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I’ve worked in the supplement industry for over a decade as a supplement store manager and writer.
I’ve tested and reviewed over 50+ whey proteins in my career.
So, it takes A LOT for a protein powder to stand out for me. While I rarely get disappointed with a product, I also rarely get super excited about a product too.
This changed though after I recently had the opportunity to test Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Isolate.
I was so impressed by this protein (which I’ll dive into later).
However, if you’ve come for a quick answer on whether Trasparanet Labs is worth it, the answer is 100% yes, and it’s why FeastGood.com recommends it over all other whey proteins.
Here are the top 3 reasons why:
- While it comes with a premium price tag ($2 per serving vs the average of $1.34), it contains 93% protein, which is higher than any other protein we’ve tested.
- It has completely transparent labels, so you know the exact amount of each ingredient in the product (most supplement companies don’t do this).
- The taste and texture ranked the highest among everyone on the team that tried it compared with other protein powders (the only protein powder that came close to its rank on taste was Ghost Whey Protein).
Overall Rating: 4.8/5
What Is Transparent Labs?
Transparent Labs prides itself on being a completely transparent company, as the name would suggest. This means that they disclose the testing results from every single batch of product they produce, allowing you to verify the quality and purity of your product.
They also disclose the exact ingredients on their ingredient labels, down to the mg dose in many instances, helping you make an informed decision about the products you are taking.
Their website and products have a professional appeal, and unlike other supplement companies that try to sway you by slapping fitness influencers’ names all over the product, their focus is on science and clinical testing.
For example, here’s something that no other supplement company allows you to do:
On their website, you can find the Certificate of Analysis page for your product, which shows the percentage breakdown for ingredients contained in the product) and the results of testing for impurities.
For my protein tub specifically:
- The Certificate of Composition indicated that the product was 94.3% protein and 5.7% flavor
- My specific lot number was 22081067, which initially I couldn’t find listed on the website, so I emailed Transparent Labs and heard back from them pretty quickly (2 days later) with a link to a certificate of analysis for the chocolate whey protein.
(If you’re interested, here were the exact testing results)
Overview of Transparent Labs Whey Protein
The macronutrient breakdown of the Transparent Labs Isolate is:
- Protein: 28g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Fat: 0g
- Sugar: 0-1g (depending on the flavor)
At 120 calories per serving, protein accounts for 93% of the calories in this product. This puts the Transparent Labs Isolate on the highest end of the spectrum for protein content.
Our general guideline is that a reasonable protein powder offers 65-75% protein per scoop, a good product has 75-85% protein per scoop, and an excellent product contains more than 85% protein per scoop.
The Transparent Labs grass-fed whey isolate has the highest protein percentages per scoop that I have come across in the industry.
Takeaway: Transparent Labs Isolate far exceeds our criteria for an excellent quality source of protein
Highlights: What I Liked About Transparent Labs Isolate
Clean, Quality Ingredients With No Additives
Transparent Labs Isolate has only 4-5 total ingredients in its product (depending on the flavor). There are no unnecessary additives or preservatives, and the certificates of analysis reassure that there are no harmful ingredients like lead or mercury in their products.
The ingredients are whey protein, natural flavors, salt, and stevia. In some instances, they add cocoa or peanut flour as a 5th ingredient. There are no soy-based preservatives added and no artificial flavors or colors (which is a big problem with other protein powders).
Grass-Fed Whey Containing Higher Nutrients
Grass-fed whey means that cows have been pasture-fed with their natural diet of grass as opposed to using indoor mechanical feeding systems or combinations of corn and grains.
Pasture-fed cows have been correlated with higher quality milk, including higher omega-3 content, higher protein content, and higher levels of nutrients like CLA, beta-carotene, and alpha-lipoic acid.
- CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) may help to encourage fat breakdown and slow down the accumulation of fat
- Beta-carotene is the compound that gets converted into Vitamin A in the body and is great for supporting eye health.
- ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against damage.
Great Taste That Appeals to A Wide Audience
Transparent Labs Isolate offers a bold, rich taste without being too sweet. The use of no artificial flavors or sweeteners makes it more appealing to a broader population that finds those types of sweeteners upset their stomach or make them bloated.
Stevia is the last ingredient listed on the isolate, meaning that it’s the ingredient that is used in the smallest quantity (between 160-185mg).
The combination of cocoa, peanut flower, natural flavors, and salt is perfect for giving this product a nice rich taste without being overbearingly sweet (you can always make your protein powder sweeter, check out this article for how to do that).
Good Mixability With No Chunks or Chalkiness
Transparent Labs Isolate mixed up easily without having to use a fancy shaker cup or blender. It had no clumps and had a smooth, creamy texture.
Oftentimes a lot of isolate proteins are mixed up really thin and can leave a chalky residue feeling in the mouth, or on the side of the shaker.
Transparent Labs Isolate mixed up completely, leaving no chunks or chalkiness. It had a nice creamy texture and was enjoyable to drink with both milk, water, and almond milk.
When stirred into yogurt or oatmeal, it dissolved completely.
Drawbacks: What I Didn’t Like About Transparent Labs
The Cost Per Scoop Is Above The Average
For the quality, I think that Transparent Labs is worth the price. But at $2 per serving, it might be an out-of-budget option for consumers
It’s really hard to compare a protein powder that has such a high protein content per scoop (93%) with other protein powders on the basis of price though.
For example, Six Star Whey Protein is $1.00 per serving, which is half the cost of Transparent Labs, but it only has 58-66% of protein per scoop.
Sure, you’re paying less, but for a protein powder, 58-66% of protein per scoop is totally unacceptable.
I did find another protein powder (which we haven’t tested yet) called Believe Supplements that has a similar protein content per scoop as Transparent Labs and comes in at $1.75 per serving. But, that product doesn’t use grass-fed whey protein and uses artificial flavors and sweeteners.
So I still think Transparent Labs is justified in charging $2 per serving.
Transparent Labs Review: My Experience
This protein powder quickly became my favorite and I now use it as my go-to protein day-to-day.
For an isolate with no artificial flavors, I wasn’t expecting it to taste as good as it does.
I have tried other grass-fed whey isolates in the past and my experience has typically been that they either use artificial sweeteners or added sugar to their formulas, or they mix up really thin and taste bland.
This product checked all of the boxes in regard to taste, mixability, and texture.
Isolate proteins typically digest pretty quickly, at a rate of about 10g of protein per hour. With nearly 30g of protein per scoop, you would expect this product to keep you full for between 2 and 3 hours, which I found to be pretty accurate.
I would have one scoop of water post-workout (around 8:00 am) and didn’t find myself looking for something else to eat until around 11:00 am. (Note for transparency: I drink my morning coffee at around 9:00 am, which could contribute to longer feelings of satiety as well).
I have started enjoying this protein mixed with plain greek yogurt as a late-night, sweet snack. This combination is great any time of day as a snack to keep you full and is great at curbing sweet-tooth cravings.
(Pro tip: Mix your protein powder and greek yogurt, then put it in the freezer a few hours before you want to eat it for a high-protein ice cream experience.)
How Does Transparent Labs Stack Up Against Our Criteria For Whey Protein
At FeastGood, we have 8 different criteria for ranking whey protein powders. Here’s how Transparent Labs Whey Protein stacked up:
1. Nutrition Label Transparency
Our rating: 5/5
This was the most transparent label I’ve found, indicating the exact amount of grams or milligrams of each ingredient.
Not only are the exact ingredients listed on the label, but it’s also very easy to go to their website and search the lot number of your protein powder to find their certificate of analysis and certificate of composition to verify the quality and purity of your products.
You don’t have to hunt for these or jump through hoops, everything is easily accessible on their website.
2. Fat Content Transparency
Our rating: 5/5
Transparent Labs Isolate clearly indicates how much fat is in their protein powders.
The fat content is 0g in transparent labs, which is not the case for other proteins like MuscleTech.
3. Effective Ingredients
Our rating: 5/5
Transparent Labs uses high-quality ingredients like grass-fed whey, but has no unnecessary flavors, colors, or preservatives in their product.
Grass-fed whey provides higher protein and nutrient content than its machine/indoor-fed counterparts. Those nutrients and health benefits get passed on to you when you consume the milk.
They use a small amount of stevia to sweeten their protein, but otherwise use only natural flavors, cocoa, peanut flour, and salt.
4. Protein Percent of Calories
Our rating: 5/5
At 93% protein per scoop, Transparent Labs has one of the highest protein percentages that we’ve come across.
Our criteria for a great whey protein powder is one that contains at least 85% protein per scoop. The Transparent Labs Isolate far exceeds that number.
Our rating: 4.5/5
Even without the use of artificial flavors or sweeteners, Transparent Labs Isolate offers a bold, rich taste.
I am only docking points because so far I have only tried the chocolate flavor, so I will leave half a mark in case some of the other flavors don’t stack up.
There is also the chance that you are in the population who finds the taste of stevia overbearing or bitter and may not like the taste of this product for that reason.
Worth mentioning, this is definitely more of a dark chocolate/cocoa flavor than sweet milk chocolate.
Our rating: 5/5
Transparent Labs Isolate mixed up easily and completely.
I didn’t have to use a blender or fork/whisk to break up the powder.
7. Texture (Thick or Thin)
Our rating: thick
For a whey isolate with no thickening ingredients, Transparent Labs Isolate still mixed up with a nice, creamy texture.
I was surprised that as an isolate it mixed up so creamy. Sometimes isolate proteins can have a watery texture but this one drank thick and smooth.
I am calling this one “thick for an isolate” because it’s still not quite as thick as some slower-digesting proteins like casein, but it was definitely thicker than some other isolates I have tried.
Our rating: 3.5/5
This product falls in line with other whey proteins that provide around 2h of satiety when mixed with water. When added to milk, oats, or yogurt the feeling of satiety is prolonged.
I found that when I took this isolate on an empty stomach mixed just with water, I felt hungry again about 2 hours later, which is typical for an isolate.
If you are looking for a product to give a longer feeling of satiety and fullness, opt for a whey concentrate or a casein protein (like Transparent Labs casein) which digests at a rate closer to 6-7g per hour versus the isolate’s digestion rate of 10g per hour.
Alternatively, you can mix your protein with something other than water, like milk, yogurt, or oats, or with a piece of fruit on the side to help keep you fuller longer.
Who Is Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate For?
Transparent Labs Isolate is for:
- Someone who cares about high-quality ingredients. They use simple, clean ingredients with no added flavours, colors, or preservatives.
- Someone with lactose sensitivity. Transparent Labs Whey Isolate is very low in sugar, and can be assumed to be virtually lactose-free. (This applies to people with light lactose sensitivities, and cannot be applied to people with strong dairy allergies).
- Someone who wants no artificial flavors or colors. Transparent Labs uses only natural flavors and stevia to sweeten their products and uses no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Who Shouldn’t Take Transparent Labs?
Transparent Labs Whey protein is not for:
- Someone on a budget. The Isolate is on the high end of the spectrum as far as cost, coming in at $2.00 per serving. This might not fall within everyone’s budget
- Someone sensitive to stevia. If you are part of the population who suffers from stevia headaches or gets a strong bitter taste from stevia, then the appeal of using no artificial sweeteners might not be a net positive for you.
Transparent Labs Customer Reviews
Transparent Labs refuses to sell on online platforms like Amazon, so most of the reviews I could find came directly from the Transparent Labs website.
There, the product has a 4.5/5 star rating based on over 2100 reviews.
Most of the reviews boast the same things I talked about already: Great taste, mixes well, and excellent quality ingredients.
I couldn’t find any negative reviews, though customers did express that they found the product too expensive or too sweet.
Transparent Labs Promotions & Discounts
The only promotion or discount offer I found for Transparent Labs was to use the subscribe and save feature through their website.
This allows you to instantly save 15% off your order. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time and you can choose your shipping frequency (to be every 30, 45, or 60 days).
Where To Buy Transparent Labs?
Transparent labs refuses to sell to mass online retailers like Amazon, so it is currently only available directly through the Transparent Labs website or from select independent storefront retailers.
The website does have a store locator to find storefront retailers near you.
At the time this article is being written, it appears that the only storefront retailer is The Vitamin Shoppe.
A quick browse of The Vitamin Shoppe website didn’t show the protein isolate as an option, so it looks like the most direct and surefire way to order this isolate is to go directly from the Transparent Labs website.
Transparent Labs Alternatives?
This is another grass-fed whey isolate with minimal added ingredients. If you invest in the 5lb tub of Diesel Isolate, the cost comes down to $1.00 per serving which makes it a more budget-friendly option.
(Note that if you buy Diesel in the 2lb size, the cost is $2.00, just like the Transparent Labs option).
Perfect Sports Diesel does not come with the same third-party testing and quality guarantee that Transparent Labs does, but if budget is the bottom line then Diesel is a great option.
If you want the quality of Transparent Labs, but have a dairy allergy or strong sensitivity then you can consider Transparent Labs Vegan Protein.
Transparent Labs uses a blend of rice and pea protein to give you a complete amino acid profile and offers 24g of protein per serving.
At $1.66 per serving ($1.41 if you choose the Subscribe and Save option) it’s a great, high quality alternative to their whey isolate counterpart.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is Transparent Labs Isolate Made?
Transparent labs is manufactured and distributed out of Utah in a facility that is cGMP Certified. The grass-fed whey is sourced from New Zealand.
What Is Transparent Labs’ Shipping Policy?
Shipping cost and time varies by country, and can be as fast as 1-3 business days for priority shipping in the USA to 14-21 business days for international orders. If you choose the default shipping method, you accept and recognize that it is non-tracked and non-prioritized.
What Is Transparent Labs’ Return Policy?
Returns are processed through customer support (email@example.com). Unopened products can be refunded within 30 days of purchase. An exchange or online store credit for the cost of the item can be done for opened products. Frequent requests for store credits will be monitored for abuse of the system.
Is Transparent Labs Third Party Tested?
Each batch of product by Transparent Labs is third-party tested with all tested lot numbers available to view here.
Is Transparent Labs Isolate Good For Weight Loss?
Transparent Labs Isolate is low calorie, low sugar, and fits easily into the macros of any dieter. It might not be best for satiety and fullness, but will support weight loss by adding a high volume of protein for a low-calorie content.
Is Transparent Labs Isolate Keto Friendly?
Transparent Labs Isolate is keto friendly. All formulas have less than 2g of sugar per serving, and some flavours have less than 1g of sugar per serving (mocha, milk chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla).
Is Transparent Labs Gluten Free?
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Isolate is gluten free.
What Are The Best Ways To Mix Transparent Labs?
Transparent Labs Isolate mixes great shaken with water or milk, but can also be stirred into oatmeal, yogurt, or added to smoothies.
What Flavors Are Available For Transparent Labs?
Transparent Labs Isolate is available in 8 flavors: Oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, milk chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla peanut butter, cinnamon french toast, strawberry, mocha, and french vanilla.
Does Transparent Labs Isolate Make You Gain Weight?
Because the product is low calorie, low sugar, and low fat, it is very unlikely that you will gain weight by taking Transparent Labs Isolate.
Can you use Transparent Labs as A Meal Replacement?
On its own, Transparent Labs Isolate should not be used as a meal replacement. It makes a great addition to a meal or snack. Blend it into a smoothie with fruits and vegetables or oatmeal with pumpkin and flax seeds to make a balanced meal.
When Is The Best Time To Take Transparent Labs?
Transparent Labs Isolate can be taken any time of day, with meals or between meals but also makes a great post-workout option.
How To Contact Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs has a customer support phone number at 1-866-324-9557.
For most inquiries, they request that you e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (I reached out to them regarding the missing lot number for my product and they got back to me within 2 business days).
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.