Category Archives: reviews

FitMiss Delight Protein Powder / Nutritional Shake Review

fitmiss delight proteinFirst, let’s get this out of the way …

sell a protein powder.

So I may be slightly biased.

But I keep my reviews as unbiased as possible … because I focus on two objective pieces of info in every review I write: the nutrition facts and ingredients list.

The ingredients panel reveals any food product’s true colors.

MissFit Protein Powders’ ingredients are some of the worst I’ve seen.

In this article, I’m going to show you why.

Let’s jump right in …

best plant-based protein powders

First, here’s what I look for in a protein powder:

  • Organic, plant-based, real food ingredients
  • No added sugars or artificial sweeteners used
  • Free of soy, corn, dairy, gluten, and wheat
  • No flavors (so-called “natural” or artificial) or gums

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into the nutrition/ingredients…

FitMiss Protein Powder Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

FitMiss doesn’t appear too bad if you give a quick glance at the nutrition label. 90 calories, 16 grams of protein, and just 1 gram of sugar per serving … what’s not to like?

[cue dramatic music]
<Unfortunately, the ingredients list tells a different kind of story. Here are the full nutrition facts and ingredient panels for their three flavors (Vanilla Chai, Chocolate, and Cappucino). Let’s see if you can spot the red flags, which I’ll tell you more about below:fitmiss protein powder nutrition facts ingredients

Red Flag #1: Artificial Sweeteners

All FitMiss protein powders contain two potentially dangerous artificial sweeteners: acesulfame potassium and sucralose.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest puts both acesulfame potassium and sucralose on their Chemical Cuisine “Avoid” list. They say this about the former:

FDA should require manufacturers to conduct high-quality, modern-day studies of acesulfame potassium or withdraw its approval of it.

But that’s nothing compared to sucralose, which was shown to cause cancer in animal studies …

In 2016 an independent Italian laboratory published a large study on mice. The study found that sucralose caused leukemia and related blood cancers in male mice that were exposed to it throughout their lives starting from before birth.

And then there’s the negative gut health effects associated with sucralose …

Several researchers contend that sucralose negatively impacts the gut, including changes in the microbiome and enzymes. That could have a range of consequences, including effects on blood sugar, regulation of body weight, inflammatory bowel disease, and how drugs and other chemicals are absorbed and metabolized by the body.

Long story short, probably a good idea to avoid products that have this type of stuff. There’s just no reason for it (other than corporate greed), when there are much better, safer sweetener sources available.

Red Flag #2: Artificial and “Natural” Flavors, Fillers, and Additives

David Andrews, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) said this about flavors (now the fourth most common ingredient on food labels):

Natural and artificial flavors really aren’t that different. And those “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals! You’re right to be skeptical of the word “natural” – it’s often thrown around loosely.

Read more about natural flavors here if you’re interested in learning more.

All FitMiss Delight Protein Powder flavors also contain an ingredient called cellulose gum. It’s safe for consumption … but it’s nothing more than ground wood pulp designed by food manufacturers as a cheap way to make processed foods mix better. This is just an assumption, but it seems to me ground wood pulp wouldn’t be the best thing for those with sensitive guts.

Red Flag #3: No Organic Ingredients

I actually like that FitMiss uses a fruit and vegetable blend in their powders; however, these and all of their other ingredients are not organic. This means there’s a high certainty most of them are sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals you don’t want to be ingesting.

The problem with these chemicals is that their effects haven’t been widely studied on everyday folks like us. Most studies of the health effects of pesticides have focused on occupationally exposed people, like farm workers and pesticide applicators. For these people, studies show that:

Pesticide exposure was associated with respiratory problems, memory disorders, skin conditions, depression, miscarriage, birth defects, cancer and neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

It’s safe to say eating foods grown with the use of pesticides isn’t safe, despite what the industry-influenced FDA tells you.

Red Flag #5: Protein Sources

All FitMiss protein powders use a combination of several types of whey, casein, and egg protein.

While these may be effective sources for building lean body mass, they can have serious side effects for people with GI and/or dairy sensitivities.

Red Flag #6: FitMiss Warning

Then there’s this warning listed for the product:

This product is only intended for use by healthy adults over 18 years of age. Consult your physician before using this product if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications or supplements. Do not use this product if you are pregnant, expect to become pregnant or are nursing. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

If a protein powder isn’t safe for pregnant women and kids, that’s a huge red flag.

Red Flag #7: Weight Loss Hype

FitMiss and their manufacturer, MusclePharm, include an ingredient called Solathin, which they claim is “the newest weight-loss innovation that helps with making you feel full faster“.

This “new innovation” was actually released in 2011 and doesn’t have a single peer reviewed clinical trial to back its supposed effectiveness.

FitMiss Protein Shake Review Summed Up

fitmiss delight shakeI was looking at some FitMiss Protein reviews on Amazon and stumbled across this statement from their product description:

FitMiss Delight also delivers a full day’s essential nutrients with quality calories.

Uh, sorry. NO protein powder delivers a full day’s worth of essential nutrients and calories.

That’s absurd (and that’s coming from a guy who sells a protein powder).

To get a full day’s worth of nutrients and calories, you need to eat real food. Protein powders are supplements–not substitutes. 

This is the stuff that bothers me, you guys.

Large BroScience (or “B.S.” for short) supplement companies like MusclePharm have been selling garbage products like FitMiss Delight for too long.

FitMiss is cheap now but is the potential price you’ll pay down the road really worth it?

If you’re looking for a cleaner, healthier, safer alternative, then check out Pure Food instead.

best plant-based protein powders

MRM Veggie Protein Powder Review

MRM Veggie Protein Powders appear to be a good choice for clean eaters upon first glance.

But in this review, you’ll find out why appearances can be deceiving!

First, a disclaimer: in case you’re new around these parts, I sell a protein powder.

This obviously invites potential bias.

That’s why I review protein powders based on two objective criteria: 1. nutrition facts and 2. ingredients.

In this review, I’ll share some alarming things I discovered when I analyzed the nutrition facts and ingredients in MRM Veggie, Veggie Elite, and Meal Replacement Protein Powders. (Note: I didn’t review their whey protein powder because I, along with my customers, don’t use whey protein powders for many reasons.)

Let’s get to it …

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About MRM

MRM sells a lot of different products …

mrm protein powder reviews

I actually like a bunch of them.

The organic whole food powders (red beet, baobab, and moringa) look like good, clean products according to their ingredient lists and nutrition panels. And I like the looks of their “Therapeutic Collection” products too.

But their vegan protein powders aren’t that great.

MRM sells three types:

  1. Veggie Protein
  2. Veggie Elite
  3. Veggie Meal Replacement

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts information and ingredient labels for each …

MRM Veggie Protein Powders Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Analysis

Veggie Elite

mrm veggie elite protein powder reviewmrm veggie elite nutrition facts ingredients

Veggie Protein

mrm veggie proteinveggie protein powder nutrition

Veggie Meal Replacement

Veggie Meal Replacementmrm vegan meal replacement powder

Did you spot the red flags?

If not, I’ll break it down for you. There are 4 things that concern me about MRM’s veggie protein powders:

  1. Gums: Gums are food additives that are commonly used as stabilizers, thickeners, or emulsifiers. MRM uses several different types of gums in its proteins, many of which can cause digestive distress.
  2. Non-organic ingredients: This one’s a bit puzzling. MRM uses some organic ingredients (brown rice and hemp protein powders, for example). But most of their ingredients aren’t organic. Their “High ORAC Antioxidant Blend” looks great at first glance. But many of those superfruits are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of the most contaminated produce so they’re most likely sprayed with chemical pesticides.
  3. Monk Fruit Extract: Monk fruit extract is usually cut with maltodextrin or dextrose, which are derived from GMO corn and can cause spikes in blood sugar. This, of course, can lead to insulin resistance, which causes major issues (type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc.).
  4. Natural Flavors: Natural flavors are comprised of potentially hundreds of different chemical compounds, solvents, and preservatives. As long as the source of one of those is “natural”, food companies can call it a “natural flavor” and not disclose the other ingredient that go in it. Read more about natural flavors.

Bottom Line: Are MRM Vegetarian / Vegan Protein Powders Good for You?

MRM says this on its website:

We source quality ingredients to create innovative products that are a notch above the competition.

But when you peel back the curtain and look at the nutrition facts label and ingredients list, it’s clear that MRM is just another “me too” protein powder.

MRM Veggie Protein Powder has the same gums, flavors, fillers, and other crap in every other protein powder out there.

The facts are MRM a) is not organic; b) contains artificial “flavors” disguised as “all-natural,” and c) is loaded with gums and additives.

My advice: Stick with a protein powder that has all-natural, organic ingredients instead.

best plant-based protein powders

Level Thrive Protein Shake Review

Live more, be more, experience more, THRIVE for more …

This is one of the first things that caught my eye when doing research for my Thrive Protein Shake reviews.

You’ll see why in a minute.

First, a little background …

Thrive, in case you don’t know, is a self-described “premium lifestyle brand” owned by a company called Le-Vel.

As a fellow small business owner that also sells a protein powder, I admire their product design and branding.

However …

I don’t admire some of the stuff they put in their Thrive Mix protein shakes.

In this review, I’ll share some ingredients I found while analyzing the nutrition facts you might want to take a second look at if you care about your health.

Check it out …

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What Is Thrive?

According to its website,

The THRIVE Experience is a combination of our THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Capsules, THRIVE Ultra Micronized Lifestyle Shake Mix, and our Premium Lifestyle DFT (Derma Fusion Technology). Our premium naturopathic and synergistic formula of Vitamins, Minerals, Plant Extracts, Anti-Oxidants, Enzymes, Pro-Biotics, and Amino Acids is like nothing your body has ever experienced! It’s Ultra Premium at its finest. What’s even better is that the experience is gender specific for Men & Women.

Le Vel Thrive Mix Protein Shake Reviews

level thrive reviewsSo as you’ve seen, Thrive sells several different supplement products …

My analysis will only focus on their protein supplements called Le-Vel Thrive Lifestyle Mix Protein Powders.

They’re available in four different flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Apple Pie.

Here’s how all my reviews work:

First I’ll show you the nutrition facts labels and ingredients for each Thrive Mix flavor. In the images below I’ve noted some “red flags”. I’ll explain what each of these means and why it should concern you further down the page.

If you want to read more Level Thrive reviews and see how their other supplements are rated, there’s a site called SiteJabber that grabs contains hundreds of consumers reviews. Here’s their conclusion:

LeVel has a consumer rating of 2.82 stars from 325 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Consumers complaining about LeVel most frequently mention customer service, auto ship and credit card problems.

Here’s what’s in each of Thrive’s protein shakes …

Le Vel Thrive Mix Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Analysis

Chocolate

thrive nutrition reviews

Vanilla

thrive vanilla protein powder nutrition facts

Strawberry

thrive nutritional supplement

Apple Pie

le vel thrive ingredients shakes

Lots of red flags here! Here’s why I flagged each:

  1. Protein sources: All Thrive protein shakes use three sources: whey, soy, and pea. This is an interesting combination, I must admit. Whey and soy protein work for some people. For others (such as those with dairy sensitivities), they can lead to inflammation or worse.
  2. Maltodextrin / Corn Starch: Maltodextrin and corn starch are thickeners used in all types of processed foods. They’re a complete junk ingredient that can spike your blood sugar, suppress the growth of probiotics, cause allergic reactions, and negatively affect several of your body’s organs and systems. I recommend avoiding any product that has this crap.
  3. Cellulose: Cellulose is powdered wood pulp. It has zero nutritional value. Its long-term effects on your microbiome and overall health have not been studied.
  4. Gums/Thickeners: Gums are food additives that are commonly used as stabilizers, thickeners, or emulsifiers. Le Vel uses several different types of gums in its Thrive Mixes, many of which can be disruptive to gut health. For example, xanthan gum has been shown to cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
  5. Sucralose: Sucralose is a popular artificial sweetener (you may recognize it as “Splenda”). According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, sucralose has been shown to cause leukemia and related blood cancers in animal studies and negatively impacts the gut by changing your microbiome and enzymes.
  6. Magnasweet: Magnasweet is a sweetener made from licorice root; however, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s “natural.” According to Magnasweet’s website: “The Magnasweet® product line consists of the base products as well as compounded flavors consisting of the base products compounded with other artificial and/or natural flavors.” While we’re on the topic of “natural” flavors …
  7. Natural Flavors: Natural flavors are now the 4th most common ingredient on food labels. But they’re definitely not natural. David Andrews, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), had this to say about natural flavors:
    [Natural flavors] will often have some solvent and preservatives—and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume. In the end product, it’s a small amount, but it still has artificial ingredients.

Thrive Mix Shakes Nutrition Facts Summary

Calories110-125
Grams of Protein15
Protein Source(s)Whey protein concentrate, soy protein, pea protein
Grams of Sugar1-2
Free of “Natural” FlavorsNo
Free of Gums & ThickenersNo
OrganicNo
Plant-basedNo
Cost Per Gram$.08

Bottom Line: Is Thrive Protein Powder Good for You?

Thrive says this on its website:

The saying “not all shakes are created equal” is proven true by our ultra micronized Premium Lifestyle Mix, which is in a category all by itself.

Actually, it’s in a category that’s quite familiar in the protein powder industry: corn-based fillers, gums, thickeners, and artificial sweeteners.

In my humble opinion, Le-Vel Thrive Protein Shakes are simply just another protein powder filled with the same old junk everybody else uses. 

The facts are Thrive a) is not organic; b) contains an artificial sweetener that has been shown to cause cancer in animal studies; and c) contains other additives, fillers, and emulsifiers.

My $0.10: Stick with a protein powder that has all-natural, organic ingredients instead.

 

Optifast Shakes Reviews

optifast reviewsThe Optifast Program, according to their website, is:

A medically supervised weight management program that closely monitors and assesses progress towards better health and emotional well-being. The program, which usually lasts 26 weeks, utilizes a full meal replacement plan that transitions to self-prepared ‘everyday’ meals, in conjunction with comprehensive patient education and support.

The program includes medical supervision, counseling, personalized support, and of course various Optifast meal replacement shakes.

Optifast’s parent company, the infamous candy bar maker Nestle, commissioned a study that found using the Optifast Program before weight loss surgery can help patients lose enough weight to significantly reduce health risks associated with various procedures.

I could’ve saved the Nestle team several million dollars by sharing this well-known fact in nutrition science:

Any program that creates a calorie deficit and offers medical supervision and support is going to result in weight loss.

So if weight loss is your key goal (not necessarily fat loss), and you don’t care about the ingredients and sugar content in the products you buy, then Optifast may work just fine for you.

However …

If you want to lose fat … or if you’re looking for a nutritious, all-natural protein powder / meal replacement, then Optifast is not your best bet.

In my Optifast reviews, I’ll analyze all their meal replacement shakes and protein powders by looking at two objective pieces of information:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts Label

Let’s dig in …

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Optifast Reviews

Optifast sells 5 types of protein powders and meal replacement shakes:

  1. Optifast 800 Ready to Drink
  2. Optifast 800 Shake Mix
  3. Optifast HP Shake Mix
  4. Optisource Very High Protein Drink
  5. BeneProtein Instant Protein Powder

Let’s look at the nutrition facts information labels and ingredients for each …

Optifast 800 Ready to Drink Optifast 800 Ready to Drink Nutrition Facts optifast 800 read to drink ingredients

Optifast 800 Shake Mix Optifast 800 Shake Mix Nutrition Facts Optifast 800 Shake Mix Ingredients

Optifast HP Shake Mix

Optifast HP Shake Mix Nutrition Ingredients

Optisource Very High Protein Drink

Optisource Very High Protein Drink Ingredient list

optisource very high protein ingredients

BeneProtein Instant Protein Powder

beneprotein ingredients nutrition labelOk, that’s a lot of information to digest. Let’s sum up the highlights and lowlights … I flagged the things that concern me in red and will further explain each below.

Summary of Optifast Shakes Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

ProductOptifast 800 Ready to DrinkOptifast 800 Shake MixOptifast HP Shake MixOptisource Very High Protein DrinkBeneProtein Instant Protein Powder
Calories160160200 20025
Grams of Protein16162624 6
Protein Source(s)Milk protein concentrate, soy protein isolateMilk protein concentrate, soy protein isolateWhey protein concentrate

Milk protein isolate

Milk protein isolateWhey protein isolate
Grams of Sugar4410 120
Free of “Natural” and Artificial FlavorsNoNoNo NoYes
Free of Gums & ThickenersNoNoNo NoNo
OrganicNoNoNo NoNo 
Plant-basedNoNo No NoNo

Lots of red flags here, you guys!

Here are the biggest ones …

  1. Protein sources: Most Optifast meal replacement shakes contain milk protein concentrate or soy protein. Dairy-based protein powders are associated with many negative health effects. Whey can certainly work if you can tolerate it and you’re trying to build lean body mass (there’s plenty of evidence to support it in that regard). However, if you any type of gut sensitivities, you should avoid whey because it can promote inflammation. Same goes for soy.
  2. Sugar: As you can see, Optifast “nutritional” shakes contain anywhere from 4 to 12 grams of sugar, depending on the product. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a mountain of evidence that shows eating sugar that doesn’t come from fruit makes you fat and is correlated with a wide range of other health issues.
  3. Natural flavors: Like nearly all protein powders and shakes, Optifast uses the innocuous-sounding “natural” flavors. The Environmental Working Group, in an article titled “The FDA Failed Us,” had this to say about natural flavors:  The term “natural flavor” finds its way into more than a quarter of EWG’s roster of 80,000 foods in the Food Scores database, with only salt, water and sugar mentioned more frequently on food labels. “Artificial flavors” are also very common food additives, appearing on one of every seven labels. What do these terms really mean? Good question. The truth is that when you see the word “flavor” on a food label, you have almost no clue what chemicals may have been added to the food under the umbrella of this vague term. For people who have uncommon food allergies or are on restricted diets, this can be a serious concern. In addition to the flavor-adding chemicals themselves, flavor mixtures often contain natural or artificial emulsifiers, solvents and preservatives that are called “incidental additives,” which means the manufacturer does not have to disclose their presence on food labels. Flavoring mixtures added to food are complex and can contain more than 100 distinct substances. The non-flavor chemicals that have other functional properties often make up 80 to 90 percent of the mixture.
  4. Corn- and soy-based fillers, additives, and gums: All Optifast products contain a lot of additives and gums, many of which can be disruptive to gut health. Maltodextrin, a corn-based thickener/filler, is the second or third ingredient for most of their shakes. While research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism shows maltodextrin to be safe for healthy young athletes who use it for post-exercise glycogen resynthesis, other studies show it causes insulin spikes, may suppress the growth of probiotics, can cause allergic reactions and side effects, and is almost always made from pesticide-ridden, GMO corn.
  5. Organic: There are zero organic ingredients in Optifast’s meal replacement drinks and protein powders. This means you’re getting a healthy dose of pesticides and herbicides with that protein shake.

Bottom Line: Are Optifast Shakes and Powders Good for You?

The facts are Optifast shakes a) are not organic; b) have a lot of sugar; c) contain lots on corn- and soy-based additives, fillers, and other junk ingredients.

I recommend sticking with a product with plant-based, all-natural, organic ingredients instead.

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20+ protein powders by ingredients, nutrition, cost, and more.

Isagenix Protein Powder Reviews and Nutrition/Ingredients Analysis

isagenix protein powder products review Isagenix is a MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company just like Beachbody (who sells Shakeology) and Herbalife.

This means the way they sell stuff is to hire independent reps that sell their products for them.

The reason I bring this up is not to knock on MLM companies (there are plenty of good ones out there) but to point out that most Isagenix reviews you see online are from reviewers that have a vested interest in selling Isagenix products.

While I do sell a plant protein powder of my own, my review of Isagenix protein powders are as unbiased as possible. I evaluated their products based on two objective criteria: 1.) Ingredients and 2.) Nutrition.

Here’s what my analysis revealed …

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Isagenix Reviews: Methodology

Similar to my other plant-based protein powder reviews, I am analyzing Isagenix protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste. If you want to read reviews about how it tastes, check their website and Amazon.

Let’s get started …

Isagenix sells three types of protein powder:

  1. IsaPro (90 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 18 grams of protein per serving)
  2. IsaLean Shake (240 calories, 6-7 grams of sugar, and 24 grams of protein per serving)
  3. IsaLean Pro Shake (280 calories, 9 grams of sugar, and 36 grams of protein per serving)

IsaPro is marketed toward people trying to lose weight. The latter two target more active people who are looking for more calories and protein per serving.

Next, let’s review what’s in them.

Here are complete nutrition facts information labels and ingredient list analyses for each product and flavor …

Isagenix Ingredients and Nutrition Facts Reviews

IsaPro Chocolate Protein Shake

isapro chocolate nutrition facts
Ingredients to avoid: natural flavors, whey protein (if you have dairy sensitivities).

IsaPro Vanilla Protein Shake

isagenix ingredients
Ingredients to avoid: natural flavors, whey protein (if you have dairy sensitivities).

IsaLean Chocolate Protein Powder (Whey)

isalean shake chocolate
Ingredients: Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], cocoa powder, soluble vegetable fiber, sunflower oil powder, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, cellulose, molasses powder, honey powder, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, natural flavors, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, cinnamon, Lactobacillus acidophilus Contains milk ingredients.

 

 

IsaLean Vanilla Protein Powder (Whey)

IsaLean Vanilla Protein Powder (Whey)
Ingredients: Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], soluble vegetable fiber, sunflower oil powder, natural flavors, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, cellulose, molasses powder, honey powder, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, cinnamon, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus Contains milk ingredients.

IsaLean Strawberry Protein Powder (Whey)

IsaLean Strawberry Protein Powder (Whey)
Ingredients: Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], soluble vegetable fiber, sunflower oil powder, natural flavors, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, cellulose, molasses powder, honey powder, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, beet juice powder, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus Contains milk ingredients.

IsaLean Cookies & Cream Protein Powder (Whey)

IsaLean Cookies & Cream Protein Powder (Whey)
Ingredients: Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], soluble vegetable fiber, sunflower oil powder, chocolate cookie crumbs (tapioca starch, rice flour, sugar, cocoa powder, palm oil,§ salt, chocolate liquor, natural flavor, sodium bicarbonate), natural flavors, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, cellulose, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, molasses powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, sea salt, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus Contains milk ingredients.

IsaLean Whole Blend Plant-Based Shake Chocolate

Plant Based Whole Blend IsaLean Shake
Ingredients: Phyto-IsaLean® Complex (fava bean protein isolate,
mung bean protein concentrate, pea protein concentrate), soluble
vegetable fiber, cocoa powder, sunflower oil powder, medium-chain
triglyceride oil powder, molasses powder, natural flavors, cellulose,
chia seed powder, xanthan gum, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa)
stem and leaf extract, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach,
kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake
mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)
leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus

IsaLean Whole Blend Plant-Based Shake Vanilla

isagenix plant based protein powder nutrition
Ingredients: Phyto-IsaLean® Complex (fava bean protein isolate, mung bean protein concentrate, pea protein concentrate), soluble vegetable fiber, natural flavors, sunflower oil powder, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, molasses powder, cellulose, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, cinnamon, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus

IsaLean Whole Blend Plant-Based Shake Strawberry

isalean plant based isagenix shake
Ingredients: Phyto-IsaLean® Complex (fava bean protein isolate, mung bean protein concentrate, pea protein concentrate), soluble vegetable fiber, sunflower oil powder, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, natural flavors, molasses powder, cellulose, xanthan gum, chia seed powder, beet juice powder, malic acid, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, vegetable extract blend (broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, kelp, chlorella, maitake mushroom, shiitake mushroom), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus

IsaLean Pro Natural Vanilla

isalean pro natural vanilla protein
Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® PRO Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], digestion-resistant maltodextrin, sunflower oil powder, fructose, natural flavors, xanthan gum, cellulose, chia seed powder, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, magnesium oxide, lemon juice powder, tricalcium phosphate, potassium citrate, enzyme blend [lactase (from Aspergillus oryzae), lipase (from Rhizopus oryzae), cellulase (from Trichoderma longibrachiatum), invertase (from Saccharomyces cerevisiae), protease (from Aspergillus oryzae), amylase (from Bacillus subtilis), bromelain (from Ananas comosus), papain (from Carica papaya), acid stable protease (from Aspergillus niger)], vitamin C (ascorbic acid), sea salt, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, molybdenum yeast, cinnamon powder, manganese gluconate, vitamin E succinate, potassium iodide, niacinamide, zinc oxide, vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), copper gluconate, chromium chloride, sodium selenite, vitamin B5 (d-calcium pantothenate), biotin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCl), Lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin HCl), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), folic acid, methylfolate (L-5-methylfolate calcium)

IsaLean Pro Natural Chocolate

IsaLean Pro Natural Chocolate
Exclusive Myo-IsaLean® PRO Complex [whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low-heat nonfat dry milk], natural Dutch cocoa powder, fructose, digestion-resistant maltodextrin, sunflower oil powder, natural flavors, xanthan gum, cellulose, chia seed powder, medium-chain triglyceride oil powder, Ionic Alfalfa™ (Medicago sativa) stem and leaf extract, magnesium oxide, tricalcium phosphate, potassium citrate, sea salt, enzyme blend [lactase (from Aspergillus oryzae), lipase (from Rhizopus oryzae), cellulase (from Trichoderma longibrachiatum), invertase (from Saccharomyces cerevisiae), protease (from Aspergillus oryzae), amylase (from Bacillus subtilis), bromelain (from Ananas comosus), papain (from Carica papaya), acid stable protease (from Aspergillus niger)], vitamin C (ascorbic acid), magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, molybdenum yeast, cinnamon powder, manganese gluconate, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract, vitamin E succinate, potassium iodide, niacinamide, zinc oxide, vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), copper gluconate, chromium chloride, sodium selenite, vitamin B5 (d-calcium pantothenate), biotin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCl), Lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin HCl), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), folic acid, methylfolate (L-5-methylfolate calcium)

6 Reasons I Don’t Love Isagenix Protein Powders

  1. Protein sources: Most of Isagenix’s products contain whey protein concentrate or milk protein. Dairy-based protein powders has been shown to have negative side effects for many people. If you have a sensitive gut, you may want to avoid whey because of its inflammatory properties. Opt for their plant-based option, Plant Based Whole Blend IsaLean Shake, instead.
  2. Sugar: Sugar is one of the most common ingredients in Isagenix shakes. While IsaPro and IsaLean Plant Based only have 1 gram of sugar, IsaLean Shake and IsaLean Pro Shakes have 9 and 11 grams of sugar, respectively (from fructose). That’s just way too much added sugar for a protein shake–over 1/3 of the recommended daily intake for women!
  3. Natural flavors: Like most flavored protein powders, Isagenix uses “natural” flavors. Despite their innocent-sounding name, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says natural flavors “may trigger an acute, allergic reaction, intolerance, or other problems.” I personally avoid products that have them, because you really have no idea what’s in them (and food companies aren’t required to tell you).
  4. Gums/Thickeners: Isagenix uses several different types of gums, some of which may be disruptive to gut health. For example, xanthan gum may lead to GI bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
  5. Organic: Isagenix’s products are not organic, which means their ingredients could be exposed to chemical pesticides and herbicides.
  6. Cost: At $.07-.08/gram, Isagenix is expensive compared to similar powders. (Note: I use cost per gram to account for different serving sizes).

Bottom Line: Are Isagenix IsaLean and IsaPro Protein Shakes and Powders Good for You?

In my personal opinion, the only Isagenix shakes I recommend are the Plant Based Whole Blend IsaLean Shake because they’re low in sugar (1 gram) and have a solid blend of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and probiotics.

All other Isagenix protein products I reviewed contain added sugar, gums, and flavors, which I do not recommend.

There are definitely worse protein powders you can buy, but based on my reviews of all Isagenix products and ingredient / nutrition analysis, I recommend sticking with a product with 100% real food, organic ingredients instead.

Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder Review

Purely Inspired is a nutritional supplement company owned by Iovate, the corporation behind popular brands MuscleTech and Six Star supplements.

In my younger days, I used to use both because a) I was a wanna-be meathead and b) they were cheap.

Now that I’m older and wiser (at least that’s what I tell myself), I wouldn’t touch any Purely Inspired products, especially their protein powders.

In this review, I will reveal why.

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Introduction

Purely Inspired Protein Powders are sold at these stores:

Purely Inspired Protein Powder Review

Hats off to them for their retail success.

Now, if you’re a consumer this should raise some flags.

Here’s why … in order for your product to be “retail ready,” these large brick-and-mortar retailers and pharmacies expect companies to sell them their products at a 50-60% markdown.

Anyways, the reason I bring this is up is this:

Most of the products you see at the retailers I mentioned are forced to compromise on ingredients in order to get their margins down low enough to make a profit.

That’s why all these products have mysterious fillers, gums, thickeners, and other additives … most of which come from China … because they’re cheap!

I learned all about this while building Pure Food. If I sold them my product at $17-20/bag, as they demanded, I would lose money. Since I refused to compromise my ingredients … I stopped talking to most of them.

Anyways, let’s get on with the review!

Purely Inspired Organic Protein Powder Reviews

Purely Inspired sells weight loss supplements and organic protein powders. My reviews will focus on the latter.

They offer two types of protein powder:

  1. Organic Protein (Plant-Based)
  2. Organic Whey Protein & Greens.

I evaluate protein powders based on what’s in them … not how they taste.

The way I do this is by analyzing the only objective information you’ll find on the food label:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts

So first, here’s a look at the complete nutrition facts and ingredients for each of Purely Inspired’s protein powders:

Purely Inspired Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Plant-based Protein Powder

purely inspired protein powder nutrition facts ingredients

Whey Protein and Greens

whey protein and greens nutrition

These nutrition/ingredients labels reveal some major concerns … I’ve highlighted the biggest ones in red:

 purely inspired organic protein powder whey protein & greens
 Product

Organic Protein

Whey Protein & Greens

Calories140130
Grams of Protein 20 20
Protein Source(s)Organic pea protein organic rice proteinWhey protein concentrate
Grams of Sugar 22
Free of “Natural” FlavorsNoNo
Free of Gums & ThickenersNoNo
Organic YesYes
Vegan YesYes
Cost Per Gram $.03 $.03

Now let’s break down exactly why I flagged these …

1. “Natural” Flavors, Gums, Thickeners, Additives, and Fillers

Purely Inspired uses lots of “filler” ingredients. Each can have a major impact on your health (particularly your gut).

Here’s a partial list of junk ingredients in their products (click on each to learn why you should avoid it, according to scientific sources more credible than me):

2. Cane Sugar

Purely Inspired adds 2 grams of cane sugar to every serving of all of their protein powders.

Sugar is sugar, my friends. 

Just because it comes from “cane sugar” doesn’t make it any better for you.

Purely Inspired Protein Powder Review: The Final Verdict

The gist of this review is pretty simple, you guys:

Purely Inspired has a really attractive price point.

But to me, the junk ingredients they use aren’t worth the risk. 

best plant-based protein powders

Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder Review

If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know I’m not a fan of Orgain, Vega, PlantFusion, Garden of Life … pretty much every major protein powder company on the market.

Why?

Because I base my protein powder reviews on two objective criteria: the ingredients and nutrition facts label.

And if you look at the ingredients and nutrition facts label for every single one of those companies above, you’ll see they use gut-disrupting additives, emulsifiers, “flavors,” and/or sugars.

Yet they market their products as “natural,” “clean,” etc.

And it works … ‘cuz people buy lots of their products.

However …

Sprout Living is one of two companies (out of hundreds) whose protein powders I actually recommend, aside from Pure Food

In this review, I’ll tell you what I like so much about this company and its products after doing an in-depth analysis of its nutrition facts and ingredients lists.

Let’s get into it …

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Who Is Sprout Living?

Sprout Living was started by a couple of brothers who have a similar mission to me (bonus points for that).

They sell the following products:

sprout living epic protein powders
source: sproutliving.com

Now, as I mentioned above, the way I do my reviews is by analyzing the Ingredients and Nutrition Facts. 

Let’s take a look at them for each of Sprout Living’s products …

Epic Protein Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Sprout Living has this to say about the Epic Protein product line:

Epic Protein is an organic plant protein powder made from four vegan protein sources handpicked for their balanced and complete protein, natural bioavailability and rich nutritional synergies. Exotic whole superfoods add an array of nutrients and a burst of real flavors, resulting in a harmonious blend of silky smooth and delicious protein powder.

And here are the nutritionals/ingredients …

epic protein powder nutrition facts

Simple Protein Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Here’s how Sprout describes their Simple Protein Powder:

Crafted for the purists at heart, Simple Protein is our line of 100% single ingredient protein powders made from unique whole food ingredients that contain high quality, ultra-clean, hypoallergenic and bioavailable protein as well as other inherent nutritional benefits.

That description is pretty accurate. Just one ingredient each …

sprout living simple protein nutrition facts

Sproutein Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

And finally, there’s Sproutein…

Sproutein is a nutrient-dense protein superfood that combines ten carefully selected, sprouted seeds including Amaranth, Sunflower, Quinoa, Millet, Sesame, Chia, Fenugreek, Radish, Kale and Broccoli, which have been freshly freeze-dried in order to preserve their nutrients, including bioavailable proteins, vitamins, minerals and powerful chlorophyll. Cold-pressed whole Pumpkin Seeds and Yellow Peas provide complete, multi-source protein, and exotic superfoods such as Lucuma Fruit, Goji Berries, Maca Root and Baobab Fruit increase the nutritional profiles while adding subtle notes of real flavor. The unique blend of highly-diverse ingredients provides superior plant-based protein that is empowered by an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, resulting in an ultra-clean and powerful whole food source of nutrition – the perfect boost to your healthy, active and fit lifestyle.

Here are the nutritionals …

sproutein nutrition ingredients

FD Powder Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

From Sprout Living:

FD Sprout Mixes are derived through a unique process that starts by sprouting the finest, certified organic, non-GMO seeds in mineral-rich water and then freeze-drying them in order to lock in their essential nutrients and enzymes. The dried sprouts are then gently milled into a shelf-stable powder that can be conveniently consumed in a variety of ways.

Nutrition/ingredients are as-follows …

rd sprout mix ingredients

Normally by this point in the review, I’d be pointing out all the red flags (see my Shakeology review for a good example).

But Sprout Living uses only clean, natural, real food ingredients (just like we do).

You won’t see any flavors, gums, fillers, additives, or added sugars that the big guys all use.

And at a price point of $.06/gram, the price is on par with other (alleged) premium powders on the market.

Dare I say I’m actually impressed?

Sprout Living Protein Powders: The Final Verdict

Sprout Living is one of the VERY RARE protein powders I recommend other than my own.*

The only thing it lacks is a good probiotic (Pure Food has you covered there though).

If you’re looking for a worthy Pure Food alternative, all of Sprout Living’s products: Epic Protein, Simple Protein, Sproutein, and Sprout FD Powders, get my (incredibly selective) stamp of approval.

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20+ plant-based protein powders (including Epic Protein) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.

*P.S. A few of you have asked me why I would recommend a competitor’s product. The reason is simple: If you decide Pure Food isn’t for you, that’s fine … but I’d much rather help people discover other good products from small businesses like Sprout Living than buy the junk that Orgain, Vega, PlantFusion, Arbonne, and all the other guys sell.

Skoop Protein Powder Review

Skoop is the brain child of James Rouse, a naturopathic doctor, and friends Greg Stroh and Alex Bogusky, a former partner with advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

They sell several cleverly-named products:

  • A-Game Greens Blend
  • Endurance Beet Blend
  • Super Skoop Breakfast Protein
  • B-Strong Plant-Based Protein
  • Sleep Protein

While I admire their marketing and positioning as a former ad agency copywriter myself, I do have some concerns about what’s actually in their protein powders, in particular.

You’re about to find out why.

I’ve broken this review into two versions: a quick-and-dirty version for those who have a short attention span like me, and the full version.

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Skoop Protein Powder Review (Short Version)

First, let’s talk about what I like about Skoop …

  • Two of Skoop’s protein powders (Breakfast Protein and Plant-based Protein) have 100% organic ingredients.
  • They contribute 3 percent of every purchase to Project Produce, an initiative they co-founded to help kids eat more fruits and veggies. Very cool.
  • Their marketing materials that come with the product are pretty awesome (yes, I order all my competitors products).

Now, onto what I don’t like …

In case you haven’t read any of my other reviews, I evaluate protein powders based on health and nutrition.

The way I do this is by analyzing the only objective information you will see on any packaged food:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts

Skoop’s ingredients and nutrition facts information for their three protein powders reveal some concerns that I flagged in red:

B-Strong Plant Based Protein Organic Formulaskoop Breakfast Protein powderskoop sleep protein

B-Strong Plant Based Protein Organic Formula

Super Skoop All-In-One Breakfast Protein

Skoop Sleep Protein Powder
Calories10015090
Grams of Protein 16 20 8
Protein Source(s)Organic pea protein concentrate, organic flax seed, organic rice protein concentrateOrganic pea protein, organic rice protein, organic hemp protein Organic pea protein, organic rice protein
Grams of Sugar 3 1 4
Free of “Natural” FlavorsNoNoNo
Free of Gums & ThickenersYesNoNo
Organic YesYesNo
Vegan YesYes Yes
Cost Per Gram $.08 $.12 $.09

So that’s the short and sweet version. Now let’s break down exactly why I flagged these …

Skoop Protein Powder Review (Full Version)

When reviewing Skoop’s nutrition facts labels and ingredients lists, a few things really stood out:

1. Sugar Content in B-Strong and Sleep Protein Powder

Skoop adds 3 grams of sugar to B-Strong and 4 grams of sugar to its Sleep formula, which is puzzling. The last thing you want to do before bed is eat sugary foods/drinks because they raise your blood sugar, which can block your body’s ability to burn fat (among other health concerns).

Skoop uses coconut sugar in both of these products, which I’d classify as “slightly less bad” than table sugar or HFCS.

Sugar is sugar, folks. Just because it comes from coconuts doesn’t magically make it good for you.

2. “Natural flavors

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says “natural” flavors are “Unspecified mixtures of as many as 100 flavoring substances and solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives.”

These flavors are now the 4th most common ingredient on food labels (behind water, sugar, and salt).

You know why?

Because food companies don’t have to disclose what’s in them (and none of them do … trust me, I’ve asked).

So they exploit this loophole for all its worth.

Long story short:

Natural flavors aren’t so natural.

Skoop B-Strong’s second ingredient is vanilla flavor. That means this mystery ingredient loaded with cheap fillers and additives comprises a healthy percentage of the powder you’re ingesting.

To learn more, check out my report, “What Are Natural Flavors?“.

3. Gums, fillers, and thickeners

Here’s the problem with gums: they disrupt sensitive guts and may cause nausea, abdominal bloating and excessive gas.

All-In-One has acacia gum and Sleep has gum arabic, xanthan gum, and guar gum.

Between the sugar and gums, I don’t know how anyone is sleeping well taking this product (it’s gotta be the L-Tryptophan they add … the same chemical that makes you tired when you eat certain foods, like turkey at Thanksgiving for all you carnivores).

4. Cost

I calculate cost per gram because it takes into account different serving sizes of protein powders.

Skoop is really dang expensive!

All-in-One Breakfast protein has the steepest price point of $.11/gram, followed by Sleep Protein at $.09/gram and B-Strong at $.08/gram. To be fair, Skoop does offer a subscription option on its site where you can save 15%.

Here’s a look at the complete nutrition facts and ingredients for each Skoop protein powder:

Product

B-Strong Plant Based Protein Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Super Skoop All-In-One Breakfast Protein Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Skoop Sleep Protein Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Nutrition Facts / Ingredients (click/tap to enlarge)skoop b strong protein powder nutrition factsall in one breakfast protein powder nutrition factsskoop sleep nutrition facts ingredients

Skoop Reviews: The Final Verdict

Great marketing.

Clever positioning.

Not the best ingredients and nutrition profiles.

Too much sugar, too many gums, flavors, and other cheap fillers. At that price point, I would expect more.

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20+ plant-based protein powders (including Skoop) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.

Sun Warrior Protein Powder Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Review

After reviewing the ingredients and nutrition facts for Sun Warrior protein powder, let’s first talk about what I do like about Sun Warrior products:

  1. SunWarrior Classic Plus, Warrior Blend and Lean Meal Illumin8 all contain 100% organic ingredients. I give the unflavored “Natural” blends for Classic Plus and Warrior Blend a big thumbs up.
  2. SunWarrior reformulated their protein powders with added sugar and now none of their powders have added sugar or artificial sweeteners (they use organic stevia extract).
  3. I’m a fan of the organic, sprouted whole food ingredients they use.
  4. SunWarrior is privately-owned, which means they haven’t been bought by a mega-corporation that puts profits over health (like Vega and Garden of Life, for example).
  5. The price is right with Sun Warrior … their most expensive protein (Illumin8) costs around $.05/gram, which is less than other premium plant protein powders.

However …

There are also some red flag ingredients (cue dramatic music) in many of Sun Warrior’s powders you may want to think twice about if you have digestive issues or if nutrition/ingredients are your top priority when choosing a protein powder.

Find out more in this SunWarrior protein review …

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SunWarrior Protein Powder Review

Like my other protein powder reviews (PlantFusion, Garden of Life, etc.), my analysis is based on the health and nutrition of Sun Warrior protein powder blends … NOT their taste.

I sell a protein powder so I am clearly biased … but this is a short checklist I use when buying most packaged products:

  • Organic, clean, plant-based, real food ingredients
  • No added sugars or other artificial sweeteners used
  • None of these junk ingredients:
    • Soy
    • Corn
    • Dairy
    • Gluten
    • Flavors
    • Gums

SunWarrior meets most of these criteria …

Here’s a summary of what’s in each of their 7 protein powder products:

SunWarrior Classic Protein
$23.99
sunwarrior protein classic
Calories: 80
Grams of Protein: 15
Grams of Sugar: 1
Protein Sources: Rice
Free of Natural Flavors: No (except for the Natural version)
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No (except for the Natural version)
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.03

 

Classic Protein Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

sunwarrior classic protein nutrition facts review

Classic Plus Protein
$23.99
classic plus protein powder
Calories: 100
Grams of Protein: 18
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Organic pea, organic rice, organic quinoa, organic chia, organic amaranth
Free of Natural Flavors: No (except for the Natural version)
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No (except for the Natural version)
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.03

 

Classic Plus Protein Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

 

sun warrior classic plus protein nutrition facts label

Warrior Blend Organic Protein Powder
$39.99
warrior blend powder
Calories: 100
Grams of Protein: 16
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Organic pea, organic hemp
Free of Natural Flavors: No (except for the Natural version)
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.05

 

Warrior Blend Protein Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

Sun Warrior Blend Organic Protein Powder

Lean Meal Illumin8 Protein Powder
$43.97

Lean Meal Illumin8 reviews

Calories: 140
Grams of Protein: 15
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Organic pea
Free of Natural Flavors: No
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.06

 

Illumin8 Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

Illumin8 Nutrition Facts Ingredients

Clean Greens & Protein
$39.99

sunwarrior Clean Greens and Protein

Calories: 100
Grams of Protein: 17
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Organic pea
Free of Natural Flavors: No
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.05

 

Clean Greens & Protein Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

Clean Greens & Protein reviews

Clean Keto Protein Powder
$44.95

sun warrior clean keto protein review

Calories: 280
Grams of Protein: 14
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Fava bean, Organic pea
Free of Natural Flavors: No
Free of Gums/Thickeners: Yes
Organic: No
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.06

 

Clean Keto Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

clean keto ingredients review

Collagen Building Protein Peptides
$34.95
sunwarrior collagen review
Calories: 80
Grams of Protein: 14
Grams of Sugar: 0
Protein Sources: Organic pea, Organic rice
Free of Natural Flavors: No
Free of Gums/Thickeners: No
Organic: Yes
Vegan: Yes
Cost Per Gram: $.06

 

Collagen Building Protein Peptides Nutrition Facts/Ingredients:

Collagen Building Protein Peptides Nutrition Facts

Ingredients I Don’t Like In SunWarrior Protein Powder Blends

On Sun Warrior’s website, they say:

We believe that plants provide the cleanest and most powerful foods, rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. Our bodies crave real food, especially in this age where we heavily process everything we eat, stripping out all the benefits and nutrition well before we have a chance to use them.

That’s something SunWarrior and I definitely agree on.

As I mentioned, SunWarrior has a lot of good things going for it: organic ingredients, no/low sugar, probiotics, quality protein sources.

I actually highly recommend all of their “natural” products for anyone looking for a cheap, organic, plant-based protein powder:

But

There are some concerns I have with a few of SunWarrior protein powders (the flavored versions, at least).

Concern #1: Most SunWarrior Protein Powders Have “Natural” Flavors

David Andrews, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group, says:

Natural and artificial flavors really aren’t that different. And those “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals! You’re right to be skeptical of the word “natural” – it’s often thrown around loosely.

“Natural” flavors may contain 50 to 100 ingredients, many of which may be chemical solvents and preservatives.
Personally, I avoid products that have them because food manufacturers don’t have to disclose what’s actually in them. Read more about natural flavors here.

If you use Sun Warrior protein powder, I recommend checking with them to see what’s in their “flavor” compounds.

Concern #2: Gums in All Sun Warrior Protein Powders 

Gums are common food additives used to stabilize, emulsify, and thicken the texture of processed foods.

The flavored versions of Illumin8, Classic, Classic Plus, and Warrior Blend all contain gums (either xanthan or guar … they refer to the latter as “guar fiber” in Illumin8).

Xanthan gum can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Guar gum may lead to digestive side effects like abdominal cramps and diarrhea too.

I recommend avoiding them whenever possible, especially if you suffer from GI issues.

Sun Warrior Protein Reviews Summed Up

I recommend the “natural” versions of the following SunWarrior protein powder blends:

  1. Classic Plus Natural Protein
  2. Warrior Blend Organic Natural Protein
  3. Collagen Building Protein Peptides
  4. Classic Protein

SunWarrior’s other protein powders all have a combination of flavors and gums/emulsifiers. If those types of ingredients don’t matter to you and you’re just looking for a cheap organic plant-based protein, Sun Warrior is a solid choice.

But if you have a sensitive gut or are looking for the cleanest/healthiest option, you may want to try something without those ingredients.

best plant-based protein powders

Garden of Life Raw Meal and Protein Powder Review

Here’s the deal …

There are two things I really like about most of Garden of Life protein powder products: 1.) they’re cheap, and 2.) they’re organic.

However …

When I analyzed the ingredients and nutrition facts in their protein powders, I discovered some things that raised a few red flags.

In this article, I’m going to share those findings with you, so you can decide for yourself whether Garden of Life’s raw protein powders are the right choice for you.

Here are the condensed and full versions of my review:

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Garden of Life Protein Powder Review (Condensed Version)

garden of life protein reviews
Source: www.gardenoflife.com

Similar to my other plant protein powder reviews, I am reviewing Garden of Life protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste. If you want to know what it tastes like, read the Amazon reviews.

This is what I look for in a healthy protein powder:

  • Organic, real food ingredients
  • Amount of protein per serving
  • Protein sources
  • Added sugars or other sweeteners used
  • None of these junk ingredients:
    • Soy
    • Corn
    • Dairy
    • Gluten
    • Fillers
    • Natural flavors
    • Gums

Garden of Life meets most of these criteria …

Let’s start with what I like about Garden of Life protein powders:

  • Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Organic, sprouted grains and seeds
  • Probiotics
  • At $.04/gram, their price point is very affordable
  • The Unflavored version contains no sugar, stevia, gums, or other additives

Here’s a high-level overview of what’s in each of their 6 main protein powders (I noted my red flags and will tell you more about each below the chart):

garden of life organic plant proteinraw organic proteingarden of life raw meal proteingarden of life Raw Fitraw protein and greensSPORT Organic Plant-Based Protein

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Garden of Life Raw Meal

Garden of Life Raw Fit

Garden of Life Raw Protein and Greens

SPORT Organic Plant-Based Protein
Calories9011012017013085
Grams of Protein15 22 20 282015
Protein Source(s)Organic pea, organic chia, organic flax, organic cranberry seedOrganic pea, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, chia, flax, garbanzo bean, lentil, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seedOrganic pea, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, chia, flax, garbanzo bean, lentil, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seedOrganic pea, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, chia, flax, garbanzo bean, lentil, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed Organic rice, pea, chia, navy bean lentil, garbanzoOrganic pea, navy bean, lentil, garbanzo bean, cranberry seed
Grams of Sugar 0 00-6 (depending on flavor … see below) 06<1
Free of “Natural” FlavorsNoNoNo NoNoNo
Free of Gums & ThickenersNoNoNoYes YesYes
OrganicYesYesYesYesYesYes
VeganYes YesYesYesYesYes
Cost Per Gram $.04 $.04 $.04$.04$.04$.05

Read on to find out why I highlighted the things above in red …

Garden of Life Protein Powder Reviews (Full Version)

Ok, so as we said, GOL looks pretty good at first glance. Organic ingredients, probiotics, quality protein sources.

But

There are a few red flags about GOL protein powders I want to tell you more about.

Let’s start with this one …

1. Most Garden of Life Protein Powders Have “Natural Flavors”

raw fit reviews

Here’s what David Andrews, Senior Scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has to say about natural flavors:

Natural and artificial flavors really aren’t that different. And those “natural flavors” can actually contain synthetic chemicals! You’re right to be skeptical of the word “natural” – it’s often thrown around loosely.

Vandana Sheth, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says these flavors may induce food cravings in some people too.

I emailed Garden of Life and asked, “What ingredients, specifically, do your natural flavors contain?”

Here’s what they said:

In the Organic Plant Protein and RAW Organic Meal there will be ingredients that says it’s a flavor, like Organic Vanilla Flavor, which means that the ingredients is not strictly a vanilla bean that was added to the product but an extract form. This just means it’s more concentrated so less of the ingredient can be used without altering the nutrients that are in the product. In other flavors you’ll see a combination of both like the Chocolate Cacao flavor of the RAW Organic Meal. This one will have RAW Organic Cacao which is where chocolate comes from with Organic Chocolate Flavors just to enhance the cholate taste. If you were to just have the cacao then the product will most likely not taste like what most will expect from a chocolate flavored product.

Now, I’m not saying Garden of Life’s “flavors” contain other shady ingredients like most companies add, especially since they’re organic.

However, in general I avoid products with “flavors” because they may contain other additives and preservatives.

Let’s move on and talk about red flag #2.

2. Hidden Sugar in Garden of Life Raw Protein

I was surprised to see that two of Garden of Life’s unflavored protein powder products contain 6 grams of sugar! Check it out …

Garden of Life Raw Meal

raw organic meal nutrition facts

Garden of Life Raw Protein and Greens

protein & greens nutrition ingredients

If you’re buying an unflavored protein powder, added sugar is probably the last ingredient you want in it. And “organic cane sugar” is no better than any other sugar source.

The chemical composition is exactly the same … your body will break the sugar down into glucose and fructose in the digestive tract and it will have the exact same negative effects on your metabolism.

3. Garden of Life Recall and Controversy

Garden of Life was in hot water a few years ago when 33 people got Salmonella poisoning from their Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Replacement powdered mixes. The victims ranged in age from 1 year to 84 years old. I’ve had Salmonella and it was quite possibly the sickest I’ve ever felt in my life … wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Thankfully, none of the 33 people from the Garden of Life recall died.

Now, as someone who also sells an organic, plant-based protein powder I feel for GOL. These things happen in the food industry (thankfully not to us thus far).

But it doesn’t make it any less scary.

4. Garden of Life Nestle Acquisition

In December 2017, GOL’s parent company Atrium was acquired by Big Food giant Nestle for $2.3 billion.

Despite Garden of Life’s CEO Brain May assuring customers there are no “current plans” to change anything, many people are concerned based on Nestle’s track record of peddling junk food and investing money to thwart GMO labeling efforts.

When small companies get bought by big companies, they generally do everything possible to decrease costs, and the first thing they look at is, “How can we reduce the costs of our ingredients.” This often leads to more ingredient sourcing from questionable sources overseas.

The future of GOL’s ingredients remains to be seen.

Garden of Life Protein Powder Reviews Summed Up

The one Garden of Life product I really like and recommend is Organic Plant Protein (Unflavored). It’s a solid product with all organic, real food ingredients and contains probiotics. Here are the ingredients and nutrition facts:

organic plant protein unflavored ingredients nutrition facts

I’ve used Garden of Life’s Raw Fit protein in the past but I’ve since phased out all products with “flavors.”

Unfortunately, all Garden of Life protein powders other than Unflavored Organic Plant Protein (Raw Fit, Raw Organic Meal, Raw Protein and Greens, and SPORT Organic Plant-Based Protein) contain flavors, gums, and/or sugars.

Long story short, I like their Unflavored products with no sugar added and their commitment to organic, real food ingredients … but can’t give their flavored ones my stamp of approval.