“Thank you” reviews for birthday pressies from The Protein Works, Monkey Nutrition, Muscle Mousse & Meridian Foods!

July 6, 2014

What a lucky lady I am! My generous industry pals at The Protein Works, Monkey Nutrition, Muscle Mousse and Meridian (the nut butter people) heard it’s my birthday soon (…21 again) (and again) and very generously sent me some pressies. Thank you all! When you’re old and live by yourself like me, you don’t get a lot of surprise presents (unless you develop amnesia after a late-night internet shopping spree). This was a lovely treat.

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Let me tell you what they sent, and what I thought of the various products (I’ve sampled them all – they arrived some time ago ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

The Protein Works
Huge box of goodies from The Protein Works, online sports supplement people renowned for their crazy (and crazy-good) protein powder flavours, huge range of supplements, and innovative things like zero-cal syrups. I’m kind of embarrassed by how much they sent but hey I guess you only celebrate your 18th birthday once ๐Ÿ˜‰

What’s in the box?

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CLA Do you take CLA? I know some bodybuilders absolutely swear by it, some have tried it but don’t think it does anything for them, and others haven’t ever used it. I’ve used it on and off in the past, but am big on using healthy fats particularly during a prep diet, so I was really pleased to received a good quality CLA.

Whey protein in banana smooth flavour. I’d never choose banana whey for myself (just not a favourite) but it worked out well for The Protein Works to send me a flavour I don’t usually choose – cos it’s lovely! This is their whey protein concentrate 80, with added “Aminogen” (an enzyme system which helps the body digest the product better and absorb the aminos). And TPW’s whey protein concentrate 80 is tested by HFL, which is an added bonus for athletes tested against the WADA banned substance list. Anyway – this banana whey is very yum and might just have converted me to the flavour!

Greens powders Greens powders are another product which people either use and swear by, or disregard. Personally I think greens powders are a great thing to include whether you’re dieting down or not. They’re just such a quick and easy way to pack tons of raw nutrients into your daily diet (and far better than a multivit IMO). This one is flavoured and quite sweet but does also come in an unflavoured option. You may prefer an unflavoured greens powder, particularly if you like adding it to savoury dishes or mixing it with oils to make salad dressings.

Milk protein aka casein in chocolate smooth flavour. I have casein/milk protein most nights as a before-bed snack – I tend to blend it with a ton of ice and a bit of xantham gum to make a sort of icecream. The Protein Works’s milk protein is really nice, blends up well and tastes rich and creamy without being too sweet.

Creatine I’ll be honest – I haven’t actually started on this creatine monohydrate from The Protein Works, because I’ve still got some on the go. But I’m confident it’s great quality, and I do think creatine is a very useful supplement particularly for bodybuilders and particularly during a diet, to help maintain strength.

The Protein Works’s preworkout “Raze”. I love a preworkout, and this one is great! Check out the ingredients: AAKG (Arginine Alpha-Ketogluarate, Beta Alanine, Creapureยฎ (the best type of creatine mono available), l-tyrosine, citrulline malate, taurine, caffeine and instantised BCAAs amongst other things. Totally safe for drug-tested athletes, tastes great – and works! I’m pretty resistant to caffeine (I drink a lot of coffee) but Raze still gave me a little boost when I needed it (for instance when I had a big squat session to do on the hottest day of the year… ) No jitters, no crash or energy slump afterwards. Good stuff!

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Monkey Nutrition

I’ve reviewed a lot of Monkey Nutrition products on the blog before (all reviews are on this page) and I really rate the quality of their supplements. They sent me their new whey protein concentrate – Primal24 whey protein. It’s Monkey Nutrition’s more affordable whey but still has 24g protein per serving (and a full amino acid profile). It’s 80% protein by weight even after being flavoured, so you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s a lovely vanilla flavour, not too sweet (as some can be) and I’ve been enjoying it mixed with a (cooled) espresso and a bit of ice in the mornings. Yum!

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Muscle Mousse
Muscle Mousse probably needs little introduction, but in case you’ve somehow missed the buzz: it’s an amazing casein-type protein which mixes up very quickly to make a super-thick mousse which is really like a certain Delightfully Angelic dessert you may have enjoyed as a child. There are loads of flavours, but I was sent the peanut-choc caramel flavour – very tasty! Muscle Mousse is a combination of micellar casein/milk casein, whey protein concentrate and egg protein which gives it its unique moussey texture, and the casein and whey are from grass-fed cattle. The latest formulation has a higher level of BCAAs than previously and more probiotics. It’s 100% gluten and soy free – and HFL tested. I’ve been loving this as a treat!

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Meridian Foods new nut butters

Oh, this was a wonderful but dangerous birthday present for a dieting bodybuilder! Happily I seem to be able to exercise more self-control around nut butter this year than in any previous diet/prep. The little jar size helps. I was sent the new cashew butter, smooth almond butter and crunchy almond butter – all are fantastic but the crunchy almond is my favourite by far. Meridian’s nut butters are 100% nuts – no palm oil, no nasties. Just nuts.

Thank you, friends! What a lovely load of birthday surprises ๐Ÿ™‚ The (protein) drinks are on me ๐Ÿ˜€

“Thank you” reviews for birthday pressies from The Protein Works, Monkey Nutrition, Muscle Mousse & Meridian Foods! is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: myprotein Zest whey isolate, Optimum Nutrition gold standard casein and gold standard whey

July 27, 2011

I’m on a roll with my product reviews this week! It won’t be too long before I cut protein powders out of my diet as we get closer to the BNBF Finals, so I’m making my way through my stash of samples to bring you the latest in my “fitness kit I’ve tested this week” posts. This one’s for those of you who use protein powders (whey and casein).

Myprotein.com Whey Isolate “Zest”

myprotein.com have recently launched a new whey isolate in fruity flavours (they’ve also launched some absolutely amazing coffee-inspired whey proteins, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today). What’s different about their Whey Isolate Zest? It contains 100% whey protein isolate and over 85% protein content. The stats are pretty impressive – for each 25g serving, you’re getting 21.4g protein, 0.2g fat and just 0.1g carbs (and 85.6 kcals). To me, that means you can just have a bigger serving ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, it’s a good choice for anyone watching carbs or cutting for a show/shoot. Good stuff. But really it’s the flavours which make this new product something to blog home about. Almost every other whey protein out there is some kind of chocolate, vanilla, banana, blah blah flavour. That’s all well and good but it does get a bit boring after a while. If, like me, you like to experiment with protein powders, using them for “icecream” and in baking, new flavours such as these are exciting!

Whey Isolate Zest is available in blackcurrant, apple & raspberry and orange & passionfruit. And they’re all really, really good. Mixed with water (or non-dairy milk) as I tried, they make a much fresher-tasting shake than the more traditional milky-flavours on the market. They’re very refreshing. I imagine they’d be great mixed in with yoghurt – frozen yoghurt maybe? The flavours all seem very authentic – I had orange & passionfruit this morning and it was a very thirst-quenching, refreshing start to the day.

Highly recommended if you’re tired of the same old whey protein flavours and fancy something fruity and different! Thanks for the samples, myprotein.com. By the way, if you do order from myprotein.com, pop the code MP113064 in at the checkout for a discount.

(I did consider doing something more exciting than straight-up shakes when I tested this product, but thought this would be the best way. However, head on over to my homegirl Anna’s blog if you want some crazy ideas for using this – and other – protein powders). She’s on Facebook, too.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition (ON) are a highly-thought of brand so I was pleased to be sent samples of their popular whey and casein products. I tested the gold standard whey in French vanilla (presumably different to English?) although it’s available in 12 flavours (rocky road, anyone?)

The stats are good: per 29.4g serving (I don’t make the serving sizes up!), you’re getting 24g protein, 1g fat and 1.6g carbs (120 kcals). I wasn’t overwhelmed by the vanilla flavour but vanilla is vanilla really. It was nice, not too strong and not too sweet which is often the case with vanilla wheys.

ON’s gold standard whey contains more than 5g of BCAAs and 4g glutamine per serving, nice extras which will help you recover from hard training and be less sore during your workouts. It’s discounted on the ON site at the moment, making this a great time to snap up what is generally considered to be a quality product, respected by many top athletes.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein

I was also sent a sample of ON’s gold standard casein product, which I’d been wanting to try for ages after hearing all sorts of people sing its praises. Casein is a slow-release protein source, ideal to take before bed (and I usually do). It digests at a rate of around 1/7 that of whey, so can supply you with amino acids during long periods without food.

I loved this product. It was delicious, and I’d definitely buy it again. I can see why I’ve heard so many good things about it. The flavour I tested was chocolate, but it’s also available in vanilla or banana. It was really smooth and creamy and tasted like a lovely treat last thing at night.

Per 32g serving, you get 24.4g protein, 0.5g fat and 3g carbs, along with 114 kcals and 10g of BCAAs, glutamine, and glutamine precursors, making this a quality product to take before going to sleep. I just wish they’d sent me more!

As with the whey, the casein is discounted on ON’s site at the moment. I might be heading over there to place an order myself! Thanks for the samples, Optimum Nutrition people!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: myprotein Zest whey isolate, Optimum Nutrition gold standard casein and gold standard whey is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


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