Product Review: Syntrax Whey Protein Isolate

Run Oregon receives and tests running stuff from time to time. Rachel, Annette, and Marilyn were sent some sports nutrition products from Syntrax.  Read on for their take on the product line. Rachel: I was given the opportunity to try out Syntrax Nectar Whey Protein Isolate along with two of my fellow Run Oregon bloggers. As someone who has tried a few different protein powders and meal replacement powders, I was more than willing to give this item a try. I perused the Syntrax site simply out of curiosity and immediately saw:

... we did something totally amazing by engineering Nectar® to be so delicious that you can eat it right out of the container. Imagine putting a protein powder in your mouth and it tasting like candy.
Would I ever put plain protein powder in my mouth? Absolutely not. But the statement itself seemed pretty bold and definitely piqued my interest. When I first received my samples of Syntrax (which came in packets), I was shocked at how many flavors there were. It actually made me super excited to try it because I'm used to having only vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry to choose from. This time I had flavors like fuzzy navel, caribbean cooler, chocolate truffle, apple ecstacy; and that's not even half of the flavors. Each packet (assuming you use the entire packet) is 100 calories and contains 23 grams of protein. While I am an avid runner, running anywhere from 20-30 miles per week, I would say that I am easily lacking in the protein category. It's just something I rarely consume, even though I know I should. This is mainly why I often resort to protein powders and just another reason why I was interested in trying out this product.

I decided to incorporate the use of Syntrax after my medium distance runs which ranged anywhere from 5-7 miles, usually at a pace of 7:30 to 7:40 per mile.

The first flavor I tried was double stuffed cookie. In my mind, prior to actually tasting it, I was envisioning an Oreo cookie. I love Oreo cookies. I used the entire packet and mixed it with 8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I decided to blend these together in the blender along with some ice, as this is how I always have my protein shakes. For some reason this stuff didn’t blend as well as my other protein shakes; I probably just needed to tweak the ice to liquid ratio a bit. At any rate, the drink itself tasted like a hint of cookie and I appreciated that it didn’t have that normal metallic protein powder taste like other powders I have tried. I found the drink to be pretty sweet tasting and overall not bad at all. It also settled well on my stomach, so that of course was a plus. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being ‘absolutely delicious; and 1 being ‘I could live without drinking this again’, I would rate the double stuffed cookie as a 7.

The next flavor I tried was the Caribbean cooler. I also mixed the full packet of this with 8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and used my shaker cup. This time however, I chose to simply add ice to the drink rather than blending it all in the blender. My initial reaction to the Caribbean cooler was that it was super sweet but pretty darn good. It really reminded me of a pina colada drink, and I love pina coladas. I am wondering if adding water to it instead of almond milk would help reduce much of its sweetness, but at the same time, I almost enjoyed the sweetness of it. The drink again settled well on my stomach. On a scale of 1-10, I would give this flavor a 9. Not that it wasn’t deserving of a 10, but I like to be overly critical sometimes.

My next flavor was wild grape. I decided to mix this packet with 8 ounces of water and again used my shaker cup to blend the powder. I added some ice and was good to go. This flavor, unfortunately, tasted like watered down grape Kool-Aid. Don’t get me wrong, I love grape flavored Kool-Aid and I love the flavor grape in general. There was something about this flavor that made it difficult to drink. The more I sipped, the more I realized the taste kind of resembled my son’s edible science experiments he had just recently made. I think my mind simply couldn’t get past the taste similarities. Regardless of taste, it did also settle perfectly fine in my stomach. I would have to rate this flavor as a 4.

I still have quite a few more packets left to try and I do think I’ll continue to try the other flavors. I would recommend Syntrax to folks who are looking for more flavor options as opposed to the traditional and overplayed chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. I would also recommend this drink for those who have a bit of a sweet tooth as these powders are pretty sweet. The product is advertised as “zero carbs, zero fat, lactose and gluten-free.” You can purchase a 2.21lb container of Syntrax at your local Vitamin Shoppe as well as online from a variety of supplement shops, ranging anywhere from the $32 to $50. You can also get Syntrax in the packet forms as a pack of 12 from the same places I mentioned, ranging anywhere from $16 to $30.

Marilyn: I’m super picky when it comes to protein powder – I prefer whole, unprocessed foods when possible, but I do occasionally appreciate the convenience of a quick and easy protein shake. I’ve tried a lot of different flavors and varieties of protein shake (soy, whey, pea, etc.), and I do feel that Synthrax Nectar protein is very different from its competitors. The flavors are almost candy-like in intensity and sweetness, the powders are meant to be easily dissolved when stirred (not shaken), and it’s free of a lot of potential food allergens. I mixed all of mine with water, and found that some mix more easily than others, but the flavors were just generally too strong for my taste. The price point is similar to other protein powders. While these aren’t something I was in love with, they may be a good option for other people.

Annette: I volunteered to try out Syntrax Nectar whey protein isolate powder when I discovered they had tons of flavors that you don’t usually find in protein drinks. I’ve been on a quest to find a decent tasting protein drink for quite a while now, and since I don’t like chocolate flavored drinks that tends to limit my options.  My sample pack from Syntrax was loaded with tons of options.  Some of the flavors included were Strawberry Kiwi, Fuzzy Navel, Pink Grapefruit, and even Lemon Tea. They also have a line called Nectar Sweets and I had flavors like Strawberry Mousse, Double Stuffed Cookie, and Vanilla Bean Torte. If you are looking for variety, Syntrax definitely has that.

I was surprised that each packet said it was 4 servings. However, one serving was to be mixed with just 2-4 ounces of water. That hardly seemed worth the effort to make. But at just 25 calories per serving, I figured that using the entire packet (with 8-16 ounces of water) at 100 calories and 23 grams of protein was more realistic and easier than trying to measure out 1/4 of the packet. The instructions on the packet say “mixes instantly with a spoon”, but I didn’t have a spoon at work when I tried my first drink. Instead I poured the powder into a water bottle and shook it up. That didn’t go so well. It got really foamy and I was left with chunks of unmixed powder. I decided that there was a reason they told me to mix it with a spoon. The next time I used a spoon and had better luck, but I found it didn’t “mix instantly.” I was still left with a few chunks. The flavor was pretty true to what I expected of Carribean Cooler with a definite tropical pineapple coconut flavor. However, it was really sweet. Syntrax Nectar is sweetened with sucralose which I think is too sweet in any product and tends to have an aftertaste.

On my third attempt at mixing the protein drink I had a lot more luck. I employed a little more patience and let the drink sit for a while after stirring it. Then I stirred it again and gave it a few more minutes to sit. My patience paid off and I had a chunk-free drink! This time I was trying the Vanilla Bean Torte, one of Nectar Sweets. It had a good, smooth vanilla flavor, but I still struggled with the over-sweetness that the sucralose provides.

Overall, I like the variety of flavors and feel that Syntrax has done a good job with making the flavors taste like you would expect. If you are not bothered by the sweetness of sucralose, then I think you will enjoy this protein drink that gives you a never-ending variety.


%d bloggers like this: