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Product Review: Protein Powder Reviews [2]

ProductReview

Hello!  Here is the second part of the protein reviews that I promised a while back.  If you haven’t read Protein Reviews Part 1 yet, you can find it HERE.  Unlike the first list, which featured some of my favorites, this one is the lower-ranked end of the spectrum and non-vegetarian options.  Some of the ones on this list also contain “fluff,” as in additives that may do more harm than good when consumed over long periods of time.

Nutrafusion Nutritionals PlantFusion: The Original Protein Powder

Taste: 8.5/10
Texture: 8/10
Ingredients:8/10
Usability: 8/10
Price: 7.5/10

PlantFusion is another average plant-based protein powder that is very, very similar to Rawfusion in terms of ingredients and flavor.  I preferred the vanilla of PlantFusion over Rawfusion, but overall the quality was the same.  The only real difference here is that Nutrafusion uses amaranth and quinoa in lieu of sprouted brown rice.  Nutritionally, these grains are nearly identical.  The only thing it does to the consistency of the powder is make it chalky instead of cakey.  When opening PlantFusion be extremely careful, because the resulting dust cloud may send half a scoop of powder bursting across your kitchen counter.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention that PlantFusion has an enzyme blend comprised of bromelian and alpha galactosidase.  It sounds awfully funky, right?  In reality, these are essential glycoproteins that help breakdown starches.  Hooray for minimizing bloat!  I do recall digesting it quickly if I ate it at night, resulting in early morning munchies that only amplified the horrors of fasted HIIT.

For the price, it is a decent blend.  Don’t expect crazy gains, though.  It’s just not that potent.

Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein

I tried the Vanilla.  There weren’t enough decent ratings on the unflavored mix for me to attempt it.

Taste:6/10
Texture: 7/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Usability: 7/10
Price: 6/10 (~1.06 usd per serving)

Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend was my introduction into the realm of plant-based protein.  I’m glad to say that I’ve matured since then.  I mean, it smelled promising.  You would think that with an impressive list of ingredients, like pea, cranberry, hemp, fenugreek, herbal and citrus extracts, you’d have a winner, right?  Bzzzt.  Wrong.  It does not taste as phenomenal as the advertisement claims, unfortunately.  The crunchiness is not very delightful, especially when drinking a smoothie.  Nor is it smooth.  The chunks swimming around in my almond milk refused to disappear, no matter hard I shook and stirred.  Goodness, I remember the horror of adding Warrior Blend to my oatmeal, stirring it up, and watching as my snack metamorphosed into something akin to natto.  Ew, ew….

Not that there’s anything wrong with eating slime…

Anyway!  The protein powder also contains 32% iron, so if you’re taking a multivitamin, be careful of your iron intake.  And it terms of protein, 19 g (38%) is decent but not the best.  PharmaFreak and MRM both contain a little more; and if you’re going to put out the money for Sunwarrior, you can afford PharmaFreak, since it’s technically 6 pennies cheaper and twice as effective.

<NON-VEGETARIAN, NON-VEGAN FRIENDLY>

MuscleTech Phase 8 Whey Protein Powder

Flavors tried: Vanilla, Peanut Butter Chocolate (Bodybuilding.com Exclusive), Milk Chocolate

Taste: 7.5/10
Texture: 7.5/10
Ingredients:7/10
Usability: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10.  For the 2.2 lbs, it’s around $1.18 per serving.  It’s more feasible to buy the 4 lbs if you like it.

When I was using MuscleTech, I was pretty pleased with it.  The reason I stopped using this particular protein blend was because of the artificial sweeteners, maltodextrin, and silicon dioxide.  Aside from that, it is “processed in a facility that processes wheat, egg, tree nut, fish…”  If you’re cool with these additives in your protein powder, then MuscleTech Phase 8 would be a good choice.  First, what drew me to Phase 8 was the claim that it is a “sustained-release 8-hour protein formula.”  Yes, Phase 8 is more than your standard whey.  The 26g of protein is composed of high BV whey protein, micellar casein, calcium caseinate, whey isolate, and hydrolyzed whey isolate, amongst others.  In that sense, Phase 8 is a complete powder that can be used any time throughout the day.  I also liked the Digestive Enzyme Matric of papain and amylase to prevent indigestion.

MuscleTech Phase 8 succeeded in keeping me fully fueled whenever I consumed it.  The powder sustained my musculoskeletal system, living up to the “anti-catabolic” claim.

Now, as for taste, texture, and how well it blends.  Phase 8 boasts an awarding winning taste developed by food scientists, but I really don’t believe that.  Don’t get me wrong, the powder tastes great, if you like over-the-top coma-inducing sweetness.  Blame the Ace-K.  The powder is more like dust and likes to get everywhere.  When blending, I tried a variety of ways.  Cold liquids are your best bet, though Phase 8 likes to get sticky and leave a residue.  In thicker substances, like yogurt, it gets oddly grainy.  Partially out of curiosity, I tried adding it to hot oatmeal, because this was my first time playing with Acesulfame Potassium and wanted to see how heat affects it.  Unless you want rock hard oats, I suggest you use this primarily for smoothies.

In conclusion, this is a worthwhile whey protein if you like to buy in bulk (see price rating).  Rather than making you swole, it supports your workouts by providing long term nutrition and recovery.  Definitely a nice choice if you exercise multiple times per day or have a physical labor job.

Body Nutrition Trutein Protein Blend Powder

Taste: 9/10
Texture: 9/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Usability: 8.5/10
Price: 8.5/10

Not gonna lie.  Trutein by Body Nutrition is an amazingly effective powder.  Like the aforementioned Phase 8 powder, Trutein uses a mix of protein sources: undenatured and non-thermally processed milk protein isolate, egg whites, filtered whey isolate, and ultra-filtered concentrate).  From the advertisement on Bodybuilding.com: “[Body Nutrition’s] proteins are also processed using a nonthermal, cross-flow nanofiltration system.”  In other words, the milk wasn’t cooked down to whey.  Denaturing doesn’t really harm protein.  I mean, look at eggs.  Scrambled, sunny-side up, put in batter, or the way Rocky likes them, it’s still the same protein.  But because Trutein focuses on pure protein sources, it makes powder that tastes delicious and blends lusciously.  Trutein isn’t even dusty.  No more cocaine cracks from your bros when using this stuff.

So you’re probably thinking, if you liked it so much, why did you stop using it?  Trutein is sadly not all natural.  The protein profile is promising, but the sweeteners, food coloring, and gums turned me off.  But, if you’re worried about that yet still want your Trutein, try Gardenia!  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard positive reviews: HERE at Bodybuilding.com.

Because of the Acesculfame K sweetener, you also can’t bake with it.

Nevertheless, Body Nutrition’s Trutein is an excellent protein powder that offers quality ingredients, a broad nutritional profile, and digestive enyzmes for a budget friendly price.  There is a variety of flavors available to suit your taste buds, even a limited edition copycat Shamrock Shake blend!

Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein

Taste: 7/10
Texture: 5/10
Ingredients:6/10
Usability: 6/10
Price: 8/10

I remember first picking this up in Walmart and thinking to myself, “Wow, how cheap!”  Signals should have gone off in my frugal little mind, but alas, they did not.  I tried to blend it as the directions stated—with a spoon in a glass of water—to wind up with a soggy, partially gummy concoction that tasted nothing like vanilla.  That night, I also learned the negative side effects of cheap whey protein, if you catch my pffft. 

Jokes aside, Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein is not that advanced.  Rather, it is an economical powder bloated on maltodextrin, soy lecithin, and artificial sweeteners, as well as 90mg of cholesterol.  Eat a couple of eggs in the morning and yogurt or cheese later in the day and you might have a problem—especially if you’re predisposed to high cholesterol like me.  What I do like about Body Fortress’ Whey Protein is the Super Recovery Blend consisting of creatine monohydrate, taurine, and l-glutamine.  These three chemicals facilitate growth through recovery.  For a low-cost option, keep that in mind.

Six Star Whey Protein

Taste: 8/10
Texture: 7.5/10
Ingredients:7/10
Usability: 7/10
Price: 7/10

Another Walmart or grocery store option that is slightly more preferable than Body Fortress but not really that much different.  If you have to choose between them, however, get this blend.  The nutritional benefits are greater and you get a whopping 2.5g of creatine monohydrate.  Plus, compared to Body Fortress, there’s less cholesterol.  Six Star Whey Protein also has added BCAAs and glutamine to aid in recovery.  The taste is nothing extraordinary, and there’s nothing to keep your gastrointestinal tract from knotting up. Yeah, it is no Trutein, but when you need to hustle, this will do.

That concludes my list of protein powders I have bought and tried.  When in the market for protein powder remember to consider the following factors: manufacturer (are they trusted or not), ingredients (natural or artificial), cholesterol total, iron total, and added digestive enzymes.  Depending on your dietary needs, certain blends might be better than others.  Isolate is always better than straight up whey.  Egg, pea, rice, and soy are worth mentioning, but the biological value is less than milk-derived ingredients.  Fortunately, there are plant-based blends that offer just as good, if not better, values than some protein powders loaded with fillers.  Lastly, always weigh the cost!  Supplements add up!

Happy lifting!

 

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