6 Best Casein Protein Powders (2024 Updated) Buyer's Guide 

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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 8, 2024
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

Unlike whey, micellar casein is a slow-digesting protein.

It gives it a kind of natural time-release mechanism which many people feel fits better with their nutritional needs. It’s also rich in essential amino acids and minerals, aside from other health benefits.

To save you the hassle of doing the research, I teamed up with a dietitian and spent several months of research to list the best casein protein powders.

Best Casein Protein Powders

Editor's Choice
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
Transparent Labs
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein
Optimum Nutrition
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
4.8
Ingredients
5.0
Price
4.8
Overall Score 4.9
4.9
Check Current Price
3rd Best Choice
BulkSupplements Casein Protein
BulkSupplements
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
4.8
Ingredients
4.4
Price
5.0
Overall Score 4.8
4.8
Check Current Price

Our Top Casein Protein Powders (March 2024)

1 - Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Casein Protein (Best Overall, Grass-Fed & for Recovery)

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
5.0
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Overall Score 5.0
Click For Best Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Helps with muscle protein synthesis and recovery
  • Protein sourced from 100% grass-fed cattle
  • Mixes easily
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Uses stevia as a sweetener

After trying numerous protein powders, Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Casein Protein stood out as my favorite.

It excelled in purity, solubility, and quality, and seemed to speed up my post-workout recovery.

Each serving offers 25 grams of slow-digesting micellar casein from hormone-free, grass-fed cattle, aiding muscle recovery and growth overnight.

With just chocolate and vanilla flavors, it's still a delight for the taste buds. Free from gluten, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives, and low in fat and cholesterol, it's been a tasty and effective swap for my late-night snacks.

2 - Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein (Best Tasting & Low-Carb)

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein
5.0
Effectiveness
4.8
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
4.8
Price
Overall Score 4.9
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Made with 100% micellar casein
  • Mixes easily with water and milk
  • A more agreeable taste than most others
  • Low carb and easily digested
  • Has four flavors to choose from

Cons

  • Contains carrageenan to improve texture
  • Contains sucralose

From my experience, casein outshines whey protein, especially with its slow-release feature that fits my workout regime.

It's also great for colon health, as noted in the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology [1].

ON Gold Standard Casein Powder stands out, offering 24 grams of micellar casein per serving, with only 120 calories, and rich in calcium and potassium.

It includes Aminogen® for better nutrient absorption, as per the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition [2].

However, I'm not a fan of its use of the artificial sweetener sucralose to enhance flavor.

For those aiming to improve workout results and build lean muscle, ON Gold Standard's four flavors are worth considering.

3 - BulkSupplements Casein Protein (Cheapest & Best Unflavored)

BulkSupplements Casein Protein
5.0
Effectiveness
4.8
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
5.0
Price
Overall Score 4.8
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 25 grams protein per serving
  • Mixes easily with water, milk or batter
  • Helps provide optimal benefits
  • More affordable than most competitors

Cons

  • The powder is super fine so it tends to go everywhere
  • Doesn't specify if the protein source is micellar casein

BulkSupplements is known for its high-quality, affordable supplements, focusing on what's inside rather than fancy packaging.

Their unflavored Casein Protein Powder blends seamlessly into shakes, smoothies, and even baking batters, enhancing taste without overpowering it.

It digests slower than whey, steadily supplying nutrients and essential amino acids for building lean, strong muscles.

Plus, you can easily track the amino acid content per serving with their detailed profile.

It's recommended to take this casein protein powder shortly after working out to allow it to help with muscle growth and repair.

4 - Naked Casein (Best 100% Pure With High Protein Content)

Naked Casein
5.0
Effectiveness
4.5
Taste
4.6
Ingredients
4.4
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

  • Not much of any taste
  • Hard to mix with liquids

When I first tried Naked Casein, its natural and clean feel stood out.

This brand delivers a pure, GMO-free formula without artificial additives.

Each serving packs 5.5 grams of amino acids and BCAAs, and 27 grams of pure micellar casein with low carbs.

It was a perfect fit for my keto diet, aiding in weight loss and muscle building.

Although the chocolate flavor is subtle, its purity is a plus.

Naked recommends taking it before bed to maximize workout benefits overnight.

5 - Dymatize Elite Casein Protein Powder

Dymatize Elite Casein Protein Powder
5.0
Effectiveness
4.5
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.4
Price
Overall Score 4.6
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 100% micellar casein powder
  • 25 grams of protein per serving
  • Five different flavors to keep things interesting
  • Mixes easily with both water and milk

Cons

  • Tends to mix heavy so don’t use too much

My first experience with Dymatize Elite Casein Protein Powder was memorable, thanks to its all-day release of muscle-building BCAAs, supporting continuous muscle repair as confirmed by Frontiers in Physiology [3].

Micellar casein, richer than whey, is excellent for post-workout recovery, feeding muscles with needed protein and BCAAs for synthesis.

Each serving offers 5.3 grams of BCAAs and 25 grams of micellar casein.

After two weeks of using Dymatize Elite, I noticed quicker recovery and a boost in energy levels.

6 - Six Star Pro Nutrition Casein Protein (Best Gluten-Free)

Six Star Pro Nutrition Casein Protein
5.0
Effectiveness
4.3
Taste
4.4
Ingredients
4.3
Price
Overall Score 4.5
Check Current Price

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Maybe the best tasting powder
  • High-quality drink for a better physique
  • 100% gluten free with only 9 grams of carbs
  • 24 grams of protein per serving

Cons

  • Uses casein and whey protein blend
  • Doesn't dissolve well using a shaker

I found the Six Star Casein Powder a great addition for someone who is active or always on the go. The supplement provides 24 grams of long-lasting, easily digestible protein per serving for active men and women, bodybuilders, athletes, and CrossFit enthusiasts.

It's enriched with calcium and iron, low in fat and carbs, yet packed with BCAAs and amino acids essential post-workout.

While it does contain 1 gram of sugar to improve taste, it's gluten-free and low in cholesterol.

While Six Star Protein is easily absorbed by the digestive tract and slow to release, it doesn't seem to dissolve well using a shaker.

How We Chose the Products:

The selection of the best casein protein powders was rigorous and meticulous.

Protein Content
In our selection process, we prioritized protein content as a key criterion. We meticulously analyzed each product to ensure it met our high standards for protein concentration, which is crucial for muscle growth and recovery.

Ingredient Quality
We closely examined the quality of ingredients in each casein protein powder. Our focus was on products that utilized natural and wholesome components, steering clear of those laden with artificial additives.

Brand Reputation
Brand reputation played a significant role in our decision-making. We chose brands that are well-regarded in the industry, known for their reliability and positive customer feedback.

Flavor and Taste
The flavor and taste of the protein powders were essential factors in our evaluation. We believe that a good protein powder should not only be effective but also enjoyable to consume.

Price and Value
Finally, we assessed each product's price and overall value. Our goal was to recommend casein protein powders that offer an optimal balance of quality and affordability, ensuring our readers get the best for their investment.

Throughout this process, my team and I personally tested these products, integrating them into our routines to gauge their effectiveness and overall user experience. We also sought insights from nutrition experts to ensure our selections were in line with health and dietary standards. This comprehensive approach allowed us to provide well-rounded, tested recommendations for the best casein protein powders.

What to Look For in Casein Protein Powders

Look for the form of casein protein, the protein content, the ingredients, and the taste.

Form of Casein Protein

There are two forms of casein: micellar casein and casein hydrolysate. The best casein protein is the slow-digesting and slow-release form, which is the micellar casein compared to the rapid-absorbing hydrolysate.

Protein Content

Depending on your fitness goals, the choice varies.

For bulking up, pick a powder high in protein and calories, ignoring the fat and carbs.

If weight loss is your aim, choose a powder rich in protein but low in carbs and fat.

Aim for 20-28 grams of protein per serving, with a max of 150 calories.

Ingredients

The star ingredient is usually micellar casein. However, some powders offer extra benefits with BCAAs, vitamins, and minerals.

Avoid those with artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colorings, and watch out for added sugars.

If caffeine affects you, opt for a stimulant-free powder to avoid jitters or sleeplessness.

Taste & Flavor Range

Finding a tasty powder without loads of sugar and artificial flavors can be tough.

If you're not a fan of artificial stuff, try naturally-flavored options or stick to unflavored powders to mix with your favorite drinks.

What is Casein Protein?

Scoop of protein product

Casein protein is one of the two primary types of milk protein, with whey being the other. It is a slow-digesting protein that contains all the necessary amino acids.

Interestingly, casein has a rich historical backdrop in art, particularly its use in art as casein paint

It commonly takes on the appearance of "curds" or milk globules. Besides their traditional use in cheese and yogurts, curds are also used as culinary delights acting as stabilizers and enhancers of the nutritional profile of dishes.

Today, however, they are recognized for providing a type of protein that is very slow to digest and has outstanding muscle-building and repair properties according to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition [4].

"Well, the main feature that makes casein special is how it forms a kind of gel or clot when in the stomach, making it perfect at providing a gradual release of nutrients such as amino acids into the bloodstream. This naturally makes it perfect for both long workouts and recovery."

- Chris Hanson 

When Should I Take Casein Protein?

You should take Casein protein before bed (at least 40g), particularly if you have engaged in a strenuous workout that afternoon or evening.

While you sleep, it will work to repair damaged muscle tissues and build new, stronger, leaner muscles in its place.

When it comes to how much organic casein most people take before bed, a standard serving of this powder is just as they would at any other time.

youtube

What Are the Benefits of Casein Protein Powder?

Holding tumbler with protein shake

The benefits of casein protein powder are its ability to provide a measured, evenly-spaced release of protein into your system over the course of many hours and muscle growth through the BCAAs and other nutrients.

It also helps improve your metabolic rate [5].

Some preliminary studies have found that casein can have other impressive benefits, including antibacterial and immune benefits, reducing triglyceride levels, free radicals, and fat.

- Rudy Mawer, MSc

Potential Side Effects

Any side effects resulting from taking casein protein typically have to do with people who are unknowingly lactose intolerant or have a specific casein allergy which presents different symptoms than lactose intolerance.

Since it's derived from cow’s milk, those who cannot tolerate dairy products will experience an upset stomach if they take this type of protein.

Whey Vs. Casein: Which One is Better?

A spoon with protein powder

While both organic casein and whey proteins do an outstanding job helping you build lean muscle, with its easy digestibility and time-release properties, casein is preferred by many athletes and bodybuilders.

However, as veganism is gaining popularity, it is interesting to compare casein with plant-based protein sources in terms of nutrition and muscle-building potential

The fact that it has the added benefit of making many people feel full longer, helps stave off cravings that can lead to binge snacking and conditioning setbacks.

But if what you want is a slow, steady climb toward a stronger, leaner physique, then it may well do a better job.

Now, let's find out which brand deserves the number one spot on our list of the best micellar casein protein powders.

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Casein Protein is our top choice among all the micellar casein powders profiled above.

It provides just the right amount of protein per serving and tastes great, unlike other protein powders, which tend to have a bland flavor.

Many clients have also attested to its positive effects on their muscle mass growth and recovery. Also, it contains minimal fat and cholesterol, making it suitable for those watching their weight.

So if you’re on the lookout for a great-tasting and clean protein powder, this is the one we’d recommend.

Our #1 Casein Protein Powder

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Casein Protein (Best Overall, Grass-Fed & for Recovery)

Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
Effectiveness
5.0
Taste
5.0
Ingredients
5.0
Price
5.0
Overall Score 5.0
5.0
Pros
  • Helps with muscle protein synthesis and recovery
  • Protein sourced from 100% grass-fed cattle
  • Mixes easily
  • No artificial ingredients
Cons
  • Uses stevia as a sweetener
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2 thoughts on “What’s the Best Casein Protein Powder?
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

  1. I appreciate you guys sharing this. Been using Optimum Nutrition for 4 months and all I can say is wow. It’s truly the best casein protein powder with high quality ingredients and slow digesting effect. It’s the best tasting too, I should say.

  2. Avoid any protein powder with soy, as it’s an endocrine disrupter. Utilize high-quality casein to keep carbohydrates low and fire up muscle growth.

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