It’s that time of year again: spring is coming, exercise regimes are getting back on track, and I’m doing my annual “stop being a slob and consume some nutrients” push after a winter of hibernation/becoming an actual potato.
Thanks to Lockdown 3.0 across the UK, quite a lot of us are feeling slug-esque right now, arguably even more so than usual in the post-winter period. So you can imagine the extent to which I jumped at the chance to review a collection of vegan-friendly protein powers, meal replacement mixes, complete proteins and pre-workout shake mixes, when Vegan Supplement Store got in touch and asked if I’d like some free samples to review.
I’ve reviewed a couple of products in this vein before, partly during impromptu fitness quests and partly because I’m honestly a bit rubbish at leaving time to make breakfast in the mornings – so having something I can shake up with soy milk (or similar) to make a healthy, totally balanced meal in about 20 seconds, is very relevant to my interests.
Whatever your reason for researching vegan protein powers, vegan meal replacement shakes or other similar things, I’ll kick off by saying that the products Vegan Supplement Store sent me are hands down the best I’ve ever had. Fact. If you’ve not heard of the brand and you want to know what all the fuss is about, keep reading!
About Vegan Supplement Store
The team at Vegan Supplement Store started their business because they wanted to tackle two issues a lot of vegans come across when they’re shopping for protein powders and similar products:
1) You don’t want to support a business that also sells animal products.
2) You don’t want to end up with a grainy, gritty mix that you have to force down because you can’t really enjoy it.
Vegan Supplement Store is what you get when a bunch of vegans are fed up of having to buy sub-standard products from sites that also profit from animal products, and they’ve done an absolutely stellar job. Yes, there are some other sites that sell exclusively vegan items, but the stuff that’s already out there often requires a lot of adjusting to make it palatable (for my last review like this, I wound up making puddings with the powder to make it less savoury and gritty) and if you did manage to find something that tasted half-decent it was often from a non-vegan site.
I always give honest reviews because I’d hate to encourage anyone else to buy something they might regret, so trust me when I say that Vegan Supplement Store have absolutely smashed it in their quest to make products that are better than the rest. Now for the crucial bit of the review…
Product flavours and textures
This is the important bit, right? So here goes.
Vegan Supplement Store products come in various drool-worthy flavours, including:
- Chocolate salted caramel
- Red fruits
I was originally drawn to the chocolate salted caramel (because, like, obviously) but when their team recommended the vanilla and suggested I try a few different options, naturally I couldn’t say no. I got my other half to taste test these with me, and his feelings were much the same as mine: shaken with soy milk, all of these taste like *actual* milkshakes, not like health dust floating in milk trying to masquerade as a milkshake to trick you.
For once, I think my favourite flavours are actually the raspberry and the vanilla, which are both ludicrously tasty and turn soy milk into a shake that is the exact texture and consistency you’d expect if you were ordering a regular milkshake and not making yourself a meal replacer or protein mix. The chocolate and chocolate salted caramel flavours were also great, but come a joint third place to those two. You can shake the mixes with water, or with other plant milks, but we went with soy because it’s generally our go-to.
In terms of textures across the board, I was expecting grit – and it never came. Made with soy milk, these mixes turn into smooth shakes that are just the right degree of thickness. Not too thick, not too thin – as Goldilocks would say, they’re just right.
Other ways to use the protein powders
If you’re finding shakes repetitive and you’re looking for other ways to ingest hella vegan protein, Vegan Supplement Store have a range of recipes that you can use to sneak protein into cookies, pancakes and even chocolate cake. Seriously. In the mood for raspberry mousse? Just whip the raspberry protein powder into some dairy-free yoghurt, and you’ve got instant protein-packed, delicious dessert. It’s almost too easy.
You can download recipes via the free resource page on the Vegan Supplement Store site, where you’ll also find workout tips and expert information on nutrition. You can also see recipes shared on their Instagram page: @vegansupplementstore
How do they compare to other brands?
The vegan meal replacement powders this lot sell are:
- Hormone Free
- Halal and Kosher Compliant
The products aren’t all made with organic wholefood ingredients like one of my previous reviews, but honestly the upside of that is that they taste a whole lot better. And the ingredients *are* all plant-based. The plant protein powders, for example, list only the following as ingredients: Plant Protein Mix (Pea Protein Isolate (66.7%), Brown Rice Protein (8.3%), White Hemp Protein (8.3%)), Raw Cacao, Natural Flavouring, Thickener (Guar Gum), Sweetener (Steviol Glycosides)
Meanwhile the meal replacement powders list: Maltodextrin, Pea Protein, Gluten Free Oat Powder, Natural Flavouring, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Green Hemp Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin, Multivitamin Premix: , Sweetener (Steviol Glycosides)
Genuinely my only criticism of this brand is that because every pouch comes with a free measuring scoop, I now have a zillion plastic scoops floating around when we could have made do with just one (which is fairly standard for protein powders and similar products, but it’s nice to have the option to opt out when you’re trying to cut down on plastic in your life wherever possible).
In terms of taste, texture and feeling your best, I give Vegan Supplement Store a huge thumbs up and definitely rate these the best of any vegan meal replacers, protein powders etc that I’ve tried over the years.
You can browse their full range for yourself at https://vegansupplementstore.co.uk/
Big thanks to the Vegan Supplement Store team for gifting me free product samples to review!