5 Best Protein Powders Before Bed in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (5 years as FPA-Certified Nutritionist, MS in Sports Dietetics)

Sleep is a vital period for recovery and growth so choosing the best protein before bed is important. It involves a sustained period of fasting without the opportunity to consume adequate protein. Consuming a slow-digesting protein source before bed is a great way to ensure adequate fuel and recovery is provided.

Casein is the most common type of protein used in night time protein powders. It’s made from dairy and provides a slow release of amino acids over a longer time period when compared with whey powders, making it an excellent protein source to use before bed.

Whether you’re a recreational gym goer wanting to build muscle or lose weight, a sports athlete wanting to improve performance, or an elite-level athlete looking for that extra edge, you need to consume enough protein.

With so many different products on the market, I’ve reviewed my top 5 protein powders suitable to consume before bed and broken them down according to the factors I think are most important.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Naked Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein.


It offers an excellent source of high-quality micellar casein protein to consume before bed. It contains 100% micellar casein sourced from US farms that's made from hormone-free skimmed milk.

Our expert team of pro athletes, medical professionals, and certified nutritionists had their hands full testing and analyzing 22 proteins to take before bedtime, and they have 5 of the best ones to share with you! 

The proteins were tested in detail and evaluated over 5 key factors, and our team spent 7 weeks researching and testing them. In addition to their hands-on research, they have also gone through hundreds of online user reviews. This list gets updates all the time, so leave a comment, share your experiences, and let’s start a conversation! 

Best Protein Before Bed

Top 5 Best Protein Powders Before Bed Reviewed

Product/ScoreTotalWeight rangeComfortDurabilityPrice/Quality
Yes4All Adjustable Kettlebell4010101010
GMG Kettlebel38910109
All-purpose Kettlebell37101098
Wide-grip Kettlebell3699810
Mural Wall Art Kettlebell3581089
Naked Casein Nutrition

Naked Nutrition aims to operate with transparency by avoiding marketing and gimmicks to focus more on selling products with the purest ingredients. They sell protein powders and dietary supplements.

  • Diet Type: Muscle growth and recovery
  • Suitable For Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Micellar Casein
  • Serving Size: 30-38 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Price Per Serving: $1.25
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 95%
  • Proteins: 26-27 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Brooke YoungBrianna Azbell

The Naked Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein protein offers an excellent source of high-quality micellar casein protein to consume before bed. It contains 100% micellar casein sourced from US farms that's made from hormone-free skimmed milk. It includes 5.9 grams of added BCAAs to support muscle growth and recovery. It's my top pick protein choice to consume before bed.

Their casein protein source is cold-processed, reducing the chance of contamination from chemicals or synthetic additives. It’s gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO, making it another ultra-clean protein source example.

In terms of serving size, each 30-38 gram scoop has 110-150 calories containing 26-27 grams of protein which is 95% of the overall calories. It has no carbohydrates, fats, or sugars with 20 mg of added sodium and cholesterol.

Each 5 lb tub contains approximately 76 servings and is available in either chocolate, vanilla, or an unflavored option. Overall, the Naked Nutrition casein protein offers a premium quality protein option that's made in the US and contains 5.9 grams of added BCAAs.

49.5Expert Score

Naked Nutrition aims to operate with transparency by avoiding marketing and gimmicks to focus more on selling products with the purest ingredients. They sell protein powders and dietary supplements.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
10
Taste/ Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Mixability:
10
Value For Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Unflavored option is good for those who don't want any added flavor

  • Excellent protein % of calories at 95%

  • 5.9 grams of added BCAAs to support muscle growth and recovery

Could be better:

  • 20 mg of added cholesterol and sodium in each serving could be reduced

https://transparentlabs.sjv.io/QOkOPz

Transparent labs look to produce products backed by science that help to improve health and performance. They use natural ingredients and include them in clinically effective doses that have the science to back up their use.

  • Diet Type: Build muscle or lose weight
  • Suitable For Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: 100% Grass-fed Micellar Casein
  • Serving Size: 35 grams
  • Price Per Serving: $2.00
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 83%
  • Proteins: 25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor BjornssonPaul Skylar

Transparent Labs produce products using pure ingredients tested by third parties, with their casein protein top of the pile when it comes to product quality.

Their 100% grass-fed micellar casein protein source is the highest quality you’ll find, containing no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colorings, or preservatives, It's also gluten-free and non-GMO. It's my runner up casein protein before bed.

Each 35-gram serving scoop contains 120 calories, with 25 grams of protein making up 83%. It also has 0.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of sugar. It’s available in either chocolate or vanilla and comes in a 2.3 lb tub, with each tub containing 30 servings.

Overall, the Transparent Labs casein protein is a premium quality product that offers a clean, well-tested source of slow-digesting protein before bed.

49Expert Score

Transparent labs look to produce products backed by science that help to improve health and performance. They use natural ingredients and include them in clinically effective doses that have the science to back up their use.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/ Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Mixability:
9.5
Value For Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • High-quality 100% grass-fed casein protein source

  • 60% of daily calcium included in each serving 
  • Each ingredient used is third-party tested to ensure purity

Could be better:

  • Only chocolate and vanilla flavor options are available

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition takes a hands-on approach to ensuring the highest product quality. They make sure each stage of the manufacturing process is methodically done, with each ingredient tested for purity. They are one of the only health and fitness companies to manufacture for every product category.

  • Diet Type: Weight loss, muscle gain
  • Suitable For Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Micellar Casein
  • Serving Size: 33-34 grams
  • Price Per Serving: $1.43
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 80%
  • Proteins: 24 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3-4 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Fat: 0.5-1 gram (depending on flavor)
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Company Founded: 1986
  • Recommended by Athletes: Tunde OyeneyinClay Harbor

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Micellar Casein is formulated using Aminogen, a digestive enzyme blend that helps protein absorption and digestion. It also comes in 6 exciting flavors, providing plenty of options for people looking for different tastes.

One 33-34-gram serving contains 110-120 calories with 80% consisting of 24 grams of good-quality casein. Optimum Nutrition has included 5 grams of BCAAs and 50% of your RDI of calcium. Each serving also contains 3-4 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5-1 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar.

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein comes in 6 flavors and 4 tub size options, with the 4 lb tub giving you 53 servings. Overall the Optimum Nutrition Casein protein features a digestive enzyme blend to aid protein absorption and digestion which may be important for some people during sleep.

48.5Expert Score

Optimum Nutrition takes a hands-on approach to ensuring the highest product quality. They make sure each stage of the manufacturing process is methodically done, with each ingredient tested for purity.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/ Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
10
Value For Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Aminogen enzyme blend to aid absorption and digestion during sleep

  • Added Soy Lecithin to increase mixability and texture

  • Several flavor options including chocolate, cookies and cream, and vanilla

Could be better:

  • Contains added flavorings and sweeteners that some people might not like

Dymatize Elite Casein Protein Powder

Dymatize wants to create supplements that work as hard as you. They want their supplement to taste good and lead to better performance. Their products are pure, with no banned substances, unnecessary ingredients, and no mislabeling.
  • Diet Type: Muscle growth, weight loss, sports performance
  • Suitable For Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: 100% Micellar Casein
  • Serving Size: 33-36 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Price Per Serving: $1.35
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 77%
  • Proteins: 25 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 2-3 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Fat: 1.5-2 grams (depending on flavor)
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 1994
  • Recommended by Athletes: Dani SpeegleTasha Turnbull

The Dymatize Elite Casein Protein offers an excellent budget protein option at $1.35 per serving. It contains an excellent amount of BCAAs at 5.5 grams, with 2.3 grams of vital Leucine required for muscle protein synthesis.

Each 33-36-gram serving is sourced from 100% micellar casein, with 25 grams of slow-digesting protein making up 77% of the 120-130-calorie total. The remaining calories are made up of 2-3 grams of carbohydrates, 1.5-2 grams of fat, and added cholesterol and sodium.

The Dymatize Elite protein comes in 4 flavor choices and two sizes, with the 4 lb option offering approximately 50 servings per tub. Each tub has the informed choice logo on it, with the ingredients tested for banned substances.

Overall, the Dymatize Elite casein protein is a great budget option that contains a good amount of Leucine, a BCAA shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

47.5Expert Score

Dymatize wants to create supplements that work as hard as you. They want their supplement to taste good and lead to better performance. Their products are pure, with no banned substances, unnecessary ingredients, and no mislabeling.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9
Taste/ Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
9.5
Value For Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • 5.5 grams of BCAAs, with 2.3 grams of included Leucine

  • Good budget protein choice at $1.35 per serving

  • Informed choice compliant meaning its suitable for sports athletes

Could be better:

  • Added soy may cause GI discomfort for some people

BulkSupplements Egg White Protein Powder

BulkSupplements are NSF Certified and FDA-registered, supplying over 500 pure nutritional supplements to companies via their cGMP manufacturing facilities. They also have their own product lines that are also fully tested before production.
  • Diet Type: Paleo
  • Suitable For Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Egg White
  • Serving Size: 30 grams
  • Price Per Serving: $1.42
  • Protein Percent of Calories: 80%
  • Proteins: 24 grams
  • Carbohydrates: <1 gram
  • Fat: <1 gram
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: SebCamNerysta Anastone

With the BulkSupplements Protein Powder containing egg white protein, it offers a great medium-digesting protein source option that's well-suited for those who need a protein source for shorter sleeping periods or people who follow paleo-type diets.

The egg white protein source contains a complete amino acid profile with essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. It's also lactose-free making it a great option for people who struggle to digest lactose.

Each 30-gram serving contains 24 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and fat, and 0 grams of sugar. It contains 120 calories per serving, with 80% of the calories consisting of protein. It comes unflavored in 4 size choices, with the 2.2 lb tub containing 33 servings.

Overall, the BulkSupplements Egg White Protein Powder offers an excellent medium-digesting protein source that's suitable for shorter sleep periods, those who struggle to digest lactose, or those who follow a paleo diet.

47Expert Score

BulkSupplements are NSF Certified and FDA-registered, supplying over 500 pure nutritional supplements to companies via their cGMP manufacturing facilities. They also have their own product lines that are also fully tested before production.

Macronutrient Breakdown:
9.5
Taste/ Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9.5
Mixability:
9
Value For Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The egg white protein source is a medium-digesting protein that offers a great middle protein source option

  • Suitable for Paleo diet followers and those who struggle to digest lactose

  • Manufactured according to cGMP standards with a rigorous in-house testing process

Could be better:

  • The unflavored egg taste might not be suitable for some people 

Why Should You Consume Protein Before Bed?

preparing Protein Before Bed

Consuming a source of slow-digesting night time protein has several benefits including:

Convenience

Simply put, consuming a source of slow-digesting casein protein is convenient. Most people are very busy during the day making it much harder to hit their daily protein intake goals.

Consuming a protein shake before bed is an easy way to get an extra serving of protein that helps you to hit your daily overall intake. It’s easily accessible, quick to make, and requires little to no equipment.

If you want to eat protein before bed, it can take much longer and require more effort and equipment. 

Muscle Gain 

Gaining muscle can be hard. One of the main determinants of muscle gain besides the way you train is your nutrition, most importantly your protein intake.

Consuming a slow-digesting casein protein source before bed is an excellent way to keep your muscles fueled during an extended fasting period where growth hormone is at its highest.Sleep is one of the most important muscle building times making good nutrition vital during it.

Weight Loss

When losing weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume i.e. be in an energy deficit over a prolonged period.

Consuming a slow-digesting casein protein source before bed helps to increase your satiety (feeling of fullness) preventing unnecessary cravings during the night when you’re in a calorie deficit. Alongside this, protein takes more energy to burn and is 4 calories per gram alongside carbohydrates.

Sports Performance

Consuming adequate amounts of protein is vital for sports performance whether you're a recreational or elite athlete. If you’re working out late at night, slow-digesting casein protein following a gym session is a great idea to provide protein following exercise and before sleeping.

If you’re performing gym sessions or sports training sessions in quick succession (at night and the following morning), a slow-digesting casein protein source can help promote muscle recovery and fuel you for the morning.

Price

Many slow-digesting casein protein powders are available to buy at excellent prices, providing smaller prices per dose compared with normal whey protein powders.

This makes consuming protein before bed an excellent idea if you’re looking to increase your protein intake whilst on a budget.

How to Find the Best Protein Powder Before Bed?

When trying to find the best protein for night time, these are the factors I consider to be the most important:

 pouring protein

Protein Source

The most common protein source used in most slow-digesting protein powders is micellar casein. Casein is a slow-digesting dairy protein powder that releases amino acids slowly. This makes it ideal to be used as a night time protein during a prolonged overnight fast.

Other less common sources include calcium caseinate and hydrolysis casein which are both more processed making micellar casein the better-quality option.

Egg white protein is medium-digesting meaning it could provide a good middle option protein to drink before bed if you’re sleeping for a shorter period.

Protein Composition

One of the most important considerations when choosing protein powder is the calories per gram of protein. Most people are looking for a large amount of protein without too many calories. Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram whilst fat contains 9 grams.

Check the nutrition label to see the amount of carbohydrates and fats to make sure these aren’t providing too many extra calories.

Added Ingredients

Added ingredients can be beneficial or detrimental depending on what they are and your exercise goals.

Beneficial added ingredients include BCAAs, creatine, digestive enzymes, omega-3s, vitamins. and minerals. Check the nutrition label to see if any of these are included and compare the doses to see if they are clinically relevant.

Tips From the Champ

Added ingredients that might have detrimental effects when consumed in larger doses include flavorings, colors, added sugars, and sweeteners. Whilst most powders contain these in negligible amounts, consider your dietary preferences and if you have certain food allergies before purchasing.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Flavor Range

Whilst some people choose their protein powder mainly based on the composition, the flavor range can be important. When drinking your shake before bed, you want it to taste good. Also, if you’re using protein powder before bed over a longer period, having an exciting range of flavors to choose from is great.

Before purchasing, check the flavor range and consider your personal preferences to see if they match up.

Price/Quality

As with any product, check the price and compare it to the product offered. Make sure you are happy with the money you're paying in relation to the product quality and think about what budget you have to spend.

Third-Party Testing

Choosing a product that’s been tested by a third party ensures the ingredients are pure and included in clinically relevant doses.

Most companies will include this information on their nutrition label so it’s worth checking before buying. This is also very important if you're a sports performance athlete who is regularly tested for banned substances or looking to get an extra performance edge.

FAQ

Is It Better to Drink a Protein Shake in the Morning or Before Bed?

During sleep, your body undergoes a prolonged period of fasting compared to the morning where you have multiple protein feeding opportunities.

Consuming a slow-digesting protein source before bed aids in muscle building, muscle recovery, and fuels your body for the next day, making consuming a protein shake before bed the better option.

How Long Before Bed Should I Drink a Protein Shake?

Micellar casein, the most commonly used protein source in bedtime protein powders, takes around 7 hours to fully digest. Therefore, consume a protein shake approximately 10-30 minutes before bed, before continuing your nightly routine.

Summary

Slow-digesting casein protein powders provide an excellent source of protein during a prolonged overnight fast. They are readily available and offer great value for money.

Out of my top 5 choices, the Naked Nutrition 100% Micellar Casein is my top pick protein choice before bed. It’s a high-quality, well-proportioned protein shake with excellent ingredient purity and brand transparency. When choosing a slow-digesting protein source, consider the macronutrient breakdown, taste, mixability, and value for money.

Do you consume protein powder before bed? Do you think it’s important? Let me know below.

References:

  1. The Importance Of Sleep // Bodybuilding: https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-importance-of-sleep.html
  2. 10 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat More Protein // Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein
  3. What To Mix With Protein Powder (15 Delicious Examples) // Foodsguy: https://foodsguy.com/what-mix-with-protein-powder/

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

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