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Best Casein Protein Powders 2014

Updated on January 15, 2014
Using the right casein supplement can add to your muscle gains.
Using the right casein supplement can add to your muscle gains.

Casein is a specialized protein used by people who want to further optimize their workout programs. Like whey, casein is derived from milk but casein takes a longer time to get digested. While whey will bring about a quick spike of amino acids in blood, casein will allow for a less intense but more lasting rise. In other words, casein is best used for maintaining high protein levels in the body for a longer period to make sure muscle recovery continues at the highest pace. It is an excellent choice for a bedtime protein when you will not be eating anything for several hours. Not surprisingly, every supplement company has set out to produce this very popular type of protein. This review has been written with the aim of helping you out in your search for the best casein protein powder. In the following paragraphs, the best selling casein supplements are dealt with and pros and cons for each product is revealed in an unbiased manner. Having read the article, you will be better informed to choose the casein powder that will best serve your goals.

How to Choose the Best Casein

Let us have a look at some of the factors you need to consider when choosing your casein protein powder.

Protein Content and Calories: A decent casein supplement has a large percentage of protein to allow you to get what you need without swallowing several scoops of powder. Also, one of the primary reasons you buy a protein powder is to avoid unneeded calories so the less fat and carbs it has, the better.

Type of Casein: Casein in supplements is found as either what is called Micellar Casein or Calcium Caseinate (or sodium or potassium caseinate). Calcium caseinate is cheaper, processed form of casein that does not have the satiating qualities you are looking for when you buy a casein protein powder. Micellar caseinate on the other hand is the non-denatured milk protein that does take time to digest so micellar casein is what you want and the more micelle and the less caseinate a casein powder has, the better it will serve your purpose.

Fillers and Additives: Companies tend to put lots of synthetic substances into the supplements. These can do good such as giving the powder a better texture and ameliorate the taste without sugar. However, it also means that you get an array of chemical into your body every time you drink your protein shake. Therefore, it is best that your casein contains pure protein instead of all the fillers.

Six Star Pro Nutrition Casein Protein Elite Series

Six Star Elite Series Casein enjoys high sales so it had to be included in this list. It is hard to call this one of the best casein protein powders. I would say this sells well because it is cheap but it is not any cheaper than the better caseins you will see down below.

Scoop
39 g
Protein
25 g
Calories
140
Fat
0.5 g
Carbs
9 g

I've never seen any protein powder with less than 50 % protein. I've seen few with close to 60 % and Six Star Casein is one of them. Indeed, contained in one 39 g scoop are only 25 grams of protein. This is bad news because you will be getting only a little of what you want for the money you pay. Moreover, we have 9 g of carbohydrate in every scoop this supplement, which is just too much. With more than 5 calories per gram of protein, Six Star could boost your love handles as well as it does your biceps.

Also, the casein in Six Star Casein is partly calcium caseinate, which is low quality casein you want to avoid. Finally, there are several unnatural sweeteners and stuff inside this powder but there is no need to mention each of these because even without the chemicals it contains, Six Star has a very weak protein profile.

Given the various caveats listed above, Six Star's Pro Nutrition Casein Protein needs to be improved before it can become a recommendable product.

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein is another popular casein protein with average features.

Scoop
33 g
Protein
24 g
Calories
120
Fat
1.5 g
Carbs
4 g

The protein content and the amount of calories are not bad. One scoop of 33 g has 24 g protein and 120 calories. However, not all the protein in Dymatize Nutrition's powder is actually casein. The ingredient list includes what is called Milk Protein Concentrate. Milk Protein Concentrate is basically powdered milk with carbs and fat taken away. It is about 80% casein and 20% whey. That means some of the protein in the container is actually whey. Whey is of course not something evil but it is not exactly what you are looking for when you buy casein powder.

Dymatize Nutrition Elite Casein has sucralose as an artificial sweetener. It is no surprise that some who used this protein powder complain about the unnatural chemical-like taste. Yet, there are also many who love the taste. One rather uncanny additive in this casein powder is genetically modified soybean oil. I am not saying it is going to make you sick but it is there.

All in all, what we have here is OK as a casein source but nothing astonishing either. While it is certainly better than Six Star casein, Dymatize Elite Casein appears to remain somewhat behind the Optimum Nutrition you see below. Between Dymatize and Optimum Nutrition, I would go for the latter.

Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein

Optimum Nutrition is a supplement provider with decent sales. As for the casein powder at hand, this is the best selling casein supplement out there. To be honest, it is not a bad product but its nutritional content and ingredients make one think that the best seller of casein market should have been something better.

Scoop
34 g
Protein
24 g
Calories
120
Fat
1 g
Carbs
3 g

Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein does taste well according to people who have tried it and reportedly, it does mix better than most other casein powders. These are advantages but they come with a chemicals galore. Optimum Nutrition casein is made sweet with the addition of Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose. Using this casein powder means to get these sweet tasting chemicals into your body every day and although there is no info about the amount of sugar substitutes used in ON casein, the very sweet taste it has suggests that it does contain a lot.

Having a look at the nutritional facts, it is seen that the protein content of ON casein is not the best either. It is no more than 70 % protein and the rest is additives, calories and other junk.

There is also an all-natural version of ON casein powder with a beige-green label. This could be an alternative to avoid the various artificial ingredients but it has even less protein and even more calories.

Although there are some cons to it, the fact is that most people choose to go for Optimum Nutrition. If you want your casein from this company, you could also be interested in their new Tri-Celle Casein reviewed below. Or you could check the Muscle Feast Micellar Casein at the bottom of the page, which is way better than this one.

Optimum Nutrition Platinum Tri-Celle Casein

What makes this casein powder special is the improved gelation ability of the modified casein it contains. Optimum Nutrition has applied what they call MicelleXL technology that sort of binds casein molecules to each other to make three times bigger molecules. The new casein will take more time to digest than any other casein product and protein will be trickling into your system for a longer period. This feature makes ON Platinum Tri-Celle Casein an option for people who give more priority to the slowness aspect of casein.

Scoop
41 g
Protein
30 g
Calories
150
Fat
1.5 g
Carbs
4 g

With all the innovative features of Platinum Tri-Celle, the actual protein content is not that remarkable. Protein in one scoop may seem impressive at first but it is a gigantic 41g scoop so the percentage of protein is actually a little more than 75 %. It is only slightly higher than the above powders and is nowhere to compete with the below Muscle Feast Casein. As for the price, it is not much more expensive than the regular ON product. Some people complain it is expensive because the container has too few servings but let us remembered that they are very large servings indeed.

The thing that I find displeasing about ON Tri-Celle is the endless list of junk stuff in the ingredient list. In addition to the ususal Sucralose and Acesulfame-K we see in all ON products, this one also has pure calorie additives such as corn syrup solids and sunflower oil and a mineral blend that is in fact a salt blend. Tri-Celle also contains some milk protein and calcium caseinate, which is low quality casein you need to stay away from. These cast doubts about the actual high quality casein content of ON Platinum Casein. Lastly, there is L-Theanine in the ingredient list. This is an amino acid found in tea. It is known to help you relax and concentrate. It is a fancy idea to add that to casein.

In conclusion, even though there are some drwbacks to it, Optimum Nutrition Platinum Tri-Celle Casein has some features that look promising. My opinion about this one is that it is worth to give a try if you want a really slow and long-lasting protein.

Muscle Feast Micellar Casein

I am glad to have found out about this casein protein powder because I can recommend it without any reservations.

Scoop
22 g
Protein
20.4 g
Calories
86
Fat
0
Carb
0

Hardcore Micellar Casein by Muscle Feast is by far the best casein protein powder you will ever find and it is one of the most valuable protein supplements I have ever come across. Although, it is not a well-known brand that boasts very high sales like Optimum Nutrition, there is not a single person who ended up unhappy after using this product. People who take this casein, absolutely love it and they have good reasons.

The unflavored version of Hardcore Micellar Casein is 93 % protein. Incredible as it is, you will not be pumping no junk material into your body if you opt for this one. It has zero carbs and zero fat and almost all the calories you get are from casein protein itself. Noting that the flavored varieties have slightly less protein with some more calories, I would advise you get the unflavored one and mix it with whatever food you like to savor the unrivalled protein content.

Needless to say that this powder is pure micellar casein with no calcium caseinate. The company stresses the milk is produced in the USA under USDA regulations and it is grade A milk and kosher, too. That sounds impressive.

This product has no artificial substances in it. The chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors have stevia and sucrose as sweeteners. Stevia is a non-calorie, natural, sweet substance from a plant and sucrose is simply table sugar. These are just awesome when compared to all the synthetic stuff you come across in the above casein powders. There is also soy lecithin, which is an additive used in most powders for a better texture.

Comparing the prices on absolute terms, one could suggest that Muscle Feast casein is more expensive than others. Yet, when you consider the fact that there is actually way more casein in every granule of this powder, you realize what we have here is the most cost-effective casein powder in the market.

In short, Muscle Feast Micellar Casein is the best casein powder you will come across and is rated high by everyone who tried it. I am pretty sure that you will be glad for investing your money in this great supplement and strongly recommend it for everyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of a decent casein protein.

More Reviews on Protein Powders and Supplements

Best Vegan Protein Powders : A review of the top vegan proteins.

Best BCAA Supplements : Information about the most popular BCAA powders and tablets.

Best Protein Powders : Find out about the top protein supplements.

Best Egg Protein Powders : Egg is one of the best protein sources.

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    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Very nice & informative hub final review. I use a whey isolate during the day & casein at night/bedtime. Thumbs up on your hub.

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