You know as much as I know that we all need protein. It’s essential for muscle building, proper energy and picking things up in the gym and putting them down.
Protein is readily available for your body to convert to energy and muscle in several forms. The most stigmatized and notorious that we all know of is probably animal products…any meats, poultry or fish usually tops the list.
While those are excellent, viable sources of gaining your daily protein, they sometimes can prove to have other negative effects on our bodies. (high blood pressure, cholesterol, weight gain, etc.) if consumed too frequently.
The word “protein” has become such a trite buzzword of many food companies that it has a tendency to lose it’s veracity at times. If you walk into any grocery/convenience store, you’ll notice PROTEIN is highlighted in huge caps all over most packaging. It makes it confusing and overwhelming to decide which choice is right for you.
A particularly popular protein sector I’d like to highlight involves protein as a supplement.
We now have proteins available in powder form, chip form, fro yo form, bar form, muffin form and shake form. Protein supplements are huge, trendy commodities nowadays.
With all of these over saturated protein items on the market these days it can be hard to decipher between which is the good vs. the not so good.
I had the opportunity to review a few products out there in the protein black hole and am happy to share my thoughts with you all. Also, stay tuned for a giveaway at the end!
Sidenote: I rated everything based on first taste (1-worst, 5 the best) and secondly nutrition.
My first dabbling was focused on protein bars. I received a few boxes of Kind bars and also some from a company called, Power Crunch.
The kind bars were rated at a 3 for taste. I have had several kind bars before. I used to swear by them back in college. My tastebuds changed when I became vegetarian and now I shockingly think they are a little on the sweet side! I rated the kind bars at a 4 for nutrition. They seem well balanced with healthy fats, carbs and proteins. 1 bar has 7 grams of protein. All of the ingredients are pronounceable. I would say this could pass as a snack throughout the day, but definitely pair it with something else to make it a complete meal.
As for Power Crunch, I rated these bars at a 2 for taste. I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners and these had a crunchy, desirable texture, but the aftertaste just wasn’t doing it for me. They contain sucralose and stevia, both of which I do not care for. Nutrition wise, these were a 3. They have a high protein content (14 g.) per bar, but contain too many unhealthy oils and thus are a little bit high in saturated fats.
*I also received protein shakes from Power Crunch…these actually had a better taste than the bars when chilled in the fridge for a few hours. They have 20 g. of protein and 6 grams of fiber and are super low calorie so I would say they could pass for a small meal replacement if you wanted.
Next, I reviewed Vitatops. If you aren’t familiar, these are fiber/protein muffin tops which are absolutely delicious. They come to you thawed but you are advised to freeze them again for best taste. I used to eat these religiously a few years back and definitely remembered why. They are super fluffy once thawed and when you heat them they melt in your mouth. I rated these at a 5 for taste. As for nutrition, I rate them at a 4. These jam 8 grams of fiber and 4 g. of protein all into a tiny palm sized cake for only 100 calories! After trying one, I wasn’t hungry for quite a long time. My only concern is the extremely long list of ingredients and tons of preservatives.
After the Vitatops, I reviewed IPS chips. Yes, protein chips!!! This was my most favorite until I had a reaction to the egg whites they are made with. So these chips are pretty cool because they contain 7 grams of protein per bag. The bags are perfect to throw into lunch bags as they aren’t the family sized ones you see at the grocery store. Huge plus! I tried four flavors: White Cheddar, BBQ, Sea salt/black pepper, Cinnamon Sugar. Honestly, I loved every single one. The taste was a 5 in my book. Nutrition I rate a 3, just because there isn’t enough fiber to balance out the carbohydrates.
Next, I tried Xyience Protein Powder in Vanilla Ice Cream flavor. This actually has been serving as the base for my “proats” (protein oats) in the morning post workout. I rate it at a 4 for taste. Xyience contains tons of extra amino acids which is awesome for those who workout consistently as it helps with muscle repair. In one scoop, there’s 25 g. of protein and 5 g. of fiber! So as far as nutrition, I give it a 4. My only complaint is that it’s sweetened with sucralose, but it’s such a subtle taste that it blends well if you mix it with other ingredients.
Last but not least, this is just the coolest! (no pun intended)…Protein yogurt!! I was most excited to try these and they did not disappoint. The yogurt was made by Proyo. The flavors of frozen yogurt come in vanilla bean, banana vanilla, blueberry pomegranate and dutch chocolate. You’ll be surprised to know the banana vanilla was my favorite! All you do is thaw these out for ten minutes. (They come packaged sort of like ice pops.) I paired these with one of my morning green juices and it was just fab! I rate this at a 5 for taste and a 5 for nutrition. The bonus is that it also contains probiotics too! Can’t beat some of the two best “P’s” (protein and probiotics) in the nutrition world!
Now for the super fun part…if you enter my giveaway below, I have a few prize packs going on…
1) Kind Bars ( PB Dark Choc + Protein/ Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein)
2) Power Crunch Bars (wild berry creme/cookies and creme/pb creme/french vanilla creme)
3) Power Crunch Bars (Gluten free: milk/dark chocolate)
4) Power Crunch Shake (Vanilla Creme/Double Chocolate)
I want to send out a huge thanks to Laura at Girls Gone Sporty and all the representatives from these brands giving me the opportunity to try out your products!
Giveaway will end on Friday, March 7th at 12AM.
Peace, love and protein!