What Is The Best Protein Powder? - Love Pole Kisses

What Is The Best Protein Powder?

Have you been wondering about the best protein powder to compliment your pole workout?

It's a common question, so if you have you're not alone!

That's not to mention the other big question I see all the time on social media since more and more people are changing to a plant based diet: "What is the best vegan protein powder?"

I have struggled with question number two for much longer than question number one. However, today I'm here to tell you about the best protein powder I have ever tried. By happy coincidence, it is also totally vegan AND gluten free!

I know protein and supplements can be a confusing topic, with many articles online with various recommendations. So as well as my thoughts on the best protein powder currently available, I've also included a brief overview for you. I'll be explaining why we use them and how they work.

(This page contains affiliate links – my full disclosure statement is available {here})

What You Will Learn

  • Why V-Gain is the best protein powder (in my opinion)
  • How to use protein powder to supplement your workouts
  • How to easily find out if you need more protein in your diet
  • Other natural dietary sources of plant protein
  • TL;DR - Click here for my summary!

How I Discovered The Best Protein Powder

I first started to use protein powders, omega-3 fish oils, CLA and BCAA supplements when I was really honing in on my training in Costa Rica. While I didn't stick to these in the long run, I would say a noticeable amount of my best progress happened in that time.

It's impossible to say whether this was as a result of using supplements. The placebo effect could definitely contribute to a change in my training mindset while using them.

It could also have been a result of everything together, from the stricter training schedule down to the warmer climate, which may have contributed to the results in my flexibility training.

The purpose of this article is not to convince you to use protein shakes or supplements, but if you're not sure, I will explain how you can find out if you need a little boost later on.

However, if you are vegan and you are reading this - it's worth noting that Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means that our bodies can’t manufacture it alone and we need to consume it in our diet, it is essential - much like b12.

Omega-3 is found in high concentrations in oily fish and is very important for healthy metabolic function. A good intake provides a whole host of other health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, mental health disorders and inflammation.

Omega-3 Is essential

If you are Vegan or plant-based, you should make sure to include Algal oil in your diet for DHA's.

To meet daily ALA recommendations you should think about consuming about a tablespoon of chia seeds or ground linseed or six walnut halves per day.

So let's fast forward to March 2020 and I had spent over a year as a vegetarian transitioning to a totally plant based diet, and I really struggled with the search for a decent protein powder.

Here begins the first of many gifts bestowed to me from the universe in our lockdown period! I got in touch with an old friend, who happened to be big on body building and a fan of a plant-based diet.

He wasn't vegan, but he did have an amazing golden nugget of information for me, which I have been eager to share with you too!

Hearing of my struggle to find a good protein powder, he was quick to recommend one he used called Sci-mx Pro V-Gain. I was so convinced by how enthusiastic he was about it that I immediately bought a tub for myself.

Why V-Gain Is The Best Protein Powder

How many terrible protein shakes have you tried?

I have long since stopped wasting money on vegan protein powders that aren't pre-approved by friends who've tried them because, quite frankly, so many of them are revolting.

That includes some of the ones I have been recommended in the past as well. So I wasn't getting my hopes up at this point.

Different strokes for different folks, but most of the plant based protein powders I've tried just don't mix well and tasted awful.

So you can imagine my surprise when this totally plant based protein powder ended up being one of my favourites I have ever tried, bar none!

There are a few reasons why I would say this protein powder is the best:

Flavour & Texture

V-Gain tastes great! That's a fairly big claim amongst protein powders in general, let alone the plant based ones. I haven't found many that I've actually enjoyed drinking.

To give you an idea of just how palatable it is, I once even managed to 'eat' this protein powder when I misplaced my shaker and only had a fork handy to stir it with.

I say misplaced, what I really mean is, that it was otherwise engaged with espresso martini in the fridge due to my recent batch of lockdown cocktails for a zoom party with friends.

Protein shakers make great cocktail shakers too! Who knew!

So, with my shaker otherwise engaged, I actually managed to eat this protein powder when it wasn't fully mixed.

I know what you're thinking, yuck! Right?

It wasn't all that pleasant, a bit like dry cake. BUT the main point is that I could never have done this with my previous powder. If it wasn't fully mixed, even the slightest lump was disgusting. So I'm going to call that a bonus.

When fully mixed with my shaker it's totally smooth! I do like to add a little more water so it's not as thick, so you can play with the consistency that you like, but if you're fussy about bits and smoothness then this one's for you.

I can't stand it when protein shakes won't mix properly!

V-Gain is available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry - and for the purposes of this review I'm referring to the chocolate flavoured shakes.

It's Not Expensive

While it's not the cheapest protein shake out there, as plant based shakes go, it is really great value. Coming in at around £27 for 2.2kg with 33-34g of protein per scoop. It's the most cost effective plant based option I've found.

There's a real tendency to think the more expensive products will be better quality, but that is definitely not the case with protein powders.

The Vega brand plant-based powder for example, comes in at around £20 for 500g and only has 20g of protein per scoop - I also tried that one (in chocolate flavour) and I just couldn't get it to mix all that well and wasn't keen on the flavour.

It was given to me by a friend as she preferred the vanilla, so perhaps for that one it's just best to avoid the chocolate. Either way, it's so much more expensive than V-Gain!

I have also spent the same amount on small bags of whey protein in supermarkets before now that were no where near as nice.

Best Vegan Protein Powder

Sci-mx Pro V-Gain is by far the most superior shake I have ever tried in terms of taste, texture & price.

It Contains All The Good Stuff!

Aside from being a great value, great tasting shake, it also has high levels of key amino acids.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of key amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. All of these can be found in Sci-mx V-Gain Protein Powder.

They are 'essential' which means that they can’t be produced by your body and must be consumed in your diet.

BCAA supplements have been shown to increase muscle growth, prevent muscle wasting, reduce exercise fatigue and decrease muscle soreness.

Aside from being loaded with all three BCAAs, it's also great for a plant based diet as it's fortified with B6, B12, Zinc and Magnesium. All of which help to reduce fatigue and tiredness and are typically low in plant based diets.

How To Use Protein To Compliment Your Workouts

Generally speaking, it's usually recommended that you have a protein shake post-workout to help with muscle repair and recovery.

This is because when we train on the pole or workout, muscle fibres are constantly being broken down and rebuilt.

Exercise is essentially us making tiny tears in our muscles and as they repair while we rest, they grow stronger.

If you want to gain muscle, your body must synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down.

So basically speaking, you need to consume more protein than you use. That's why people who want a lot of muscle focus on eating a lot of protein. As well as training hard of course!

It’s well documented that a higher protein intake helps build muscle and strength.

This is why I personally have had so much trouble building muscle! It's pretty well circulated online that the 'average diet' will give you more than enough protein.

Well, the people spinning that story obviously never met my diet!

Plant based protein sources

So if you do choose to supplement your diet with shakes, it is thought although not proven, that the ideal time to have your shake is some time within the first hour after your workout. This is known as the 'anabolic window'.

It's also thought that a shake at bed time can be absorbed more effectively.

Should You Be Getting More Protein?

With all that said, there isn't always a need for extra protein through shakes. There are various view points on this, but this is my personal take on protein intake from what I have learned over the years.

I personally needed more protein in my diet. I have shakes because I struggle to consume the daily guideline amount (DGA) for women through diet alone. That's without considering the extra recommended for an intense training schedule like my own.

With that said, if your diet is already rich in high-quality protein, you probably won't see much difference in your results by adding protein supplements.

You can fill yourself with protein, but your body will only absorb as much as it needs for muscle synthesis. The rest will be metabolised and excreted.

So if you are trying to get all the protein in that you can, it's probably worth checking if you even need a shake. Otherwise you could literally be flushing money and protein down the toilet!

If you don't exercise much, then aiming for 1g per kg of your body weight is a reasonable guideline. So for a woman of my weight for example, even leading a sedentary lifestyle I would need to be consuming 63g of protein per day.

A really easy way to calculate both how much you need for your lifestyle and how much you are consuming in your diet already, is to download the My Fitness Pal app to track your macros.

You can find it here for android and here for iPhone.

I'm sure there may be benefits to the premium version of this app, but I have never needed it - I just use it to make sure I'm getting the protein in that I need since I get very little if I don't concentrate on eating the right things!

Just in case you're wondering, I was eating all the traditionally high protein foods recommended for a plant based diet. But once I began tracking my meals, I realised these weren't even scratching the surface.

The Best Plant-Based Protein Sources

If you're thinking you'd rather go au-naturale and avoid shakes altogether, here are the top 14 plant based foods with the highest levels of protein!

  • Tofu - 4 ounces of tofu = 11g protein
  • Soy beans - 1 cup of edamame = 18g protein
  • Quinoa - 1 cup of quinoa = 8g protein
  • Black beans - 1 cup of black beans = 15g protein
  • Red kidney beans - 1 cup of red kidney beans = 14g protein
  • Chickpeas - 1 cup of chickpeas = 15g protein
  • Lentils - 1 cup of lentils = 18g protein
  • Hemp seeds - 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds = 9g protein
  • Chia Seeds - 2 tablespoons of chia seeds = 5g protein
  • Peanuts - 1 ounce of peanuts = 6g protein
  • Almonds - 1 ounce of almonds = 6g protein
  • Cashews - 1 ounce roasted cashews = 5g protein
  • Peas - 1 cup of peas = 8g protein
  • Soy Milk - 1 cup of soy milk = 6g protein

As hard as I tried to put plenty of these into my diet, many of them are quite high in fat as well as protein, so this resulted in a lot of weight gain for me, and I still wasn't even hitting a basic calorie intake or my protein requirements.

Having read how weight affects your required protein intake, I'm sure you can see how that ended up a vicious cycle. Especially during lockdown, where activity levels were at an all time low. Something had to give, and V-Gain has made such a huge difference for my training.

Whether that's because of increased muscle or decreased weight - it's down to the shakes. They are zero sugar, low fat and if it makes pole easier, its a yes from me!

The Best Protein Powder - The Verdict

So to re-cap, here are the top benefits of Sci-mx Pro V-gain Protein Powder:

  • It tastes great
  • It mixes easily and feels smooth to drink - not lumpy or powdery
  • It is economically friendly at around £27 per 2.2k for 33g of protein per scoop
  • It is loaded with all three essential amino acids (BCAA's)
  • It is fortified with B-Vitamins, Zinc & Magnesium - great for a plant based diet
  • It is zero sugar & low fat

All in all, whether you have a plant based diet or not, this protein powder has many all round benefits, and I would very highly recommend it.

Have you tried V-Gain? Or perhaps you've another favourite you'd like to share?

Let us know in the comments!

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