First, a little background on myself, so you are able to understand my point of view. I am a thirty one year old, high energy, competitive runner. I actually recently started drinking protein shakes on a semi-regular basis and changed my diet to include more meat to allow me to be more competitive in longer races. I had connected my tendency to ‘bonk’ to my lack of fat reserves, as I am almost six feet tall yet was under 140 pounds. After half a year of a protein heavy diet and daily shakes containing 34 grams of protein, I had gained 8 pounds, drastically reduced the bonk occurrences, and nearly curbed my incessant hunger.
The first one I tried was a light, strawberry banana flavored version. I had it after a run, and it went down rather smoothly. The flavor was better than most similar ones I have tried with a similar taste. It wasn’t gritty or syrupy either. I found it actually lighter than a typical strawberry milk, and not very filling.
The next day I tried the chocolate flavor, and it was also light. It was not as smooth as the strawberry banana and actually seemed a bit gritty. The deal breaker for me was the flavor, as it had the distinctly bitter taste of dark chocolate. That may have been a factor of me consuming it rather soon after a hard run, as I have noticed happens sometimes, so I would not completely write it off. I had the same issue with the first flavor, in regards to it not being filling.
On day three I tried the regular one, it had a vanilla flavor. I chose well, as it was the recovery drink after a nice hilly twelve mile run. It is by far the best protein drink I have ever tasted, and the texture was perfect. Thicker and heavier than the other two, it was easily my favorite. Usually my stomach can be a bit finicky after a long run, but it set well, which surprised me.
After making shakes from powder, it is nice to have the convenience of a pre-packaged one. The only drawback is the size and protein amounts are smaller than I am used to. They make a great post workout recovery beverage but for me personally, they do not work as a meal replacement. Overall, I’d be happy alternating the vanilla and strawberry banana flavors, just not in the light version. The flavor is definitely better than any powdered mix and that I will definitely miss.