Casein is just as powerful as whey protein, it simply works in different ways. Here are the best casein proteins to gain muscle, lose weight, and stay full.
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.
Optimum Nutrition controls their manufacturing process from beginning to end rather than outsourcing. This guarantees a consistently high-quality product. ON was also first to market with a 100 percent micellar casein product, creating the gold standard in the industry.
This casein protein is very low in calories, especially considering the high protein content. This ratio allows for a high degree of overnight muscle protein synthesis without putting on fluff weight.
Dymatize has a longstanding reputation for maintaining high quality standards. Their 100 percent micellar casein comes in four great flavors: cinnamon bun, cookies and cream, rich chocolate, and smooth vanilla.
Kris Gethin's casein protein powder is slightly higher in calories than other brands, but the amazing taste and texture make it worth it. And being able to enjoy your nighttime protein ritual makes you more likely to stick with it long enough to see gains.
This micellar casein has awesome flavor and none of the gritty texture associated with some other casein protein powders. It's relatively light on calories, as well.
MusclePharm goes big here, with a super-high protein dose per scoop compared to other brands. The micellar casein formula is excellent for supporting overnight muscle protein synthesis.