Do you enjoy protein shakes?
Back when I used to be a gym rat, I rarely drank protein shakes. They did not taste good to me and I preferred to eat my food.
However, since doing the 21 Day Clean Gut Program, I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy a good morning shake with a scoop of protein powder.
In the past I’ve used whey protein, however lately I have found that this type of protein powder leaves me feeling a tad gassy and bloated. I am learning to listen to my body’s cues, and therefore am now using a plant based protein powder. Since using this type of protein powder, I have noticed that my body is able to digest this type of protein with ease and no gas or bloating.
My go-to plant based protein powder is Vega – Protein and Greens!
In this blog post, I will review the Vega brand plant based protein powders. My focus will be on the chocolate and vanilla flavors as these are the two I have tried and use the most.
I will cover, what a plant based protein powder is, a brief history of the Vega brand and most importantly I will answer the question: “How does it taste?”
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What IS Plant Based Protein Powder?
Before I start discussing the Vega brand of plant based protein powder, let’s talk about what protein powder is and the difference between whey and plant based protein powder.
What Is Protein Powder?
What IS protein powder? Protein powders are powdered forms of protein. These proteins come from eggs, milk (whey protein), or plants (soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes or hemp).
Along with these proteins are added sugars, artificial flavors, vitamins and minerals. This is why reading the ingredients list of protein powders is so important. Not all protein powders are created equal!
Whey Protein Powder
What is Whey protein powder?
Whey protein powder is one of the more popular protein supplements. Whey is a water-soluble milk protein, so it usually blends nicely when making a protein smoothie. Whey is a complete protein which means it contains all the amino acids that the human body requires from food. The body absorbs whey protein quickly. There is a lot of research to back up the use of whey protein supplement powder after performing resistance exercises: here is one such research study.
Whey protein does contain small amounts of lactose and if you are lactose intolerant, you may find that whey protein powders cause you gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas, bloating and maybe even diarrhea and/or constipation.
On the flip side, whey protein powder may not cause you any digestive issues at all and if this is the case then the use of a whey protein powder may be the best option for you. I highly suggest you find a whey protein powder that is from grass fed grass finished cows like the Garden of Life brand.
If you are someone like me who just can’t “do” a whey based protein powder then let’s talk about plant based protein powders.
Plant Based Protein Powder
What is a plant based protein powder?
Plant based protein powders contain sources of protein that come from plants like seeds, grains and legumes rather then dairy and animal products.
Soy, hemp, pea, rice and peanuts are all examples of plant based protein powders.
Of all the plant based protein powders, soy is the only complete plant based protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. Other plant based proteins, like pea protein need to be paired with another plant based protein in order for it to be fully effective.
Keep in mind, just like with whey protein powders, not all soy protein (or other plant based) powders are created equal. Always read the ingredients list and take in to account the added sugars and preservatives that are in the product.
You now have the basics of whey based and plant based protein supplements.
Now let’s talk about the Vega brand.
Who Is Vega?
Before reviewing the Vega protein supplements, lets talk a bit about this company.
Vega is a company that was started by Charles Chang and Brendan Brazier in 2004. It is a brand of plant based products which is now owned by Danone. In 2015 Vega was sold to a Denver based giant called White Wave Food. White Wave Food was bought by Danone in 2016…so that is how Vega is now owned by Danone.
The Vega line contains vegan protein powders, protein bars, protein snacks, shakes and supplements. Their products are all vegan certified and Non-Gmo Project certified. Vega uses mainly pea based protein in their products.
VEGA Protein and Greens Protein Powder
Alright! We have the basics of Vega and we now know what products they make.
Now let’s talk protein shakes.
I’ve been using both the chocolate and vanilla flavored Protein and Greens powders for a few years. There are many more protein powder options to choose from on the Vega website here. For this article, I will just be sticking to reviewing two of the Vega products.
Vega Protein and Greens – Vanilla and Chocolate
The Vega Protein and Greens powder can be found under the “Daily Nutrition” section on the Vega website. You can also buy this product at Walmart and Costco.
I first came across this powder while shopping at Costco. I was looking for a good plant based protein powder and while shopping I just happened to come across this one. The ingredient list was really impressive and so I decided to buy it and give it a try.
Every ingredient is either a veggie or a fruit powder!
Pea protein, pea starch, spinach powder, brown rice protein, organic kale powder, xanthan gum, stevia leaf extract, papain powder! There are no hard to pronounce chemicals, plus there is only 1 gram of sugar and 20 grams of protein per serving!
Both the vanilla and chocolate flavours have similar ingredients. The chocolate flavour however contains cocoa powder, but other than that the ingredients are pretty much the same!
One scoop (30g) of the vanilla product contains:
- 110 calories
- 2g fat
- 5g carbohydrates
- 1g sugar
- 1g fibre
- 20g protein
One scoop (33g) of the chocolate product contains:
- 120 calories
- 2.5g fat
- 6 g carbohydrates
- 1g sugar
- 2g fibre
- 20g protein
All those veggies! Could a plant based protein taste good with all of those greens?
How Does Vega Brand Protein Powder Taste?
Pea protein tastes different from whey protein. There’s no getting around that.
Vanilla Flavoured Vega Protein and Greens
I have found that the best way to drink the vanilla flavoured Vega greens and protein is to blend it up in a smoothie. Shaking it with almond milk or water, doesn’t taste as good as when blended in a blender. However, I have found this to be my experience with both pea proteins or whey proteins.
Once the vanilla Vega Protein and Greens is blended with some nut milk, berries, and avocado, it is quite yummy! The protein powder itself blends very well. The vanilla flavour can be tasted and there is a slight, vegetable flavour to the smoothie, but not so much so that it ruins the drink! If I’m comparing it to a whey protein, this plant based protein powder does have a more earthy taste to it, yet the texture is smooth and not gritty.
Chocolate Flavoured Vega Protein and Greens
My experience with the chocolate flavoured Vega Protein and Greens powder is pretty much the same as the vanilla. Shaking this powder with just milk or water is not something I do nor would want to do for ANY protein powder… whey or plant based.
I enjoy adding fruit and a nut milk to my protein smoothies.
The chocolate flavour is my favourite and I have a smoothie recipe that I use often! You can find it here. It contains dates which adds a delicious, creamy and nutty flavour! I then add the Vega Chocolate Flavoured Protein and Greens! Delicious!
Like the vanilla flavour, this chocolate protein powder blends well. It has a wonderful chocolate flavour, is smooth and doesn’t have an earthy flavour at all!
Like I said, this flavour is my favourite!
Should You Give The Vega Brand A Try?
This brand has soooo many products and I’ve only covered two of them!
There is also a Sport Nutrition Protein powder that I have yet to try, but if it’s anything like the daily nutrition protein shake that I drink, then I know it will taste great!
Should YOU give this brand a try?
YES! YES! YES!
If you are looking for a protein that is plant based, and tastes great, then I highly recommend the Vega brand!
Comment below and tell me: do you think you’d like to give this brand a try?
Or maybe you already drink this brand of protein; if you do, please share your thoughts below!
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on the Vega Brand!
Anna – The Gut Nerd