Every day, it seems like a new brand comes out with a new twist on the standard protein powder. As it stands, I’ve written about and evaluated a slew of products that fall under a variety of umbrellas meant to cater to every sort of athlete. Through this arduous process, I’ve discovered that whey protein is consistently the most popular form of protein.
Whey protein is commonly considered to be the greatest type of protein available, outperforming vegan alternatives such as hemp and bean protein. Whey protein is also thought to be superior to casein protein. Whey protein and casein protein, for example, are both produced from milk. The speed with which the proteins are digested makes a significant impact.
Casein is a slow-digesting protein, while whey protein is a fast-digesting protein. Whether or whether this is significant depends on the type of athlete you are. On the other hand, Whey includes all nine necessary amino acids and a significant amount of BCAAs. BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are among the most important amino acids for muscle growth.
One BCAA in particular, Leucine, kickstarts the biochemical mechanism that initiates the muscle regeneration process on a cellular level. Few Whey Protein powders are genuinely distinctive among the numerous available. Ascent Protein is one of these few firms. They have the support of a slew of elite athletes, including running back Christian McCaffrey, CrossFit champ Katrin Davidsdottir, Brent Fikowksi, the second fittest man on the planet, and Spartan World Champ Robert Killian, to name a few.
These athletes are among the world’s most accomplished athletes, and they have chosen Ascent protein over all other choices. This would indicate that Ascent is unique in some way.
Ascent claims that its Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder Blend is the new “benchmark in protein purity.” What’s the big deal about this? The business provided us some of their famous, unusual whey protein in Chocolate and Lemon Sorbet flavors so we could test it and assess the brand, nutrition, ingredients, and pricing to see whether it’s appropriate for you.
The company places a strong emphasis on sports and performance (as opposed to, say, lifestyle and weight reduction), and to that end, it advertises with a number of well-known CrossFit® competitors, and all of its products are third-party tested by Informed Choice, which checks for prohibited chemicals. Tim Ferriss, a productivity guru, describes it as “cleaner, purer, and less processed.”
Why? These labels appear to come from the absence of artificial flavors and sweeteners and the fact that Ascent obtains its Native Whey Protein Isolate through a unique filtration method, which is blended in with regular whey concentrate isolate. Let’s look at it more closely.
About Ascent Protein
Like many exaggerated nutritional titans, Ascent Protein does not choose the route of least resistance. That means no white-labeled protein, filler ingredients to save money, or unfulfilled promises.
This Denver-based workout firm has had tight standards for the past three decades.
- Grade A milk sourced from reputable farmers
- There are no artificial ingredients in this recipe (flavors, additives, flavors)
- Gluten-free goods make digestion easier.
- Informed-Sport Certification with an assurance of no forbidden substances
- Ascent is now one of the most well-known performance nutrition distributors in the United States.
Spartan Race, USA Weightlifting, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, and CrossFit’s two-time champion Katrin Davidsdottir are among its high-profile partners.
Who Should Use Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder?
Protein supplements, for starters, are extremely useful to athletes who engage in high-intensity training on a regular basis. You may not require additional protein if you do not exercise frequently or vigorously.
This product is for you if you’re one of those athletes that grinds all the time. Only an allergy to tree nuts, peanuts, or soy, which this Ascent product may contain traces of, will prohibit you from trying this unusual, tasty whey protein. If that’s the case, Six Stars Protein is a good alternative.
Aside from that, Ascent Protein may be one of the greatest protein powders available, according to its unique protein derivation procedures, which result in more BCAAs and better, purer protein.
What Makes Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Special?
The protein filtering technique used by Ascent Native Whey is their main claim to fame. They don’t buy whey protein; instead, they filter it. However, they purchase grade A milk from only the most reputable farmers, which they subsequently filter using a proprietary technique that preserves the protein’s natural form. Ascent refers to the resulting product as Native Whey Protein.
This may not seem noteworthy, but their Native Fuel Whey has 17 percent more Leucine, which is the crucial BCAA I stated before. This Native Whey also contains the purest form of Micellar Casein, which aids in the integration of the two forms of milk-derived protein. Furthermore, Ascent Whey is 100% pure protein, with no artificial chemicals or additions.
Perhaps your top objective is to obtain as much protein per calorie as possible, which means no fat or carbohydrates per serving. Because this usually produces in a flavor that isn’t great, many people prefer wheys with carbohydrates.
There’s also cholesterol, saturated fat, salt, and various vitamins and minerals to consider. We delve into each and every one of them.
How To Use Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder?
The whey protein blend from Ascent isn’t a five-course dinner or a dish that will ruin your kitchen. Here’s a quick rundown of how to make your Ascent protein shake:
- Fill a shaker bottle (or a blender, if you’re feeling fancy) with a rounded scoop of the mixture.
- Fill the bottle with 4-8 ounces of water, almond milk, or cow’s milk (more if you like that watered-down consistency).
- Shake it up, shake it up, shake it up!
- After a tough, high-intensity workout, drink within 30 minutes.
If you’re using an unflavored protein, feel free to spice it up. Even the most bland smoothies may be improved with instant coffee, fresh fruit, all-natural sweeteners, or even orange zest!
Flavor Options Of Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powders are remarkably similar to our favorite sweets, which is no accident. If you don’t add that special touch, your protein shakes might taste powdered, milky, or even cheesy!
Ascension broadens the range beyond vanilla and chocolate creations to include:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Lemon Sorbet
- Vanilla Bean
Even if you’re a self-professed chocolate connoisseur (17%), having seven flavor options keeps post-workout nourishment intriguing! Try one, try them all, or make a weekend lemon sorbet combination to surprise your taste senses!
In terms of portion size, whey protein tubs are notoriously deceptive. How many of the table-sized containers contain only 15 servings? Or will it need two huge scoops to provide the entire mass-building effect, halving the serving size?
Ascent’s whey protein baggies aren’t shrouded in mystery. You have three choices:
- 2 lbs: 27-29 servings
- 4 lbs: 54-58 servings
- Individual serving packets: 15 servings
Never again be concerned about striking the bottom of that container sooner than anticipated! With Ascent, you may replenish your protein source monthly or bi-monthly rather than regularly.
Ascent Protein Nutrition
One scoop provides 120 calories, with 25 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs (1 gram sugar, less than a gram of fiber), and 1 gram of fat (none saturated). There’s also 7% of your daily cholesterol need and 4% of your sodium requirement. There’s not much else to say in terms of vitamins and minerals: it contains 15% of your daily calcium and 4% of your iron.
This gives you 4.8 calories per gram of protein, which is an excellent protein-to-calorie ratio. (A gram of pure protein has 4 calories since it contains neither fat or carbohydrates.) It’s unusual to find a protein powder with no saturated fat, and Ascent has a low cholesterol level for a product using whey concentrate, so this may be a positive or a disadvantage depending on your goals. It has a little more calcium than your usual whey, but otherwise, this is a very conventional whey nutrition label.
A combination of whey protein isolate and Native Whey protein isolate is the first component, followed by whey concentrate. In the next part, I’ll go through the benefits and drawbacks of Native Whey.
Natural flavors, soy lecithin for mixability, and sea salt follow the whey. Monk fruit extract and stevia leaf extract are utilized as natural sweeteners in the Chocolate taste, however stevia is not used in the Lemon Sorbet, Vanilla Bean, or Cappuccino flavors. There’s also an Unflavored version that’s devoid of any sugars or tastes.
As previously stated, the lack of artificial flavors and sweeteners is a significant draw for some users, however it’s conceivable that the soy lecithin — which is supposed to increase mixability — will put other people off. There are no digestive enzymes included, which some users like because they can help with digestion and absorption.
What Is Native Whey?
Is Ascent “cleaner, purer, and less processed” than other brands? Aside from these claims, Ascent places a strong focus on the amino acid leucine. It boasts “greater amounts of naturally occurring leucine,” according to the package.
Extra leucine may be beneficial for a variety of reasons. Leucine is the amino acid most closely related with muscle protein synthesis, a process that turns on genes essential for muscle growth, according to a number of studies, including one published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006. Of course, there’s a lot more to muscle development than leucine — your workouts, sleep, overall calorie, macronutrient, and micronutrient consumption — but muscle protein synthesis is still a critical component.
Per scoop of 25 grams of protein, Ascent Native Fuel Whey contains 2.7 grams of leucine.
According to their website, it boasts “17 percent more leucine,” and when we contacted Ascent, they verified that they imply they had 17 percent more leucine than the usual whey, noting that their rivals typically have between 2 and 2.5 grams per scoop.
However, 2.7 grams of leucine isn’t excessive;. At the same time, not every brand discloses its leucine content (they’re more likely to tell you how many branched chain amino acids they deliver), it’s the same amount as 25 grams of protein from Dymatize Iso 100 or Ultimate Nutrition Iso Cool. It’s 3% more than a scoop of the industry-leading Optimum Nutritionals. However, the 2.7 grams of leucine content is on the high side.
So, what makes Native Whey Isolate so valuable? Whey is generally a by-product of the cheese-making process, in which acid or enzymes are used to separate the two proteins found in milk, whey and casein. This produces whey concentrate, which may then be processed into whey isolate, which removes the majority (if not all) of the carbohydrates and fat.
Native whey isolate isn’t derived through the cheesemaking process; rather, it’s extracted directly from the milk using an unique filtration method. That’s why Native Whey is said to be less processed: instead of separating whey and casein and then putting it through another processing stage, there’s just one.
They also “avoid hazardous processing processes like bleaching,” according to Ascent. The majority of the research we found on whey bleaching focused on how it affects flavor, but it’s also conceivable that it causes certain lipids to oxidize, and ingesting oxidized fats has been related to some poor health effects. Now, we should point out that whey is already extremely low in fat, but there is a case to be made that unbleached whey is a superior choice.
Ascent Protein Price
Single serving pouches and 4-pound bags are available, but the 2-pound bag is the usual size and costs between $40 and $45. It costs around $1.45 to $1.65 each scoop, or 6 to 6.5 cents per gram of protein, to get 27 scoops of 25 grams of protein.
The most popular brands cost between 4 and 5 cents per gram of protein, which is rather expensive. I’d expect a pure whey isolate to cost around six to 6.5 cents per gram, especially if it’s grass-fed. However, Ascent does feature that Native Whey Isolate, which I suppose is more expensive to make, and it’s evaluated by Informed Choice, so you could think the premium is justified.
Ascent Protein Taste
I tested chocolate with 2 percent milk and water, and it wasn’t surprising that it tasted well with milk Because it’s difficult for any whey to taste terrible when combined with cream and sugar. What truly wowed me was how good it tasted with water, which is almost unheard of for a naturally sweetened protein powder.
It tastes more like chocolate-flavored candy than a chocolate bar, in my opinion. It’s sweet without being overpowering, and although having just 1 gram of fat per serving, it manages to impart a subtle creamy flavor. When I’m trying to cut calories and don’t want to consume artificial sweeteners, this could be my new go-to whey.
I wanted to try Ascent’s famous Lemon Sorbet flavor, and I’ll admit that the notion of combining a citrus taste with a dairy foundation of whey made me nervous. To avoid any potential problems, I tested it with water rather than milk.
However, I was once again pleasantly pleased. It didn’t taste sour, but more like the milk left over after a bowl of Froot Loops. (Froot Loops, on the other hand, taste more like lemon candy than anything else.) It was sweet and light, and unlike any other whey flavor I’d had before.
I was shocked to find that Native Whey has just 2.7 grams of leucine per scoop, despite the fact that this is a great source of leucine and far higher than other protein sources. If you appreciate the fact that it’s less processed and unbleached, I think this is a good buy. However, it’s worth noting that this product still contains normal whey isolate and whey concentrate, so it’s not like it’s completely devoid of conventional processed whey.
However, I was blown away by the flavor and delighted by the nutrition and protein per calorie, especially because no fake chemicals are used. If you want a naturally flavored whey that tastes wonderful with water — which I think is a very important feature in a protein powder — Ascent is an excellent choice, as long as you’re willing to pay a bit more.
Nutrition Facts Of Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder
Without examining the nutrition label under a microscope, a supplement review is incomplete. With every Ascent protein scoop, you’re putting the following into your body:
- 120-130 calories
- 25g of protein
- 5.7g of BCAAs
- 2.7g of leucine
- 1-1.5g of fat
- 10-20mg of cholesterol
- 40-05mg of sodium
- 2-5g of total carbs
- 6-15% of vitamin D RDI
- 10% of calcium RDI
- 0-6% of iron RDI
- 4-6% of potassium RDI
This native whey mix is as natural as it gets, with no artificial additives or fillers. You may fuel tired muscles with 120-130 calories per serving without wasting a single calorie.
BCAAs And Leucine
BCAAs and leucine are two fitness terms that any gains-seeker should be familiar with. When you lift weights, tiny tears deep within your muscles are triggered. Whey protein helps establish the framework for healing, while additional BCAAs and leucine help speed up the process.
Branched-chain amino acids (like leucine) can speed up muscle regeneration by up to 22%, reduce post-workout muscle pain, and keep you energetic after a tough workout. Whey protein from Ascent is a formula for delicious gains and more time in the gym.
Protein, Carbohydrates, And Fat
Ascent’s formula is on par with other well-known whey protein powders. This combination will neither add extra fat or carbohydrates to an already well-balanced diet, nor will it slow down gains. The 25g of protein per scoop is well within the suggested post-workout protein range of 20-40g.
Micronutrients (Minerals & Vitamins)
As predicted, Ascent’s version’s mineral and vitamin combinations do not raise any nutritional red lights.
Benefits Of Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder
It’s actually tasty. Many protein producers do an outstanding job of identifying delectable tastes (a la cookies and cream or vanilla ice cream). However, after the first drink, you realize you’ve been duped! Ascent doesn’t simply speak a big game; its recipes are superior to those of rival powders!
Some even compare the cappuccino flavor to a Starbucks beverage, the peanut butter chocolate combination to Reese’s candies, and the vanilla bean flavor to traditional vanilla milkshakes! There are no clumps, grit, or chalk in this product. Many protein drinks leave powdery clumps or sandy textures no matter how vigorously you shake or how long you press “mix.”
Let’s not even talk about the unforgivable grit, chalky aftertaste, or hauntingly chewy bubbles. You should be able to enjoy your daily “treat” without blowing your nose or chugging. Whether you like water, milk, almond milk, pudding, ice cream, or even homemade pancake batter, Ascent’s protein powder blends amazingly well.
It just takes 15-30 seconds to have a well-dissolved protein shake. Even better, if you prefer to nurse your protein drinks on the way home, the powder won’t settle at the bottom of the cup. It’s the epitome of “clean protein.”
In the lifting world, “clean eating” is the newest trend. However, supplement makers’ use of artificial chemicals in their formulations might make truly following this lifestyle seem difficult. This Ascent whey protein powder is made entirely of natural ingredients.
In other words, you end up with a shake that tastes natural (without any chemical overtones), doesn’t cause GI distress, and includes only what you require. Ascent should be your go-to powder if you’re picky about what you put in your body.
Negatives Of This Protein
Not a single thing. There is no such thing as a “perfect” athletic performance supplement, and every complement comes with a “but.” Yes, in most cases. However, Ascent Native Fuel is one of the few supplements that has managed to avoid the unfavorable press with relative ease.
Sure, you’ll come across the occasional diatribe about small issues such as:
- Not a fan of the flavor (especially the lemon flavor)
- Getting the wrong order or having it arrive damaged
- Not seeing much progress (try a different routine?)
- The consistency isn’t to my liking.
The prevailing consensus, on the other hand, is very different. It’s conceivable that individuals who were disappointed with Ascent had unusually high expectations or preferred fake flavors to natural ones.
Okay, there is one caveat: it may be too sweet. After studying, we discovered one common issue, albeit a small one that is unlikely to annoy most people. This may be a deal-breaker if you don’t like “sweet,” albeit a bit of tang is usual with vanilla or chocolate powders.
The unflavored version may provide you with a blank canvas on which to construct your own recipe. Just keep in mind that it contains no monk fruit extract, so it will be as bland as possible! You’ll find yourself adding natural sweeteners to your recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s The Best Protein Powder For Women?
I’ve yet to see a medical reason why ladies should choose one protein over another. I understand that certain businesses target women in their marketing, but you may disregard it. Everything I’ve mentioned here is applicable to both men and women.
How important is “pastured raised” in protein powders? Pasture-raised cows’ meat and dairy are healthier than their corn-fed counterparts due to better fatty acid and micronutrient profiles.
Protein powder, in particular whey protein, has neither fat nor vitamins. Consequently, some producers may suggest that you don’t require protein powder from grass-fed cattle to reap the most health advantages.
While I tend to agree with that evaluation, I also consider the animals and our environment’s health, and I’m ready to pay a premium for it. That’s why, wherever feasible, I advocate using grass-fed goods.
Can Protein Powder Help You Lose Weight?
Protein supplements, like water, can assist you in reducing weight. However, weight reduction results from a balanced food lifestyle, not a supplement like a protein shake. No supplements are necessary to reduce weight if you sleep well, eat healthily, and exercise frequently. Seriously!
Do I Require Protein In Order To Gain Muscle Mass?
Protein is required for the development of lean muscular tissue. However, this does not imply that the protein must be obtained through supplements. High protein meals should provide the majority, if not all, of the protein your body requires.
Suppose you’re attempting to bulk up for a competitive activity. In that case, you’ll almost certainly need to supplement with protein powder to boost muscle growth because you won’t be able to get enough chicken, beef, or eggs to fulfill your protein needs.
What’s Denatured Protein Powder?
To some extent, every protein powder you can lawfully buy in the United States has been denatured. Denaturing, in a nutshell, indicates that the product has been altered from its initial (raw) state. Pasteurization, microfiltration, and other denaturing techniques are used in practice to denaturize protein powder.
Is It Possible To Substitute A Complete Meal With A Protein Shake?
Protein shakes are seldom used as a meal replacement since they lack the calories and fat that your body requires to function properly. Check read this post to learn more about meal replacement shakes.
What Are Essential Amino Acids?
The essential amino acids are those that your body cannot produce on its own. As a result, you must supply them to your body through food and nutrition.
What Are Branched Chain Amino Acids (Bcaas)?
Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are examples of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), an essential amino acid. These three amino acids account for around a third of all muscle protein in the body. They, like other important amino acids, are not produced by the human body.
What Impact Does The Manufacturing Process Have On Protein Supplement Quality?
Protein powder production is critical in deciding the quality of the finished product. Processing procedures that utilize moderate heat and no harsh chemicals (minimum processing) produce the greatest outcomes, as they do with many other goods.
Can I Have Milk Protein If I’m Lactose Intolerant?
Even if you’re lactose intolerant, you might be able to tolerate protein supplements that contain milk proteins like whey or casein. All of the products I’ve tested contain only trace quantities of lactose (less than 1%), which is frequently insufficient to cause an allergic reaction. If such supplements prove to be too much for you, you may have to stick to egg white or beef protein-based goods.
Is It Really So Harmful To Utilize Protein Powder That Has Expired?
If you’re a few days, weeks, or even months beyond the expiration date, I wouldn’t be concerned. Supplements that have been expired for a long time, on the other hand, should be avoided since they may disturb your stomach. My family members have suffered diarrhea and vomiting after ingesting whey protein powder that was over its expiration date a year ago.
Can You Survive Exclusively Off Protein Powder?
No, you won’t be able to. To survive, your body requires both fat and protein. Carbohydrates are the only item your body doesn’t require since it can convert non-carb sources of glucose, such as protein.