Fuel Friday: Vega Sport

CompanyTold from the onset that a plant-based diet wouldn’t cut it on the professional Ironman circuit, Brendan Brazier’s nutritional journey as an uninformed plant-powered endurance athlete began with reduced energy levels and the need to eat constantly.

But Brendan’s stubborn curiosity persevered and after years of research and experimentation, he discovered what sets a top athlete’s performance apart from the competition isn’t training or natural ability alone.  A big difference is nutrition. After intense study, Brendan created a plant-based, whole food diet that helped him recover faster and train harder – propelling him to become a top professional Ironman triathlete.

Constantly on the road competing, Brendan was challenged by both a lack of time and kitchen space to prepare the carefully composed, nutrient-dense, clean, plant-based meals that gave him his edge.  Deep down, he knew there had to be an easier way to get nutrition on-the-go.

And he was right. Over time, Brendan’s vision led to the formulation of the original all-in-one nutritional shake – now known as Vega One – which ultimately inspired the creation of the complete award-winning Vega line of nutritional supplements.

I’m always on the lookout for high quality, convenient, on-the-go, vegetarian food and snack options., and was excited about the chance to test out a few Vega Sport products: the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer, and the post-workout Vega Sport Performance Protein powder and Vega Sport Protein Bar.  I think it’s good to note that all of their products are vegan, produced with a focus on sustainability, and all Vega Sport products are certified by the Informed Choice program, have been tested for World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances, and are safe for athletes to use – all things that are important to me personally!

Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer in Acai Berry (also available in Lemon Lime)
On paper this looks pretty promising–it’s a special blend of ingredients designed to “increase endurance, aerobic and anaerobic capacity; enhance mental focus; take your workout to the next level.” I mixed this with 8 oz water (as directed) and chugged it as I was going out the door before my 6:15am weekday Barre3 class. The flavor is a little strange–fruity and chalky at the same time– and it took a bit of shaking to get most of the lumps out. This definitely gave me a nice little boost of energy that helped me get through my early morning workout until breakfast.

Vega Sport Performance Protein powder in Vanilla, and Mocha (also available in Chocolate, and Berry)
The directions say to mix one packet with 8oz of water, but I didn’t find that mixture very palatable. The next time, I tried mixing one packet of protein powder with 16oz of light vanilla soy milk, and that was better. I do like that it has 26g of protein in one serving, but one serving is also 260 calories when made with water.

Vega Sport Protein Bar in Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Mint (also available in Chocolate Coconut)
The flavors themselves were okay. I definitely liked the chocolate coating, and actual pieces of peanut in the Chocolate Peanut Butter bars.  Each bar is about 260 calories and 15g of protein. The texture is pretty dense.

I noticed that both of the recovery products have that distinctive pea protein taste and texture. If you’re not too fond of that particular taste, you may want to consider adding some additional ingredients with a lot of flavor and additional texture, such as cocoa powder, flavored extracts, cinnamon, or frozen fruit.

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