When Bodybuilding.com releases its own casein protein supplement, fitness enthusiasts have reason to rejoice. After all, this is arguably the world’s most popular bodybuilding website. On that note, we’re hoping Bodybuilding Signature Casein exceeds our expectations in this review.
About Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein
Bodybuilding.co Signature Casein promotes “muscle growth and recovery while you sleep or between meals,” per its official website. Formula notes:
- Twenty-five grams of micellar casein per scoop. Represents a solid 50 percent of the daily value.
- Impressive calcium content. Also represents 50 percent of the daily value.
- Fillers. Contains sucralose and carrageenan.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein Supplement Facts (Chocolate, 2 lbs.)
|Serving Size: 1 Scoop (33 g)
Servings Per Container: About 55
|Nutrient||Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Calories From Fat||5|
|Total Fat||1 g||2%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g||0%|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||3 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g||8%|
|Ingredients: Micellar Casein, Cocoa processed with alkali, Inulin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Gum Blend (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan).|
|Directions: Add one scoop to 8 ounces of cold water or milk and mix thoroughly. Use more or less liquid to modify the consistency to your liking. Enjoy at bedtime or between meals.|
Muscle Growth And Recovery While You Sleep
Bodybuilding.com is arguably the world’s most popular fitness website. When the company introduced its Signature Supplement line, we were beyond excited. The website has been making waves for almost 20 years, so this is a great way of expanding the brand name.
“A signature is a promise. A symbol of your identity. Your mark on the world. In 1999, Bodybuilding.com was founded on a single promise: trust. It’s who we are and it’s in our blood. Our Signature line is built on the same promise. Every product is no-B.S., transparent, filler-free, and formulated with effective doses of research-backed ingredients you can trust. We create the highest-quality supplements, so you can focus on leaving a mark of your own,” per its official website.
We’ve sized up some Bodybuilding.com products here on B5:
- Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Protein
- Bodybuilding.com Signature Pre-Workout
- Bodybuilding.com Signature BCAA
- Bodybuilding.com Signature Amino Plus Energy
- Bodybuilding.com Signature Multivitamin
- Bodybuilding.com Signature Citrulline
The general takeaway: most of the products in Bodybuilding.com’s Signature Series line have disappointed. Sure, they have potential, but four of the six products we mentioned contain fillers such as sucralose, artificial food colorings, and carrageenan. This is uncharacteristic of Bodybuilding.com, which has earned a great reputation among fitness enthusiasts over the years.
Perhaps its best product to date is Bodybuilding.com Signature Citrulline. Not only is it clean, but its two grams of l-citrulline per scoop should help increase your muscle pumps for your workouts.
On that note, we’re hoping Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein Protein can do it one better. The manufacturer says this supplement promotes “muscle growth and recovery while you sleep or between meals,” per its official website.
These are some of the impressive benefits of casein protein. We’re crossing our fingers Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein Protein goes the extra mile to salvage the company’s somewhat tarnished reputation.
Formulation, 33 grams
One scoop of Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein takes up 33 grams. One serving gives you 25 grams of micellar casein, which is a solid 50 percent of the daily value (a daily value of at least 15 percent is high). This much should help you build and preserve muscle mass, shorten exercise recovery time, meet your daily protein requirements, and fill nutrition gaps.
Casein is the dominant protein in cow’s milk (80 percent). It’s a slow-absorbing protein which helps your muscles remain in an anabolic state for up to eight hours.
“Casein is naturally rich in amino acids like leucine and glutamine. Because of its slow-release nature, casein provides a steady stream of these amino acids to support muscle growth and recovery over several hours,” per the product’s official website.
As hard evidence, the November 28, 2016 issue of Nutrients (via MDPI.com) says, “So far, all studies assessing the efficacy of pre-sleep protein ingestion on exercise reconditioning have provided casein protein. Casein is a more slowly-digestible protein source, allowing a more moderate but prolonged rise in plasma amino acid concentrations. Given the extended nature of overnight sleep, it could be speculated that such a more sustained postprandial aminoacidemia during overnight sleep is preferred as it will provide precursors to support muscle protein synthesis rates throughout the entire night.”
Consuming slow-digestion protein before bedtime is nothing new. During the Golden Era of Bodybuilding, lifters would consume cottage cheese to preserve muscle mass during sleep. Nowadays, casein protein powder is your best bet. If you’re a hardgainer, you may have to keep your cortisol (stress hormone) levels in check. Chugging on Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein before sleeping will certainly go a long way.
Casein protein has three kinds:
- Calcium caseinate: This kind of casein comes from the insoluble portion of milk which undergoes an extra chemical process. Experts say this is casein protein of the lowest quality.
- Milk protein: Milk protein is roughly 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey protein. It has an impressive amino acid profile. Plus, it digests easily. You can find milk protein in protein supplements such as MUSCLE MILK Protein Powder and PEScience SELECT Protein.
- Micellar casein: This is the kind of casein protein you can find in Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein. It is the purest form of casein which digests easily. Fitness experts believe micellar casein is also ideal for consumption during the day because it helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance for long periods of time. Contemporary studies also vouch for micellar casein’s ability to prolong muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Other protein powders which have micellar casein include Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein, KAGED MUSCLE KASEIN, and NutraBio Muscle Matrix Protein.
Casein protein also complements whey protein supplementation perfectly. “When you ingest whey protein, the amount of amino acids in your bloodstream rapidly peaks, then declines. Ingestion of casein causes a slow and steady stream of amino acids in your blood, supporting muscle recovery over a longer period of time,” per Bodybuilding.com’s official website.
Registered dietician Debra Wein of the National Strength and Conditioning Association supports this claim. “The bottom line, however, is that both whey and casein are needed for proper nutrition. Some supplements contain both whey and casein to allow the body to take full advantage of the different absorption rates. Additionally, the combined efforts are beneficial because whey works to stimulate protein synthesis whereas casein inhibits the breakdown of protein. Therefore, individual, isolated supplements of either whey or casein may not be the best option,” she says.
With that, Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein’s 25 grams of micellar casein per scoop can complement whey protein supplementation perfectly. When you chug on a top-notch whey protein supplement such as, say, KAGED MUSCLE MICROPURE Whey Protein Isolate after a tough workout, taking Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein an hour or so before bedtime should preserve hard-earned muscle mass and ward off catabolism.
Another strength of Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein is its high calcium content – it gives you an impressive 50 percent of the daily value for this mineral. Bear in mind this ingredient is vital for stronger bones, healthier blood pressure levels, and improved cardiovascular function. Any time your protein supplement is teeming with calcium, consider it a major bonus.
While Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein is a solid product, it does have a major flaw: fillers. It contains sucralose and carrageenan, two dirty ingredients we found in some products in the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series line. You may have thought a respected fitness authority such as Bodybuilding.com would manufacturer flawless supplements. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. It’s a major head-scratcher.
Let’s check out the formula ingredients:
- Calories, 120: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein’s 120 calories per serving is right on the industry average for protein supplements. A typical protein powder yields roughly 100 to 150 calories per scoop.
- Calories from fat, 5: This product is extremely low in fats at a scant five calories per 33-gram serving.
- Saturated fat, 0 g: We’re pleased Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has no saturated fat content. The American Heart Association’s official website reminds the general public to monitor its intake of saturated fats for better cardiovascular function.
- Trans fat, 0 g: Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL) levels, which may result in long-term cardiovascular issues. We’re glad Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has no trans fat content whatsoever.
- Cholesterol, 20 mg: One of the disappointing things about Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Protein is its high cholesterol level (15 percent of the daily value). Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has roughly half of that amount at just seven percent of the daily value. It would’ve been better if the manufacturer whittled it down to five percent at the most. The American Heart Association encourages monitoring of one’s cholesterol intake for better heart health.
- Sodium, 210 mg: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has moderate sodium levels at nine percent of the daily value. This mineral helps maintain the body’s proper fluid balance, keep muscle cramping at bay, and ensure proper hydration.
- Total carbohydrate, 3 g: This protein supplement’s three grams of carbs per scoop represents a paltry one percent of the daily value. With that Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein should complement your low-carb nutrition plan perfectly.
- Dietary fiber, 2 g: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has moderate amounts of dietary fiber at eight percent of the daily value. This component helps regulate bowel movement, promote healthy cholesterol levels, and boost cardiovascular function.
- Sugars, 0 g: We think it’s awesome this product has zero sugar content. On the flip side, it has sucralose, an artificial sweetener which has ties to obesity. Stevia, a natural alternative which helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, would have been the better option.
- Protein, 25 g: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein’s 25 grams of micellar casein per scoop represents a solid 50 percent of the daily value. Micellar casein is the best of its kind on the market. Not only does it help keep catabolism at bay, but it also absorbs efficiently and helps the body remain a positive nitrogen balance.
- Vitamin A, zero percent DV: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has no vitamin A content whatsoever.
- Vitamin C, zero percent DV: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has no vitamin C content whatsoever.
- Calcium, 50 percent DV: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein is an impressive source of calcium at 50 percent of the daily value. This mineral helps strengthen bones, regulate blood pressure levels, and improve heart health.
- Iron, four percent DV: Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein is not a significant source of calcium at a measly four percent of the daily value.
We had high hopes Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein would exceed expectations. After all, the other products in the Signature Series line didn’t blow us away. It’s a bit disappointing, considering these supplements come from arguably the world’s most popular fitness website. Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein is still a good product, but it could’ve been better.
To sum things up, this supplement’s two main strengths lie in its micellar casein and calcium content. You can’t go wrong with a solid 25 grams of micellar casein per serving. This gives your muscles an impressive 50 percent of the daily value for protein. Expect increased muscle mass and better muscle preservation as a result. You’ll also ward off catabolism (muscle breakdown) and meet your daily protein requirements with relative ease.
Like we said, micellar casein is the best of its kind on the market. Experts believe it is the purest form of casein which helps prolong muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and maintain a positive nitrogen balance. The result: increased muscle mass. Micellar casein’s key advantage over the inferior calcium caseinate is its bioavailability: the body absorbs the former easily and helps you remain in an anabolic state for up to eight hours. What’s not to like here?
Some fitness aficionados also say chugging on a tandem of fast-absorbing whey protein and slow-absorbing casein protein after a grueling workout bodes well for your worn-out muscles. On that note, pairing Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein with a top-notch whey protein supplement such as Jay Robb Whey Protein should pay enormous dividends.
If you’re taking a calcium supplement, you can kick it to the curb when you have Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein in your supplement stack. That’s because this product’s calcium level represents a solid 50 percent of the daily value. It bears repeating: if your protein powder is a great source of calcium, it’s worth considering. After all, this mineral helps strengthen bones, regulate blood pressure levels, and shore up long-term cardiovascular function.
Good thing this casein protein supplement’s cholesterol content (seven percent of the daily value) doesn’t go overboard like its whey protein counterpart (Bodybuilding.com Signature 100% Whey Protein has 15 percent of the daily value for cholesterol). Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein’s other nutrient amounts such as sodium (nine percent of the daily value) don’t raise any major red flags (this much should help replenish depleted electrolyte stores without compromising your blood pressure levels). We like that.
We also like this supplement’s low fat (two percent of the daily value), carbohydrate (one percent of the daily value), and sugar content (zero grams per serving). These bode well for long-term health, for sure.
The folks at Bodybuilding.com also do a great job in terms of transparency – the break down all of the ingredient amounts. You won’t find any shady proprietary blends in this supplement. That’s one of the positives which has remained consistent in the Bodybuilding.com Signature Series line. We hope this trend continues.
On the other hand, Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein’s major chink is its filler content – it has sucralose (an artificial sweetener which has links to obesity) and carrageenan (a food additive which has ties to carcinogenicity). We have no idea what the manufacturer was thinking. This calls for a cleaner formula sooner than later.
To a lesser extent, Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein doesn’t enjoy the stellar reputation of other casein protein supplements on the market. It’s a new player, so give it some time. If the manufacturer cleans up its act, this product is sure to gain more serious traction down the road.
Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein Benefits
Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein has the following benefits, per its official website:
- Twenty-five grams of micellar casein per serving
- Muscle growth and recovery between meals and during sleep
- Excellent transparency
- Effective doses
- Proven ingredients
We agree with all of these claims. Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein may have a few chinks, but it still can help you achieve your long-term fitness goals.
Who Takes It?
The manufacturer intended Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein for healthy and active individuals who want to increase muscle mass, ward off catabolism, meet their daily protein requirements, fill nutrition gaps, and achieve their daily fitness goals.
Any Side Effects?
Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener which has links to obesity and the like. It also has carrageenan, a food additive with ties to carcinogenicity.
If these, or any other ingredient, make you feel doubtful, please consult your doctor before buying Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein.
The manufacturer also issues a warning:
Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein Review Summary
- Twenty-five grams of micellar casein per scoop. Represents a solid 50 percent of the daily value.
- Micellar casein content. Purest form of casein protein for increased muscle mass and better muscle preservation.
- Solid source of calcium. Fifty percent of the daily value, to be precise.
- Low in fats, carbs, and sugar. These bode well for long-term health.
- Excellent transparency. Manufacturer breaks down all of the ingredient amounts.
- Flavor options. Comes in Chocolate and Vanilla versions.
- Fillers. Contains sucralose (artificial sweetener with links to obesity) and carrageenan (food additive with carcinogenic properties).
- Unknown reputation. Brand new player which has yet to earn its stripes.
Pricing & Where to Buy
- 1 1.8-kg container (55-Day Supply): $49.99
- Available online on Bodybuilding.com
Final Word on Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein
When you see “Bodybuilding.com” on a supplement’s label, quality is the first thing which comes to mind. When you talk about Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein, you associate it with an impressive 25 grams of micellar casein and 50 percent of the daily value for calcium per serving.
Alas, this product’s filler content (sucralose and carrageenan) pull its value down. Mind you, this is a Bodybuilding.com product, so it comes as a major shock. Like we said, this calls for a cleaner formula sooner than later.
We recommend you buy Bodybuilding.com Signature Casein, but with some reservations. A blended protein supplement such as NutraBio Muscle Matrix would be the better bargain.