Best Casein Protein Powder: Reviews 2020
While Casein may be the less popular cousin of Whey, it still has a unique set of benefits. Explore these benefits and take a look at the products we believe are eligible to own the title as Best Casein Protein Powder in 2020.
Our Verdict: Best Casein Protein Powder
Naked Casein is a product that owns up to its name. The company behind it, Naked Nutrition, is dedicated to producing products free of fillers, artificial additives, and other harmful substances.
While many protein powders undergo processing or sorting overseas, this one is both sourced and manufactured in the US. Furthermore, their promise is that the cows it is derived from are never given growth hormones and that it only contains pure casein protein.
One serving of Naked Casein delivers 26 grams of protein and 5.4 grams of branched chain amino acids. The serving also provides 110 calories, with zero carbs and sugar. Each serving contains over half the RDA of calcium.
Our Verdict: Best Value/Price-Ratio
This grass-fed casein protein powder is manufactured by Muscle Feast. It is processed using quality filtration techniques to ensure a pure, superior product.
The cows from which it is sourced are 100% grass-fed and are kept free from growth hormones or antibiotics. Muscle Feast also tests for heavy metals, a common problem in many powders. There are no added flavors or sweeteners in this one.
It clocks in at 22 grams of protein, 85 calories, and zero carbs, sugar, or fat per serving. Great for maximizing protein intake while minimizing sugar or calories.
As with most casein powders, it makes a very thick shake, so lots of water should be applied. Its neutral flavor profile makes it a great addition to smoothies, cookies, and even mixed into omelets.
Our Verdict: Best Mixability
Promix Micellar Casein is a pure casein protein manufactured by Promix Nutrition, a company that does not compromise on standards of purity or processing.
Derived from pasture-raised cows from Midwest dairy farms, Promix Casein is free of chemical additives, unnecessary emulsifiers, sugar, and artificial colors and flavors. The company utilizes top-of-the-line filtration techniques to ensure that the protein molecules are intact and not denatured.
Promix Casein provides 25 grams of protein per serving and a modest 105 calories. One serving also provides 5.3 grams of branched-chain amino acids to support lean muscle growth. It is completely free of carbs, sugar, and fat.
A small amount of non-GMO sunflower lecithin is added to make for easy blending.
The last product on our list is Noble Elephants Micellar Casein. In spite of it flying under the radar, it seems to have gained some popularity with those that have tried this protein supplement.
Each 30 gram/5 tbsp. serving delivers 27 grams of protein, supplemented with high amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Noble Elephant also states that they guarantee their products to be pure and without chemicals, fillers or unnatural additives.
We would, however, like more information about the amino acid profile of this one. Yet, it makes our list due to popularity and lack of additives.
Please note that these values may change, for instance if the product formula is changed.
It is possible to sort the table to compare the products. This way you can find the best casein protein powder for you, based on your preferences.
As you will notice, we differentiate between BCAA’s per serving and per 100 grams. This is because the size of a products serving may vary from the others.
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There are two types of protein in milk, namely casein and whey. Casein actually makes up about 80% of the protein found in milk, with whey being the remaining 20%.
Casein protein powders are normally derived from skim milk using one of two methods: Coagulation using rennet or precipitation by acid.
When rennet is added to milk, it causes the milk to curdle. This separates the liquids from the solids.
The liquid can be used to make whey. The isolated solids, however, are sent through a drying and powdering process to produce casein protein powder.
Casein is an interesting protein source due to several factors. Not only is it a complete protein, but it is also unique from any other protein when it comes to absorption. While easily digested, casein is also slow-absorbing compared to other protein powders. This slow-absorption protein is also called slow release protein or time release protein.
As can be observed even during the cheese-making or coagulation process, the casein protein molecules have a curdling effect. In other words, they clump together.
The same protein molecules also clump in the digestive tract after consumption, creating the slow release effect.
Slow Release Protein: Using Casein as a Pre-Sleep Protein
A study of four groups with five to six men compared the effects of whey and casein protein. It showed that those consuming the slow-absorbing casein had higher levels of leucine, an important amino acid, 7 hours later.
The two groups consuming the whey protein powder had a quicker initial spike in aminoacidemia, levels of amino acids in the blood. The casein group, however, had a more modest and sustained rise.
Another study confirms the same effect. One group was given whey protein, while the other one was given casein protein. The whey protein was digested much faster, thereby quickly feeding starving muscles. The casein, on the other hand, had a slow-release effect of about 7 hours.
So, is slow-released protein important?
During sleep, our muscles are still hard at work, tearing down or repairing and recycling nutrients.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no solid evidence of casein having an advantage as a night-time protein, when compared to other sources. There are however studies that strongly suggest consuming milk protein before bed is in fact beneficial.
So where does that leave casein? Why not just use whey instead?
We are not ready to write casein off just yet.
Firstly, casein has an anti-catabolic effect that can help reduce the effects of muscle (protein) breakdown. Since most of the catabolic effects we experience happens at night, it makes sense to choose casein as a pre-sleep protein.
This study involving sixteen healthy young men showed that casein protein ingestion prior to sleeping improved post-exercise recovery. Another study showed similar results. As can be found by reviewing these papers, they show positive results using casein as a night-time protein. They do, however, not compare casein to whey.
A rather recent study from 2018 found that casein might still have an edge after all.
The study found that casein protein consumed pre-sleep definitely increased morning metabolism and possibly resistance exercise performance the following day. The same effects were not recorded in those consuming whey.
Casein, like Whey, has shown to increase muscle and mass gains if consumed prior to sleep. Additionally, Casein has shown to increase morning metabolism, which could be beneficial for weight loss.
Other Benefits of Casein Protein
Dairy has gotten a rather bad rap lately. While many are unable to tolerate it, the best casein protein powders are still full of potential health benefits for those that do.
Increased Fat Loss
One 12-week study of three groups of overweight police offers showed that those in the casein group had the greatest fat loss. It is important to note that the weight loss amount was about the same in all groups. However, the actual percentage of fat lost was highest in the casein group.
A possible reason for this is explained in another study. Casein leads to longer-lasting satiation, due to its curdling effect. As a result, this may reduce appetite and lead to fewer calories consumed overall.
Casein then, from the small stack of research available, seem to be more beneficial for fat loss when compared to other types of protein.
Casein has a high amount of calcium, an important mineral for bones, teeth, heart and nervous system. A good casein supplement contains about 50% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance(RDA), per serving. Whey, on the other hand, contains less than 10%.
Final Thoughts on Casein
Just about anyone can use the best casein protein powder. It is a great choice to supplement a diet or aid in recovery from resistance training.
And as with any protein shake or supplement, it should be used in conjunction with a balanced and healthy diet.
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