It’s not easy taking the road less traveled. Any of our vegetarian or vegan readers can attest to that. Following a specific and unique diet is hard enough; imagine trying to find a protein supplement for that diet.
One of the biggest issues with finding the right protein supplement is that, honestly, there aren’t a ton of truly stellar gluten and dairy free supplements on the market. The few that do exist are usually too expensive for the average athlete to afford.
Enter Garden of Life and their RAW protein, an organic, vegan, nutrient dense supplement that may just be what the fitness community needs.
Taste and Mixability:
Let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, the texture and mixability leave a bit to be desired. In fact, so does the taste. And while this might seem like a deal breaker for some people, just bear with us for a second.
This supplement wasn’t designed as a dessert smoothie; this is a raw, organic protein source that was meant to be a complement to the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. During our Garden of Life RAW protein review, we noticed that it was easiest to drink all of the flavors (the most popular being chocolate and vanilla) when we made a fruit or vegetable smoothie.
We had a difficult time with this aspect of the review. Frankly, the financial investment isn’t that high. On average, you can expect to pay $1.05 per serving. Not bad, right?
Well, here’s where things get a bit tricky. See, that isn’t a bad price at all…if you’re thinking in whey protein terms. With most whey proteins, you end up getting about 20-30 grams of protein per serving. With RAW protein? You get 17.
Now, in the interest of fairness, RAW protein is much more specialized than most whey protein supplements, so there are a few reasons why it’s just as expensive with less protein.
The best price we found for a 622g tub (28 servings) was $29.63 at Amazon.com.
Understanding RAW protein is not an easy task, mostly because it has a complex list of strengths and weaknesses. First off, where this product shines. It knows its audience and what its customers need. The protein in this supplement comes from 13 raw, organic sprouts, something that vegan and vegetarian customers will be pleased to hear. RAW protein has plenty of vitamins, few calories and less than a gram of sugar. Plus, it comes with a probiotic blend that uses Bacillus Subtilis (a probiotic that has been extensively studied), among other things, to improve your digestive health.
Sadly, this supplement has a few disappointing aspects that need to be addressed. Our biggest issue? Proprietary blends. Two particularly frustrating ones, in fact. That impressive sounding probiotic blend we were talking about earlier? An unspecified amount of each ingredient. And the organic RAW sprout blend is more than a dozen different ingredients with no proper label. Basically, anyone consuming RAW protein has no idea how much of each ingredient actually goes into these blends.
Does it work? Well, we certainly noticed the probiotics working (this supplement is noticeably easy on your stomach), and the protein it provided definitely supported us.
The usual approach with just about every supplement: if you feel at all nauseous or ill, stop consumption immediately and consult your physician.
- Plenty of vitamins and probiotics
- Little sugar
- Low calories
- USDA organic
- Taste and texture might be an issue
- Only 17g of protein
Garden of Life RAW Protein – Our Verdict:
The fitness industry can be a messy place. Sometimes, companies will try to make a unique supplement. Something that appeals to a specific audience; a specialty product. Unfortunately, these companies don’t always do a fantastic job. Does RAW protein do what it says it will? Oh, absolutely. But is it a particularly impressive supplement? Not really. Unless you need this for your vegan/vegetarian diet, you may want to try something else.
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Per Serving (28g Scoop):
VITAMIN E COMPLEX (ALPHA-TOCOTRIENOL, BETA-TOCOTRIENOL, GAMMA- TOCOTRIENOL, DELTA-TOCOTRIENOL, ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL, BETA-TOCOPHEROL, GAMMA-TOCOPHEROL): 5 IU
VITAMIN K (RAW MK-7): 5 Mcg
Other Ingredients: Organic RAW Sprout Blend (21,925mg): (Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Protein, Organic Amaranth Sprout, Organic Quinoa Sprout, Organic Millet Sprout, Organic Buckwheat Sprout, Organic Garbanzo Bean Sprout, Organic Kidney Bean Sprout, Organic Lentil Sprout, Organic Adzuki Bean Sprout, Organic Flax Seed Sprout, Organic Sunflower Seed Sprout, Organic Pumpkin Seed Sprout, Organic Chia Seed Sprout, Organic Sesame Seed Sprout). RAW Probiotic and Enzyme Blend (270mg) (High Protein Chlorella, Proteases, Bacillus subtilis). Other Ingredients: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus bulgaricus