Thank you to Strength.com for sending their Catalyst Grass Fed Whey protein powder in for the purposes of this review. With that said, it in no way affects our always unbiased stance on every product review we do.
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Catalyst Grass Fed Whey by Strength.com is a premium whey protein blend, of which there are no shortages of alternatives available in the market. [You can see our existing recommended supplement guide here]. To differentiate this product from others, the Catalyst product has gone for a clean, no-nonsense appeal. After all, long-gone are the days when only bodybuilders and athletes would consume additional protein supplements. Protein is widely seen as a dietary addition for all, you only have to see the likes of Protein World to realize that the landscape has drastically changed. And that’s a good thing, in recent years the industry has been moving to clean up it’s act.
The Catalyst Grass Fed Whey (notice the Grass Fed) is also positioned as free from rBGH bovine growth hormones, and without any of the artificial sweeteners or filler ingredients seen in many other whey products. Finally, and perhaps most importantly for us, the product is NSF Certified for Sport. This tells us that the product meets stringent certification criteria to suggest it is free from banned substances in sport. Labels such as these should be looked for by athletes as a baseline measure to minimize risk (note that risk of banned substance consumption is not eliminated entirely- some companies only test a product from a batch, not each individual product, and contamination is still possible).
So in theory, this product should not only be good for you if you need to up your protein intake, but is also pretty safe for drug-tested professional athletes!
Catalyst Grass Fed Whey is aims to be a superior, results driven formula engineered to be the cleanest, most trusted muscle building fuel source for hard training athletes, competitors, trainers and coaches.
Looking at the label we can see that the protein blend uses a 3:1 isolate to concentrate ratio. This basically means that for every 3 grams of whey protein isolate used, 1 gram of whey protein concentrate is used. This is a good sign, since many whey products just use whey protein concentrate (which can be anything from say 40-80% protein) whereas isolate is typically a minimum of 90% protein. So, more points scored towards the pure side of things. What is the other percentage made up of you ask? Well, let’s say you have whey protein concentrate at 80%, the other 20% would be carbs and fats (lactose). A lot of people want a low lactose content in their protein (associations with gastric distress, bloatedness etc). More on that later.
Milk from grass-fed cows delivers a greater nutrient content than milk from corn/soy-fed cows. Milk from grass-fed cows is also widely considered as having a superior, more complete amino acid profile with high CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) to aid in weight loss.
Catalyst’s Grass Fed Whey is one of a surprisingly small number of NSF Certified for Sport proteins available, meaning that it is very low risk (of banned substance contamination) for anybody to use, including those in drug-tested sports at a professional / Olympic level. JP Cargnelli, the director of strength.com, explains a little more about the product and the importance of the NSF Certification:
”Getting NSF Certification was very important to us. It speaks to the quality of the product and the dedication of the team working behind it. As many people know, becoming NSF Certified can be a long and challenging process, but we are committed on making sure the essential product in our lineup is tested and proven to be safe for all. Now, any athletes of all caliber can use this product confidently as it’s officially NSF Certified for Sport with no rBGH bovine growth hormones, no banned substances, unlisted ingredients, or harmful impurities.
We’ve even seen orders come through from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Columbus Blue Jackets, and other collegiate powerhouses! The positive feedback has been overwhelming, and we can’t wait for what is ahead.”
We have been trying out two flavors: The Natural Vanilla and the West Coast Strawberry. Having used many different protein powders in the past of similar flavors, it can be difficult to find something ‘special’ to write home about. However, I believe that is actually where many of the positives are.
For example, having used both flavors extensively over the past month, neither has caused any bloated-ness or uncomfortable stomach pains. Additionally I can’t say that I have noticed any effect on my mood or drowsiness as a result of consumption either, essentially, I just take it and carry on with my day.
Having tried the grass-fed whey with both milk and water, I found it mixes well with both, no clumps, nasties or otherwise. The flavoring does leave a little to be desired- I believe this is due to the desire to retain the purity of the product, and not fill it with sweeteners. However I think expectations are elevated slightly when a product is labelled as ‘West Coast’ Strawberry, ‘Natural’ Vanilla, or even ‘Belgian’ Chocolate; to me at least, they bring connotations of a more luxurious taste. If you are not expecting gourmet and see the product for what it is, you will not be disappointed.
For me it ticks all the boxes of what a good supplement in this category ‘should’ do. Help you to achieve your protein intake goals, in a safe way and with no side effects. Find some great smoothie recipes to mix your protein powder with here!
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 24g
- Carbs: 3g (1-2g sugar, depending on flavor – )
- Fats: 0.5g
So first let’s start out with all of the Catalyst Grass Fed Whey positives.
- NSF Certified for Sport®: No rBGH bovine growth hormones, no banned substances, unlisted ingredients, or harmful impurities.
- 24g of Protein per serving: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate). Each scoop of Catalyst Grass Fed Whey protein weighs in between 30.6 – 30.85g (depending on the flavor).
- Whey Protein Isolate: WPI is the main contributor of the mass of the blend, which is especially beneficial to those individuals who are lactose-sensitive.
- Great packaging: Your selected flavors arrived in a sealed 2.02lb resealable bag for easy access and transportation.
- Various flavors: Catalyst Grass Fed Whey is offered in 3 distinct flavors: Natural Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate, and West Coast Strawberry.
- 100% All-Natural: No artificial sweeteners or fillers. Includes Dextrose (pure glucose) and stevia leaf extract.
- No bloating or gastric discomfort.
- Mixes well with both water and milk.
- Weak Flavoring: The flavoring in the two proteins that we sampled (Natural Vanilla & West Coast Strawberry) were weak in comparison to several other whey proteins we have encountered. However, this is understandable and perhaps highlights a pro that because the sugar content is so low and replaced with all-natural ingredients, the flavoring may not be as rich as expected.
Catalyst Grass-Fed Whey Protein Conclusions/Appropriate use cases:
We found Strength.com’s Catalyst Grass Fed Whey Protein to be a very clean, high quality yet minimalist protein blend- great for those conscious of what they are consuming. No nasties, and safe for sport. The NSF certification provides peace of mind that and I would happily recommend the product as a welcomed staple for any recreational to elite athlete.
N.B useful information for very sensitive consumers: The product label states it was produced in a facility that may also process ingredients containing milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. We have plenty of other high-protein suggestions for you!
In a sentence: Quality ingredients, safe for sport, no-nonsense: just how we like it!
Off the back of our experience with the products we managed to snag an exclusive deal for our readers across their premium Catalyst range here: https://www.strength.com/athletesinsight
We hope you enjoy our unbiased reviews (see more here), and we hope this helps our audience make informed decisions.