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    100% Dairy Casein · 900g

    GN Laboratories

    Alongside whey,casein is probably the most commonly used protein powder. Many athletes prefer casein to an ordinary whey shake, depending on the si...

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    Micellar Casein · 900g


    Creamy & delicious micellar casein protein with long-term supply Contains 80 %* first-class milk protein. Mainly supports the maintenance and...

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    100% Casein · 908g

    Stacker 2

    Efficient overnight protein supply with 100% casein. Prevents muscle breakdown and supports continuous muscle growth. 24 grams of high-quality pro...

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Casein (from the Latin caseus = cheese) is a coarsely coagulating protein (egg white) and the most important type of protein in milk (80% of the total protein content, 3% of milk). It is the main component of curd and cheese and can be precipitated by coagulating milk by heating, by adding rennet or with the help of acids or as calcium salt. The casein is then separated by filtration or centrifugation. The casein is partially broken down by heating, the addition of acids or the addition of the enzyme pepsin, which makes casein from cheese and quark easier to digest than that in raw milk.

One liter of whole milk contains 3.2 to 3.5 percent casein. Only one liter of this milk is needed to cover a day's requirement of essential amino acids. The proteins in milk can be almost completely utilized by the body.

Casein is therefore a slowly digestible milk protein that is often used as a supplement precisely because of its long retention time in the digestive system. It releases its amino acids slowly, which is why it is often used by athletes before going to bed to support regeneration and reduce muscle breakdown during sleep. Casein represents something like the "premier class" of slow-digesting proteins, as it continuously supplies amino acids for up to 8 hours after consumption, while fast-digesting whey protein only releases amino acids into the bloodstream for a period of 3 hours.

It is used as a raw material for various processing purposes. For example, as a foodstuff, but also as a binding agent for paints, as glue or as photoresist in etching technology. From the end of the 19th century until the 1930s, it was the raw material for the "plastic" galalith, which was used for buttons and jewelry, among other things, but also for insulation purposes in electrical systems.

Several studies have shown that casein stimulates muscle growth and has a number of other health benefits. Like other animal proteins, casein is a complete protein source, which means it provides all the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair (1). In addition, casein contains several unique and bioactive compounds that provide a range of health benefits (2, 3).

The two primary forms of casein are:

  • Micellar Casein: This is the most popular form that is slow to digest.
  • Casein Hydrolysate: This form is enzymatically "pre-digested" and is quickly absorbed by the body.

On average, a standard 33 gram scoop of casein protein powder contains 24 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat (4). In addition, it may contain various micronutrients such as calcium. However, the exact nutrient composition varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Casein is much slower to digest than whey protein and is an anti-catabolic protein Casein is also known as a 'delayed release' protein due to its slow absorption rate in the gut. This means that it can supply the body's cells with amino acids over a long period of time, whereby the blood levels of amino acids are lower than with rapidly digestible whey protein due to the slower release.

Casein can help the body synthesize protein even at times when the body would normally break down muscle protein to supply itself with needed amino acids. An example of such a time would be the overnight fasting phase, during which no protein is supplied by food (5, 6). For this reason, casein is also known as an anti-catabolic protein, which helps to reduce muscle breakdown (7).

One study tested the rate of digestion by having subjects consume either a casein or a whey protein shake. The scientists monitored the blood amino acid content - and in particular the levels of the amino acid leucine - over 7 hours after consuming the protein shake (8).

They observed a faster and stronger increase in blood amino acid levels with the whey protein shake due to its faster digestion. With casein, the increase in blood amino acid levels was weaker, but remained consistent over a longer period of time. They also found that circulating levels of leucine increased 25% more in the whey protein group, indicating faster digestion (8).

This means that the total amount of protein burned for energy over a 7-hour period was lower in the casein group. This in turn means a better net protein balance - a key factor in muscle growth and maintenance (9).

Summary: Casein is an anti-catabolic protein. It reduces protein breakdown in the body due to its slow digestion rate and a sustained supply of amino acids to muscle cells.

Casein protein is very effective for muscle growth

Bodybuilders and athletes have been using casein for decades. Like other animal proteins, casein contains all the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. More importantly, it provides large amounts of the amino acid leucine, which initiates protein synthesis (9, 10, 11).

If you only consume a low or moderate amount of protein, casein could help increase muscle growth simply by increasing your protein intake (12). One study compared subjects who consumed casein with two other groups, one consuming whey protein and the other consuming no additional protein. At the end of the study, the scientists found that the casein group had gained twice as much muscle mass and lost three times as much fat compared to the placebo group. The casein group had also lost more fat than the whey protein group (13). According to studies, protein oxidation increases much more after consuming fast-digesting protein such as whey protein than after consuming casein. In other words, the body burns a greater amount of protein for energy after consuming whey protein than after consuming casein.

Casein may also increase overall muscle mass in the long term by reducing protein breakdown. This process of protein breakdown occurs on a daily basis when the body is experiencing low energy or amino acid levels. Protein breakdown is also accelerated during exercise or a weight loss phase (7, 8, 14).

For this reason, casein is often consumed as the last meal before bedtime to prevent the protein breakdown that can occur at night due to a relatively long period of protein deprivation during sleep.

In one study, a casein protein shake before bedtime helped strength athletes increase their type 2 muscle fiber cross-sectional area by 8.4 cm2, while the increase in the placebo group was only 4.8 cm2 (15). It was also observed that the casein group was able to increase their strength by 20% more than the placebo group.

Summary: It has been repeatedly shown that casein in combination with resistance training can increase strength and muscle mass. It may also help with fat loss.

Casein could help improve sleep quality

Some fitness experts claim that casein can improve sleep quality. One theory is that the tryptophan contained in casein could be responsible for this. Although tryptophan is an amino acid that helps regulate sleep, casein only contains 1.1% tryptophan. It is therefore quite possible that tryptophan is only marginally involved in this effect of casein.

Instead, the sleep-inducing effect of casein may be related to the fact that casein contains a peptide called alphaS-1 peptide. This peptide is known to reduce anxiety, fear and stress.

A study conducted on rats suffering from chronic stress found that the alphaS-1 peptide found in casein helped to improve sleep (28).

Casein can help with weight loss

A Dutch study concluded that casein protein could help increase metabolic rate during sleep. This study also showed a massive 33% increase in satiety, which helped subjects eat less overall (29). Another study from 2004 showed that casein could help men double their fat loss over a 12-week period (8% compared to 4% for the placebo group (13).

During a calorie-restricted diet, your body needs more protein to maintain muscle mass than during a bulking or maintenance phase. Many dieters mistakenly believe that whey protein is the best choice during a diet because of its higher biological value, but this is not really the case.

The long-lasting amino acid release resulting from slow digestion gives casein a distinct anti-catabolic effect, which can protect your muscles from muscle mass loss better than the anabolic effect of whey protein. Numerous studies have shown that subjects who used casein as their primary protein source during a diet lost significantly less muscle mass than subjects who followed the same diet with an equivalent amount of whey protein. In addition to the anti-catabolic effect of casein, this is also related to the higher efficiency of this protein source.

Casein could have other impressive health benefits

Some studies suggest that casein may have a number of other health benefits:

  • Antibacterial effects and immune system stimulation: some studies suggest that casein may have antibacterial effects and improve immune function (2, 16).
  • Blood pressure: There is evidence that casein peptides may lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension (16).
  • Triglyceride levels: A study conducted with 10 overweight subjects found that casein could reduce triglyceride levels by 22% after a meal (17).
  • Antioxidant effects: Some of the peptides found in casein protein have antioxidant effects and can fight free radicals (2, 18, 19).
  • Promoting gut health: In a study, Australian scientists investigated the health benefits of different proteins and found that milk proteins such as casein promote gut health more than meat or soy proteins (30).
  • Protecting teeth: According to a British study, casein could protect teeth as it has the potential to reduce or prevent the effects of enamel erosion (31).

Use in the field of sport

The biological value of casein is between 71 and 74, which is significantly lower than that of lactalbumin (whey). However, it has some very interesting properties for strength athletes:

  • In the gastrointestinal tract, casein is transformed into a kind of gel, which delays gastric emptying. On the one hand, the contact time in the intestine is extended, which improves amino acid absorption.
  • On the other hand, there is a lower and more even rise in blood sugar when carbohydrates are also consumed with casein. In this way, cravings are avoided and the build-up of fat from carbohydrates is reduced. Casein is therefore well suited to dieting. In addition, in contrast to the rapidly digestible lactalbumin (whey), where the amino acids are detectable in the blood quite early, with casein the influx of amino acids into the blood is delayed, but can be detected for up to 8 hours. Casein is therefore ideal as an anti-catabolic protein before going to bed and approx. 2 hours before training.
  • Casein has a glutamine content of approx. 20%, higher than that of all other protein sources.

Does casein have any harmful side effects?

The myth that high protein intake is bad for your health has been debunked many times. Direct studies and study reviews have emphasized that high protein intake has no negative effects in healthy people.

The only exception is people with existing kidney or liver disease, who should limit their protein intake (20, 21, 22).

With a consumption of 1 to 2 scoops of casein protein per day, it is highly unlikely that any noticeable - let alone serious - side effects will occur. An exception to this may be people with a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. People who are allergic to milk protein should avoid casein, while people who are lactose intolerant should test their tolerance with a small amount and slowly increase this amount. It should be mentioned at this point that different casein products may contain different amounts of residual lactose.

Other people may react to casein with bloating or other digestive problems, but this depends very much on individual tolerance.

The A1 vs. A2 controversy

Different types of cows produce slightly different casein proteins. One of the proteins in casein, known as beta-casein, exists in different forms. Most cow's milk contains a mixture of A1 and A2 beta-casein, while the milk of certain breeds of cows contain only A1 beta-casein.

Some observational studies have linked A1 beta-casein to health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (23, 24, 25). However, observational studies are far from conclusive and only highlight associations, which is not particularly reliable in the field of nutrition as these studies cannot establish causal links (26, 27) The research and debate regarding A1 and A2 beta-casein continues, but for now this is not an issue to worry about.

How should you supplement with casein to maximize its benefits?

Casein protein powder is a high quality source of protein that is also very convenient. When it comes to pre-workout protein intake, it makes more sense to use a faster digesting protein such as casein hydrolysate or whey protein.

Most people use casein before bedtime. For example, you could take 1 to 2 scoops of casein protein mixed with water. This mixture can easily be mixed in a shaker or blender to make a protein shake. Alternatively, you can also put the casein powder in a bowl and mix it with water until it has a pudding-like consistency and then place it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Apart from this, you can consume plenty of casein in the form of natural protein sources. Milk, cottage cheese, quark, yogurt and cheese contain large amounts of casein.


Casein is a slow-digesting protein that can boost muscle growth and aid recovery after exercise. Casein can improve health while increasing your daily protein intake. This is an important factor for muscle growth and weight loss.

You should try to take 1 to 2 scoops of casein protein powder before bedtime to improve recovery and reduce protein breakdown. At the end of the day, casein is a highly underrated high quality protein source that will not disappoint anyone who tries it.