I am personally not a huge fan of protein powders, and protein powder is not something I have explored in depth myself (yet). Nevertheless, they are a fantastic way to ensure you get enough protein to fit your macros for the day. But a lot of powders out there just suck. Some of them just taste downright funky and hardly resemble the flavor they claim to be. Vanilla? More like chalkboard eraser dust.
Plus, with some protein powders, the consistency is often just gross, chalky and gritty. Some of them also sit heavy in your stomach too. God help you if you try to do some interval sprints or widowmakers with a gut full. Choosing one that you’ll like at random is an absolute gamble. Therefore, it’s not very often that you would not only find a product in a category you hate, but one that you actually look forward to drinking and still serves as a functional protein!
Thus begins my ode to Now Sports’ Dutch Chocolate Pea Protein. While gram for gram this vegan and vegetarian-friendly pea protein doesn’t beat the amino acid profile of the decidedly superior whey protein, it still kicks ass in its own right, still has all the same muscle-building aminos (just at a larger scoop) and is great for people who otherwise cannot or will not do well with other forms of protein.
Dutch Chocolate Pea Protein Flavor
For me, flavor is important. Very important. If it tastes like crap I’m not going to be as likely to take the protein. I’d rather watch eggs boil to meet my protein needs.
But believe it or not, this powder actually tastes like chocolate, and good chocolate. Unlike other pea proteins that people complain about tasting like crap, this one tastes just like chocolatey goodness.
For you macro maniacs, there are no sugars here: the zero-carb sweetener in Now Foods’ Pea Protein in this case happens to be xylitol, a sugar alcohol, accompanied by stevia. Xylitol is safe (as long as you are not a cat, dog or other housepet) and it helps you poop better in my personal experience. As anyone who takes kratom or strives to “eat big to get big” knows, pooping well is of the utmost importance. Stevia, the other sweetener, seems to help give it a little extra sweetness without going overboard.
The chocolate flavor and sweeteners do a decent job of masking the flavor of any bulk powder supplements you may happen to take with your protein. In my case, I add spirulina, ashwagandha, creatine, beta alanine and the whole kitchen sink sometimes (see my March/April 2016 regimen) and it just tastes good in any case.
Bonus: If you have a blender and some bananas and some (optional) ice, you can make a really dank chocolate banana protein smoothie with it. It’s definitely worth trying at least once. Just add the recommended amount of water, protein powder and 1 to 2 bananas and any powder supplements you may want to take and you’re set.
Dutch Chocolate Pea Protein Consistency
Unlike a lot of other proteins out there, this pea protein is amazing in terms of its consistency. It doesn’t really clump together, but rather it takes to the water very easily, turning it into a light and velvety smooth chocolate experience as I described above that is hard to match with a lot of other proteins.
And because of its ability to take to water so easily, it tends to lend itself to other powders that might not take to the water as well. It draws oils into the water pretty well, and even helps dissolve curcumin powder, which is one of the more annoyingly hydrophobic substances you might find out there. Of course if you let it sit long enough, I’m pretty sure that all the oils and curcumin will eventually float to settle on the surface. After it’s freshly shaken though, it seems to be dispersed thoroughly to drink with no problems.
For best results, I typically add the water to my protein shaker before adding the protein powder, then shake. This method also helps to prevent clumping or powder sticking to the bottom and any crevices.
Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly Pea Protein
This should go without saying, but this pea protein is soy-free and vegetarian/vegan friendly. I am not personally a vegan or vegetarian, but if you happen to avoid animal-based products for whatever reason, this protein is the way to go. Here is the actual ingredient list:
Non-GMO pea protein isolate [from yellow peas (pisum sativum)], cocoa powder, xylitol, natural chocolate flavor, natural vanilla flavor, sea salt, betterstevia (organic stevia extract), xanthan gum and purified stevia extract.
Not manufactured with wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish or tree nut ingredients. Produced in a GMP facility that processes other ingredients containing these allergens.
If you are picky when it comes to protein powders like me, or you have certain dietary restrictions, you will enjoy this protein, especially if you are a fan of chocolate. The flavor and consistency of this one are hard to beat.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, this protein is great too. It’s soy-free and easy to digest.
Can I say that it’s necessarily better than all proteins? No. But in terms of flavor, digestibility and meeting certain dietary requirements, the Now Foods Dutch Chocolate Pea Protein gets the Pill Scout Seal of Approval (seal pending).