Hello, hello! Today I bring to you a list of protein powders and my thoughts on them.
Ever since becoming a fitness nerd and, to a greater extent, adapting to the lifestyle of a vegetarian athlete, I’ve been using protein powders as a means of supplementing my diet. However, not all proteins are created equal, and with the fitness craze more phony brands cropped up. People tend to think that something used in the gym or promoted in Muscle & Fitness magazine equals healthy…but this is not always the case.
The bottom line is the biochemistry.
It’s been proven through exercise physiology and nutritional research that supplements are more often deleterious than beneficial. Too much of one nutrient (like protein) results in the body either converting said macronutrient into fat or excreting it through your urine. Have foamy piss? You most likely are consuming too much protein! That aside (I’m digressing a lot today), I’ve run the full gamut of protein powders ranging from whey protein, casein, soy protein, and now vegetarian/vegan plant-based proteins.
So I’ve decided to gather a list of some protein powders on the market for you! These are the ones that I’ve personally used for a length of time — not just randomly sampled.
I’ve broken my thoughts down into categories: taste, texture, ingredients, usability, and price. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, the higher the better.
Starting with my current promance (protein romance, geddit? No?):
1) PharmaFreak’s Vegan Freak Protein
Please excuse the poor lighting…
But yes, Vegan Freak protein by PharmaFreak is outstanding. My rating is:
Price: 8.5/10 (about $1.00 per scoop)
I don’t think I’ve ever had a protein powder as efficacious and delicious and just downright fun to eat.
Aside from already being in love with PharmaFreak’s Green Freak supplement, when I saw Vegan Freak in the Bodybuilding.com store, I was super excited and practically threw my money at the computer screen. Everything about Vegan Freak is quality, evident in the price.
Still, it’s permissible to spend a few extra cents for something worthwhile, right? Right.
The reason why I will endlessly rave about Vegan Freak is because of the ingredients used. Yellow pea, hemp and sacha inchi (the Incan peanut) create a complete amino profile that is friendly for vegans. There’s also the additional vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, which make this a great supplement for recovery and growth. Chia powder, spirulina, dulse and kelp accompany the protein blend, turning the powder to a light green. Since it’s highly digestible, my sensitive stomach gives me zero grief.
Vegan Freak tastes phenomenal. Light and natural. The texture is surprisingly airy, not dense or chalky. Nor is it grainy when mixed into liquids or batters. I love the way Vegan Freak blends in instantaneously with unsweetened almond milk or plain 0% fat Greek yogurt (it works well with Silk yogurt too! And skyr!). I’ve even sprinkled the powder
over my morning bowl of oats or Cheerios. It’s that good. Since it blends so well, you don’t have to worry about adding it to batters either. The flavors are non-intrusive, so it will never overpower your recipes.
TL;DR: PharmaFreak’s Vegan Freak Protein Powder is awesome. Buy it.
I’ve seen gains. Magical gains. Even in my gluteals–the curse of pancake ass has
MRM’s Veggie Elite was, admittedly, not something I originally intended to purchase, but I haven’t stopped. Since I rotate between PharmaFreak’s Vegan Freak, MRM’s Veggie Elite, and sometimes blend them together, I can attest to how great it tastes. Even when the powder is standing alone in unsweetened soy/almond milk or with water, the richness of the chocolate mocha variety is outstanding. The texture is silky but thick, and that heaviness sometimes makes it stubborn, which I’m attributing to the gum blend (Konjac, Guar, and Tara). When I blend it in yogurt, there’s often clods of powder left behind—but it disappears with a few vigorous stirs.
Since the main sources of protein in MRM’s Veggie Elite are pea and brown rice, which are quite fibrous naturally, there is a digestive enzyme added to the powder. If you are like me and have a quarrelsome GI tract, Veggie Elite is a kind friend to have. I can’t report any memorable instances of discomfort. On the topic of nutrients and minerals, Veggie Elite has a rather high dosage of iron. Be careful of your daily iron intake if you’re adding this powder into your diet a few times a day. Iron overdose is an astoundingly easy feat to accomplish.
Overall, MRM’s Veggie Elite is a winner in both taste and texture. Like Vegan Freak, I have seen improvement in my strength and endurance and am confident that the supplement fills any gaps in m protein requirements.
I’ve already noted the dependability and quality of MRM supplements, and so it’s probably no shock that MRM’s non-vegan option is also featured on this list.
While I don’t buy this particular powder anymore because I want purely plant-based protein, if you’re looking for an even break in quality versus pricing and are not vegan but considering a natural protein blend, MRM’s All Natural Whey Protein is definitely praiseworthy. First off, a lot of protein producers pump up their “premium” blends with maltodextrin (filler) and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-K). With all the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners too much, I wouldn’t condone guzzling whey protein shakes with them. I don’t care how healthy you are. Because of that, natural blends like MRM’s product shine. As a whey protein isolate blend, you know its primed for immediate and long term recovery. Plus, there’s L-Glutamine for muscle repair and NitroZyme for digestive aid. What might deter some people is the presence of soy lecithin.
The vanilla flavor reminds me of vanilla bean ice cream or yogurt. It dissolves rapidly. The texture when mixed is creamy instead of gritty like most powders. For the price, MRM All Natural Whey is a great, budget-friendly, healthy option for people in search of excellent whey and no fillers.
A lot of people like SAN’s Rawfusion, but in my opinion, it is worth an honorable mention. There’s nothing truly unique about Rawfusion in taste or composition. Rather, it’s underwhelming in both flavor and performance. But if you’re looking to break into the world of plant-based protein, a no-frills blend like Rawfusion from S.A.N. is worth a try. At an agreeable price, there’s not much a loss. It does what a mid-grade whey protein is meant to do—preserve muscle (as promised on their ad) and keep you satiated for a bit. I didn’t note a lot of muscular growth when this was part of my diet. I used it for about 3 months before I got an itch to try something new.
In terms of texture and blending, Rawfusion is cakey as a powder and even more so in batters, yogurt, and non-water based liquids. Having only tried the vanilla flavor, I can say that it is too sweet for my tastes. Fructose is used in conjunction with stevia for sweetening, so that may be why. Like MRM’s Veggie Elite, Rawfusion consists of pea and rice protein. Artichoke is also used—which is mildly perplexing. Like onions, artichokes contain a special kind of fiber that can cause gas. Heed my warning, if you have an active digestive system, you may want to steer clear of this protein. That, or avoid Mexican food.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a burrito.
This concludes Part 1 of my Protein Pow-dah review!
Part 2 will be coming along shortly (*´∀｀人 ♪