Levels Grass-Fed Whey Protein Review
This is my thorough review of the Levels Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder that I’ve been using as part of my workout routine over the month.
This protein powder is crafted by the fine people at Levels Performance Provisions, a newer supplement company that is devoted to carefully chosen, cleaner ingredients.
Their grass-fed whey protein powder is no exception. The whey is undenatured as it is processed through a cold microfiltration process that keeps the nutrients bioactive, unlike other powders that are heat processed.
A whey concentrate, it still features 25 grams of protein in each 30-gram serving. They use no GMO-sourced ingredients or added sugars as well as no fillers or artificial flavors.
There are a lot of whey protein powders on the market, so what makes the Levels Whey Protein Powder stand out from the rest? Well, that’s what I’m here to show you.
I will go over the ingredients and price of the Levels protein powder as well as compare it to another top-selling protein powder, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder.
Levels 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
Levels Performance Provisions was founded by Blake Niemann in 2016. Blake saw that there was a need in the whey protein market for more wholesome ingredients, such as whey from grass-fed cows.
Why is whey from grass-fed cows superior to grain-fed whey? Great question.
Whey protein derived from grass-fed cows has been shown to be higher in beneficial nutrients such as beta-carotene, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and a-linolenic acid, among many others.
This is why the market for grass-fed whey products has exploded in the last few years. The protein from pasture-grazing cows is far superior in nutrients to feedlot cows.
Who is Levels Whey Protein Powder For?
Levels 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder is for anyone looking for a better protein option than the one they currently use. Each 30-gram scoop is packed with all of the amino acids your body needs to build and maintain healthy muscle. In fact, you can get most of your daily required essential amino acids in just two scoops.
The Levels Whey Protein Powder is also easy to mix. You can usually mix it with just a fork and a glass pretty easily. I demonstrate this in the video below.
Ingredients and Taste of Levels Whey Protein Powder
I bought the Vanilla Bean flavor and it has a nice mild taste. Some vanilla protein powders taste like a super-sweet milkshake you would get at Wendy’s. The Levels powder blends easily and it doesn’t overpower any fruit you might mix with it.
What ingredients make up the Levels Whey Protein Powder? I’ll start with the most important ingredient, the whey protein concentrate.
Whey Protein Concentrate
The whey protein is a whey protein concentrate from grass-fed cows. Whey concentrate is the easiest and cheapest-to-process form of whey protein. You will see the amount of protein per serving in whey concentrates range anywhere to 30% up t0 80+% on the market.
A high-quality whey concentrate should contain at least 80% protein per serving. Levels Whey Protein has 25 grams of protein in a 30-gram serving, so over 80%.
This is important because you don’t want to be paying money for a bunch of in-organic matter taking up weight in the container. Here’s a picture of a different brand of protein powder with a ton of weight not accounted for.
Now, if I’m reading the label correctly, for a 2 scoop serving size that is 98 grams, you will get 60 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of fat. Where are the other 15 grams? Multiply that by 9 servings (the whole container’s worth of servings) and you get 135 grams or 15% of the container.
No thank you.
Now here is what you want to see on the side of a protein powder container. Here is a picture of the side of the Levels Whey Protein Powder canister:
Most of the weight is accounted for, 29 out of the 30 grams. All whey protein powders have moisture in them so you will have some fluctuations in weight and most companies do allocate for them. You don’t want to see an excessive amount of weight unaccounted for because you are paying for that weight.
Okay, what other ingredients are there?
Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin
Lecithin is a standard addition to protein powders for easy mixing. What is important here is that Levels actually tells you that it is from Non-GMO Sunflowers. A lot of powders will just say “Lecithin” and leave it at that.
Monk Fruit Extract (Not In Unflavored Version)
Monk Fruit extract, like Stevia Leaf extract, is a no-calorie sweetener.
Stevia Leaf Extract (Not in Unflavored Version)
Another no-calorie sweetener, like Monk Fruit extract, it is 150 times sweeter than sugar. These two are combined in the Levels powder to give it a mild, sweet taste. Keep in mind this is for the Vanilla Bean other flavored protein powders. If you get the unflavored version there will be no sweeteners.
Levels Whey Protein Vs. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein
With so many whey protein powders to choose from, it is only natural to be overwhelmed with choices. To give you an idea of how the Levels protein powder stacks up to other powders why not start at the top?
When you tout yourself as the world’s #1 selling sports protein powder like the Error: Unknown Link Type does, you can expect to have a target on your back.
Full disclosure, I have used the Optimum Nutrition Whey Powder many times in the past. When looking at the label now I see a few things that concern me. For a 31 gram serving size, there are 24 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of total fat. That leaves 4 grams unaccounted for. That’s a lot of missing weight considering there are 73 servings.
Another thing I don’t like about the Optimum powder is that there are artificial flavors as well as no mention of how the whey is processed. As for where the whey is coming from, the side of the container states that they include ingredients of international and domestic origins. Not too transparent on many levels.
As far as traceability and quality of ingredients I will give this round to Levels Performance Provisions Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder. As for price, both powders are actually in the same price range (as of this writing). I’m going to go with the whey powder that has more transparent, undenatured ingredients, the Levels brand.
Pros and Cons
Here are the things that I like about Levels 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder
- Cold Processed Micro-Filtered whey protein to protect natural bioactive ingredients.
- Most of the product weight is accounted for, meaning there are no extra fillers doing nothing for you. Each scoop is 30 grams with 24 grams protein, 2 grams of fat and 3 grams of carbohydrates. So, 29 out of 30 grams. I’ve seen whey powders with as much as EIGHT grams unaccounted for, so this is quality whey powder.
- No GMO ingredients or added sugar, no growth hormones along with no bleaching of the whey.
- They state the exact amounts of amino acids you get in each scoop on the side of the canister.
- Whey comes from grass-fed cows in Wisconsin.
- Heavy-metal tested. See picture below
- States 100% Grass-Fed. I don’t have a problem with the grass-fed part of it, just the 100% needs clarifying. The cows are from Wisconsin where it gets pretty cold in the winter. Although I’m sure they’re pasture grazing most of the year, are they eating just hay in the wintertime? But this is being nit-picky as most supplement companies don’t have that level of traceability, yet.
- It has more fat and carbohydrates because it’s whey concentrate. If you want less fat in your protein powder you might want to go with a whey protein isolate. This leads me to an alternative choice for you, Whey Fantastic 5LB 100% Pure Grass Fed Whey Protein.
The Muscle Feast Grass-Fed Whey Protein Blend is another good grass-fed whey protein option. This protein powder is actually a mixture of whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. It’s easily digestible and is comparable to the Levels protein, albeit with a little lower percentage of protein per scoop.
The more I use the Levels 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein, the more I like it. I have the Vanilla Bean flavor and I like its mild subtle vanilla taste. Couple the taste with the quality grass-fed whey that is undenatured through cold processing and this powder is a nutrient powerhouse. I give it my approval and I think it would be a great protein powder to power your fitness goals.