Xwerks is a Florida-based supplement company that has a particularly dedicated following among the functional fitness crowd. The brand sponsors a few big name CrossFit® Games athletes, most notably Noah Olsen, and their slogan is “Optimizing Human Performance.” They have one pre-workout product, one creatine, one fish oil, one ashwagandha, and one protein powder, as well as CBD. Because their product line is smaller than most, Xwerks certainly brings a level of focus and attention to detail that other supplement companies may not have.
Today we’re reviewing their Xwerks Grow protein powder. It’s made from grass-fed whey protein isolate, so the formula is lean and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colorings. Its macros are ideal for those who are in a cutting phase, but we think its taste mixed with milk is for pretty much everyone. If you’re looking for a whey protein that has over 25 grams of protein per serving, but nearly nixes carbs and fat entirely, this product is a great option.
- Xwerks Grow is made from 100 percent grass-fed whey protein isolate, which is one of the leanest types of whey on the market.
- The macros are ideal for folks who want a minimal ingredient list or those who are trying to lose weight — it’s 25.8 (or 27.8, depending on flavor) grams of protein, 0-2 grams of fat, and 0-2 grams of carbs.
- Grow contains no artificial flavorings or sweeteners, and comes in Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Strawberry.
One of the very few protein powders with no carbs or fat whatsoever, this product contains 25 grams of whey protein isolate and is great for anyone looking for a leaner protein option.
Xwerks Grow Video Review
Check out our in-depth video review of Xwerks Grow where we break down its ingredients even further.
Xwerks Grow Highlights
Xwerks grow is sourced from 100 percent grass-fed whey isolate. Whey isolate is one of the leaner whey proteins on the market — this product contains 0-2g of carbs and 0-2g of fat per serving (varying by flavor), but still provides over 25g of protein (also varying by flavor). These macros are great for anyone trying to shed some weight, but if you’re bulking, even though there’s a high protein content, you’ll want to look for a different blend to up your carb and fat intake.
We’ve tried Grow ourselves, and we think their four flavors — Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Peanut Butter — are objectively tasty when mixed in milk. However, with water, they did taste a little bland to us, which is probably the result of a lack of fat when milk is absent.
Who Should Buy Xwerks Grow
- Folks who are specifically looking for a whey protein isolate — this product is made from 100 percent grass-fed whey isolate.
- Bodybuilders who are in a cutting phase will appreciate the lean macros here. One serving of Grow contains over 25g of protein, 0-2g of fat, and 0-2g of carbs.
- Anyone who likes mixing their protein powder with milk — this powder isn’t too sweet when mixed with milk like many other powders can be.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Xwerks Grow
- Those who are in a bulking phase may want to opt for a protein powder that’s higher in fat and/or carbs.
- Athletes who mix their protein powder with water only — though this blend tastes good with milk, it’s a touch thin with water in our opinion.
- Folks looking for a whey concentrate or casein protein will want to look elsewhere — this powder is made from whey isolate.
Grow only comes in two-pound bags which cost 59 dollars a piece. With thirty servings per bag, you’re looking at $1.97 per serving. That’s fairly expensive when compared across the market — you can get some whey proteins for just $0.90 per serving. That said, Xwerks does provide free shipping for their product, which might make the cost more worthwhile if you do your supplement shopping online.
The ingredients list is unusual, and I can see why it would appeal to the functional fitness crowd: There’s nothing but whey protein isolate, natural flavor, xanthan gum, and stevia.
Every ingredient is natural. Well, the term “natural” might be debatable when you’re talking xanthan gum, a thickener and stabilizer, but it’s made by mixing fermented sugar with bacteria and is considered safe in small doses. Some have found side effects like gas and bloating in dosages of fifteen grams or more, but there’s probably less than a gram of the stuff in a scoop of this product. But, more on the rest of the ingredients below.
Type of Protein
First, the whey is grass-fed. That doesn’t actually confer any nutritional benefits — the benefits of grass-fed dairy is in the fat content, and there’s little to no fat in this product — but the cows are free-range, which is nice to know, and according to the Xwerks website they’re not treated with any hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides. The whey is imported from New Zealand, which does raise the cost a little.
Second, this is a whey protein isolate that’s cold-filtered, which can make it a little bit pricier. The idea is that cold-filtered whey helps to make sure the protein isn’t denatured. The science is split as to whether or not this is a big deal — we appear to absorb denatured protein just fine, if not better — but the filtration process means that this product is technically raw dairy.
Does it matter if your whey is raw? Well, there might be higher amounts of certain substances like alpha lactalbumin and immunoglobulins, ingredients that are good for the baby cows that drink milk — they’re linked to brain growth and immune strength. They probably don’t make a huge difference when you’re talking about a scoop of whey but a lot of people, particularly Paleo folks, like all their dairy to be raw, so this will have some extra appeal to them.
As far as macros go, this protein contains 110 calories, 25.8 (or 27.8, depending on flavor) grams of protein, 0-2 grams of fat, and 0-2 grams of carbs per serving. Whey isolates are generally very low in calories, carbs, and fat, and Xwerks Grow is no different. Bodybuilders often covet isolate because it also digests quite quickly — this won’t make a big difference for the vast majority of consumers, but it does make for a shake that’s easy to consume on an empty stomach before a workout.
As far as micronutrients go, one scoop contains a pretty impressive 21 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium, as well as just three percent of your daily sodium intake (80mg). For a whey powder, that’s both high calcium and low sodium — a relatively rare occurrence. It also includes a dose of vitamins A, C, and D, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron.
It’s worth noting that Grow doesn’t come with any digestive enzymes, however, so if you have trouble digesting powdered protein this might not be the best pick.
This product goes out of its way to ensure it’s free of artificial flavors and sweeteners. It’s sweetened with stevia, made from the stevia leaf, and of course, it’s pricier than your artificial sweeteners.
We tried the chocolate flavor, and it tastes fantastic with milk. We’ve had a lot of protein powders that try to taste good in both milk and water, with the end result being a product that’s often too sweet for milk. Xwerks is great with milk (you can tell it’s sweetened naturally) but alas, it’s bland with water. That’s to be expected in a product without anything artificial to give it a creamy, milky taste in water. Aside from chocolate, Xwerks Grow also comes in Vanilla, Strawberry, and Peanut Butter.
What to Consider Before Buying Xwerks Grow
Xwerks grow is one of our favorite whey protein isolates for its lean macros and great taste in milk. However, before you hop on the bandwagon, here are a few things you should consider.
If you’re looking for a lean, whey protein isolate, you found one. This whey protein isolate contains little to no carbs or fat, but still has over 25 grams of protein per serving. However, if you’re looking for a whey concentrate or a casein — or less specifically, a protein powder that’s higher in fats or carbs to aid in bulking — Xwerks Grow may not be your best option.
Many protein powders contain additional micronutrients to create a well-rounded blend. This formula contains vitamins A, C, and D, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. However, since powdered protein can be difficult for some to digest, many protein powders also contain additions like digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and/or probiotics to aid in digestion. Xwerks Grow, unfortunately, does not contain these.
If you’re looking for a solid blend of vitamins and minerals, Grow is a great pick, but if you’re the type who may need a little extra help in the digestive department, you may want to look elsewhere.
The unfortunate side effect of a whey like Grow that’s free of lecithin or any other products designed to artificially improve mixability is that — no surprise — the mixability isn’t great. It’s not terrible, but there’s no shortage of granules in a shaker cup and it settles quite quickly after mixing.
If you’re the chug-and-go type, this may not be an issue for you. But if you like to savor a creamy shake, you can find products with better mixability out there.
Many protein powders come in upwards of 10 different flavor options — some as unique as ice cream sundae blends. Xwerks Grow comes in four flavors, which is more than some brands, but also fewer than others. If you’re looking for a vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or peanut butter formula, Xwerks Grow has you covered. If you want a wider variety of flavors, you can find bigger brands out there that have expanded their flavor chart much more than Xwerks.
It’s tough to make a protein powder that pleases everyone. If it’s all-natural, it won’t mix that well and probably won’t taste great with water. If it mixes well with anything, the cons will focus on the artificial ingredients. What matters here is what you personally prioritize in your protein.
But if you avoid artificial ingredients, if you’re Paleo (plus whey), if you prefer dairy from free range and hormone-free cows, or if you just don’t mind paying extra for higher quality, Xwerks Grow should be a solid choice for you. It’s a premium product with lean whey isolate macros — just remember that the price reflects that.
If you’re not concerned with whether or not a protein powder is “all natural” and are primarily concerned with drinking something that tastes great, mixes well, and isn’t too expensive, you won’t be thrilled by Xwerks Grow.
Is whey isolate better than whey concentrate?
It depends on your goals. A whey isolate is going to be better for an athlete who is trying to cut as its macros are fairly lean. However, if you’re trying to bulk, a whey concentrate (or even a casein) that’s higher in carbs or fats may be better for you.
How many grams of protein should be in my protein powder?
The majority of protein powders on the market today contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving. Anywhere in that range is healthy, but the amount of protein you need per day is based on your individual body weight — here’s a calculator for that.
Is there dairy in whey isolate?
Yes, but it doesn’t contain lactose due to the microfiltration process that whey isolates go through. In other words, whey does come from dairy products, but the lactose that some people are sensitive to is filtered out when creating a whey protein isolate.