If you're in the market for a quality protein, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you haven't checked out Ascent yet, it's time. The quality of their ingredients, and the precision and care they use to prepare them, results in some very nutritious—and very tasty—supplements to help you reach your goals.
Recently we sat down with Kirsten Karlsson, senior marketing manager at Ascent Protein, to ask about the company, the supplement industry, and the things that make them happy to go to work every day.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Can you please share a little bit of background on how Ascent came to be?
Our parent company, Leprino Foods, has been purifying protein for more than 30 years and selling those proteins to leading sports nutrition and infant formula companies all around the world.
Six years ago, we started a research and development project to create a new benchmark in protein purity. The result is our product called "Native Fuel." It's called "native" because we use the least-processed whey protein available today. After five years of development, we feel we've perfected our protein and have kept it as clean as possible—with no artificial ingredients.
That's great. So many people these days are looking to get away from potentially harmful additives. So, what do you think sets Ascent apart from the competition?
Honestly? Hard work. In an industry where some companies offer false promises and quick results, we celebrate the hard work that athletes put in. We acknowledge their dedication to training, clean eating, and proper recovery. We live this personally at Ascent, which is why it took us five years to create the best possible product.
We aren't in the market to produce as many products as quickly as we can. We think that's a recipe for poor quality. Instead, we focus exclusively on producing our own protein from milk we purchase directly from dairy farmers. We started with a commitment to avoid all artificial ingredients, and we've stuck to that. It's not the quickest path. We tested 283 different chocolate recipes until we felt it was perfect, for example. But it results in the best product.
What is currently your top-selling product?
Since it took us 283 different recipes to perfect our chocolate whey, it might come as no surprise that it's our best seller. I mean, who doesn't love chocolate? Inside the company, our cappuccino flavor also has become an Ascent team favorite.
Any new products coming out in the future that our readers can look forward to?
Yes! Keep your eyes peeled in early May for Ascent's launch into a new category.
How do you feel the supplement industry has changed or is changing?
Athletes are looking for more transparency in what they introduce into their body. They want to know what's in the product and where the ingredients come from. They want ingredients they know and recognize—and that they can pronounce! The artificial ingredients listed for some protein powders can be 30 letters long.
We love to see consumers flip over the package and read the ingredient deck. Not everything is created equally and, since we produce our own protein—starting from high quality milk—we love the fact that consumers are asking for more information about the source of their protein.
Why would any athlete risk shortchanging their recovery by not choosing a product that starts as far upstream as Ascent?
What are the biggest myths or misconceptions about the supplement industry among consumers?
It's definitely the idea that supplements can bring quick fixes. Wouldn't it be great if you could gain lean muscle immediately just by simply taking a shake or a pill? This is what everyone wants, but that's not how you get sustainable results. While more and more people are getting more realistic about what it takes to change, there are still too many who fall for the illusion that the right supplement alone will transform their body.
Anyone who has achieved a goal knows that the results they get are due to the hard work done day after day. Supplements can help, but you won't get anywhere without putting in your gym time.
What is the most exciting part of working at a supplement company?
The athletes. I love the opportunity to serve our hard-working, clean-eating athletes. They sweat the details in the training, eating, and recovery. I love that Ascent provides them the same level of care they put into their hard work. It's very rewarding.
Any other comments you'd like to add?
If you've got a sweet-tooth craving in the evening, try mixing Ascent's Micellar Casein with 5 ounces of almond milk. Simply stir into an amazing pudding, chill, and enjoy! It's one of my favorite ways to serve this protein.