When training for a marathon, I looked at my diet closely and saw that I was really lacking in protein for my increased activity level (35-40 miles per week, plus cross training). I also noticed when I got protein in my system an hour after a workout, the next day’s workout felt *way* better.
When only running four days a week due to the summer heat, each workout is really important- and you want to make the workouts count. To get extra protein during training, I started drinking protein shakes- something I never did consistently in my years of working out.
I started out with store-brand whey. After all, the bodybuilders say it gets to your muscles fastest post workout, so why not? Pretty bland, so I added Jello pudding mix to form high protein concoctions. I felt weird adding Jello pudding mix and chocolate syrup into a shake I wanted to be healthy- and it tasted like artificial sweeteners.
Along with whey, I tried casein protein. I consulted Coach Google (ha) and found that it was helpful before bed as it was slow digesting. Unfortunately for me, it was *no-digesting*. I had some of the worst stomach pains ever (my digestive tract can be pretty finnicky). Needless to say, I only drank casein protein once. Even that was one time too many.
I don’t eat meat, and even though I consume dairy products and eggs, I was curious about vegan protein powders. Some of my speedy and strong vegan friends use them, and I pride myself on being “powered by plants” most of the time.
Shortly after my marathon, I jumped on the opportunity to try Naturade’s new VeganSmart All-in-One nutritional shake, a plant based shake free of dairy, soy, gluten, cholesterol, trans fat, and GMOs. Even more impressive is what the shake contains- 20 grams of protein (160 calories), 6 grams of fiber, probiotics, digestive enzymes, whole food complex, omega 3, essential amino acids, and a slew of vitamins and minerals.
Depending on your goals, the VeganSmart All-in-One nutritional shake can be a post-workout treat or a meal replacement. It’s a LOT cheaper than private-label supplements, and you don’t have to buy through a provider. You can buy online (retails for $34.99) and at other retailers, including Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and Amazon. The container has 15 2-scoop servings- just over $2 a serving.
I was sent a container of the vanilla flavor and first tried it out after a BodyPump weights workout- it’s pretty important to get protein right after lifting weights. I opened the container and immediately found the scoop- automatic win!
To get a true taste of the VeganSmart shake, I mixed it with ice and unsweetened vanilla almond milk, then blended with my immersion blender. The shake powder in the container was a bit lumpy, but it blended very well- better than whey powder and MUCH better than casein. I didn’t have to scrape powder from the blades of my blender or the bottom of the cup- so I didn’t feel like any of the powder was “wasted”.
The best part was the taste- absolutely delicious. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk is basically tasteless, but the blended shake was great. It wasn’t chalky or powdery, and it didn’t taste bland or “green”. I tasted no hints of artificial sweeteners- because it doesn’t contain any. I also tried it blended with just purified water and ice, and that was also excellent; every other shake I’ve tried was barely palatable when mixed only with water.
I’m sure it tastes great blended with anything, but it’s nice that you can drink it with ice and water, too- especially after a hot, sweaty run. I’m drinking it after hard runs and after weight workouts.
Since my first two experiments, I’ve also blended the VeganSmart All-in-One Nutritional Shake with frozen bananas (almost like banana pudding) and frozen blueberries (added antioxidants never hurt).
Of course, no one drinks protein shakes simply for taste; results are important too. On the training front, I’ve made it a point to drink the VeganSmart shake four times a week, and I’m seeing results in my post-marathon recovery. I’m lifting more weight at BodyPump classes without being super sore the next day. I’m also back to running 30-35 miles per week (5 days per week) and seeing some speed gains.
As far as tummy troubles go, I’ve experienced *zero* digestive discomfort drinking the VeganSmart shake. I think the probiotics and digestive enzymes may be helping as well. The protein fills me up until my next meal, I’m not craving junk, and I’ve had no painful cramps or bloating.
When my tummy’s happy, everyone’s happy.
When my vanilla VeganSmart All-in-One nutritional shake runs out, I’ll definitely buy more. I’ll be buying the chocolate and chai flavors when I get paid, too. The added vitamins and probiotics give more bang for your caloric buck, and the extra nutrition can replace a daily multivitamin, probiotic, and fiber supplement.
If you’d like to try VeganSmart’s All-in-One nutritional shake, I’m giving away 1 container of the vanilla flavor to a lucky reader here at TheTinyTerror.com.
Here’s how to enter:
- Mandatory Entry: How do you refuel after a workout? Any favorite protein shake recipes or combinations to share? Leave your answer in a comment!
- Optional: Subscribe to TheTinyTerror.com via email, WordPress reader, or RSS. Leave a comment letting me know how you subscribe.
- Optional: Like Naturade on Facebook, then comment here letting me know you did.
- Optional: Visit VeganSmart’s website, then comment here with something you read or learned or another product you’d like to try.
- Optional: Tweet “I want to be powered by plants with @Naturade and @ProudPatriot07. Enter to win VeganSmart shake at http://wp.me/px2QG-1YN”. Leave a comment on this post.
Be sure to leave a comment for each entry method. The giveaway ends October 30.
I strive to review only products I trust and believe in. I received one free container of Naturade’s VeganSmart All-in-One Nutritional Shake in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated monetarily for this post.