Vegan protein powder is notoriously difficult to get right. Plant-based alternatives often have a granular texture and intense earthy flavours. German nutrition company Foodspring claim that their range of vegan protein powders delivers ‘better mouthfeel and better flavour’. It comes in a choice of three flavours, vanilla, chocolate and neutral. I’ve just finished a 750g tub of the vanilla.
All of Foodspring’s protein products come in tall cardboard tubs that make it easy to scoop out the powder. Unfortunately, they don’t seal as tightly as those with a screw cap so you won’t be able to chuck it in your training bag. Inside, the powder has a sweet, musty fragrance with hints of vanilla. I’m looking forward to finding out what it tastes like.
In one tub you get 750g of powder that provides twenty-five servings of 30g. In each serving, you get 21.4g of protein, 1.2g of fat, 1.8g of carbohydrate and 0.96g of salt. It’s low in sugar and free from gluten and soy. The protein comes from a blend of pea protein, sunflower protein, hemp protein, chickpea protein and rice protein. This is combined with made with natural flavours, and the sweetness is provided by plant-based sugar substitute stevia. As a bonus, it’s enriched with vitamin B12, B6, folic acid, biotin, calcium and zinc.
The impressive combination of protein sources is designed to provide a smooth blend with maximum nutritional value and a complete amino acid profile. The full ingredient list is; pea protein isolate, sunflower seed protein, chickpea protein isolate, calcium carbonate, natural flavouring, hemp protein, thickeners (xanthan gum, guar gum), sweetener (sucralose), vitamin B12, vitamin B6, zinc oxide, folic acid, biotin.
Who are Foodspring?
Foodspring are an international sports nutrition company based in Berlin. They have a simple approach to their products and aim for the best ingredients used in innovative recipes. As well as their range of vegan protein powders, they also do whey protein and numerous energy and protein rich items like bars, cookies and recipe packs.
To ensure that every item is set apart from the competition, they have a four-part process “benefits-ingredients-simplicity-flavour”. This ensures that each new recipe is useful and of high-quality. They also refer to their ingredient sourcing as ‘globally regional’ this means that they search the world for the areas that produce each item best, for example, they get coconuts from the Philippines and Goji berries from Ningxia.
If you’re not sure which of Foodspring’s products will suit your goals, their website features a useful quiz. Answer a few questions, and they’ll email you nutrition recommendations and workout tips.
Awards and Certifications
Currently, there are no official certifications or accreditations published on the Foodspring website. Although it’s not standard to provide these in this industry, it would be useful to see some more verifiable information about the ingredients or a certificate of approval from the Vegan Society.
I would have awarded a higher score if: evidence was provided of official quality certification or accreditation from the Vegan Society.
When you follow the serving suggestion and mix 30g of powder with 300ml of water, you get a drink that does not taste good. Compared to other vegan protein powders I’ve tried it’s a step in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go. The overall texture is smooth with a slight dustiness to it.
This is a long way from the bitter, sand textured vegan shakes you may be used to but it’s nowhere near the flavour that can be achieved with whey protein. There is a mild sweetness to it, but the most noticeable taste is of earthy peas, and the vanilla flavouring is barely noticeable.
Having said this, it was tolerable, and I used the entire tub. I either drank it down as quickly as possible or mixed a scoop into my morning smoothy.
I would have awarded a higher score if: the taste was less earthy.
Ease of Use
The wide opening to the tub makes it easy to scoop out the amount you need. If you mix it with the recommended amount of water or milk (300ml per 30g scoop serving), it makes a smooth liquid with no lumps, but a powdery texture is detectable when you drink it. It’s a lot easier to drink than those powders that only create a thick lumpy sludge.
With every protein order, you get a free shaker which makes it even easier to use, and three tablespoonfuls should give you the recommended serving of 30g.
The effect of any protein powder depends on your diet and training routine. However, in each 30g serving you get 21.4g of protein. This is the same as Garden of Life’s Plant-Based protein powder and slightly less than PhD Smart Protein plant powder which is available from Holland and Barrett and contains about 24g per 30g.
I would have awarded a higher score if: the protein content was slightly higher.
Value for Money
For £24.99 you get a 750g tub of vegan protein powder. This is about average for most products of this size, and it contains a protein serving that’s about as good as you can expect from most vegan powders. Nutritionally this is a great value product, but the flavour lets it down. However, it is drinkable, and if you add it to smoothies or get creative with it, you could improve it further.
Compared to other popular vegan powders such as Garden of Life’s option, it’s more affordable, and I found the texture to be a lot better. If you can put up with flavour, this might just be the best of a bad bunch. On the positive side, vegan protein powders have advanced considerably in the last ten years, so let’s hope it won’t be long before they’re comparable with the dairy-sourced options.
I would have awarded a higher score if: the flavour was better.
For other vegan products, check out: Where to find vegan food online.
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