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“There’s protein powder, then there’s Ascent protein powder,” declares Ascent. 

Intrigued by this bold claim, GGR has rigorously tested Ascent Whey Protein to answer critical questions on every consumer’s mind: Does Ascent ascend above its competitors in the crowded world of protein supplements? Is it worth adding to your supplement stack

Explore our comprehensive Ascent Whey Protein Review, where we delve into its ingredients, flavor, and value, offering the honest insights you deserve as an informed consumer. 

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We Know Protein

There are protein powder testers, and then there are the expert GGR protein powder testers. 

Our testing team of certified personal trainers, dietitians, and nutritionists has evaluated over 90 protein powders (and counting)! Echoing Ascent’s sentiment, “You can’t just trust any protein brand,” we agree and dedicate ourselves to providing thorough and trustworthy reviews.

Ascent Whey Protein

Ascent Whey Protein

GGR Score: 4.5 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Native whey protein blend
  • 25 g of of protein per serving
  • 6 flavor options
  • 2- or 4-lb packaging
  • Single serving packets available 
  • Gluten-free
  • Informed Sport Certified

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Native whey is the least-processed whey
  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors
  • Positive customer reviews

Cons

  • Produced in a facility with tree nuts and peanuts
  • Slightly pricey per serving

Bottom Line

Ascent Whey Protein offers a native protein blend, which the brand states is the least processed whey protein available on the market. This whey protein is also gluten-free and does not contain artificial ingredients. The brand offers six flavors (including an unflavored option). You can buy Accent whey in 2- or 4-pound bags or single-serving packets, which are available in 15-count increments.

A Quick Look at Ascent Whey Protein Powder

Created to improve athletic performance, Ascent continuously aims to provide cleaner, better products to support your training goals. Its Informed-Sport certification offers peace of mind to athletes subject to drug testing, although just about anyone can enjoy Ascent products.

At the heart of Ascent’s product line are whey, casein, and plant protein powders, all known for their high-quality ingredients free from artificial flavors and added sugars. Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein distinguishes itself from some of the best protein powders by using native protein, a detail we’ll certainly call out.

Still, there are additional considerations to consider before purchasing.

Before You Buy

  • Several flavors come in single-serving packets, perfect for on the go. 
  • While Ascent Whey is dairy-based, it contains soy and may have traces of tree nuts and peanuts from shared manufacturing equipment, posing an allergy risk.
  • Your local Whole Foods or CrossFit gyms may supply samples you can try before committing to a larger pouch.

Is Ascent Whey Protein Worth It?

With a price range of $1.16 to $1.80 per serving, Ascent Whey Protein is a valuable choice for those searching for a high-quality, third-party-tested whey protein supplement. This is particularly notable compared to similar products that cost around $2.00 per serving.

Great for:

  • Anyone who prioritizes third-party-tested supplements, especially athletes subjected to drug testing
  • Individuals seeking a “clean” protein option with minimal ingredients
  • People with gluten intolerances or sensitivities

Not recommended for:

  • Those who prefer plant-based protein sources
  • Individuals with dairy allergies or requiring products free of soy, tree nuts, and peanuts

Ascent Whey Protein Specs

Price per servingUp to $1.80 (varies based on flavor, container size, and subscribe and save options)
Serving Size30-35 g (varies by flavor)
Type of ProteinWhey Protein Isolate and Concentrate
Protein Content25 g (all flavors)
Carb Content2-5 g (varies by flavor)
Fat Content1-1.5 g (varies by flavor)
Notable IngredientsNative whey protein isolate, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, natural flavors, lecithin, sea salt, stevia leaf extract
FlavorsChocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Lemon Sorbet, Mocha Cold Brew, Unflavored, Vanilla Bean, Peppermint Mocha (seasonal)
Third-Party Tested?Yes
Scoop of Ascent Whey Protein

Our Experience Using Ascent Whey Protein

Kate Meier, GGR head of content, and Jacob Penner from the GGR Expert Panel tested Ascent whey protein, and here’s what they had to say: “We have each used this about three times over the course of a week, and we plan to finish the entire bag! It is delicious, and we have no ill side effects from it.”

Price Per Serving

Ascent Whey Protein offers excellent value, ranging from $1.16 to $1.80 per serving, with a few key considerations:

  • Serving counts vary by flavor, yet all 2-pound options cost $44.99. Choosing a flavor with more servings, like Vanilla Bean with 29 servings compared to Mocha Cold Brew with 27, enhances value as each provides 25 grams of protein.
  • The 4-pound bags are priced at $74.99, but this is reduced to $67.49 with a subscription, bringing the cost down to as low as $1.16 per serving. Subscribers save about $0.17 per serving on 2-pound bags and $0.14 on 4-pound bags.
  • The convenient 15-count serving sticks of select flavors are priced higher at $39.99 ($2.67 per serving) or $35.99 ($2.40 per serving) with a subscription.

You can also purchase Ascent from several third-party sellers, including:

  • Costco: $0.98 per serving(!!)
  • Amazon: $1.73 per serving (same as website)
  • Walmart: $1.53 per serving

It’s also wise to factor in the trade-offs when purchasing from other retailers. For instance, Costco and Amazon Prime require membership fees, and you may miss out on Ascent’s rewards program.

Formulation

Ascent Whey Protein features a blend of whey protein isolate, native whey protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate, enriched with natural ingredients for flavor and mixability. 

Label on Ascent Whey Protein

RELATED: Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

Nutritional content varies by flavor, but one rounded scoop of the chocolate flavor provides 25 grams of protein, 1 gram of total fat, and 4 grams of total carbohydrates. It also supplies essential nutrients, including 10% of the daily value for cholesterol and calcium, 6% for iron and potassium, and 5% for sodium.

Whey Protein Isolate and Native Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate, produced during cheese-making, is highly purified with at least 90% protein. It contains fewer carbs, lactose, and fats than concentrates. 

Native whey protein1, filtered directly from unprocessed milk, yields higher levels of leucine, an essential branched-chain amino acid vital for building muscle. However, it’s essential to note Ascent provides up to 2.7 grams of leucine per serving, comparable to competitors like Dymatize ISO 100 (2.6 grams leucine) and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey (2.6 grams leucine). 

So, is Ascent’s native protein the “whey” to go and worth the hype? Although native whey boosts blood leucine more than conventional, the effect on muscle protein synthesis isn’t superior, and each provides all essential amino acids for muscle growth. (Learn these revealing muscle-building details in our EAA vs BCAA discussion.)

But there’s still lots to learn about this less common protein beyond muscle gains. A 2021 study2 proposes native whey may help reduce allergy and asthma risks in children who consume raw milk. 

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate, a less refined form, contains 30 to 80 percent protein with more carbohydrates, lactose, and fats than isolates. Its higher lactose content may pose digestive issues for those with lactose intolerance, though Ascent proteins contain less than 1 gram of lactose. 

Other Ingredients

Ascent’s formula includes natural flavors, the natural sweetener stevia leaf extract, soy lecithin to enhance mixability, sea salt, and cocoa in chocolate options. The Unflavored version omits sweeteners and flavors and is the “purest” of the bunch.

However, there are specific considerations:

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter contains peanuts, a concern for those with peanut allergies.
  • Mocha Cold Brew contains 100% Colombian Coffee with an unspecified yet likely minimal caffeine content, but those sensitive to caffeine should be aware.
  • The Ascent site denotes soy and sunflower lecithin in the Lemon Sorbet flavor, so those with soy or sunflower seed allergies should exercise caution. 

Taste and Solubility 

With its minimal ingredient list, can Ascent Protein offer a great taste and consistency? Kate and Jacob’s experience says it all, rating it a 5 out of 5 for taste and solubility.

Ascent Whey Protein in a glass

“We have the chocolate, and it’s fantastic. Even just mixed with water, it’s somehow still creamy. A very solid flavor. This is sweetened with stevia, but I couldn’t detect that at all.” They add, “No issues with solubility, even just in a blender cup—no clumps at the bottom!”

Side Effects

After a week of using Ascent, Kate and Jacob didn’t experience any issues. Whey protein is generally safe and well-tolerated, provided you don’t have a dairy allergy or sensitivity.

RELATED: Ascent Pre-Workout Review

Third-Party Testing 

Ascent Protein stands out for being Informed-Sport certified, meaning it’s tested for over 250 banned substances, making it a vital choice for competitive athletes. Also certified gluten-free, it’s an excellent option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.

Ascent Whey Protein vs Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein

Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • High-quality whey protein isolate
  • 28 grams of protein per serving
  • 15 flavors to choose from
  • $1.99 per serving

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality protein
  • No artificial sweeteners, food dyes, or preservatives
  • Lots of flavors to choose from
  • Good customer reviews
  • Whey isolate may be easier to digest for some people

Cons

  • Price per serving on the high end

Bottom Line

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is a clean, high-quality protein powder that contains 28 grams of protein per serving.

Transparent Lab’s grass-fed whey protein powder shares several favored qualities with Ascent. Let’s delve into their similarities and differences to help you choose the right one.

Key Similarities

  • Rich in whey protein
  • Free from artificial ingredients
  • Certified by Informed-Sport
  • Well-received by customers, with praise for taste and mixability
  • Subscription savings available

Key Differences

  • Protein source: Ascent highlights its native whey protein, while Transparent Labs prides itself on using whey from grass-fed cows
  • Price: Transparent Labs is costlier, but all flavors come in 30-serving tubs for $59.99, unlike Ascent with variable servings for $44.99
  • Allergens: Both are gluten-free, but only Ascent displays the gluten-free certification. Transparent Labs is soy-free but might contain traces of coconut and peanuts, whereas Ascent contains soy and might have traces of tree nuts and peanuts
  • Variety: Transparent Labs offers more flavor choices but only one size; Ascent has fewer flavors but more size options

Which to Choose

Ascent might be preferable for its value, size variety, and explicit gluten-free certification. However, you may favor Transparent Labs for flavor range and suitability for those avoiding soy.

Learn more in our full Transparent Labs Protein review.

Ascent Whey ProteinTransparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Price per servingUp to $1.80$1.99/$1.79 (with subscription) 
Serving Size30-35 g (varies by flavor)32-38 g (varies by flavor)
Type of ProteinWhey protein isolate and concentrateWhey protein isolate
Protein Content25 g28 g
Carb Content2-5 g (varies by flavor)0-2 g (varies by flavor)
Fat Content1-1.5 g (varies by flavor)0-3 g (varies by flavor)
Notable IngredientsNative whey protein isolate, whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, natural flavors, lecithin, sea salt, stevia leaf extractWhey protein isolate, natural flavors, stevia, Himalayan rock salt or sodium chloride
Flavors7 options13 options
Third-Party Tested?YesYes

Customer Experience 

Ascent’s Help Center offers convenient contact options, including chat available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm MST, and email with an expected response time of 1 to 2 business days.

Person pouring a scoop of Ascent  Whey Protein

Information on shipping and return policies is also readily available. Here’s a brief overview:

Shipping:

  • Cost: Free ground shipping on orders over $79, $5 fee for orders under $79
  • Delivery time: 2 to 5 business days
  • Note: No shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico

Returns:

  • Eligibility: Products purchased directly from Ascent that are damaged, incorrectly shipped, or cause adverse reactions
  • Return timeframe: 30 days for unopened items, 15 days for opened items (final sale items excluded)
  • Refund requests: Email the Ascent Customer Service Team
  • Return shipping cost: Paid by customers unless decided otherwise by Ascent

Ordering Ascent Whey Protein

To order Ascent Whey Protein, add it to your cart and follow the prompts that gather your shipping and payment information. You don’t need an Ascent account to order, but creating one will earn you rewards for future savings.

Military personnel, first responders, and healthcare workers are eligible for discounts.

Customer Reviews

Kate and Jacob have nothing but great things to say about Ascent, verified by its 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Amazon from over 7,240 reviews at the time of this writing. Customers value its quality formulation without artificial additives, easy mixability, and satisfying sweetness.

Final Verdict of Our Ascent Whey Protein Powder Review

Ascent’s use of native protein may have drawn you in, but it stands out for its high-quality formulation at a great value. It also impresses with its great taste and mixability while meeting strict Informed-Sport and gluten-free standards.

Ascent whey protein powder might be a strong contender for your supplement stack, provided you don’t have dietary restrictions or allergies to dairy, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts.

Full Rating

Ascent Whey Protein

Ascent Whey Protein offers a native protein blend, which the brand states is the least processed whey protein available on the market. This whey protein is also gluten-free and does not contain artificial ingredients. The brand offers six flavors (including an unflavored option). You can buy Accent whey in 2- or 4-pound bags or single-serving packets, which are available in 15-count increments.

Product Brand: Ascent

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 44.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Ascent Whey Protein Rating

Price per serving – 3.75
Formulation – 3.5
Taste – 5
Solubility – 5
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 5
Customer service – 3
Customer reviews – 4.8
Buy Now

Ascent Whey Protein: FAQs

Where is Ascent whey protein made?

Ascent is based in Denver, Colorado, with all its products made in the U.S. 

When should I drink Ascent protein?

Ascent whey makes for a great post-workout recovery protein shake since it’s quickly absorbed, but it’s also beneficial for increasing protein intake anytime.

What is the benefit of Ascent protein?

Ascent protein, made with high-quality whey and free of artificial ingredients, aids in meeting protein targets to support training goals and overall health. Its Informed-Sport certification also offers competitive athletes peace of mind.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Hamarsland H, Nordengen AL, Nyvik Aas S, et al. Native whey protein with high levels of leucine results in similar post-exercise muscular anabolic responses as regular whey protein: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Nov 21;14:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0202-y. PMID: 29200982; PMCID: PMC5697397.
  2. Muuronen K, Partanen R, Heidebrecht HJ, et al. Effects of conventional processing methods on whey proteins in production of native whey powder. Int Dairy J. 2021;116:104959. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idairyj.2020.104959

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