Picking the best protein powder to grab on the go can be overwhelming.
There are SO MANY options these days. To narrow it down a little, Blender Babes is going to take a look at two top companies which provide popular protein powders: VEGA PROTEIN and GNC PRO PERFORMANCE POWDERS.
Both have options designed to aid and assist the average joe looking to add more protein to their diets to endurance athletes.
Both are packaged and geared for busy health-minded folks. But do the similarities end there?
In this review, we take two product lines to the mat.
The Vega Promise
The philosophy behind Vega is simple.
People should opt for nutrient dense foods over just calories.
According to Vega, once your body has the nourishment it needs, the cravings will stop.
Given that, if you take in whole foods as part of a healthy diet, you’ll have a stronger, leaner body.
Vega One Protein, Energizing Smoothie and Vibrancy bars all contain a balance of Omega-3, fiber and low-glycemic carbohydrates designed to provide a constant, enduring supply of energy.
This energy comes from nourishment, not empty stimulation (avoid the crash, people).
- Dairy, gluten and soy free,
- And, contains no artificial flavours, colors or sweeteners.
The Vega One Protein Nutritional Shakes & Sport system features products with an even balance of carbohydrates (minimally refined) and milder sources of caffeine to boost activity.
Vega Sport is designed to help with pre, during, and post-workout recovery, but it’s also great for long-term wellness.
Vega One Protein contains:
- 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals
- 15 g protein
- 6 g fibre
- 1.5 g Omega-3
Vega Sport System Protein contains Prepare, Sustain, & Recover products for each stage of the endurance athlete.
Vega Sport is the first, complete, all-natural, plant-based sport performance system, specifically developed in three comprehensive stages to help you perform at your best, without compromise — before, during and after training.
- 25 g protein
- Amino Acids & Glutamine
- Improve strength and exercise performance
- Repair and build muscles
- Reduce recovery time between training
The recent innovation to Vega Sport Performance Protein comes from the addition of SaviSeed (sacha inchi) protein, a rich, plant-based source of the amino acid tryptophan.
Tryptophan is a key component of serotonin production(1). Serotonin—the feel good hormone—helps with the mental aspect of recovery, so you’ll keep the drive alive and be motivated to train again.
OK, fair enough. What about taking VEGA for a spin. How do the products perform in real life?
- TASTE, TASTE, TASTE! Vega has some of the best tasting powders on the market (and believe us, we have tried them ALL!!). It’s vanilla flavor is spot-on.
- We have been testing many of our higher protein recipes from Dr Oz using Vega and it’s nice to not “ruin” the flavor with a chalky protein powder taste!
- Texture: Vega One Protein blends well and dissolves completely without foam.
- Having a high powered blender is not necessary (unless you mix with lots of fiber rich fruits & vegetables like Blender Babes does!)
- They contain high quality ingredients (which are alkaline, plant-based, nutrient dense).
- Their powders are allergen-free.
- And, they are 100% vegan.
- Vega adopts environmentally friendly practices.
- Limited to plant-based proteins.
- Although we believe that plant based is the best kind of protein of any option out there – If you want more variety, you may want other brands.
GNC, the granddaddy of health supplements and protein powders, relies on a lot of complex science to create patented formulas that are designed to dissolve well, be easily digested, and deliver max results.
The company’s main line is that protein, any kind, is an essential nutrient that is necessary for the growth, repair and maintenance of body tissues such as skin, bones and muscles. So, drink up those protein powders!
- and, egg proteins.
Each powder has different qualities to recommend it.
Their soy protein powder, Pro-Performance Soy Protein 95, contains naturally-occurring anabolic amino acids. When you take it, you get a spike in aminos, which provides nitrogen and subsequently creates a nitrogen-rich environment needed for maximum muscle protein synthesis.
And, that protein synthesis is crucial to the building of lean muscle mass. (See? Crazy scientific-like).
So, how does they compare to major competitor, VEGA?
- More variety. Definitely. Because GNC offers Soy, Whey, Casein and Egg proteins, you can pick and choose between several different options.
- Designed to mix well with blender, shaker or spoon.
- Can be mixed into smoothies, milk, or even used for baking.
- The soy protein powder has a chalky aftertaste. But if you like soy milk, you might be okay with the powder, too.
- Not Vegan. GNC’s product line offers something for everyone, but that could be a deal-breaker.
- If you are ethically opposed to using animal products, you may not want to support a company that does.
- The jury’s still out on whether GNC is ethically or environmentally responsible.
- They’ve gotten into trouble lately for some of their business practices.
- Doesn’t seem to address allergens. If you’ve at all worried about them, go with Vega.
Final ThoughtsSo, which powder are you going to take to the check out?
It really comes down to your values and personal taste.
VEGA is naturally going to appeal to someone who is strictly vegan or who wants to stay close to a plant-based diet.
However considering the company’s practices, quality ingredients, and THE TASTE – there really is no comparison. Vega’s also got the other green powders beat on taste.
While GNC may give you more options, we are sticking with Vega because the company’s philosophy and ethics are a better match with ours, and their powders are something we can FEEL GOOD about using.