass, it is safest to use casein before bedtime – about 40g. So, the substance will prevent the destruction of muscles overnight and provide them with a supply of protein. For bodybuilding, a mixture with a high carbohydrate content is best.


    In general, the drug does not harm, except in cases of individual intolerance and allergies. Due to its dairy origin, casein (except micellar) can cause discomfort in people with lactose intolerance. Of course, they should choose the appropriate types of protein and dilute it exclusively with water. It is also worth noting that malaise can be caused by other factors: due to the high content of sodium or related enzymes. When buying, you need to carefully study the composition of the mixture, often BCAAs or leucine are added to casein in order to increase the anabolic effect. You also need to make sure that the product does not contain synthetic elements, vegetable fats and salt.

    The best casein supplements

    To help you buy casein correctly, we offer a rating of trusted drugs and the largest number of positive reviews of drugs:

    • Casein Gold Standard from Optimum Nutrition. Produced from high quality raw materials by filtration. Contains glutamine, thanks to which it restores muscles more efficiently at night after a workout.
    • EliteCasein by Dymatize. It contains vitamin C, iron, potassium and sodium. The mixture is well absorbed.
    • MusclePharm

    • Casein. It is high in protein (25g per serving) and low in fat (0.5g). Additionally contains amino acids and trace elements.

    Products from this article

    Tree of Life Life Casein, 907 g Tree of Life


    Tree of Life Life Casein, 907 g
    Maxler Micellar Casein bag, 450 grMaxler

    2 390 R

    2 640 R

    Maxler Micellar Casein bag, 450 g

    Syntrax Micellar Creme, 907 g Syntrax

    3850 R

    4210 R

    Syntrax Micellar Creme, 907 g For what? How to use?

    What is casein?

    [su_dropcap]K[/su_dropcap]azein is a complex, slow-digesting protein that takes a long time to digest in the body. It is found in milk and dairy products.

    Approximately 85% of milk proteins are casein, the rest is whey protein. In milk, casein is found in the form of calcium caseinate, a compound of casein with calcium salts. Under the influence of certain substances, casein in milk coagulates, forming a curd mass. For example, for the production of cheeses, rennin, an enzyme in the gastric juice of calves, is added to milk. To obtain cottage cheese or kefir, acids are added to milk, which produce lactic acid bacteria.

    Casein is used in the food industry because this type of protein has a very high biological value and excellent amino acid composition. Casein and preparations based on it are used in medicine and dermatology. Surprisingly, casein is even used to produce paints, resins, glues and plastics!

    Long digestible protein

    The athlete is primarily interested in the special properties of casein, namely, its ability to digest for a long time. Casein forms a clot in the stomach and slowly releases nutrients and amino acids into the bloodstream over a long period. 1

    This allows you to maintain protein synthesis for a longer time after training and feel full longer. In the following table, you can visually compare the rates of protein absorption from different sources:

    Protein source Assimilation rate, g/h
    Whey protein hydrolysate 11-12
    Pork tenderloin 10
    Whey Protein Isolate 8-10
    Casein 6. 1
    Soy protein isolate 4.1
    Milk protein 3.5
    Pea protein 3.5
    Egg white, cooked 2.9
    Raw egg white 1.3

    As you can see, the rate of protein digestion varies quite widely – from 1.3 to 12 g per hour. At the same time, the rate of assimilation of casein is somewhere in the middle. It is easy to calculate that 30 g of casein taken will be absorbed in more than five hours, while a similar portion of the hydrolyzate will be absorbed in 2.5 hours. And if you stir casein in milk, then the rate of assimilation will slow down even more! Many protein shakes today offer a blend of whey protein and casein, as this blend has been found to produce better results than either supplement alone. 2


    Casein has a number of useful properties that make it an important product in sports nutrition.

    May Prevent Muscle Breakdown

    A 2009 study found that eating a protein-carbohydrate meal immediately after exercise (on an empty stomach) prevents muscle protein breakdown. 3

    The combination of whey protein, casein protein and carbohydrate source is ideal.

    Helps build muscle mass

    A systematic review of the effects of protein supplements on muscle mass found that they can increase strength and muscle mass growth, as well as improve aerobic and anaerobic performance. 4

    Of course, provided that you perform weight-bearing exercises and provide sufficient load on the muscles.

    A 2012 study looked at the effects of prolonged exercise combined with a whey and casein blend on muscle mass in both young and old adults. 5

    It has been found that this approach leads to a significant increase in muscle mass in both.

    Improves Post-Workout Recovery

    Casein taken before bed may improve post-workout recovery. A 2012 study looked at exactly this question. The study involved 16 healthy young men who followed a normal diet. In the evening, they did weight training and took casein or a placebo before bed. The results showed that casein taken 30 minutes before bedtime increased the rate of protein synthesis in the subjects by 22%. 6

    Helps maintain muscle

    When you create a large calorie deficit, you will lose fat quickly. However, some loss of muscle mass occurs with such short-term diets. A 2013 study by American scientists found that consuming twice the recommended dose of a combination of whey protein and casein could protect short-term lean muscle loss. 7

    How and when to take?

    The most popular time to take casein is before bed. The arguments are quite simple – at night you sleep, and therefore, you are starving. Casein digests slowly, over many hours, so if taken before bed, it will fuel you all night, preventing catabolism from destroying your muscles. You can prepare a serving of casein with both water and milk. The second option is preferable if you want the cocktail to be absorbed for a very long time. In addition, this option will have the best taste. If you are lactose intolerant, take casein with water. The recommended portion is about 40 g of casein.

    When else can you take casein? When you know for sure that you will not be able to eat natural food in the near future. Agree, this can happen to any of us at any time of the day. An excellent breakfast would be the combination of casein with instant oatmeal. Such a cocktail will saturate you for a long time and provide the body with proteins and carbohydrates. As a result, you can safely forget about hunger and catabolism for the next 4-5 hours.

    Taking casein after training is not advisable, as easily digestible proteins are required during this period. However, this problem is solved with the help of a special form of casein, which will be discussed later.

    Types of casein

    No matter how strange it may sound, but casein is also different. The most common forms are calcium caseinate and micellar casein.

    Calcium caseinate

    Calcium caseinate is an older form of casein. It has a thick consistency and, compared to micellar casein, foams a little more and dissolves worse. Properties such as stickiness and density have allowed this type of casein to find its niche in the food industry. Naturally, it is also used in sports nutrition, but not all athletes love it because of the density of the resulting drink. If you want to use it, it is recommended to add more liquid to the cocktail.

    Micellar Casein

    This is the most common form of casein and is a favorite of many athletes. This type of casein is devoid of such disadvantages of calcium caseinate as excessive density and foaming, and it tastes a little nicer. In addition, micellar casein is produced without heating and without the use of acids, which contributes to the preservation of the original structure of the protein. Getting into the gastrointestinal tract, this type of casein under the influence of pepsin forms micelles – dense clots, into which digestive enzymes hardly get inside, therefore, such a lump will split longer.

    Hydrolyzed casein

    Finally, the last word in the food industry is hydrolyzed casein. This type of casein undergoes enzymatic hydrolysis, as a result of which it is absorbed faster than regular casein. This property allows you to use it immediately after training and be sure that the muscles will receive a sufficient amount of amino acids.

    Side effects and combinations with other supplements

    As a rule, no side effects are characteristic of casein. If you suffer from lactose intolerance, then you need to be careful with casein, after all, it contains a small amount of milk sugar. If your body does not accept casein, then you need to switch to whey isolate or hydrolyzate. Sometimes allergic reactions to casein can be observed.

    Casein pairs well with other types of protein. Alternatively, you can mix whey and egg protein with casein and get a multi-component protein mixture that will be absorbed at different rates. An ideal meal replacement would be to combine this mixture with instant oatmeal.