411 on Casein Protein Powder + Recipe

Hey friends!

Happy last day of January in 2013! Kinda crazy, right?

I’ve had a pretty good month overall, so that’s been nice. But of course there were crappy parts, so I am excited to let those be behind me.

Annnnnnd yesterday we got even more snow. It’s pretty for sure!! (But I’m kind of excited to not be scared to drive…..)


I teach a lot of fitness classes. duh. And I actually attribute my success in being able to teach a lot & not be toooo sore to refueling properly (and getting enough sleep & foam rolling). I used to NOT want to eat or drink anything after a workout because I thought it was a waste of calories.

Uhhh silliest thing I ever thought or did.

Anyways, let’s focus on the refuel in the evening part, okay?

I had a reader/friend/blogger (hey Linz!) ask me to go into a bit more depth about casein protein powder & how I use it.

I aim to please, so here is my spiel on Casein!

411 on Casein Protein Powder

What is it & what does it do?

Casein protein comes from cow’s milk (like whey). Because of it’s chemical structure, casein has the ability to gel or glob, so when it hits the stomach acid, it gels nicely. Why does that matter?

In bodybuilding.com’s words that means:

This reduces the rate of digestion and allows for a slower, steadier, more efficient release and utilization of casein’s amino acids. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.)

This basically means that your muscles receive a “trickle” of food over a longer period of time.

A slow digestion rate is also beneficial because it might reduce protein breakdown and amino acid oxidation–the burning of amino acids for energy.

So unlike whey (which is fast-acting & should be taken immediately following intense exercise/lifting), casein is best taken at a time when your muscles would need to ‘be fed’ over a longer period of time.

That optimal time? While you sleep!!

I use casein protein powder about 3-4 times per week, always as a part of (or THE) evening snack.

For more reasons on why whey & casein differ and should be used in different ways:

Casein can be a slow-digesting, double-edged sword, especially when compared to whey. On the plus side, casein’s ability to slow down digestion extends the release of amino acids to muscle tissue…..

However, casein’s slow release of aminos also tends to reduce the body’s peak anabolic response. This means that casein might not stimulate muscle protein synthesis as powerfully or quickly as whey. Because it digests slowly, casein is less anabolic (muscle-building) than whey when compared gram-to-gram. {source}

Like I said above, whey after the gym, casein before bed-especially if you’re interested in and engaged in increasing muscle mass/leaning out/toning up.

I bought the ON casein protein powder in vanilla. It is not super tasty (not gonna lie), so I always add cocoa powder, cinnamon, and stevia to it. Always.

I am not a huge vanilla protein powder fan of any kind, actually….. it all tastes icky to me. Chocolate is so much better! (I bought it in vanilla because people said it had great taste….. not sure what they were smoking?!)

But the casein protein powder I have does have awesome stats & I have noticed a difference–just in seeing more muscle definition, not eating crazy/high caloric snacks because I have the chocolate/casein option, and I don’t feel as hungry the next morning.


I don’t have any ‘recipes’ per say, but I do make a mean casein chocolate ‘sauce.’

Casein Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 scoop casein protein powder (I use this kind)
  • 2 Tb cocoa powder
  • 1/2 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • t tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk or almond milk

I then mix it up in a cup, and microwave it for 30-45 seconds. Then I add a scoop of almond butter & a dash of salt. {And often a spoonful of cottage cheese as well.}

And sometimes I top it off with fro yo.

I told you I am a dairy dessert lover!

This really does taste awesome! And it is a great snack while reading/relaxing before bed.

p.s. Meg did a fun vlog on casein a few months back-check it out!

Thankful Thursday

  1. I am grateful for a father who can text! It’s hilarious & awesome.
  2. I am very thankful for a good night’s sleep that lasts past 4:53 a.m. Thank goodness!! (and finally)
  3. I am thankful for a car–I do not want to be tromping around in all that snow.

Have an awesome day!! <3

Do YOU use casein protein?? If so, what do YOU do with it?? If not, what new things did YOU learn? What are YOU thankful for today??

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  1. I use whey but I think I need to get some casein!

  2. Thanks lady!! I need to get some!! And you don’t like vanilla protein powder?!?! Ah that’s my favorite! (ok behind cake batter) Have you tried doterra’s vanilla? I love vanilla! Thanks again!!

  3. Dasha says:

    I didn’t know this about casein powder, great info! Can you have casein as a mid day snack (aka several hours before a workout to stay full)?
    I got whey protein powder in cookies n’ cream, and love that with spinach/banana/blueberry combo. .
    And I am thankful for finally seeing some snow here on the ground in Chicago … it’s been rather a boring winter here!

    • You can have it as a mid-day snack, sure! It just wouldn’t be a great after-workout snack, since it isn’t like whey<--quick releasing to help repair & rebuild.

  4. Super interesting info! I had no idea the differences between whey and casein protein powder. I’ve only bought whey in the past (and usually have it after a workout) but now I’m thinking I should buy casein too for a nighttime snack!

  5. This is great! I’ve always been curious about casein protein too. You’re awesome!

  6. I didn’t know all this–thanks so much! Great post. I’ve never tried casein, but it’s an interesting idea to have some before going to bed. I’ll sometimes have my SunWarrior protein before bed, but I’m not sure if it’s “fast-acting” or slower. Hmmmm . . . . do you know anything about the vegan protein powders that are out there?

    • I really don’t know much about vegan protein powders–since I don’t usually buy or use them. I’d ask Janetha of Mealsnmovesblog. com :) She is on vacay right now though!

  7. Jessie says:

    I really want to try it!!

    Question: Is it bad to do whey protein before bed? I’ve been doing whey protien “cake” because that’s all I have at them moment. Is that a bad choice?

    • Whey is not a bad choice! But casein might be a better choice if you’re interested in really building muscle :) Whey is perfect for RIGHT after workouts. But it’s still FINE to eat it any time :)

  8. I use casein before bed most days of the week – my favourite combo: 1/2 scoop casein, 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt, dark chocolate stevia, nut butter, and maybe some chocolate chips. I love it!

  9. Unfortunately I cannot do dairy and casein is dairy :( BUT… I do love pea, rice bran and hemp protein powders! :) And I am sure I can make this same recipe just with one of them instead… 😀

  10. This was so informative! I shy away from casein for some reason, but it definitely seems like something I should get. thank you for this!

  11. Hmmmm this is very interesting! I’m glad you did this post, I was curious about casein and why you (and others) take it before bed.

  12. Hilary says:

    You speak highly of your father– if it’s not too personal, can you elaborate on your mother during some day’s post? I bet you weren’t raised well by just a daddy!

  13. I definitely think I should start taking whey and casein protein powders with the 2-3 hrs of exercise I do each day! But I need to find a nice flavour and I’m picky about nutritional stats and I want one that’s good haha. I’m so clueless with that stuff.

  14. Danielle says:

    OMG!!!! I have the SAME coffee/tea cup with the letter D on it at home!!! lol sorry that’s what I just zeroed in on and couldn’t help but comment.
    Now of course I need to try casein powder cuz clearly i don’t know what i’m missing, eh? and I can have it in my little “D” cup, how sweet! love this post :)

  15. FYI, there are 8 flavors of the Optimum Nutrition Casein you have. So if you don’t like vanilla, you could try chocolate cake batter or blueberries & cream, etc. I think I’m going to try one of those! I have plenty of protein (whey and soy) shakes in my life, but I think I could benefit from casein.

  16. Christi says:

    Do you recommend whey or casein protein powder if your workouts are at night? Throughout the week I go to the gym at night because I work full time… I’ve been doing the chocolate milk/protein powder combo most nights but I didn’t know if I should change it to the casein powder?? By the way, I love your blog! :)

    • That’s a great question! It depends on how many calories you’ve already had–if you care about weight management or not, and how late the workout is.

      When I teach fitness classes in the evening, I have my milk+whey right after teaching-so I drink it on my way home. I shower & then eat a bit of dinner. At around 9 I eat a snack & often that includes casein protein.

      You could use casein after the workout, but whey is so much better for RIGHT after a workout & then casein for sleep time. You could do a bit less whey & a bit less casein if you’re worried about calories? I would experiment & see how you feel-too full, muscles less sore, etc. Let me know how it goes!

  17. ON casein is my favorite. I always drink a casein shake before going to bed to feed my muscle while I am sleeping.
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  18. Shape that body up with some supplements while you workout.
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