Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan Protein Powder Review: Olympian Labs Pea Protein

I've been vegan for about 2.5 years now, and I'm still on the hunt for a really good vegan protein powder. I have two specifications: no crazy additives and taste must be tolerable! I say "tolerable" because in all my years (pregan and vegan) of trying different brands, flavors, etc, I have yet to try a protein powder that makes me say, "Wow, this is really good!" In fact, I don't know if such a protein powder even exists (let's be real, people). So here is my viewpoint: My idea of a good protein powder is one with a taste that blends well into a smoothie, and/or one that I can drink with just water and not immediately feel like I am going to throw up. For the record, I've tried some vegan protein powders that are pretty good, but since this is a new blog I'm going to review products one by one.

First up...Olympian Labs Pea Protein. There are four ingredients: Pea Protein Isolate, Xylitol, Natural Vanilla Flavor, and Stevia. One scoop provides you with 25 grams of protein. Now, as for the taste? Not so good. You'll notice in the bottom right hand side of the label it says "Great Tasting Vanilla Flavor!" I don't know who decided it was "great", but I just can't agree. The aftertaste is what gets to me the most. I once tried to put only half a scoop into a fruit smoothie but that odd, kinda artificially-sweet taste just ruined it for me. But don't think I'm gonna let this protein go to waste! I'm still going to finish the whole container, I'll just buy another kind when this one runs out. 

What I normally do is put a scoop into my shaker container and bring it to the gym. Right after my workout I mix about 2 cups of water into the container, shake the hell out of it and chug it down. Then I'll do that weird whiplash-y gag with a couple headshakes thrown in and go about my day. I have even started drinking this on my off-gym days as well. Not so much to get rid of it faster, but just to add a little extra protein into my diet. 

I know everyone's tastes are different and some people (like Bob Harper) may be down with this protein, but it's just not for me. I think it's the xylitol/stevia business. I'm not on board the stevia-train yet, the taste just isn't very good to me. Sorry, stevia lovers!
I'll probably be done with this protein in a few weeks. At that time I'll be buying something else and reviewing that as well.

Anyone else tried this particular protein? What are your thoughts?


8 comments:

  1. I know nothing about protein powder, but maybe you could try adding a bit of cocoa powder for your next shake? Cocoa makes everything more tolerable if you ask me. :)

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  2. You know, that's not a bad idea. I need all the help I can get with this protein!

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  3. I had this stuff for awhile and just mostly buried it in smoothies where I didn't notice it at all.

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  4. I too have trouble finding a tolerable vegan protein powder (and also apply the criteria that it must be edible when mixed with just water).

    I am okay with Vega and Nutiva (a hemp powder) but still have not found one I absolutely LOVE.

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  5. Pea protein is my favorite, but I use NOW's regular pea protein. It's super cheap and the only ingredient is pea protein. I add it in with a simple smoothie: frozen berries, almond milk, and nut butter. Super good and doesn't flavor the smoothie.

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  6. I really like the Brown Rice Protein by Sun Warrior in vanilla. It's the only protein powder I can stand the taste of!

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  7. I use a Magic Bullet to mix 1 scoop of Olympian brand pea protein with about 1 or so cups of almond milk and frozen banana (half to a whole frozen banana), and I LOVE it!

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  8. I'm so glad to read your review - and some of the comments, as I've been searching for pea protein (or something - hesitant to add more rice) without stevia. I simply cannot stand the taste of it - or the aftertaste, that you mentioned. Thank you for your information.

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