Vegan Protein Powder Try-Out

Vegan Protein Powder?

Guest post from Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know that I’m not one to normally buy protein powders or meal replacements.  However, I have to ADMIT, the other day I stopped into one of the whole food stores in my neighborhood and picked one up.

So what exactly did I buy? Vega meal replacement powder. vegan foods

Strangely enough, my hardest decision wasn’t whether or not I should buy the Vega powder, but instead which of the 4 flavors I should try – berry, chocolate, vanilla chai, or natural.

Wanting a variety, I opted to go with the can’t miss classic, chocolate, and the uber trendy sounding, vanilla chai.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the Vega line, these products are all made exclusively from natural plant-based whole foods.  What’s even more interesting is the creator is none other than elite vegan athlete Brendan Brazier, one of Canada’s top professional Ironman Triathletes.

The fact that a premier level vegan athlete had developed this product definitely sparked my interest.

And upon further review of the Vega brand, I discovered that Brazier has created a whole line of 100% vegan-friendly products, including oils, bars, smoothies, and much more.

My interest, however, was in the Vega meal replacement because not only is it high in fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids, but it also contains a lengthy list of other health-optimizing benefits such as removing heavy  metals and toxins, defending against free radical damage, and providing me with 100% of my recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

In the end, it’s the perfect compliment to my vegetarian diet.

But, even for those of you who aren’t vegan, I’d highly recommend adding this vegan protein supplement to your diet simply because of all the health benefits it offers.

To learn more about Vega you can check out this website.

What about you, have you tried Vega meal replacement before?  If so, which flavours and what do you think?

29 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by Heather
2009-12-01 20:59:30

I like the Vega vibrancy bars (raw and gluten-free)! The chocolate decadence one is especially good. I just wish they were cheaper… that’s my only complaint (it’s especially hard to eat well on the go when trying to live on a grad student’s income)

 
Comment by Nik
2009-12-02 08:45:53

I love the nutritional profile of Vega meal replacement and I use this product every day in my morning smoothie, with coconut water, frozen fruit and greens. I am not crazy about their flavored products – I have had a container of Vanilla Chai sitting in the fridge forever… ugh – so the natural one is my favorite. The chocolate flavor is also decent. Vega Smoothie Booster is another winner.

 
Comment by Alexandra
2009-12-02 08:59:20

I use the Vega protein powder on a regular basis and love it. I’ve tried all flavors with Chai being my favorite (to me it tastes like eggnog!)the berry flavor being my least favorite. I do think the Vega powders are over priced. Not sure what they sell for out your way but where I’m at a large tub is between $68-$74, and not widely available in stores and have to be purchased online.

 
Comment by Kris
2009-12-02 09:06:21

I’ve been using Vega for a few years now. I too mix it with almond or soy milk and often chuck in a banana. The chocolate is by far the most palatable. The taste takes a bit of getting used to but you will seriously crave it after awhile. I find it really helps keep my sugar levels (and thus energy levels) balanced throughout the day. Great stuff.

 
Comment by Steve
2009-12-02 09:07:21

I think it’s a great product and my wife and I have it everyday. The only thing we don’t love about it is the unfortunate taste. We’ve tried all of them and the only one we can stomach is the natural. I think it’s the stevia (the sweetner). We stopped adding it to smoothies though – the taste was just overpowering. We mix it with E3 Live and water and just get it down as quick as we can. Then we can enjoy our green smoothie after.

 
Comment by kimberly
2009-12-02 09:10:02

Vega is ok – but I really like the Sun Warrior protein powder.

 
Comment by Steve
2009-12-02 09:12:13

It’s a great product, except for the taste. We’ve tried all four and none of them taste great. We now take it before we have our green smoothie. We mix it with E3 Live and just get it down as quick as we can. The taste was overpowering – I think it’s the stevia.

 
Comment by Robert
2009-12-02 10:21:20

Interesting: different strokes for different folks. The Vanilla Chai VEGA is my favorite of the four flavors. FYI: I had the honor of attending a lecture by Brendan Brazier a few weeks ago. Very interesting and informative. While somewhat expensive, VEGA seems like an excellent product.

However, in order to get about 0.7 – 1 gram of protein/pound, what do you recommend to supplement VEGA, especially when aiming for using vegetarian protein?

Warm regards from FL,

Robert

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-12-21 18:38:37

Hi Robert,
Vega is a great product, I agree. I would add in more rice protein powder. I use the Nutribiotic protein powder. Per Tablespoon it contains 12 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs. It super easy to digest as well.

Enjoy!

 
 
Comment by Pep
2009-12-02 11:06:41

Hey there,

Just an FYI, there is a phone conference tomorrow night Thurs Dec 3 at 9pm EST. with the founders of Sun Warrior Protein and Living Fuel.com with Natural News. It said registration is free and they are offering discounts to listeners. I haven’t tried the product myself yet but I’ve heard good things. The link is

http://www.naturalnews.com/027638_SunWarrior_LivingFuel.html

Pep
Toronto, ON

 
Comment by Roy De Leon
2009-12-02 11:35:26

I have tried Sun Warrior protein, vanilla flavored and it is really good.

 
Comment by Wilhelmina
2009-12-02 12:00:54

Though I haven’t tried Vega yet, I have read Brendan Frazier’s book called THRIVE. It’s a real eye-opener for those who think they NEED lots of animal protein to be lean and fit. Thrive has some great recipes in it, including ones to make your own sports drinks and recovery drinks (or even recovery pudding! Mmmmmmm). The homemade version of the sports drink is awesome and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated like some other well-known brands. I’d be willing to bet that Vega is a superior product based on my positive experience with Brendan’s recipes.

 
Comment by Adam
2009-12-02 12:37:38

Sun Warrior vanilla is absolutely awesome. I would highly recommend. I can only assume the chocolate would be just as tasty. The vanilla has made my bender drinks delicious and the profile on the powder is just as awesome.

-Adam

 
Comment by Julie
2009-12-02 12:59:08

I love the chocolate and regular flavor Vega drink mixes… berry flavor is too sweet for me and I haven’t tried Chai. Brendan Brazier’s success proves that the human body does not “need” animal protein :)

 
Comment by kathy
2009-12-02 13:47:05

Where can I find Vege Hut brand flax bread?????? Would LOVE TO TRY IT!
Thanks for the info!!!! Rock on!

 
Comment by Pete
2009-12-02 14:38:40

I use the Vega reg. flavor whole food optimizer and it is great! Keeps me feeling full without the bloating and stomach distress that I was experiencing with soy protein powders. I recently saw Brendan speak in Ohio and bought his book “Thrive”- Brendan is a great speaker and I learned a lot from him. The book is excellent- my favorite section is the homemade power bar recipes-mmmmmm delicious and cheaper/healthier than the store-bought brands

 
Comment by meredith
2009-12-02 14:41:38

I just found out about Vega about two weeks ago while at our supplement store looking for alternatives to soy (can’t do whey b/c I am allergic) I have only tried the Natural flavor but found it a bit “grassy” tasting (probably due to the hemp protein). Bought the sample packest in all the other flavors to try out as well.

 
Comment by Anna DeVito
2009-12-02 14:44:36

I like Perfect Plus- Rice based
From SuperGood Stuff
supergoodstuff.com

 
Comment by Kathy
2009-12-02 17:33:39

I really like the Sun Warrior protein powder – the vanilla is very good mixed with greens and frozen berries in a smoothie for breakfast

 
Comment by Josh
2009-12-02 18:17:53

The problem with Vega, aside from the cost and taste, is that it is loaded with synthetic vitamins and minerals. of particular concern, it has retinyl palmitate (preformed Vitamin A) and synthetic iron. It is clear from the studies that preformed Vitamin A is best avoided in supplements as it increases bone fracture risk and increases overall risk of mortality. We are much better off getting the safe natural carotenoids found in foods. Synthetic iron is fine for those who are anemic, but very toxic to people with normal blood levels of iron. You can read more about the dangers of each of these in various studies or there is a good summary of many of the studies on the web pages of the National Institute of Health.

You are better off with a protein powder supplement that does not have all these synthetic nutrients. Just get a protein powder that has the protein and other natural health promoting nutrients.

 
Comment by Dr. Debra
2009-12-02 19:27:59

Hi Craig,

I rarely use any kind of powders or supplements. When I have I like Nutiva hemp powder. Great quality and mild taste.

 
Comment by Kym Hutcheon
2009-12-02 23:28:54

I’m a little surprised to read the comments about the synthetic vitamins and minerals in Vega. Brendan Brazier seems like someone who really knows his game. Check out the nutrition course he offers through the Vega site. I found it to be pretty amazing for a free course.

Hope this doesn’t break forum etiquette but to the person who has to order online, check out iHerb for really low prices and shipping: http://www.iherb.com/Vega-Sequel-Naturals and http://www.iherb.com/Sun-Warrior. Yes, I am a customer there, so you can get $5 off if you use my product code when ordering: HUT039. Apologies for the self-promtion but if you benefit…

 
Comment by Duane
2009-12-03 01:59:39

Sun Warrior! I use the Vanilla flavor every day. I grind various seeds and bee pollen, and add some berries, sometimes oranges, sometimes cacao powder, and blend away. Always makes me feel good.

 
Comment by Josh
2009-12-04 10:53:29

Kym,
Brendan may know his stuff as you say, but he certainly seems to not be up to date with the studies regarding these vitamins and minerals. In my opinion, it is a huge oversight. Indeed, I would go so far as to say Vega is actually an unhealthy supplement because of those nutrients he has put in. In other words, I think a person is healthier not consuming Vega than they would be by consuming it.

 
Comment by Kym Hutcheon
2009-12-07 09:24:38

Josh,

I’d need to look at the Vega more closely before I could comment, but in principle, I agree with you. I generally only use a protein powder post-workout and in my morning smoothie, which are both loaded with foods to supply most of the other nutrients.

So, if not Vega, what do you recommend? Particularly with cost as a factor.

 
Comment by Pkah
2009-12-09 00:56:27

I have just started using the Sun Warrior protein, chocolate flavoured, and it is great. Easy to mix and the flavour is great. Even my wife likes it!!

 
Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-12-31 04:27:42

Hi Heather,
Pre made bars like this can be a bit expensive. I would say hang in there or make your own bars to save money. Your health is worth it. It’s either invest in your health now or pay doctors later to attempt to reverse bad eating habits. Have a super healthy 2010. Kardena

 
Comment by Justin
2010-05-09 09:16:40

I have been trying to find a meal replacement that is just as plentiful as Vega. Living on a tight budget and wondering if it is necessary to dump in two scoops each time. Is there something a little more reasonable that I can add to my shake every morning. Another Vegan meal replacement with the same quality or close the same quality? Any help would be greatly appreciated…

Justin

Comment by Kardena
2011-03-16 11:23:16

There are several protein powders on the market now that are pretty competitive with Vega eventhough Vega is a great product it is pricey. There’s a vegan protein powder called Life’s Basics and it combines pea, hemp, chia, & rice protein. Online it’s around $17 per container and about the same or maybe a little less in some stores.

 
 
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