With the plethora of brands, labels, and ingredients out there, finding the protein powder best suited for my needs can be challenging.
As I researched the top protein drinks in the market today, one name kept coming up: Ladder Whey Protein.
There has been a lot of buzz around this pre workout, and it’s apparently one of the hottest supplements in the sports nutrition space today.
So, I decided to give it a try and see if it lives up to the hype.
Here's my Ladder Whey Protein review.
What is Ladder Whey Protein?
What sets this whey protein apart from other protein supplements is its interesting line-up of ingredients.
According to Ladder, its manufacturer, your body can use much less protein than what’s on the label.
So, in place of whey protein concentrate—which can only have anywhere around 30-80% of absorbable protein—the brand opted to use whey protein isolates instead.
While it’s the only protein source in this drink, the company claims it can give you about 90% pure absorbable and digestible protein.
And to ensure you make the most out of this protein, Ladder loaded up this supplement with milk protein (filled with casein protein), which the brand says will give you an effective mix of fast and slow-digesting proteins.
This pre workout is also rich in certain probiotics that can help your body absorb amino acids more efficiently.
With its special components, the brand says this drink can improve recovery, upgrade muscle gain, and enhance your sports performance.
Another main draw of this product is its strict adherence to supplement safety standards.
Ladder supplements—such as the plant protein, superfood greens, and vegan pre workout—are all NSF Certified for Sport. It’s a third-party certification program recognized by major sports governing bodies such as the NFL, MLB, NHL.
It follows olympic standards and ensures there are no banned substances in the supplements.
Lastly, it’s important to note that this drink isn’t made from plant protein, so it might not be the best option for people on a plant-based diet.
The Ladder Supplement Brand
Ladder was founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and his trainer, Mike Mancias.
It began when the athlete suffered from muscle cramps during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Wanting to avoid another episode, he worked with Mancias to find a clean and effective supplement that will fit his needs.
However, they couldn’t find anything on the market that fit the bill, so they decided to make their own.
Together with a team of experts, they manufactured a line of safe and high-quality supplements.
LeBron James also consulted with his long-time friend and former professional bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who knows the in and outs of the sports nutrition industry.
After four years of developing their supplements, they finally launched Ladder Sport in 2018.
What are the Ingredients?
Each packet of Ladder Whey Protein contains the following on a per serving basis:
- 130g calories
- 26g protein
- 6g carbs (2g fiber, 3g sugar)
- 1g fat
Ladder claims they’ve solved a critical quality issue with most protein powders by adding these two main ingredients in their formula: whey protein isolate (5.5g) and milk protein isolate (24.8g)
Since milk protein is essentially 80% casein, this product contains more of that component than whey.
This makes for a great combination because casein is a slow-digesting protein while whey isolate is quickly digestible. The result? A sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream and a drink that is more filling.
Efficient absorption of these protein sources is important because they can help improve muscle recovery, promote weight loss/fat loss, and boost your workout performance.
This Ladder pre workout also contains less than 1% lactose, which makes it even more readily digestible.
“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you have got a kingdom.”
- Jack LaLanne, Fitness and Nutrition Guru
Remarkably, this drink contains generous amounts of vitamins, minerals, and calcium (575 mg), which is rarely found in most protein supplements. This is another great plus since calcium helps build strong bones and helps the heart, muscles, and nerves function properly.
Other principal ingredients include EAAs and BCAAs, essential amino acids that can also help you build muscle, improve your exercise performance, and enhance post-workout recovery.
Finally, this protein powder boasts 2 billion CFU of probiotics from eight different strains, which, I think, is a real game-changer.
The presence of abundant probiotic bacteria in the gut is known to enhance immunity, improve some mental health conditions, and help you lose weight and belly fat . It also aids in amino acid absorption.
The Ladder whey protein is gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners.
- NSF Certified Sport
- All-natural protein sourced from grass-fed cows
- Great-tasting flavors
- Comes in convenient, pre-measured packets
- Contains generous amounts of amino acids, vitamins, and probiotics
- No artificial flavors or sweeteners
- Might be a bit pricier than most protein powders
- Some users say it’s clumpy and needs a shaker/mixer to blend well
- Contains dairy and might not work for individuals on a plant based diet
How Does It Taste?
The Ladder Whey Protein comes in two variants: Chocolate and Vanilla.
Personally, I like the Chocolate flavor better. It tastes more like dark chocolate and is just the perfect balance between sweet and bitter.
Meanwhile, the Vanilla is its polar opposite. It’s bordering on ice cream-sweet, and I’m not sure I’m a fan of that.
Another thing to note is that both variants have a chalky texture that lingers on the tongue after drinking it, but it’s more pronounced in the Vanilla one.
How to Take Ladder Whey Protein
According to Ladder, this supplement can be taken either before or following your workout.
You can mix 1-2 packets of this whey protein with 8-12 ounces of water, milk, or any of your favorite beverages.
It can also serve as an alternative to a snack when a healthy option isn’t available.
Whey protein supplements are generally safe when taken appropriately. However, high doses may lead some people to experience the following side effects:
- Increased bowel movements
- Reduced appetite
To avoid these unpleasant reactions, make sure to take this drink within the recommended dosage.
Where Can You Buy It?
You can purchase the Ladder Whey Protein from the official Ladder website.
You can either get the box with on-the-go packets or a bag with a scoop (serving size: 30).
If you subscribe for regular shipments, you get to save 20%.
Ladder also offers free shipping when you buy from the online store.
Here’s what people are saying about the Ladder Whey Protein.
“Very clean and tastes unreal! The individual packaging is also very convenient and gives me the freedom to take it wherever I want. Because of Ladder, I’m now closer to reaching my fitness goals.” - Dylan K.
“I’ve tried many protein supplements out there and this one is the best. I don’t feel weighed down by it after my workout. It has a nice texture and keeps me full for hours after exercising. It’s my favorite pre workout!” - Elizabeth B.
“This whey protein supplement from Ladder is an excellent product. It tastes so good even when mixed with only water. I am happy with this drink and the service as well.” - Bryan H.
However, some users who left a review aren’t too pleased with this drink.
“I really wanted to love this protein shake from Ladder. However, the texture was too thick and gritty. It also produced a thick foam on the top. The flavor was good, but the texture kept me from enjoying it altogether.”
- Alyssa L.
“The flavor was good, but the texture was off-putting and the powder never fully dissolved.” - Brittany C.
Also Read: ONNIT Whey Protein Review
Is the Ladder Whey Protein a Worthy Investment?
After 4 weeks of taking it, I can say this whey protein from Ladder helped keep my energy up during workouts. Both flavors also really taste good, in my opinion.
However, this drink is too thick for my liking. Plus, it always leaves an unpleasant film on my tongue, which can be quite annoying.
As for the physical effects, I can’t say that this supplement had any significant impact on weight loss and muscle building.
It’s definitely pricier compared to other supplements of its kind, and I believe I’ve seen and tried ones that are cheaper yet better.
What I would actually recommend is the 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate from Transparent Labs. It mixes well without any clumps, and many of my clients tell me that this drink helped them tremendously with digestion, muscle growth, and fat loss.