Remember your first time tasting a protein powder? I do, and I had a very unfortunate first-time experience. Essentially, it tasted, from my protein-noobie perspective, very, very bad.
First world problems—I know.
Granted, the poor taste was my fault.
I was a cheap high school student looking for a cheap protein supplement. And so — yes, exactly —I got exactly what I paid for: a nasty-ass tasting protein powder that I had to all but drench in peanut butters and bananas in a blender to make edible…
However, what’s funny is that later in life, once I started making big boy money, is that I learned that even the more expensive “all-natural” stuff still tastes pretty awful. It tastes healthy, I’ll give them that, but healthy in a “I just ate dirt with a spinach leaf” kind of healthy.
There is a middle ground of artificially flavored protein powders that taste really good and perhaps do deliver an effective source of supplementary. But as we’re learning, or at least becoming wary of, those very delicious additives may be taking a toll on our gut health.
And you don’t want to funk with the gut.
So, what’s a bruh and bish to do?
Fortunately, we’ve set out to find the Best Tasting Protein Powder with Water with the caveat that the delicious taste must not only taste delicious but provide additional health benefits to the stack.
Because, yes, it is possible for something to taste good and be good for you at the same time.
So, without further ado, here’s our guide on tasty protein, starting with:
Why Taste Matters
I have a theory about caffeine and explosive artificial flavors: I think they’re in cahoots to trigger our cravings and make us low-key addicted to supplements, namely pre-workout supplements.
Okay, that’s more a conspiracy theory than a theory-theory.
But, all the same, I’m sure you know what I mean if you’ve ever taken a very sugary-tasting supplement that also feels good (usually due to the caffeine). The combo of that sugary taste with dopaminergic feel-goods is a Pavlovian nightmare—you’ll find yourself drooling before every workout not necessarily for the exercise but for that sweet, yummy, powdery flavor absurdly named “Blue Razzle Dazzle Arctic Berry Blast,” or whatever.
Hell, if reaching the end of your workout to get a mouthful of that motivates you to workout, then it can’t be all that bad for you. But, at the same time, there’s a reason why manufacturers use these absurd, artificial flavors, and none of them point to “better health.” With that in mind, let’s go over the problems with such artificial flavors, as well as the health benefits of the natural stuff.
The Problems with Artificial Flavors
One of the most common complains with artificial flavors, that is to say lab-synthesized chemical compounds that mimic natural flavors, is stomach upset. Increasingly, as we continue to realize how much modern food processing has created a widespread class of Frankensteinian foods that offer little to no nutritional value, we’re becoming conscious of the negative consequences of consuming this stuff. Gut biota is a big one, meaning the healthy bacteria in our gut that plays a HUGE role in our mental and physical wellbeing.
Sucralose and aspartame are two common, well-known artificial sweeteners that muck up our gut bacteria, potentially worsening our gut’s ability to process natural sugars and outright decimating a good portion of our bacteria. Not to mention that many of these artificial sweeteners are used to mask unnaturally processed foods and compounds that our taste buds otherwise identify and reject as unnatural “Don’t put this in my body!” toxins.
Ever chewed on a Chips Ahoy cookie for longer than 30 seconds? Try it sometime. Once all the artificial flavors and sweeteners, you’ll realize just how nutritionally bland and awful those cookies taste.
The Benefits of Natural Flavors
The major draw to artificial flavors is that they ostensibly come without the caloric weight or sugary content of natural flavors. However, the negative consequences of, say, natural sugars—like coconut sugars, for example—is wildly overstated. And, in fact, in an exercise context, the consequences are actually positive:
- For one: in addition to replenishing your glucose reserves, such natural flavors may also possess rehydration advantages, allowing your muscles to better sustain healthy water levels for anabolic muscle growth;
- For two: some companies that naturally process their flavors may even contribute to the health of your gut biota, especially if the manufacturing process involves fermentation for the end-result flavor.
Absorption is key when it comes to the effectiveness of a supplement. Having protein isn’t enough for a protein supplement to work. It must also package and deliver that protein in a way that improves its digestion and absorption in the body, not hinder it—as many artificial flavors and additives do.
Most supplements that use natural flavors fit for human consumption are easy to absorb and don’t compromise any dietary lifestyle, including all you vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free doods and doodettes.
Taste Isn’t Everything, but It’s Something
There’s a reason why many supplement reviews cover taste, sometimes elevating it to supreme importance. However, take note: flavor and taste aren’t everything.
With so many (in fact, too many) food options readily available in the developed world, it’s easy to forget that food is primarily for sustenance, not pleasure. Likewise, supplements are primarily for health and fitness, not the mm-yummy’s.
Having said that, there’s a reason we have taste buds.
In the same way that, say, our sense of smell can warn us of something toxic and rotten nearby, our sense of taste signals to us the nutritional content what we’re eating.
And, yes, while some healthy foods and compounds do naturally taste awful and perhaps require a bit of additional sweetening to make edible, more often than not it seems that food and supplement manufacturers resort to artificial flavors and sweeteners to falsely give off the impression of having nutritional value without delivering on that promise.
Falsely flavored foods are so widespread that we’ve taken it for granted that what tastes good is actually bad for us.
This isn’t necessarily true. Natural good flavors that accompany natural ingredients don’t have to lie about their genuinely healthy, nutritious content.
In fact, that’s exactly what they’re signaling to you, that’s why your taste buds register them as pleasurable to consume—because, through an evolutionary perspective, these foods are beneficial, and even essential, to your mental and physical fitness. And this might sound a bit heavy-handed, but a supplement that keeps it real, that delivers a healthy, natural taste that matches its healthy, natural ingredients, is one that helps reconnect your senses with the real world—not a sugary, cynical, artificial one.
Best 5 Supplement’s Criteria for the Best Tasting Protein Powder with Water
Okay, so are natural flavors and sweeteners the only qualifiers for the “best tasting protein powder” you can buy? No, not really. After all, cane sugar is a natural sweetener, and we wouldn’t recommend tossing a scoopful down your gullet. (Or maybe we would, but I’d suggest ignoring that recommendation because it’s a bad one.)
In addition to tasting real’ good, other criteria for an awesome protein powder include:
- Clean Protein: the protein itself must be natural and effective;
- Enough Protein: not too little, not too much protein—just enough;
- Minimal Additives: all the other additives must be clean and simple;
- Simple: protein stacks should focus on protein, and little else;
- Reputation: of the supplement and of the company are important;
- Affordable: the price should match the value.
Some protein powders taste frickin’ awesome yet leave you feeling like absolute garbo a half hour later. This is likely due to their inferior protein forms and wacko additives packed into those scoops that, again, are hidden by the extreme-O blast of artificial flavors and sweeteners. So, ideally, the best tasting protein powder with water is also the best protein powder period. And we believe that ideal has been met by Performance Lab SPORT Protein.
Best Tasting Protein Powder with Water
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By far the best tasting protein powder that also works very well at boosting your anabolic muscle gains and recovery is Performance Lab SPORT Protein.
It’s an all-natural, rice-based protein supplement. It achieves its awesome taste through a mixture of natural flavors and sweeteners, such as organic cocoa, vanilla bean, cinnamon, yacon root, monk fruit, and stevia.
Let’s take a closer look:
Performance Lab SPORT Protein Ingredients
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Supplying 20g of organic-certified brown rice protein per serving. Performance Lab SPORT Protein is one of the more unique—and cleaner—protein powder supplements available.
This is, after all, the only rice protein patented and backed by third-party research for athletic performance and gains, comparable to anabolic benefits of the popular whey protein.
In fact, even better than whey, this Oryzatein® brand of rice protein supplies leucine, an exceptionally anabolic amino, that absorbs 30% faster than whey-sourced leucine. Altogether, the benefits of this protein include:
- Increased anabolic muscle gains
- Enhanced strength gains
- Prolonged endurance
- Quicker exercise recovery
- Better appetite control
No soy- or dairy-sourced protein here, nor are there any animal byproducts in this protein powder. And it’s this exclusion of dirty protein sources that allows for Performance Lab SPORT Protein to avoid the need for extreme-O artificial flavors and sweeteners. Only the all-natural stuff here, baby.
Not to mention that this stack includes a smart addition of Himalayan pink salt, a mineral-rich form of salt that helps replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise, thereby improving your ability to rehydrate after an intense workout. After all, one of the biggest catabolic detriments to muscle gains is dehydration, a natural consequence of sweaty exercise.
Why Performance Lab SPORT Protein is the Best
What makes Performance Lab SPORT Protein so effing good isn’t just a single natural ingredient but a mix of several natural ingredients. All in all, SPORT Protein is:
- Naturally Flavored by organic cocoa, vanilla bean, Ceylon cinnamon.
- Naturally Sweetened by organic yacon root, monk fruit extract, stevia leaf extract.
- Naturally Thickened by organic guar gum, coconut water powder.
The taste comes out chocolately more than anything. Although, as mentioned earlier, there are additional health benefits to, say, coconut water powder. Which provides natural coconut sugars for better muscle energy recovery and fuel transportation into muscle tissue.
This is perhaps what makes Performance Lab SPORT Protein the best tasting. As well as the flat-out best protein shake around: natural tasty flavors and sweeteners that actually enhance the formula’s effectiveness in addition to its taste.
How to Take Performance Lab SPORT Protein
You can be a total beefhead and down each scoop without water while your significant other films you for Instagram.
All the while secretly judging you and wondering how fast they can pack their bags and leave you forever without you noticing. Or you can follow the directions listed on the label, which suggest that you:
Mix 2 scoops (30 g) with 18-12 oz. (237-473 ml) of water. Take 2-3 hours prior to or immediately after training or competition.
Depending on your particular goals—e.g., exercise performance enhancement or post-workout recovery. The timing of your serving relative to exercise matters. Although, if you’re familiar with protein supplements, you likely have your own methods of protein intake down.
Or maybe not—I don’t really know you.
Where to Buy Performance Lab SPORT Protein
Don’t go looking through Amazon or GNC, because Performance Lab exclusively sells all their products through their website: performancelab.com—and Performance Lab SPORT Protein is no exception.
How Much Does It Cost?
When you buy Performance Lab SPORT Protein online, here’s how this stack’s pricing works:
- One Bottle: $50 for 40 scoops
- Two Bottles: $95 for 80 scoops (5% saving)
- Three Bottles: $135 for 120 scoops (10% saving)
Essentially, an additional 5% saving is taken off each bottles’ price for each bottle added to the order (for up to three bottles). This same pricing plan applies to all Performance Lab supplements sold through their online store.
Stack Performance Lab SPORT Protein with…
Performance Lab SPORT Pre
If you’re in the business for a protein shake, odds are you’re also interested in a pre-workout supplement as well.
Performance Lab SPORT Pre is the smartest option to pair with SPORT Protein. Especially if the clean, ll-natural design of SPORT Protein is a major appeal to you.
Upholding the same high-quality standards. Performance Lab SPORT Pre is an all-natural, stim-free pre-workout performance enhancer that derives most of its juice from creatine.
An organic source of cellular energy, and L-citrulline, one of the most popular nitric oxide boosters that helps you achieve that pumped-up oo-yea feeling in your exercising muscles.
SPORT Pre for pre-workout enhancement, SPORT Protein for post-workout recovery. There you have it—bada bing bada boom.
To learn more about Performance Lab SPORT Pre, click here.
Performance Lab SPORT Carb
Okay, so you have your pre-workout covered and your post-workout protein gains. But what about the intra-workout boost? Especially for us really intense athletes and trainers who compete and exercise at high levels for long periods of time?
Performance Lab SPORT Carb has you covered there by providing, again, a stim-free source of muscular energy. This time by way of an advanced form of easy-to-absorb carbohydrates.
Don’t be fooled by the latest anti-carb trend. While, yes, most of us need to reduce our carb intake in our diets. This doesn’t mean that you can completely do without carbs altogether.
Athletes and trainers in particular require carbs to fuel their high muscular energy demands.
So, the answer isn’t only less carb intake but also responsible carb intake. And SPORT Carb offers an on-the-spot responsible carb-loading option for when you’ve burned through your stock of previous responsibly consumed carbs.
To learn more about Performance Lab SPORT Carb, click here.
Performance Lab Sleep
Recovery is half the battle when it comes to improving your fitness health and performance.
Too often we think showing up to the gym is enough. And, yes, granted that it’s a monumental achievement that we’ve all managed to get our fat assess off the couch and onto the squat rack.
But we also need to get our fat asses to bed when the day is done. And that’s where Performance Lab Sleep comes into play.
Call it FOMO, call it stress—call it whatever you want. But there’s something in almost all of us that stubbornly influences us to stay awake well beyond a reasonable bedtime. Despite how tired and groggy and stressed it makes us feel the next day.
If anything, sleep deprivation promotes further sleep deprivation. Which significantly hurts your anabolic muscle gains and exercise recovery, due to the rise of sleep disruptive stress.
Pairing Performance Lab Sleep with SPORT Protein may significantly help you break the insomnia-stress cycle. And get those gains you’ve worked hard for.
To learn more about Performance Lab Sleep, click here.
Having a very tasty protein shake to look forward to after working out is such a motivating carrot on the end of the stick. As noted earlier (and as according to my private conspiracy theory), many supplement manufacturers exploit our taste buds and dopaminergic pathways. Through packing their formulas heavy with caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
Yet, a naturally flavored protein stack is genuinely rewarding. Not only pleasing our taste buds but replenishing our fatigued muscle tissue as well.
While more and more exercisers turn away from artificial, cheap-O protein powder shakes. Naturally flavored supplements like Performance Lab SPORT Protein are showing us that good flavors don’t have to come at the cost of a healthy formula. In fact, healthy tastes pretty damn good aaaand feels pretty damn good. And what’s better than that combo??
To learn more about Performance Lab SPORT Protein, click here.