Protein Powder Review & a GIVEAWAY!! Woot!
Feel free to scroll down to the giveaway at the bottom of this post (hey, I get excited when I see that word too-not going to lie!)! But before we get to the giveaway, I will share with you my latest protein powder experiment. I went a little crazy at Whole Foods and bought a plethora of protein powders so that I could try, taste, assess, and provide feedback to you all! The world of protein powders is a bit complex (to me it is at least) and I hope to de-complex (did I just make up a word?) it for you. Please remember that this is MY opinion and although it is probably correct 🙂 It doesn’t mean that is.
I used all of these protein powders using the SAME formula, SAME time of day, and always POST workout. I wanted to ensure that there were no environmental factors playing into my taste buds. All of these protein powders were blended into a smoothie with the following: 1 small banana, 1/2 cup fresh berries (mixture of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries), 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and 1 large handful spinach. All of these smoothies were consumed in the morning (not all at once mind you-I’m not a beast!) after a run which meant I was sweaty, hot, starving, and my legs were all tingly. Here is my assessment:
NutriBiotic Vegan Rice Protein Powder-Vanilla
Rice protein is made from whole grain sprouted brown rice. What’s nice about this protein powder is that it is exactly what it says it is: whole grain sprouted brown rice with added natural vanilla flavor. 1 packet of this is only 60 calories, 2 carbs, 1 sugar, less than 1 g of fiber and 12 grams of protein. I thought that the vanilla flavor was a bit weak and it left a bit of a “weird” (that’s the most scientific descriptive word that I can muster up right now) after taste. It dissolved nicely but still left a grainy texture to the smoothie that I’m normally not used to. I was hungry about an hour later and had to make myself some veggie egg whites so I didn’t feel that it left me satisfied. Overall, it is great for Vegans or anyone who suffers from food allergies or digestive issues (soy, milk, eggs, wheat, corn, nuts or preservatives) but has a little flavor profile and a strong, earthy aftertaste.
Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Vegan Protein Powder-Pomegranate Mango Infusion
I know you can’t see the picture that well but the color of the shake was brown which is hard to drink when it is…….brown. I actually did like the flavor profile of this (probably because it was pom mango) but with my added berries, it really pulled the fruity flavor out. I got a grainy, plant aftertaste as well with this product. This protein powder is primarily made from both rice protein and hemp protein. They also pack in some wheat grass, kale, barley grass, and alfalfa. It is small but this little packet had a decent fruit and vegetable blend as well as some flax seed powder and some active cultures. I would run out of blog space if I actually listed them all out for you. It’s amazing that this product is actually raw, gluten free, and vegan because there are like 30 different things going on in there. At 110 calories, it packs 14 carbs, 6 g of fiber, 6 sugars, 2 g of fat, and 10 g of protein. Overall, this product tasted a bit better (just a bit), kept me fuller a little longer, and is free of dairy (just like above).
Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate Powder-Vanilla
When I opened up this pack, I was seriously tempted to just eat the powder. It smelled like melted vanilla ice cream. I showed unbelievable will power and used it in my smoothie. The big, black bold “Whey Protein” is a dead giveaway that this item is not dairy free, it is DAIRY-it comes from cows. It does state that it comes from grass fed cows (that’s a plus) and is free of antibiotics. Added to the whey protein is natural vanilla flavor and it is sweetened with stevia (that’s probably why I was tempted to eat it just like Fun Dip!) This packet packs in 116 calories, 0 g of fat, 3 carbs, 0 sugars, and 26 g of protein. WOWZA! It has great flavor with little aftertaste, kept me full for over a couple of hours and left me filling satisfied. The only issue for me is that it is whey (dairy) and I am personally looking for a plant based protein powder. I love dairy but am looking for something new as far as protein powder goes (I’ve been a whey fan for a long time). If you want a whey product, Bluebonnet isn’t too shabby.
Pure Green Protein Powder- Vanilla
Before I even get into this, let me just state that I could not drink this smoothie. I just couldn’t. It smelled and tasted terrible. Maybe my taste buds were off that day but I couldn’t do it. In fact, my husband laughed (while pointing at me) as I attempted to drink it. This protein powder is gluten free and vegan/vegetarian. It is made primarily from yellow pea protein and alfalfa protein. There are 109 cals per pack, 1.6 g of fat, 4 carbs, 1.36 g of fiber, 0 sugar, and 20 g of protein. Again, this is my opinion, but I wish I could say it tasted better but it didn’t. For being a plant based protein powder, it really had a great amount of protein in it and that’s what I was most impressed with. If you are looking for a plant based protein and are willing to take one for the team, just like I did, give this product a try. Really, I hope I don’t hurt any feelings here. I just couldn’t stand it. Moving on.
Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Protein Powder-Vanilla Chai
I decided to buy 2 Amazing Meal products (one the Pom Mango and the other Vanilla) and give them both a try. Just like the Pom Mango above this one is made primarily from rice and hemp protein. It didn’t have much of a vanilla flavor (or chai at all). I did get an earthy aftertaste and had some “grit” after each swallow. It packs 90 cals, 2 g of fat, 9 carbs, 6 g of fiber, and 10 g of protein. Similar to the Pom Mango, I was hungry soon after. Amazing Meal is gluten free and vegan and has great flavor variety if that is what you are looking for.
Spiru-Tein High Protein Energy Meal-Vanilla
This protein is a soy based protein shake with about 30 different things listed on the ingredient list that I couldn’t even pronounce. That should’ve been my first indicator to stay away but I bought it so I had to try it. Just so people know, Spiru-Tein is scientifically formulated with isolated soy protein from only non-genetically modified soybeans and is a vegetarian product. The consistency was incredibly gummy (almost like I put in WAY TOO MUCH Xantham gum). The flavor was actually good- a nice, strong vanilla. The packet had 99 calories, 0 g fat, 11 carbs, 1 g fiber, 8 g sugar, and 14 g of protein. Including dairy, I’m not looking for a soy based product so this is not the one for me. It is also not one for me because I am a clean eater and I stay away from things that I can’t pronounce. 🙂
Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder
This powder gets its protein from organic sprouts and brown rice protein. It is Vegan, gluten free, and dairy free and has no artificial flavors or fillers. I’m not sure why but my shake was incredibly purple with this stuff (maybe an extra raspberry fell in). It did leave an earthy aftertaste but tasted great throughout. It didn’t have a strong, pronounced flavor and just took the form of the berries and spinach. 1 packet is 80 cals, 3 g of carbs, 3 g of fiber, 0 sugars, and 17 g of protein. I felt quite satisfied with the smoothie and liked the fact that I was literally consuming every single sort of sprout out there! I like the fact that it has a nice amount of fiber and protein for so few calories.
Vega Energizing Smoothie-Natural flavor
Can I just say that I liked the packaging of this protein powder the most? Should that even be a factor? I think not, but it did play a part. Vega is a plant based protein powder (mainly pea protein, sacha inchi protein, hemp seed, sprouted whole grain, and brown rice protein). It also has a fair amount of flax seed, alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, and kale. It’s sweetened with stevia leaf extract too! It didn’t have a strong flavor (hence the natural) and didn’t leave a strong aftertaste. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have even known that I put protein powder in my smoothie if I wasn’t the actual one doing it! 1 packet is 90 cals, 2 g of fat, 8 g of carbs, 5 g of fiber, and 10 g of protein. For this product to be dairy, gluten & soy free-I really thought it was a winner!
Truthfully, I saved the best two protein powders for last (in my opinion). I didn’t cook with any of these protein powders so I am not sure how they will act and taste in baking. I will start using both the Garden of Life and Vega brands and start testing them out in my homemade protein bars. Now, I can’t share all of this with you and not give you the opportunity to TRY THEM TOO!!!
2 lucky readers will EACH win 1 packet of the Vega protein powder AND 1 packet of the Garden of Life protein powder!! Woo hoo!!!
Here’s how to enter (multiple chances to win!):
1-Like my facebook page and comment below telling me you did (or that you already have)
2-Share this blog post on your facebook page and leave a comment below telling me that you did
3-Go to the homepage of this blog and scroll down a wee bit and on the right hand side you’ll see “Follow Blog via Email”. Simple enter in your email address! Comment below telling me that you did!
4-Tell me what protein powder you currently use and why. If you don’t use protein powder, tell me which protein powder above you’d like to try and why (Vega and Raw Protein will still be the prizes regardless of answer)
Each is considered a separate entry. The 2 lucky winners will be randomly chosen on Sunday, July 15 at 8 PM MST and announced on my facebook page! Winners will have 48 hours to contact me with their mailing addresses before another winner is chosen. (I have to approve the comments so don’t worry if you don’t see your comment right away) Good luck! 🙂