Before I embarked on my ‘fitness journey’, I thought protein powders were loaded with nasty chemicals, tasted disgusting and were only drunk by men wanting to build outrageous amounts of muscle for competitions. Hands up, I was wrong.
Firstly, protein is nothing to be scared of. You probably eat a lot of it in your diet already without realising in foods such as meat, fish and dairy products. It is the foundation of healthy skin, hair and nails but also crucial in the building and maintenance of lean muscle. To get a bit science-y for a second, protein is made up of amino acids and without them, it would be impossible to build, repair or maintain muscle tissue. Turns out protein is quite important after all! And whilst it is 100% possible to get all of your protein needs from the food you eat, if like me your trying to build some lean muscle, you may want to find ways to increase your protein intake in a healthy and natural way. This is where protein powders come in, and why I have been on a protein powder discovery mission for you. Here’s my round-up of some of my favourite protein powders on the market right now!
PhD Women Natural Protein
The Brand – PhD Women is natural nutrition for the active female. Whatever your goal they promise to supply a range of products that suit your needs whether it’s your first time in the gym or your in training for a competition. PhD women also run an academy, where women can find healthy, protein packed recipes, workout plans and meal plans. The range of products of offer is pretty comprehensive, catering for vegans, vegetarians, soya free and gluten free. They also have a range of protein bars which are perfect handbag snacks.
The nutrition – I tested out the PhD Women Natural Protein in chocolate flavour. Per 30g of product, this contains a really solid 20g of protein, 6.32g of carbs and only a tiny 0.14g of fat! As this is a vegan product, the main sources of protein are from Brown Rice & Pea isolate protein but it also contains some quality superfoods in there such a goji berry, spirulina and wheatgrass.
My verdict – Whilst I love that this is a vegan powder, I was a little disappointed in the taste. This really shocked me as every review I read said how amazing the taste was for a vegan chocolate protein powder. I also found that when mixing with water, it became very lumpy and really took some effort to shake it smooth. I think for me, this will definitely be a product that I use for baking with rather than drinking solely with water or almond milk.
The Brand – GEN-P are bringing a brand new protein to the market for a new generation of girls looking to reach their fitness goals; providing women with the right attitude and nutrition to perform. GEN-P is a high quality blend of essential proteins to help restore muscles after intense workouts. The protein powder is made up of a 3-way protein blend; fast-releasing whey, medium-releasing soy and slow-releasing casein which is found naturally in milk protein.
The nutrition – Gen-P is a 3 way protein blend; consisting primarily of a whey protein concentrate powder but also includes milk protein concentrate and isolated soya protein. Each 30g scoop contains a solid 20g of protein and only 1.4g of carbs and 1.4g of fat; pretty darn good in my opinion.
My verdict – In my opinion, the GEN-P chocolate protein powder is quite sweet but it does genuinely taste like chocolate which is amazing (a bit like chocolate nesquik). It mixes so well when just drunk with water with no powdery lumps at all and also has a great consistency when made into protein shakes or overnight oats. My tub of Gen-P was the first to disappear and I will definitely be repurchasing soon!
The Brand – STRIPPD are a range of protein powders designed specifically for all the girls out there. Using the benefits of a South American plant extract (Yerba Mate) which contain natural caffeine and the added benefit of an immune boost, STRIPPD protein powders aim to keep you lean, healthy, happy and glowing. The STRIPPD range currently offers both a Whey and Vegan range in 3 flavours; Chocolate, Vanilla and more unusually, Mixed Berry.
The nutrition – made mainly from pea protein isolate, every 35g of STRIPPD vegan chocolate lean protein contains a huge 20g of protein and only 1.4g of fat and 8.3g of carbs. Alternatively, the mixed berry whey protein contains 23.1g of protein, 1.3g of fat and 7.2g of carbs. So which ever type of protein you’d prefer, you know STRIPPD are delivering on the macro nutrients.
The verdict – I loved this product. Although compared to other brands the range of products can seem limited, I actually liked this because it made choosing a product really simple. I also loved the addition of a mixed berry flavour as I have not seen any other brand offer this. The chocolate flavour taste great in a shake but also really nice on its own with water. I also created a delicious breakfast shake using the mixed berry flavour and some frozen mixed berries; definitely worth a try!
The Brand – in their own words, Pulsin promise to ‘go above and beyond to bring you highly nutritious foods that transform everyday eating occasions into health-optimising opportunities;’ what more could you want? Their range of protein bars, plant-based protein powders and healthy treats are designed to give you long-lasting energy, make you feel fuller for longer, boost your brainpower and support healthy bodily functions. Pulsin’s products have no nasties in them which means no sugar crashes and no cravings (it just gets better and better). Which such a huge and diverse range of products to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll fall in love with.
The nutrition – Pulsin’s range of protein powders contains 4 different vegan friendly protein powders (soya, pea, hemp and rice) and 3 natural whey proteins (simple whey, premium whey and organic whey). And because Pulsin’s powders and so natural, they contain huge amounts protein and next to nothing else! For example, for every 10g of the Pea protein powder, there’s a huge 8g of protein, 0g of carbs and 0.9g of fat…. Um hello macros!
The verdict – All Pulsin protein powders and natural and unflavoured so are the perfect addition to any sweet or savoury dish. Check out the recipe section on their website for some great inspiration. Also, Pulsin protein bars have to be some of the tastiest health bars I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. Please give me a choc orange Pulsin bar every day of the week. Hi Pulsin, where can I buy more?
The Brand – if you’re after a brand who believe in never compromising on good health, then Prana Protein may be just what you’re looking for. In Sanskrit, Prana means ‘life force’ which pretty much sums up Prana’s view on wholesome foods. As well as your usual chocolate and vanilla flavoured powders, Prana do a coconut flavour which I’ve not seen anywhere else, so if you’re a massive coconut fan like me then you’re going to love this!
The nutrition – although Prana’s wholefood protein shakes don’t have the largest % of protein per serving on the market (18g of protein per 40g, more than 40% protein per shake) they do contain delicious superfoods such as cocoa beans and chia seeds. The Prana range also contains some tasty protein bars in cacao & vanilla and goji & chia seed which are a great way to sneak some extra protein into your diet.
The verdict – Prana have to win the award for the most chocolatey tasting chocolate protein powder ever! It’s not sweet at all and genuinely tastes like cocoa powder which is so perfect for my taste buds! Also, the coconut protein powder has actual pieces of coconut in it; you have to try it!
The Good Guru
The Brand – If you’re looking for a brand that has everything, then The Good Guru is it. Their ethos is ‘Simply, Smartly and Honestly’ which says it all really. Run by a small family of experts in the health industry, they only use the finest natural ingredients sourced from all over the world. They offer a comprehensive range of supplements, protein powders and superfoods as well as a range of oats and superfoods including my favourite, the ‘Good Oats & Chocolate’ for the ultimate breakfast.
The nutrition – I tested 3 of The Good Guru’s protein powders; Vegan protein (vanilla), Slim and tone protein (vanilla) and the Healthy Whey balance protein (vanilla), all of which have great macro content, but I’ve made a nice little table below so you can compare.
|Per 40g serving||Protein (g)||Carbs (g)||Fat (g)|
|Slim & Tone||22.37||11.98||1.23|
|Healthy Whey Balance||23.85||3.23||6.01|
The verdict – I think I can say, The Good Guru is my favourite health brand out there. I love everything about it, from its ethos to its products and even down to the packaging. The Healthy Whey protein powder was my favourite of the 3, it has a great vanilla flavour and the fact that it aims to help grow and maintain muscle fitted my fitness goals perfectly! If you’re interested in testing it out, The Good Guru offer some great bundles and offers on their website, and if you’re a new customer you can get 10% off your first order!
The Brand – At Vega, you fill find nothing but clean, plant-based nutrition, suitable for vegetarians, vegans, gluten and dairy intolerances. Vega is about more than just building lean muscle, it’s about empowering a healthy lifestyle and supporting the planet. They have also made a promise to be a zero-carbon footprint company and so if you’re looking for a brand that has sustainability at its heart, then you’ve found it!
The nutrition – I had the pleasure of testing both the Vega Clean Protein in chocolate and the Vega Essentials Protein in vanilla, and they are both great products! Vega’s clean protein contains a complete, multisource blend of plant based protein, including pea, hemp, alfalfa and pumpkin meaning its high in protein and low in sugar. The macros per 37g serving are 25g protein, 2g carbs and 2.7g fat. Similarly Vega’s Essentials Protein is packed full of pea, flaxseed and hemp protein but also is high in vitamins, minerals and omega-3; the perfect building blocks to start any day. The macros per servings for this are 20g protein, 2.8g carbs and 3.8g fat.
The verdict – Honestly, Vega Clean Chocolate protein powder has to be the tastiest vegan chocolate protein I’ve tried. I was seriously impressed. But regardless of the taste, the culture that surrounds Ethos is enough to get me on board. We all need to do our bit for the environment, and by choosing Vega, you are automatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Alchemy Super Blends
The Brand – For my last recommendation, I thought I’d go for something slightly different and so I present Alchemy Super Blends. Formulated by nutritionist Karen Newby, Alchemy products combine all of the health benefits of the world’s most nutrient-rich plants. Ingredients such as baobab, wheatgrass and spirulina are packed in to carefully blended powders to suit your health and fitness goals. There are 4 elixir blends to choose from; Morning elixir, Energy elixir, Beauty elixir and Sport elixir.
The nutrition – Whilst the Alchemy Super blends aren’t marketed as a protein specific product, due to high quantity of plant-based ingredients there’s a surprisingly high amount of protein in them! For example, the Morning elixir is made up of 35% plant protein as well as providing you with 100% of you daily vitamin C requirements, 20% iron and 15% folic acid in just 10g!
The verdict – Okay, I love Alchemy. It is literally a tiny pouch of pure goodness. There isn’t too much to say regarding taste, as normally I sprinkle around 10g of my chosen super blend into my smoothie, but it gives you such a nutritious hit that taste doesn’t really bother me. I tend to use the Morning elixir when I need a hit of greens and the beauty elixir when I’m feeling a little run down. The products may be pricey, but they are 100% worth it.
The Brand – Bio-Synergy was founded in 1997 which is testament to the quality of their products, as well as the fact that they have won awards for their products! They produce a range of protein powder to suit and support the goal of every athlete and sports enthusiast as well as pre and post workout supplements, vitamins and minerals and a range of creatine capsules and powder which has been hailed as the ultimate sports supplement. If you’re really looking to take fitness to the next level, then Bio-Synergy might just be the brand for you.
The Nutrition – As you would expect them to, Bio-Synergy deliver on the macros. I tried the Paleo Diet Protein, which bizarrely is made entirely of egg whites, and perhaps even more bizarre, I also tried their Whey Hey Watermelon Protein Powder. What was great about the Paleo protein is that because it was made entirely of egg whites, it was dairy free and contained zero fat and was also made up of over 84% protein. The Watermelon Protein powder is also relatively low in fat, but also contains 21.4g of protein as well as 4.8g on BCAA’s. Perfect for those killer leg days.
The Verdict – Whilst I love that Bio-Synergy are offering something really different on the market to anything else I’ve seen, I wasn’t a fan of the flavours that I tried. For those of you that love watermelon, then this could be the best thing in existence, but it just wasn’t for me. And whilst I love the premise of a paleo protein, I think this is a protein powder I will stick to baking with, or perhaps making pancakes with. I would really love to try some other Bio-synergy flavours though as they also sell Brazilian Coffee Protein and Coconut Protein which sound right up my street!
And there you have it, my round-up of some of my favourite protein powders. I’ve honestly noticed such a different in my fitness, shape and appetite since introducing more protein into my diet. I now make sure that I’m having protein with every single meal or snack and introducing wholesome protein powders into my diet has made that transition 10x easier.