Protein is such a hot topic these days! Are you getting enough? Do you need a supplement? What are the best sources of protein? The average American needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. So for a 150lb person, that’s about 55 grams of protein. This is easily met (and often exceeded) on a day-to-day basis by our intake of meats, poultry, eggs, dairy and more. So the short answer is yes, you’re probably getting enough. And no, you likely don’t NEED a protein supplement. Yet it seems like everywhere you look (especially in the world of facebook, twitter and instagram), people are blending up protein shakes and “green drinks” as meal replacements or to fuel and re-fuel from their workouts.
Working as a dietitian in a long-term care setting, I understand that the day may come when my meals will have to be blenderized or pureed and I’ll need to get some of my nutrition from supplements. But for now, I’m a big proponent of eating real, whole foods to get my nutrition. Call me crazy, but I like eating my food as opposed to sipping it through a straw.
Now don’t get me wrong-I’m a sucker for the amazing 4H milkshakes at our county fair each year. And from time to time I enjoy a smoothie for recovery after a long-run. So I was happy to oblige when the folks at EAS (Abbott Nutrition) asked to send me samples of following products to try out and review: Lean 15 Protein Powder, Recovery Protein Powder, and Lean 15 Nutrition Bars.
My nutrition philosophy centers around incorporating whole fresh foods into our diets rather than specific supplements or weight management products. However, I also understand the food/nutrition industry and the huge demand for these products. It’s definitely beneficial for me to sample products that clients may be currently using or are interested in using, so that I can give my professional opinion on them. So let’s do just that!
Nutrition facts: 200 calories, 15 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 16 grams sugar
I tried the chocolate peanut butter flavor and to be honest I am not a big fan. It had that “protein-y” (very scientific, I know) taste and wasn’t that satisfying for 200 calories, which can mean trouble if it is meant to be a weight managment product. This bar also has a TON of ingredients, many of which are preservatives or other chemicals. I tend to recommend products with fewer ingredients and that have names that are easily recognizable. For the same flavor and more satisfaction, I’d probably go for a KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein. Or better yet? I recommend making your own protein bars or trail mix for a snack between meals!
Nutrition facts: 270 calories, 20 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 17 grams sugar
I tried this one after a spin class and I just mixed the chocolate flavored recovery protein powder with cold water in a Blender Bottle. The taste wasn’t bad but I was expecting a stronger chocolate flavor. The protein mouthfeel was noticeable, but didn’t leave an aftertaste. I think it might taste better if combined with milk, however that would alter the nutritional value. One of the benefits of this product in terms of post-workout recovery would be the inclusion of branch-chain amino acids. Research has shown BCAAs benefit both muscle recovery and immune health, which are so important to athletes. The Recovery Powder does contain artificial sweeteners, which I typically avoid so I wouldn’t be likely to use it again.
Nutrition facts (2 scoops): 100 calories, 15 grams protein, 1.5 grams fat, 2 grams sugar
When I’m looking for super quick breakfast or want that post-run smoothie, I usually use EAS brand Soy Protein Powder (vanilla). So to review the last product, I just substituted the Lean 15 powder in my typical smoothie (pictured above, recipe below). Similar to the Recovery Protein, this product contains both sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Sweet One or Sunett). I have to say the flavor was excellent and I didn’t feel it was overly sweet. I would be hesitant to recommend it for athletes (especially pre-workout), because a common side effect of Splenda is gastrointestinal upset. In addition, although artificial sweeteners help to keep the calorie and sugar count down, research does not support their use in effective long-term weight loss. However, if you already are accustomed to using artificial sweeteners, this might be a great product for you. I’m going to stick to my EAS Soy Protein Powder for now!
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
8oz Skim milk
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
2 scoops Lean 15 Vanilla Cream
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
Big thanks to EAS for providing me these samples to review. If you’re interested in trying EAS Lean 15 productsfor yourself, click this link for $3 off!
Before using these or any nutrition supplements, I highly recommend visiting a Registered Dietitian to determine your individual nutrient needs and to develop a personalized meal plan.
*Disclaimer- EAS provided me samples to review, however I was not compensated for this post and the opinions expressed are solely mine.