If you’re like me, you don’t eat breakfast. It’s such a terrible habit, but hey, if you’re not hungry when you wake up, why force-feed yourself, #amirite? When I do feel that hunger creepin’ in though, I still opt for something light and liquidy. If tea and (vegan) creamer just isn’t doing it, I usually go for a vegan protein shake.
I normally make my vegan protein drink at home with some vegan protein powder, frozen banana, maca powder (more on this to come) and almond milk, but sometimes, ya just want to be lazy! As a busy boss lady, I need my on-the-go options, which brings us to today’s Friday Face-Off: Vegan Protein Shakes!
Halloween is just 4 days away and if you have kiddos or are throwing your annual Halloween chili cook-off or something, then you’re probably short on time. Hell if you wake up, you’re probably short on time these days (raises hand). Which is why aside from fruits or vegetables, protein shakes are a good option to keep you goin’! I decided to put three to the test. These three came up in my research as some of the best.
Price. Each of these tetra-paks ranges from $2.50 to $3.50 depending on where you shop. I bought all three at Whole Foods. I personally think that’s a hefty price for 11 fluid ounces, of which all of these are. A pack of four is usually $12, so no real savings there either. I would check places (that aren’t Whole Foods), like Fresh Thyme, Sprouts or Jewel-Osco (Safeway) for when these items go on sale.
Now let’s go into the taste and nutrition of each separately with staged pictures that have nothing to do with the product (this one was a weird shoot, ya’ll).
Taste: Vega protein shakes are either a hit or a miss. This one though, was a bit of a both. The flavor is a BIT chalky, but otherwise it’s good. It has that almost fake chocolate after-taste to it, which actually doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds. 6/10.
Nutrition: 1 carton is 170 calories, 4.5g of fat, 14g of carbs, 20g of protein and 7g of sugar. On the protein front, that’s a high protein to calorie ratio, which is always a good thing in my book. The protein comes from hemp, pumpkin seeds and peas. Looks like most of the sugar comes from coconut palm sugar and stevia leaf extract as well, aside from natural sugars.
When To Drink: I think this would be best to drink for breakfast or after a workout.
Taste: You guys. Have you tried Evolve protein before? I haven’t had their powder, but these protein smoothies? Scrumdiddly yumptious. They’re smooth and taste like the flavor they’re supposed to. So far I’ve tried chocolate and the vanilla flavors above. I have “Mellow Mocha Flavored” staring me down for lunch today. 10/10.
Nutrition: 1 carton is 150 calories, 0g of fat, 17g of carbs, 20g of protein and 6g of sugar. While this has just a couple more carbs than the Vega protein drink, it is a GREAT option for those on a low-fat, no-fat diet. I mean, those fat grams can seriously add up, especially when using this as part of a protein shake you make at home or something. After adding in all the fruits, veggies, powders, nuts and the kitchen sink, it can be a calorie bomb! With that said, this is pretty dang nutritious. As far as these drinks go, the ingredient list is much shorter than the other two.
When To Drink: I think this would be best to drink as a snack or before a workout because of the higher carb count.
3. Orgain Organic Nutrition™
Taste: Um, no. It tastes as fake as fake protein powder gets. Personally, not a fan. But if you don’t mind that fake taste, then more power to you! It’s not as bad as I say it is #dramaqueen, but in contention with the others, it definitely fell short. 4/10.
Nutrition: Ringing in at 220 calories, this protein drink is the highest in calories among them all. It also has 6g of fat, 25g of carbohydrates and 16g of protein. Nutritionally speaking, that isn’t the best ratio. It also has 9g of sugar.
Keep in mind that not ALL Orgain drinks are vegan. Some are made with whey protein. The good thing is, you can easily tell which are vegan and which aren’t: they tell you on the packaging itself.
When To Drink: Lower in protein and higher in carbs makes this more of a snack or meal replacement of sorts.
Verdict? …and the winner is…EVOLVE protein! Between the taste and it’s nutritional facts, this guy takes home the gold, some roses and maybe a teddy bear from the crowd. I think it’s well worth the price for the taste (although I would still have a hard time dropping $12+ for a case of 4–I’d run through that in no time). OK back on track–this is the good stuff.
Question of the Day
What protein drinks are your favorites? Do you have any go-to options? We’d love to know!