After discovering my favorite protein shake was accounting for 20-30% of my cholesterol intake for the day*, I did what anyone else would do these days: I publicly whined about it on Facebook and Twitter. This promptly got me two pieces of information:one, that my initial feelings that I should get off of Facebook because I wasn’t sure it was useful were incorrect, and two, a ton of my friends have a favorite protein shake.
The Great Protein Shake-Off is simple: all of the protein shakes must have LESS cholesterol per serving than my current (reviewed below). They must be vanilla flavored (chocolates vary too easily and anyone on the receiving end of a caroby chocolate smoothie knows the gall bitter disappointment of said variance). They will be mixed with my usual ingredients: mixed berries (frozen, available at Trader Joes), Psyllium husks (a fiber additive, let’s not get into it), and unsweetened/unflavored soy milk.
Before we get into it: NO, I can’t use your favorite Almond milk or nut-based proteins. I’m allergic to tree nuts in a very go-to-the-Hospital, stop-breathing kind of way. Hence soy milk.
The Current: Designer Whey
With that, let’s look at the point of comparison, my protein shake for the last 3 months: Designer Whey in Vanilla. I can get this at my local Trader Joes for $11.99/container and each container has 12 servings so call it $1/serving. It has a pretty basic vanilla-y flavor, not too rich and not too sweet; no aftertaste (which I like). It doesn’t tend to clump in the blender (which some do). I know we said we wouldn’t talk chocolate but if you don’t have to worry about your cholesterol they do have a good chocolate flavor.
Nutrition-wise, we are looking at 18 grams of protein per serving, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, and a whopping 60mg of cholesterol (*it says this is 20% of my diet. AHA recommended cholesterol intake for someone with cardiovascular issues is 200mg/day. So no, this is more like 30% of my daily allowance).
I was thinking I’d just go back to Labrada — they have Labrada vanilla shakes at my gym — only to discover Labrada has MORE cholesterol, not less, so I will be gifting my recent Labrada purchase to David the Awesome Trainer who makes me bring my crying towel to the gym.
Maybe he will let me get away with less than 100 push ups.
Here are the contenders, as recommended from Facebook and by direct message. (HEY – if you’re reading this and you have a favorite and it’s not here, please dm me — I’ll try it. I even ordered some stuff from the UK). I will review each one for texture, flavor, cost, aftertaste, and anything else that occurs to me is potentially useful for someone considering these.
- Vega Protein Smoothie in Viva Vanilla flavor: I’m about to go on a trip and this will be my protein shake for the duration. Review to come in roughly a week. Recommended by friend from high school (it’s a measure of my trust in her that I am not taking a back up). Purchased from Amazon.
- Gold Standard Whey in Vanilla Ice Cream. Recommended from friend at work who thinks 10 mile runs are nbd. Reminds me a little of you, Tolga. Purchased from Amazon.
- Nutiva Hemp Protein in vanilla. Also recommended from friend from high school (different friend). (Remember, I reached out on Facebook). Purchased from Amazon.
- Premier Protein Vanilla shakes. Recommended from best friend’s hubs (also very good friend), purchasable from Amazon and Costco. Couldn’t find powder so going with premixed.
- Decibel Nutrition Madagascan Vanilla. Recommended from David the Trainer. Purchased from Decibel directly (not available via Amazon) and shipping currently from the UK.
Next post in roughly a week: Vega Protein Smoothie. DM any recommendations to me via Facebook or on Twitter (handle: bobbie.conti).