Tested this week: Monkey Nutrition new Primal26 PRO whey protein isolate

March 29, 2015

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a new product from one of my favourite supplement brands.

Primal26 new whey protein isolate review

I’ve reviewed a few Monkey Nutrition products on the blog. I like the brand for its honest, no-BS communication style and I like the products because they really are great quality (and they have some little gems in the range, like Moodulator the neurotransmittor/hormone support which really helps me sleep).

So when one of the Monkeys asked if I’d try the new Primal26 PRO advanced whey isolate, I said sure! I reviewed the previous version of Primal26 here, but this is a new and improved formula with digestive enzymes.
monkey primal26 whey review blog
I’m off-season at the moment, and have drastically cut down on the amount of supplements I take. Partly for cash reasons, but mostly because I truly don’t think many are needed when you’re eating well, sleeping well and getting enough recovery. Prep is perhaps a different matter. But in off-season, I really don’t use much at all. (Happy to blog about what I do use if anyone’s interested).

That includes protein powder. I work at home, the gym’s not far away. I usually just come home and eat a meal. But there are times when I need a protein powder after training – and on those occasions I will use whey isolate.

Why? Simply put, it’s the best form of whey available.

Monkey Nutrition’s Primal26 PRO whey isolate is a little different to most whey isolates. It contains digestive enzyme ProHydrolase, which helps with protein absorption. Whey isolate is always pretty gentle on the digestion anyway (much less lactose) but the addition of digestive enzymes to Primal26 PRO supports an increase in protein absorption (by up to three times) and helps ensure smaller, non-immunogenic protein peptides are formed. These help lower inflammation (as indicated by decreased CRP levels).

If you sometimes suffer bloating, gas or worse when you use whey protein, this product would definitely be worth a try.

Because your body is able to get more out of digesting this product, it means you can actually reduce your serving size without any loss of protein assimilation.

The product formula is clinically researched (you can read all about the clinical trials here, if you’re that way inclined) and

I tried Primal26 PRO in chocolate flavour, which is sweetened with Stevia and flavoured with organic cocoa. 26g pure whey protein isolate per serving – and that all-important ProHydrolase digestive enzyme.

Thanks for the supplements, Monkey Nutrition guys!

You can find Monkey Nutrition on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Monkey Nutrition new Primal26 PRO whey protein isolate 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.

“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.


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?


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!


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!

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!


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: Monkey Nutrition X-blend protein

October 22, 2013

Here’s the latest fitness kit I’ve reviewed this weekMonkey Nutrition X-Blend protein.


I like Monkey Nutrition’s products, and I like them as people. It seems you’re interested in them, too – my two previous Monkey Nutrition reviews, (Monkey Nutrition E-Bomb and Primal23 and Monkey Nutrition Primal 26 whey isolate) still get a lot of hits from people searching for reviews on Google.

Up for review today is their X-Blend, a blend of 10 (!) types of protein. I often have casein in the evening, and I’ve been having X-Blend instead and I have to say not only is it completely delicious but really does seem to stave off my hunger (even at this stage in “the longest diet known to man*”)

*or so it seems

This blend of 10 proteins is an advanced formula, creating a time-released protein with high bioavailability. The proteins include whey protein isolate, milk protein, egg white protein and whey protein concentrate, and X-Blend also includes taurine, extra BCAAs, l-Glutamine and lactoferrin (it’s a new one on me too – apparently it’s a glycoprotein found in whole milk, which passes through the initial stages of protein digestion with its peptides intact – leading to better muscle recovery and an immunity boost too).

Bonus recipe:
The chief Monkey actually sent me his own top-secret (not any more!) recipe but, alas, I am not able to try it at the moment (see aforementioned lengthy diet). But maybe you can? If you do, feel free to comment and let me know what you think. I’ll pass it on to the Monkey Man himself.

1 scoop X-Blend
1-2 tsp chia seed
1 tsp golden flax seed
1 tsp goji berries
4 large Brazil nuts
8 pecan halves
4 blanched hazelnuts
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tbsp almond butter
350ml milk of choice (he says he uses a mix of 200ml full fat cow’s milk and 150ml almond milk)

Here are the stats on X-Blend (which comes in chocolate flavour):

Per serving:
130 kcals
24g protein
4g carbs (1g sugars)
1.5 g fat (1g saturated)
105 mg sodium
1g fibre

There are hefty amounts of aminos, as you’d expect.

Whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, egg albumen, cocoa (processed with alkali), natural and artificial flavor, milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, whey protein hydrolysate, hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, sodium caseinate, L-Glutamine, L-Leucine, soy lecithin, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine, taurine, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and bovine lactoferrin

I give X-Blend a huge thumbs up and have really enjoyed sampling it.

Thanks, Monkey Nutrition people!

You can follow Monkey Nutrition on Twitter and like Monkey Nutrition on Facebook.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Monkey Nutrition X-blend protein 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: Monkey Nutrition e-bomb and Primal23

July 12, 2013

Here’s the latest fitness kit I’ve reviewed this weekMonkey Nutrition E-Bomb and Monkey Nutrition Primal 23.

Last time I posted a Monkey Nutrition review (their whey isolate, Primal26), it seemed to get picked up by a ton of Google searches (and still does!) so it seems you lot like reading Monkey Nutrition reviews! Here’s another for your delight and delectation.

The little chimps at Monkey seem to know me pretty well by now: they sent me two of their newer products: E Bomb (which is an energy formula in capsule form) and Primal 23 (which is a flavoured egg white protein powder).


E-Bomb “8 Hour Energy Formula” comes in capsule form (60 per tub) and is safe for tested athletes (like me) to take. Most of the ingredients are “ancient herbs”, including maca and ginseng, renowned as energy boosters which will give a pick-me-up but not a horrible crash. It’s also packed with B-vitamins in hefty quantities, so is a good choice for dieters who might be flagging in energy and immunity. It’s sugar-free. You can take one or two a day. I started off with one but on training days I now take two: one in the morning before training and another just after lunch to get me through that horrible (and hot) mid-afternoon slump. It really does do what the Monkey guys said it would: a quite noticeable boost, but no crash afterwards. I have been careful not to take one after about 4pm, as I sleep badly at the best of times and I don’t want to risk it keeping me awake.

Chief Monkey (er… gorilla?) told me “Most energy products focus on caffeine, which – if used in excess – can have a negative impact on health. Although we have included some caffeine in E-BOMB, the main focus is on the B-vitamin complex and plant compounds that give a sustained release of energy whilst having many positive effects on the bodyโ€™s hormonal responses.”

Verdict: E Bomb is The Bomb as far as I’m concerned!

Per capsule:
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine hcl) 1.5 mg 100%
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) 1.7 mg 100%
Vitamin B-3 (67% niacinamide/ 33% niacin) 30 mg 150%
Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 40 mg 2000%
Folic Acid 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin) 500 mcg 8333%
Biotin 100 mcg 100%
Pantothenic Acid (d-Calcium pantothenate) 10 mg 100%
Magnesium (oxide) 100 mg 25%
L-Taurine 100 mg
Acai (4:1 concentrate) 100 mg
Caffeine Anhydrous 100 mg
Spirulina algae (Herb Powder) 5 mg
Tongkat Ali Root (Herb Powder) 5 mg
Korean Ginseng (7% Extract) 5 mg
American Ginseng (Herb Powder) 5 mg
Rhodiola Rosea (3% Extract) 5 mg
Maca (Herb Powder) 5 mg


I was also sent Primal 23 egg white protein powder in chocolate (it’s also available in vanilla). One scoop gives the same amount of protein as about 9 egg whites. Egg white powder is a useful alternative to whey or other protein powders, although it does differ slightly (as all protein sources do) in terms of nutritional stats, amino content and mixability.

Egg whites are used as the benchmark for all protein formulas in terms of bioavailability, and Monkey say Primal 23 offers higher levels of nitrogen retention than any other protein source (including whey) – a good choice if muscularity and recovery are your goals.

What I liked about Primal 23: it gave me a “sweet” egg white option. Usually – if I’m consuming egg whites and not whole eggs – I use liquid egg whites. I can sweeten them before cooking them, but obviously it’s still going to end up as an omelette type texture. Primal 23 gives me a way to take egg white protein but as a cold liquid – a useful alternative. It’s also a useful product if you want to consume egg white protein, but don’t want to use/buy/store liquid egg whites and also don’t fancy splitting your own yolks and whites.

What I didn’t like about Primal 23: it left me very hungry. I substituted one of my bedtime egg white snacks with a serving, and made sure that the nutritional stats were the same (same calories, same protein). But I woke up starving a couple of hours later. I must point out that I’m currently dieting down for a bodybuilding comp, so my over all intake is lower than normal. I’m not saying that the Primal 23 itself was responsible for my hunger. But I don’t normally wake up hungry when I have cooked egg whites. I’m not sure why this swap had that effect.

I mixed it with water, and it mixed up just fine. You could also add it to oats (I’d imagine?), perhaps try using it in protein pancakes or other baking, or add it to a PWO shake containing carbs.

It’s sweetened with Stevia, which most people find very gentle on the digestion because it’s a plant leaf extract rather than a chemical sweetener.

Per 30g scoop:
Total Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 290mg
Potassium 290mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 23g

Monkey Nutrition don’t put their ingredients or batches through anything like the Informed Sport programme but they were extremely helpful with my endless questions about E-Bomb, and told me: “We can be sure that these products are safe from banned substances”.

Thanks, Monkey Nutrition people!

You can follow Monkey Nutrition on Twitter and like Monkey Nutrition on Facebook.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Monkey Nutrition e-bomb and Primal23 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: Monkey Nutrition whey isolate Primal26

August 23, 2012

Hello on this lovely sunny day! Although I am now in the stages of my prep-diet where I’ve taken out protein powders (personal preference and just the way Kat & I do things), today’s Fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is for a whey isolate.

Bold new brand on the block, Monkey Nutrition, sent me a packet of their vanilla whey isolate (and a shaker) a few weeks ago and I’ve since used it in smoothies, as straight-up shakes and as a blend with other protein powders. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! Here’s the review.

Monkey Nutrition whey isolate primal26
Monkey Nutrition’s whey isolate, Primal26 contains only whey protein isolate which has gone through various micro- and ultra-filtration processes. It contains no fat, no sugar and only 1g carbs per serving but will give you 26g protein. It’s the ideal choice of protein powder for directly after training, which is mostly how I used it. I appreciated its macros – as I was between six and four weeks out from comp when I was testing it, so the fact that it is so low carb was very handy and meant I could easily fit it in to my diet plans. You can read about whey isolate vs whey concentrate here on the Monkey Nutrition blog.

Primal26 whey protein isolate comes in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry – I was sent the vanilla which I was glad of as it’s so versatile. It was very tasty, not too sweet but a nice pleasant vanilla taste which was good by itself and also worked well if I blended it in with another protein powder. I had it a couple of times on really hot days blended up with a load of icecubes and it made a great “bodybuilder icecream” – it’s got xanthan gum in it, which helps it thicken up a little. It’s sweetened with Stevia, which gets a big hoorah from me, as I really prefer not to have Sucralose these days. (Stevia is a zero-cal sweetener derived from a plant, so it’s natural and gentle on the digestion).

Monkey have put a host of useful extras in their whey isolate, including BCAAs and EAAs isoluecine, leucine, valine, arginine, lysine and also glutamine, so it really is a good choice for a post-gym refuel before you can get your next solid meal down you.

Finally, the folk at Monkey Nutrition seem jolly nice and genuinely interested in helping out gym-goers and athletes of all calibres (I sent an email to one of the company’s founders, asking – in a somewhat over-paranoid manner! – to double-check that anything they were intending on sending me was OK for tested athletes. Not only did the big boss email me back very quickly but he contacted the scientist people behind the formulas, in order to double-triple check and put my mind at rest.)

I know it doesn’t really matter who’s behind the brand when you’re chugging back your protein shake as you walk out of the gym, but I do feel it makes a difference if a company is genuinely interested in its customers, show an understanding of the rules and regulations of various sports and seem to care.

Monkey Nutrition whey isolate protein Primal26

Per 30g serving
110 kcals
0g fat
1g carbs (0g sugar)
26g protein
150 mg sodium

monkey nutrition review
They also sent me a shaker bottle and, I’ll admit, my first thought was “oh another bottle, just what I need…” but actually this one is great and it’s my new go-to bottle! There’s just something about the design – it’s slimmer than a lot of other shakers and it’s slightly tapered, too, so it fits really nicely into the side pocket of my kitbag and into the coffee-cup holder in my car. (It’s also got a nifty spiral thing inside to help blend up whatever powders you’ve got in there). And I’ve just gone online to grab the URL and seen it’s only ยฃ3.99, which quite honestly is a steal.

I know. I’m easily pleased. ;D

Thanks, Monkey Nutrition people!

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Monkey Nutrition whey isolate Primal26 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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