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I have been managing a supplement store since 2013, and one of the very few companies that were a top seller back then and is still prominent on the shelves today is MuscleTech.
They’ve undergone big transformations in the past decade regarding marketing, product innovations, and the types of products they offer.
But does MuscleTech’s Grass-Fed whey live up to the hype? Unfortunately, not.
While the quality of the protein powder used in the formula is good, the product overall falls short because of 3 key factors:
- (1) Only 57% of the calories come from protein. This falls short of FeastGood.com’s minimum standard of 65% for whey protein.
- (2) The second ingredient is a processed carbohydrate, not what you want to see in a product that advertises itself as a whey protein.
- (3) They use artificial sweeteners (sucralose), which reduces the “natural” appeal of the product.
Overall Rating: 3.4/5
Medical Disclaimer: The material presented in this article aims to offer informational insights. It should not be perceived as medical guidance. The views and writings are not designed for diagnosing, preventing, or treating health issues. Always consult with your physician prior to starting any new dietary or supplement routine.
I Recommend This Whey Protein Instead
While I encourage you to read the full review below before making your decision, if you are looking for the benefits of grass-fed whey protein, but in a higher quality formula, I suggest Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Concentrate.
It has a higher protein content (93%), zero artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, and no added fillers
Want to learn more? Read our Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate Review.
MuscleTech is, according to them, the #1 selling supplement brand in the United States (based on wholesale dollars from 2001 to present). They have been a formidable presence in the industry for decades.
They were founded in 1995 and launched with three flagship products: creatine, a testosterone support product, and their flagship fat burner, Hydroxycut, which is still a top seller today.
In 2000, they launched their first protein product, Nitrotech. Fast forward twenty years and we are introduced to MuscleTech Grass-Fed whey which hit international shelves in 2020.
The brand operates under the umbrella innovation company called Iovate, who also manufactures Six Star Nutrition. (I also reviewed Six Star Whey Protein – click to read what I thought)”
Their company philosophy is one promoting research and innovation at the forefront of all they do, and “pushing the limits of science and human potential”.
They promote themselves as being a brand for everyone from elite athletes to weekend warriors and general health enthusiasts.
They also have a history of partnering with big names in a variety of industries.
In 2018 they partnered with Rob Gronkowski (at the time a professional football player in the NFL) for a high protein candy bar, and have other athlete ambassadors including Ryan Hall (marathon runner), Camille Kostek (swimsuit model), and Gracie Gold (figure skater).
Most recently they’ve added Henry Cavill (the actor who played the Witcher and Superman) as their Chief Creative Director and face of their new marketing campaigns.
Overview of MuscleTech Protein Powder
The macronutrient breakdown of MuscleTech protein is:
- Protein: 20g
- Carbohydrates: 9g
- Fat: 2.5g
- Sugar: 2g
At 140 calories per serving with 20 grams of protein, MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey comes in at only 57% protein per scoop.
Even if the other calories were to come from nutritious sources, the product is marketed as a protein supplement but 47% of the calories in the product come from non-protein sources (i.e. carbs and fats).
As a general guideline, products that fall between 65-75% protein per scoop I would consider “reasonable” sources of protein. A good quality protein falls between 75-85% of total calories from protein, and a great product would be one above 85%.Jennifer Vibert, Certified Nutrition Coach
Takeaway: MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey falls below our criteria for acceptable protein percentage per scoop.
Highlights: What I Liked About MuscleTech Protein
Protein that comes from grass-fed whey is guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or antibiotics, which means those ingredients aren’t passed on to you.
When a product says it uses grass-fed whey, what that means is that the cows are fed their natural diet of grass, as opposed to being fed with grains like corn and soy.
When an animal consumes a diet as close to its natural diet as possible, their bodies become more nutrient-dense and those nutrients get passed on to us.
Alternatively, if an animal is fed a processed diet with inflammatory grains, antibiotics, and growth hormones, those elements also get passed on to us.
No Artificial Flavors and Colors
MuscleTech uses cocoa and natural flavors in its products, reducing the amount of potentially unsafe additives like artificial colors.
While they do still use sucralose, which has been proven safe in more than 100 studies, using cocoa and natural vanilla flavors provides a delicious flavor that is not overwhelmingly sweet.
Artificial colors have zero nutritional value and can actually be harmful in some cases, so the fact that MuscleTech has ensured they are not used in this product is a benefit.
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey comes in at approximately $1.00 per serving, with similar products on Amazon falling between $1.77 and $1.90 per serving.
Looking for other grass-fed whey products on the market, other options that come in the same tub size (~2lb) cost between $1.77 and $1.90 per serving.
In fact, I couldn’t find any grass-fed whey options that came in at close to $1.00 per serving unless you invest $70-80 upfront to get a 5lb tub.
This product is great then for someone who wants the health benefits of grass-fed whey (hormone and antibiotic-free) and doesn’t care about artificial sweeteners.
The 20g of protein that it does offer per serving is pretty close to what you can find in a 3oz chicken breast (23g) and is great value at $1.00 per serving.
Drawbacks: What I Didn’t Like About MuscleTech Protein
The tub states that it is 100% grass-fed whey with no artificial flavors or colors. While it does use only grass-fed whey, that whey makes up only 57% of the product. They don’t use artificial flavors but they do use artificial sweeteners.
This is really just a matter of the wording used on the labels being misleading for consumers. Someone such as yourself, who is reading this article, has the advantage of being educated in what makes high-quality products and how to analyze what’s written on the label.
Many other consumers do not. In my experience, when people see “100% Whey Protein” on a tub, they assume that the product in the tub is exclusively whey protein with nothing else added.
A lot of people also equate artificial flavors to including artificial sweeteners, so when they see “No artificial flavors”, they assume that includes things like sucralose and aspartame.
MuscleTech is not lying about what’s in their products, but I do think they are misleading in their label claims.
Low Protein Percentage
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey has one of the lowest percentages of protein per scoop I have found on the market, coming in at only 57% of the total calories from protein.
If this product were marketed as a meal replacement or meal supplement, I would feel a bit better about it, but the fact that it is advertised as a Whey Protein Supplement and just over half of the product is actually protein, I consider a knock against the product.
In evaluating similar products, Levels Grass-Fed Whey Protein, costs $1.26 per serving (or only $1.00 per serving if you invest in the 5lb tub, which makes it the same cost per serving as MuscleTech’s Grass-Fed Whey).
Levels Grass-Fed Whey, however, comes in at 74% protein per scoop and is free of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
The company states that it has no added sugar in its product, but the second ingredient is maltodextrin, which is a highly processed form of sugar.
In evaluating the FDA’s regulations for what constitutes “added sugar”, in 2018 they established that maltodextrin does count as an added sugar.
Per their website, “In the final guidance, FDA retained its position that added sugars include sugars from maltodextrins…”
To be clear, I am not opposed to having carbs or sugar in a protein powder. There are naturally occurring sugars in milk (i.e. lactose), so it makes sense that a product made from dairy will have some naturally occurring sugar.
In this case, however, carbohydrates make up 25% of the overall calories in the product.
Is Muscletech Whey Protein Good? My Experience
While this product has a low protein percentage per scoop and wouldn’t be my first choice for a protein supplement, it’s very cost-effective and both tastes and mixes well.
Intentionally or not, I found this product to be misleading. This is really just a lesson in semantics.
On the front it states “100% Grass-Fed Whey protein”.
Out of the protein used in the product, 100% of it does come from grass-fed whey. The product itself, however, is not 100% whey protein. In fact, it’s only 57% whey protein with the rest of the calories coming from carbs or fat.
I was also pretty disappointed to find that the second ingredient in the powder was sugar (in the form of maltodextrin, a highly processed carbohydrate).
The label clearly states that it contains zero artificial flavors or colors. This is technically true, but potentially misleading for consumers who don’t understand the difference between artificial flavors and artificial sweeteners.
In my experience, many customers equate the two as being the same.
This product doesn’t contain artificial colors or sweeteners as claimed, but it does use sucralose which is an artificial sweetener.
Now again this part is just my opinion, based on my interactions with customers: When somebody is looking for a grass-fed whey with no artificial flavors, it means they want nothing artificial in their product at all. Adding sucralose alienates that population and reduces the quality and appeal of their product.
Furthermore, when your second ingredient is sugar, the added sucralose at the end was likely an unneeded component.
All that aside, I did enjoy consuming the protein.
It had a nice rich taste when mixed with both milk and water, and it made some really decadent and creamy chocolate oatmeal.
I found the protein mixed pretty well overall, but I did occasionally have some small chunks in my shaker cup. This was remedied by using a stainless steel spring ball in my shaker cup.
The protein digested well for me and I did not experience any gassiness or bloating.
How Does MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Protein Stack Up Against Our Criteria For Whey Protein
At FeastGood, we have 8 different criteria for ranking whey protein powders. Here’s how MuscleTech Whey Protein stacked up:
Nutrition Label Transparency
Our rating: 1/5
The label is a bit misleading in its claims of being 100% grass-fed whey and using no artificial flavours and colors.
For the educated consumer, they can look at the smaller print and see that the quantity of sucralose is clearly labeled and can figure out that the product offers a low protein percentage per scoop.
A consumer who might not be aware of these nuances though and doesn’t know what to look for might be mislead by this label.
Fat Content Transparency
Our rating: 4.5/5
The fat content is clearly listed in the nutrition facts panel, along with grams of saturated fats and trans fats.
Our rating: 3.5/5
I would give this product a 5/5 for their use of grass-fed whey protein, which is higher quality than traditional whey. But I reduced that rating because the second ingredient is maltodextrin.
Maltodextrin, though not technically a sugar, behaves in a similar way that sugar does and has a much higher GI value than table sugar.
This means that maltodextrin will cause higher spikes in blood sugar and insulin than table sugar would.
Maltodextrin is commonly used in products because it improves the mouthfeel of products making them more enjoyable to eat or drink.
A redeeming quality of this formula is that they use sunflower lecithin, which is an ingredient that can improve the shelf life and mouthfeel of a product. The use of sunflower allows the company to avoid putting soy in their products.
Protein Percent of Calories
Our rating: 1/5
With only 57% of the calories coming from protein, this category falls below our “acceptable” rating for protein percentage per scoop
This is obviously a recurring theme, but I can’t get over the low protein percentage in this product.
This product offers ~57% protein, ~26% carbohydrates, and ~16% fat. At these percentages, I would call this product more of a “high protein meal supplement” and less of a “protein powder”.
Similar products like Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey offer proteins that come in at 74% to 93% protein per scoop.
Our rating: 4/5
The available flavors did taste great, offering good flavor and richness without overwhelming sweetness. The downside is that there are only two available flavors (chocolate and vanilla).
Our rating: 4/5
The product mixed well overall, but did need a stainless steel spring ball or fork to completely dissolve the powder in water.
When mixing this without the use of a stainless steel spring ball or fork, the product was still drinkable and enjoyable. There were a few leftover chunks of protein, but not so many that it was irritating to drink.
Texture (Thick or Thin)
Our rating: Thick
The product mixed up nice and thick, with a creamy texture.
This one drinks more like a fulfilling shake, mixing up with a nice creamy texture.
It added a fullness and creamy texture when blended into smoothies.
Our rating: 3.5/5
When taken on an empty stomach, the protein alone kept me sated for about an hour.
I found when adding it as part of a breakfast or snack, however, it really prolonged the satiety and fullness from that meal.
For example, when I mixed it into my morning oatmeal, or paired it with greek yogurt and berries, I found that I was still feeling sated nearly four hours later.
- Related Article: Best Whey Protein With Creatine
Who Is MuscleTech Grass-fed Whey For?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Protein is for:
- Someone looking for a meal replacement. This product is around 57% protein, 26% carbs, and 16% fat which makes it closer to a meal supplement than a true protein powder. Pair this product with some fruit or vegetables to create a balanced meal.
- Someone with gluten intolerance. This product is certified gluten-free and therefore safe for anyone who has celiac disease or gluten intolerance/sensitivity.
- Someone on a budget. At only $1.00 per serving, this is a great economy product. It has 20g of protein per scoop, which is similar to what would be found in 3 whole eggs or a chicken breast.
Who Shouldn’t Take MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey protein is not for:
- Keto/low-carb dieters. With 9g of carbohydrates per scoop, this product is around 25% carbohydrates and is harder to fit into a low-carb or keto diet.
- Someone looking for zero artificial additives. Though they use no artificial flavors or colors, they do use sucralose which is an artificial sweetener.
- Someone with a lactose allergy. The product retains its natural milk sugar (lactose) and might cause GI upset for someone with a lactose allergy or milk allergy.
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Customer Reviews
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey still comes highly rated on amazon with a 4.6/5 star rating, based on over 1300 reviews. Here’s a quick breakdown of the user ratings out of 5 stars:
- 5 stars: 73%
- 4 stars: 18%
- 3 stars: 6%
- 2 stars: 1%
- 1 star: 2%
A breakdown of the rating by category provides more insight into how customers feel about MuscleTech Grass-fed Whey:
- Ingredient Quality: 4.4/5
- Flavor: 4.4/5
- Value: 4.4/5
Many of the comments speak less to the protein itself, and more of its value with notes like “Price point is awesome!” and “price is fantastic for less than $20 this protein powder is a steal”.
The other two big emerging trends from customer reviews speak to the delicious chocolate flavor (which I happen to agree with) and that it doesn’t mix perfectly (which I also experienced).
For comparison’s sake, I browsed the 1-star reviews specifically to see what people didn’t like about MuscleTech Grassfed Whey.
The comments were particularly colorful, with some people claiming that it was without a doubt the worst product they’ve ever tried in their life. (I don’t put a ton of value in these comments, you can find them about literally every product out there).
There were however a lot of customers commenting about the added maltodextrin, the big scoop (35g) for a small amount of protein (20g) which is indicative of a product that has a low protein percentage per scoop with extra fillers.
Is MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Protein Worth It?
If you are on a tight budget and want the advantages of grass-fed whey, then MuscleTech’s Grass-Fed Whey is worth it. Ultimately, I think there are higher quality options at a slightly higher price point that can offer a higher protein percentage with zero artificial sweeteners or maltodextrin.
MuscleTech Promotions & Discounts
The muscletech website offers you the option to sign up to their exclusive newsletter which gives subscribers the chance to be the first to know about and try new products, get free swag, training routines, nutritional advice, and exclusive member offers.
Where To Buy MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey?
I went to browse Walmart.com for the product and was able to find it sold on their online marketplace through a few third-party retailers.
Personally, I prefer going through Amazon.com who offers a subscribe and save feature which can enable you to save an extra 5-15% off your protein.
The product is also available through Bodybuilding.com, where you can also save a little bit of money if you are a BodyFit member (which costs $6.99/month or $39.99 per year)
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Alternatives?
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Concentrate
Transparent Labs offers a grass-fed whey concentrate that offer more protein per scoop, a higher protein percentage, and a wider variety of flavors.
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey has 24g of protein per scoop, and at only 130 calories that makes this product 74% protein per scoop.
It only has 2g of carbs compared to MuscleTech’s 9g per serving, and has no added sugar, no maltodextrin, and no artificial sweeteners.
The different flavor options include chocolate, french vanilla, mocha latte, and salted caramel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are Muscle Tech’s Supplements Made?
Iovate Health Sciences, the company behind MuscleTech, has its headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Muscletech products are manufactured in the USA and in India from international ingredients and imported internationally.
What Is MuscleTech’s Shipping Policy?
MuscleTech has an extensive shipping policy page. Shipping within the United States is done through iHerb, but the shipping policies vary depending on which delivery service is used (USPS, UPS, Expedited). All addresses must be submitted in English with no special characters.
What Is MuscleTech’s Return Policy?
MuscleTech product return requests can be submitted via the contact form on their website within 60 days of purchase. Refunds will be granted back to the original form of payment. They state that some products must be refunded and cannot be replaced.
Is MuscleTech Third Party Tested?
All MuscleTech products are manufactured according to string cGMP standards and are all third-party tested to ensure quality, purity, and consistency.
Is MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Good For Weight Loss?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey is not a good option for weight loss, due to its low percentage of protein and high percentage of carbohydrates from maltodextrin. Maltodextrin can cause blood sugar and insulin spikes, leading to increased fat storage.
Is MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Keto Friendly?
With 9g of carbohydrates per 35g serving and the addition of maltodextrin (a highly processed carb that spikes blood sugar), MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey is not a keto-friendly option.
Is MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Gluten Free?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey is gluten free.
What Are The Best Ways To Mix MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey tastes good and mixes fairly well in a shaker cup with cold water. For added richness, mix it with your favorite milk or milk substitute. MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey also stirs well into greek yogurt and oatmeal.
What Flavors Are Available For MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey?
MuscleTech Grass-fed Whey is available in Triple Chocolate and Deluxe Vanilla.
Does MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey Make You Gain Weight?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey is low calorie (140 calories per serving) making it unlikely to cause increased weight gain.
Can you use MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey as A Meal Replacement?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey is a great high protein option as a meal replacement. At only 140 calories and 20g of protein per scoop, I would take two scoops with water or milk as a meal replacement. Alternatively, take 1 scoop with some fruit and/or vegetables and nuts on the side to build a complete meal.
When Is The Best Time To Take MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey?
MuscleTech Grass-Fed Whey could be taken any time of day, but would be a good option at meal time (breakfast, lunch, or supper) as a meal replacement or meal supplement.
How To Contact MuscleTech
You can reach out to muscletech through their website via their contact form but they provide no additional details (like e-mail address or phone number).
Protein that comes from grass-fed whey is guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or antibiotics. If you are on a tight budget and are okay with a lower-quality protein, then MuscleTech’s Grass-Fed Whey is worth it.
Other Whey Protein Reviews
Wilborn, C. D., Taylor, L. W., Outlaw, J., Williams, L., Campbell, B., Foster, C. A., Smith-Ryan, A., Urbina, S., & Hayward, S. (2013). The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes. Journal of sports science & medicine, 12(1), 74–79.
Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, Weinberger A, Kuperman Y, Harmelin A, Kolodkin-Gal I, Shapiro H, Halpern Z, Segal E, Elinav E. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6. doi: 10.1038/nature13793. Epub 2014 Sep 17. PMID: 25231862.
Norton LE, Wilson GJ, Layman DK, Moulton CJ, Garlick PJ. Leucine content of dietary proteins is a determinant of postprandial skeletal muscle protein synthesis in adult rats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Jul 20;9(1):67. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-67. PMID: 22818257; PMCID: PMC3488566.
Ruiz-Ojeda, F. J., Plaza-Díaz, J., Sáez-Lara, M. J., & Gil, A. (2019). Effects of Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiota: A Review of Experimental Studies and Clinical Trials. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 10(suppl_1), S31–S48. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy037
Tim Snijders and others, Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 145, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 1178–1184, https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.208371
About The Author
Jennifer Vibert is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach, and supplement store manager. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle and a minor in Psychology from the University of Regina. She is a Certified Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition, with a passion for helping clients learn the fundamentals of nutrition and supplementation in order to build healthy, sustainable habits.
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