Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big casein protein test 2021. Here we present all the casein protein products we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best casein protein for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy casein protein.




Summary

  • Casein is a milk protein found in cheese and curd. The protein is made up of long chains of molecules, which leads to slow processing by the body.
  • It also provides important amino acids that the organism cannot produce itself.
  • There are three different types of casein available on the market: caseinate, micellar casein and casein hydrolysate. These are produced differently and are suitable for different purposes. Casein powder can be drunk as a shake or used in baking.

The Best Casein Protein: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying casein protein

What is the difference between casein and whey?

Casein - also called milk protein - is a component of milk. The remaining part in milk is the protein Whey.

Casein powder is a concentrate of the natural substance found in milk, cheese and quark. (Image source: pexels.com/ samer daboul)

Milk is made up of 20 per cent Whey and 80 per cent casein. Since casein is made up of long-chain molecules, it is broken down much more slowly by the body.

The digestion of milk protein and its transport into the cells takes up to eight hours. (1) In this way you supply your body with important protein building blocks during a longer phase without food intake.

Compared to casein, whey protein is absorbed and transported to the cells almost simultaneously.

This is why athletes take whey protein directly after exercise and casein before going to bed.

The structure of casein additionally contributes to its heavy solubility.

This does not mean that the powder is insoluble in water, but that you need much more water than for Whey. This is why some people prefer to prepare the casein shake with milk.

What does casein protein do?

Casein protein structure is made up of long-chain molecules, which leads to slow utilisation.

Because of this property, people drink the protein before going to bed, as it provides the body with sufficient protein supply over the night.

Consequently, the body has enough amino acids for the muscle cells to regenerate.

The slow processing of casein also has the advantage that it triggers a long-lasting feeling of satiety. (2) This is why the protein is also used as a dietary supplement.

Who needs casein?

Casein protein is rich in amino acids, which are important for building muscle.

This is why it is used as a dietary supplement in two areas in particular:

  • Use in sports: Micellar casein is particularly suitable for this purpose, as it can help build muscle and prevent muscle breakdown. Not only the strength values, but also the hypertrophy values of the muscles can be increased by casein. (3)
  • Use in diets and for weight loss: In combination with weight training, several studies have found that casein can lead to better fat loss, strength gain and muscle mass gain compared to whey protein. (4, 5) As casein can also provide a greater feeling of satiety over a longer period of time (2), it is popular as a dietary supplement in diets.

This makes it perfect for athletes who are in a calorie deficit and want to avoid muscle loss.

Casein protein is also ideal for those on a low-protein diet.

Is casein protein suitable for vegetarians, vegans and lactose intolerant people?

As already mentioned, casein is a milk component, which is why it is not suitable for vegans. For vegetarians, casein protein is recommended as a dietary supplement.

One disadvantage of casein is its high lactose content, which is why people with lactose intolerance can only use casein to a limited extent. However, there are now also casein preparations that do not contain lactose.

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, it is best to consult your family doctor. If necessary, you can also buy a product without lactose.

How much does casein protein cost?

The price of casein protein depends on the amount and brand you want to buy. Most products cost between 22 and 45 euros per kilogram.

What are the alternatives to casein protein?

The main alternatives to casein protein are natural foods.

Casein sources Protein Fat Carbohydrates
100 g Casein 80 g 1 g 0 g
100 ml 1.5 % Milk 3.4 g 1.5 g 4.9 g
100 g Sheep's milk cheese 17 g 18.1 g 0.5 g
Skimmed milk quark 8 g 0.2 g 3.5 g

For example, milk, cheese and quark offer a high proportion of casein.

However, compared to powder, these contain less casein but a greater amount of fat.

If you want to change or supplement your diet, the above-mentioned foods are ideal.

However, if you want to build muscle and limit your fat intake, other protein sources such as chicken, fish or eggs should be on the menu.

Decision: What types of casein protein are there and which is right for you?

If you want to supplement your diet with casein, you need to find the right product for you. There are three different types of casein:

  • Caseinate
  • Micellar casein
  • Casein hydolysate

The difference between these three forms is in the way they are obtained. Therefore, their properties differ from each other.

Below we explain how each product is produced and what the advantages and disadvantages are.

What distinguishes caseinate and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Caseinate is produced by acid precipitation and subsequent neutralisation using calcium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or caustic soda.

This results in a mixed product of 80 % casein and 20 % whey, but it can be found at very reasonable prices.

Advantages
  • Contains few carbohydrates and fat
  • Affordable price
Disadvantages
  • Functionally altered by chemical process
  • Contains 80% casein and 20% Whey

What are the advantages and disadvantages of micellar casein?

Micellar casein is a product made by an ultrafiltration process at lower temperatures, therefore the nutritional quality is maintained and the casein content is 100%.

Advantages
  • Naturally produced through a low-temperature filtration process
  • Contains 100% milk protein
Disadvantages
  • Unsuitable for lactose intolerances
  • High price

What are the advantages and disadvantages of casein hydrolysate?

Hydrolysis (use of water) and heating of the casein breaks the long amino acid chains.

Therefore, casein hydrolysate has a lower allergen activity and a faster digestion rate.

Advantages
  • Very reduced allergen activity
  • Naturally produced
Disadvantages
  • Digests faster
  • High price

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate casein protein

If you are about to buy a casein product, here are a few criteria you can use to optimise your decision. These are:

  • Ingredients and constituents
  • Intended use
  • Allergens
  • Country of origin
  • Flavour

In the next paragraphs we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Ingredients and contents

When buying casein, you should have a high casein value per 100 grams of protein. In high-quality products, this corresponds to 80 to 90 grams.

If there is a lower concentration, it means that the carbohydrates predominate.

Many casein powders contain additives such as flavouring, sweeteners and colouring. It is better to choose a product with as few additives as possible.

It may be that essential and non-essential amino acids and/or digestive enzymes have been added to the powder. This does not have to be bad.

These additives provide a fuller amino acid profile, which can support you in muscle building and regeneration and facilitate the processing of the protein. (7)

Intended use

Micellar casein is best suited for athletes, as it ensures muscle regeneration, prevention of muscle breakdown and muscle growth. (8)

Because of the slower digestion of casein, its concentration in the blood is increased for hours and the muscle cells are supplied with amino acids all night long. This supports regeneration and growth. (Image source: pexels.com/ panther sohi)

Weight loss enthusiasts as well as people on a ketogenic diet can opt for a caseinate that contains the least amount of carbohydrates and fat.

People who want to add protein to their diet have all options open to them.

Allergens

Those who suffer from lactose intolerance must avoid micellar casein. Even the casein itself can act as an allergen.

In case of stomach ache or impure skin as well as dizziness, the intake must be stopped. There are now many products on the market from which the lactose is partially or completely extracted.

Most products contain soy protein as an additive. If you have an allergy to it, you should study the list of ingredients carefully.

Country of origin

A country of origin other than Germany does not necessarily mean poorer quality, but the controls and standards may be less strict in the other countries.

A good guide to the quality of a product is the Cologne List. Ordering from abroad can also result in high shipping costs and longer delivery times.

Flavour

Here everyone can rely on their own preferences. The selection ranges from chocolate and vanilla to red fruit and cappuccino to cookies and blueberry.

With casein powder you can prepare delicious protein pancakes, tasty muffins or crispy waffles and combine them with toppings of your choice. (Image source: pexels.com / Ash )

Although almost all products contain artificial flavouring, you can find out about the flavour source of a particular brand in forums and through customer reviews.

Facts worth knowing about casein protein

When should casein protein be taken?

Compared to whey protein, casein takes a little longer to metabolise. (11)

As far as body composition is concerned, according to current studies it does not matter whether casein is taken in the morning or in the evening. (12) To counteract the loss of muscle mass, the time of intake can be chosen after training.

It is also recommended to take casein before going to bed. During sleep, the casein protein can be effectively digested and absorbed, thus maintaining a high amino acid level throughout the night. Taking casein before bedtime can thus increase muscle protein synthesis and thus muscle growth. (13)

However, in terms of muscle growth, the actual amount of protein consumed throughout the day is more important than the actual time of ingestion.

How long should casein protein be taken for?

Basically, casein is a natural product and as long as you don't exceed the manufacturer's recommended dose per day, your intake will be determined by your personal preferences.

So you can take casein every day. Especially in weight training, a regular intake of casein is recommended in order to supply the body with sufficient protein on a long-term basis.

In which recipes can casein protein be used?

Practically speaking, the powder can be used in any baking recipe. Since casein has a high absorption capacity, you need to remember to drink plenty of liquid for the mixture.

If you need inspiration, the guys at proteindudes.com have great ideas for you.

There you will find simple recipes that are described step by step, as well as videos of the preparation.

Can casein powder also be harmful?

Casein is basically not harmful to the body. Only if you are lactose intolerant should you choose a product without lactose. Only if the recommended daily dose is greatly exceeded can you possibly experience abdominal pain or digestive problems.

However, some people are sensitive to casein without knowing it. Before you start taking it, talk to your GP.

Is casein carcinogenic?

Numerous studies over the years have looked at the link between dairy products and the risk of developing cancer. Since casein is an important component of dairy products, the question arises whether casein has an influence on the risk of cancer.

Some studies identified a possible link between milk consumption and the development of prostate cancer cells. (9)

So far, however, there is no consensus on the effects of dairy products on cancer risk. For example, a meta-analysis from 2016, which summarised the results of numerous studies, could not prove any influence of dairy products on the risk of cancer. (10)

(Image source: 123rf.com / 53634760)

References (15)

1. Hall WL, Millward DJ, Long SJ, Morgan LM. Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br J Nutr. 2003;89(2):239-248. doi:10.1079/BJN2002760
Source

2. Abou-Samra, R., Keersmaekers, L., Brienza, D. et al. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutr J 10, 139 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-10-139
Source

3. Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Cree MG, Wolf SE, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR. Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(12):2073-2081. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000147582.99810.c5
Source

4. Demling RH, DeSanti L. Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss in overweight police officers. Ann Nutr Metab. 2000;44(1):21-29. doi:10.1159/000012817
Source

5. Engelen MP, Rutten EP, De Castro CL, Wouters EF, Schols AM, Deutz NE. Casein protein results in higher prandial and exercise induced whole body protein anabolism than whey protein in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Metabolism. 2012;61(9):1289-1300. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.03.001
Source

6. Kerksick CM, Rasmussen CJ, Lancaster SL, et al. The effects of protein and amino acid supplementation on performance and training adaptations during ten weeks of resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20(3):643-653. doi:10.1519/R-17695.1
Source

7. Borgenvik M, Nordin M, Mikael Mattsson C, Enqvist JK, Blomstrand E, Ekblom B. Alterations in amino acid concentrations in the plasma and muscle in human subjects during 24 h of simulated adventure racing. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(10):3679-3688. doi:10.1007/s00421-012-2350-8
Source

8. Snijders T, Trommelen J, Kouw IWK, Holwerda AM, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJC. The Impact of Pre-sleep Protein Ingestion on the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise in Humans: An Update. Front Nutr. 2019;6:17. Published 2019 Mar 6. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00017
Source

9. Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997;94(26):14930-14935. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.26.14930
Source

10. Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Peacock C, Silver T. Casein Protein Supplementation in Trained Men and Women: Morning versus Evening. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017;10(3):479-486. Published 2017 May 1.
Source

11. Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, et al. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(8):1560-1569. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363
Source

12. Joy, J.M., Vogel, R.M., Shane Broughton, K. et al. Daytime and nighttime casein supplements similarly increase muscle size and strength in response to resistance training earlier in the day: a preliminary investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 24 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0228-9
Source

13. Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Peacock C, Silver T. Casein Protein Supplementation in Trained Men and Women: Morning versus Evening. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017;10(3):479-486. Published 2017 May 1.
Source

14. Park SW, Kim JY, Kim YS, Lee SJ, Lee SD, Chung MK. A milk protein, casein, as a proliferation promoting factor in prostate cancer cells. World J Mens Health. 2014;32(2):76-82. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2014.32.2.76
Source

15. Lu W, Chen H, Niu Y, Wu H, Xia D, Wu Y. Dairy products intake and cancer mortality risk: a meta-analysis of 11 population-based cohort studies. Nutr J. 2016;15(1):91. Published 2016 Oct 21. doi:10.1186/s12937-016-0210-9
Source

Clinical study
Hall WL, Millward DJ, Long SJ, Morgan LM. Casein and whey exert different effects on plasma amino acid profiles, gastrointestinal hormone secretion and appetite. Br J Nutr. 2003;89(2):239-248. doi:10.1079/BJN2002760
Go to source
Scientific study
Abou-Samra, R., Keersmaekers, L., Brienza, D. et al. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutr J 10, 139 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-10-139
Go to source
Clinical study
Tipton KD, Elliott TA, Cree MG, Wolf SE, Sanford AP, Wolfe RR. Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(12):2073-2081. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000147582.99810.c5
Go to source
Clinical study
Demling RH, DeSanti L. Effect of a hypocaloric diet, increased protein intake and resistance training on lean mass gains and fat mass loss in overweight police officers. Ann Nutr Metab. 2000;44(1):21-29. doi:10.1159/000012817
Go to source
Scientific study
Engelen MP, Rutten EP, De Castro CL, Wouters EF, Schols AM, Deutz NE. Casein protein results in higher prandial and exercise induced whole body protein anabolism than whey protein in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Metabolism. 2012;61(9):1289-1300. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2012.03.001
Go to source
Randomized control study
Kerksick CM, Rasmussen CJ, Lancaster SL, et al. The effects of protein and amino acid supplementation on performance and training adaptations during ten weeks of resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20(3):643-653. doi:10.1519/R-17695.1
Go to source
Scientific study
Borgenvik M, Nordin M, Mikael Mattsson C, Enqvist JK, Blomstrand E, Ekblom B. Alterations in amino acid concentrations in the plasma and muscle in human subjects during 24 h of simulated adventure racing. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(10):3679-3688. doi:10.1007/s00421-012-2350-8
Go to source
Scientific study
Snijders T, Trommelen J, Kouw IWK, Holwerda AM, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJC. The Impact of Pre-sleep Protein Ingestion on the Skeletal Muscle Adaptive Response to Exercise in Humans: An Update. Front Nutr. 2019;6:17. Published 2019 Mar 6. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00017
Go to source
Scientific study
Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997;94(26):14930-14935. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.26.14930
Go to source
Scientific study
Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Peacock C, Silver T. Casein Protein Supplementation in Trained Men and Women: Morning versus Evening. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017;10(3):479-486. Published 2017 May 1.
Go to source
Scientific study
Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B, et al. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(8):1560-1569. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc363
Go to source
Scientific study
Joy, J.M., Vogel, R.M., Shane Broughton, K. et al. Daytime and nighttime casein supplements similarly increase muscle size and strength in response to resistance training earlier in the day: a preliminary investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 24 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0228-9
Go to source
Scientific study
Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Peacock C, Silver T. Casein Protein Supplementation in Trained Men and Women: Morning versus Evening. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017;10(3):479-486. Published 2017 May 1.
Go to source
Scientific study
Park SW, Kim JY, Kim YS, Lee SJ, Lee SD, Chung MK. A milk protein, casein, as a proliferation promoting factor in prostate cancer cells. World J Mens Health. 2014;32(2):76-82. doi:10.5534/wjmh.2014.32.2.76
Go to source
Meta-analysis
Lu W, Chen H, Niu Y, Wu H, Xia D, Wu Y. Dairy products intake and cancer mortality risk: a meta-analysis of 11 population-based cohort studies. Nutr J. 2016;15(1):91. Published 2016 Oct 21. doi:10.1186/s12937-016-0210-9
Go to source
Reviews