I recently began working out again on a regular basis. One of the changes I made to support my efforts to better my health was to cut back on soda, and switch out that afternoon sugar rush with a protein drink instead. I know when I consume enough high-quality protein I will have better blood sugar levels throughout the day and be less likely to indulge in unhealthy cravings.
We are careful about the types of protein we consume as a family though – it’s one of these reasons we raise our own meat. So finding a protein drink that my husband and I both enjoyed, gave us the nutrients we wanted, without the animal by-products we are trying to avoid, could be difficult at best. That’s why I was excited to test the GNC Puredge Complete Vegan Protein drink, a plant-based, vegan protein drink mix to review on my blog. I know many of you are vegetarian, vegan, or limit meat consumption so this is a great product to try.
When I tested the GNC vegan and gluten-free protein drink mix I either had it as a morning breakfast replacement, or drank it in the afternoons around 2-3pm as an alternative to my typical afternoon Dr. Pepper. When I used it in the morning I was more alert, sooner, and felt less shaky before lunch time. It’s really NOT good to skip breakfast the way I often do, so having an easy-to-make drink mix was really convenient for me. The low-sodium formulation is surprisingly good and there are 20 grams of protein in one serving which really helps stabilize my blood sugar levels when I’m busy working out (or working!) during a long day.
And of course, being able to more easily curb my afternoon munchie phase of the day really helped me cut back on some of the last empty, unhealthy calories I was still hanging on to. Anytime you can replace an unhealthy habit with a healthier alternative, you are making progress in the right direction.
I was really fascinated by the variety plant-based proteins they have to choose from. This infographic below will show you more about each:
- Brown rice – Inexpensive but incomplete so good to pair with other proteins.
- Pea protein – High in amino acids and easy to combine with other plant-based proteins as needed.
- Hemp protein – High in fiber and omega-3 for added nutritional value.
- Soy protein – Contains essential amino acids that nourish the body.
I tested a vanilla flavor personally, and while I generally prefer chocolate flavored shakes (they have chocolate available) for stand-alone drinks, vanilla is my favorite for mixing with fresh or frozen fruits. While the taste is not like a dessert, ice-cream based shake (so don’t expect that), I found that it blended very well whichever fruit I chose to add. I much preferred to add a banana, frozen strawberries, or frozen blueberries to the shake, over having it alone with no fruit added.
My favorite thing about this shake brand is how well it mixes. I find that many shakes, especially the healthier gluten-free and vegan options, are chalky in texture and difficult to blend smoothly. This was not an issue with GNC Puredge Plant Protein. Even my decade-old blender was able to blend it nicely.
Bottom line – I am pretty picky about the healthy foods I feature and consume. But I have found the convenience is amazing and helps me live healthier because it is so easy. What would you replace with a healthy, vegan shake option?