All right y'all, this one has been a LONG time coming. Partially because I suck and I went off to Europe right as I received a crap ton of Vital Proteins products to review for you. But also because I really wanted to see what I could actually experience from using them for a long period before making my decision on why I did (or did not) like them.
The later products I received (as marked below) were reviewed quicker because I noticed they maintain the original benefits from the first ones I tried. These products have also spanned into different flavors, so taste and texture tests were more important. I use something from this line of products every day.
Vital Proteins Products
Okay, disclaimers done. Let's chat about this stuff.
Here are the latest products from Vital Proteins that I've gotten to try, as of February 2017:
Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Peptides
Okay so on the original review of the Whey version of this flavor, I would NOT STOP talking about how much I loved it.
Get ready for round 2 of that.
I can't emphasize enough how stupid-good this flavor is. AND, it mixes better than the whey because it's all collagen this time - just like those unflavored peptides that are so great that you can't even detect them in plain water! Even better, in my opinion, is that people who are sensitive to whey can take this as a supplement and still feel like they're downing a meathead "bro-tein" shake. Sorry. I hate me, too.
But seriously, even classic bodybuilders would give up their whey tubs for this stuff. Trust me. I used to be one of them.
Oh yeah, I didn't even mention the awesome baking possibilities with this bad boy.
This flavor is my favorite so far because it eliminates the mixing issues with the whey version (which, for the record, were the only problem I had with those. They're still hella tasty). It gets me my daily collagen in a different form. I can throw a scoop of it into a Blender Bottle for later and know it'll still taste great, even with water. And it tastes like a freaking treat if simply mixed with almond milk.
Yeah. Buy this shit.
Recipes I've made with this stuff (so far!): Keto Froyo
Collagen Beauty Greens
I'm not going to lie, there's something about the smell of these babies that didn't sit right with me when I first opened the package. I didn't want to drink it straight with just water as a mixer from the get-go. However, the first thing I did to see what I could use this in was mix it in with some unflavored kombucha and voila! I loved the stuff.
Since then, I've used these babies as a regular add-in for smoothies, as well as chugging them just mixed with some almond milk when I'm in a hurry. I almost always mix protein with almond milk unless I'm desperate and have to use water.
While the flavor of this product is a little more "earthy," the vanilla undertones make it easy to drink and unnoticeable if you're mixing it into any sort of smoothie. Same goes for the kombucha and almond milk ideas already mentioned. Plus, you're getting a superfood veggie boost along with some daily collagen - a great way to knock out two birds with one stone!
Here are the original products I received for review in Summer 2016:
Beef Liver Capsules
I want to write up on these first because they helped me out SO much while in Italy. I brought these and the Collagen Peptides (which I'll go over next) along for the adventure because I was tipped off that these babies just may help me out with the jet lag I was expecting to experience. So I figured, why not?
Well... that decision actually ended up turning into a full-blown blog post in itself about how I prevented jet lag entirely! I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of this pretty-unplanned n=1 experiment. If you want to touch up more on that, check out my jet lag blog post.
As far as the product goes, I was a little hesitant to try beef liver in capsule form. I eat liver sometimes, though it's always venison liver because my family hunts enough deer each season for me to harvest the amount I need for the year solely from that. I don't eat liver all the time, because I have to be in a certain mood for its strong flavor, but I like it well enough to eat it and enjoy the health benefits.
Surprisingly, though, these capsules are easy to take. They're fairly large, and one serving consists of four capsules. However, the only flavor they have is that of the vegetable capsule itself and that doesn't dissolve fast enough for you to release powder to your tastebuds in the time it takes to swish the pills down with some water. I usually save the capsules for a when-I-need-them basis, AKA when I was treating the jet lag or I feel like I need the vitamin punch these babies consist of. The really cool thing that I've noticed about them is a slight energy kick. It's nothing like caffeine pills, but it's some weird boost that just makes your tummy feel good and you just feel well the rest of the day after taking it. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy. Probably. But that is a common trend I've noticed from including these when I feel they're needed.
Overall, this is one of the top products I recommend from Vital Proteins. The following rating is only docked a smidge because some people have issues getting over the general idea of beef liver altogether, and also may have trouble swallowing 4 capsules to reach the serving suggestion.
Have your liver and eat it, too. Except now you don't have to, if you're not into that.
All right, this is the other must-have of the Vital Proteins line, in my opinion. The benefits of adding collagen in your diet are numerous, as discussed in my blog post about it. Some big points that people are into include better gut health, clearer skin, and more luxurious hair.
For myself, I've ALWAYS had acne problems in my clear memory. Like... I think I started getting it in fourth grade and I still break out now if I'm under a lot of stress or eat something I really don't tolerate well (re: egg whites). So the skin possibilities with adding collagen regularly really interested me.
As it turns out, after having had collagen almost daily since receiving a couple tubs of the stuff, my hair has become thicker, my tummy less bloated at "that time of the month," and I feel like I'm constantly needing to cut my finger nails. But the real kicker and major test was obviously the acne. My skin has always been naturally oily with large pores, which seems to have reduced since seriously trying to consume more high-quality collagen. The ultimate turn-around for me? I haven't had a serious breakout while following a primal diet and consuming regular collagen. I can even eat whole eggs occasionally without a real issue!
Those benefits alone have me hooked on this stuff. But even better is that it's tasteless and dissolves completely in water, so if I don't feel like being creative with how I eat it (often mixed into some organic yogurt) then I'll just dissolve a scoop in my water bottle in the morning on the way out the door. It's so unnoticeable that if someone asks me for a sip, I don't tell them there's anything other than water in it to see if they make a funny face. No one has noticed it so far.
Because of the range of use, exponential benefits of implementing it over time, and superior quality, this is probably my favorite Vital Proteins product. Don't even waste your money of collagen from anyone else.
I'm not kidding. Buy some right now.
Recipes I've created with this product (so far!): Egg Nog Cappucino
Okay, so I've always been gelatin-challenged. I know that's probably something most 21-year-olds haven't yet discovered about themselves, but ya girl loves to bake and gelatin recipes can at least me feel like there's some sort of healthy element to what I'm making.
However, I've also admittedly never been a gelatin snob before. AKA, I buy the crap unflavored stuff from the store because I don't need it that often and I tell myself it's okay that it isn't grass-fed. But man oh man, this bucket changed my mind!
The texture of this gelatin is smoother and easier to work with than is the regular unflavored supermarket brands. And since it's grass-fed, it's like, actually healthy now. The "gelling" that gives gelatin its famous qualities is not lost in the fineness of this powder, and you still get the same effect you're used to. Plus, my argument for not caving and buying this before can also be used against me: since I use it so rarely, why wouldn't I invest in a tub of gelatin when it's probably a one-time purchase that'll last me the foreseeable future?
The longevity of the product and the fact it's one of the only grass-fed gelatins on the market are big points in the score of Vital Proteins' Beef Gelatin.
Throw this guy in your basket and be set to bake for eternity (maybe).
Cocoa & Coconut Water Collagen Whey
I always want to buy whey protein, because sometimes I'm still a meathead who likes to have a protein shake after I lift. Come on, it's quick, easy, and gets you the nutrients you need to make those muscles grow. However, usually the products are not of a high enough quality to convince this ingredients snob to shell out the cash they ask me for.
So I was VERY excited about Vital Proteins' Chocolate & Coconut Water whey protein. It meets my healthy-ingredients standard and is still just protein powder, so you use it in any normal protein shake.
I'll have to admit, though, I'm a chocolate fiend so I can never seem to find a chocolate protein that matches my standards. Plus all that milk chocolate in Italy drove me even more crazy over it for a bit. This is pretty solid as far as protein powders go, and I'd definitely still buy this over a better-tasting product simply because of the quality. Still, this flavor is good just with plain water. I'm always a sucker for mixing it with the milk of your choice, though, as it gets creamier and seems to enhance the chocolate flavors a bit more. I think the thickness of the milk breaks apart the powder a bit more than water does, which can sometimes not dissolve the powder completely.
However, this stuff makes the best banana ice cream I've ever had. Seriously. The sweetness of the bananas is just enough to enhance the chocolate like I crave. See the 'recipes with this product' comment a few lines down to check the way I like to make it!
Try it for yourself, because chocolate.
Because of the texture issue and the fact that the chocolate flavoring isn't super strong, I give this product...
Recipes I've created with this product (so far!): Protein Frosty
Vanilla & Coconut Water Collagen Whey
Okay, I feel like this flavor isn't even fair. If you tolerate whey and lift, get this. Even if you don't lift, but you tolerate whey, get this for some extra protein once in a while. Holy cow. (lol)
I always seem to be impressed by vanilla whey flavors, but this Vanilla & Coconut Water has kicked the others out. I never expect to actually like vanilla whey powders because I'm such a chocolate fiend that I normally only buy that. But maybe my chocolate snobbery puts my expectations too high for that flavor. Whatever.
My point is that this is the best-tasting vanilla whey (and probably even best-tasting whey, regardless of flavor) I've ever had. The only reason I docked it a point from the rating is because it has the same mixing problems that the chocolate sometimes has. But what whey doesn't, when you think about it?
When I think about it, you need this in your life.
Bottom line: take my word. Or don't. But 6/5 Allisons recommend that you try adding Vital Proteins supplements to your daily lives!
If you would like to purchase some (or all! or other!) of these products by Vital Proteins, click here to check out their inventory.