Today I thought it would be nice to write the first product review here on Fitness on a Budget. As we are all well aware, the marketplace is filled with junk supplements which are often nothing more than snake oil but the basics of protein, fish oil, and possibly a multivitiman are pretty solid choices. One of the main issues when it comes to these items however is just how many options exist out there. In this little write up I am going to take one of those (lesser known) choices, put it through a battery of tests and decide if it is worth the cost or if looking elsewhere for a choice of whey protein isolate would be a better decision. I will provide a rating for each of the following criteria: macronutrient values, taste, mixability, texture and cost as well as an average of all combined scores as the overall score.
Up for review today is Canadian Protein’s Mint Chocolate Chip flavor of 100% Premium Whey Protein Isolate. Canadian Protein has become a staple on the Canadian bodybuilding and fitness scene after providing protein and other supplements mainly to the Canadian market for many years (previously as True Nutrition prior to early 2011). Due to the widespread use of this company in Canada, their existence also in the US, and the introduction of this recently added flavor I believe they are the perfect candidate for our first product review on Fitness on a Budget.
When reviewing supplements I try to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer to ensure any issues aren’t due to user error. In this case the instructions say to use 1-2 servings in approximately 8-16 fl. oz. of your favorite beverage. I chose to use water, typically I would try both one shake with water and one with milk but not with Mint Chocolate Chip. The amount of water I am using here is about 17 oz which was what was in a bottle of water marked as 500 ml., realistically this is a likely amount if someone were to make a shake under normal circumstances. Nobody I know perfectly measures out their liquid when making a shake. I am also using 2 scoops of powder since the amount of water is on the upper end of that recommended by the manufacturer. Proof of my setup for testing is below:
The following shows the scoop weighed before being filled. The scale was then zero’d with the tare feature and scoop weighed once filled with 30g of powder. This was done twice as I added two servings to the shaker cup.
Before we get to the hands on portion of this review though, we really should first look at the macronutrient content of this product.
When looking for a whey protein supplement the first thing I look at is the nutrition panel. If the protein in question is whey isolate it is expected that it will be lower in fat and carbs (lactose) than concentrate but sometimes added flavoring can skew those macros as well. In the case of Canadian Protein’s 100% Premium Whey Isolate the macros are about as favorable as they possible could be. Take a look at the nutrition label below:
Per 30g scoop there are 122 calories, 0g fat, under half a gram of carbs and 29g of protein. Given that only one gram per 30 makes up the sweetner, flavorings and additives, the macronutrient profile is about as good as I could possibly ask for. Along with the macronutrients though I also like to look at the ingredients list just to make sure there aren’t any odd surprises. The following is listed on the bag for ingredients in the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor: Ion-Exchange Whey Isolate, Cocoa, Natural and Artificial Flavours, Xantham Gum, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin (Less than 0.5%).
Everything in this list appears normal. The whey of course, cocoa for chocolate flavor, Xantham gum for texture/thickening/stabilization, Sucralose as sweetner and Soy Lecithin as an emulsifier which helps the protein easily mix with the liquid rather than become a gelatinous, clumpy mess.
I really can’t fault this protein powder when it comes to macronutrients. Here it get’s a 5 out of 5.
Now back to testing.
Step one was to add the powder (2 weighed scoops as mentioned previously).
I must admit that at this point I did stray from the manufacturers recommendations a bit, but only for the sake of realism. On the packaging Canadian Protein recommends that the protein/beverage mixture be stirred, but as I am using a shaker cup I instead shook the mixture as that is what most are likely to do. Here is the mixture after 10 shakes:
One more for good measure:
As you can see the mixture is not perfectly homogeneous. It did mix fairly well as there are no clumps but there is a small margin left for improvement (keeping in mind that I am using a Blender Bottle with wire whisk). When looking at mixability though the final and most important factor is what is left behind in the shaker cup after consumption. Let’s take a look.
You can’t beat that. Nothing is left in the bottom or stuck to the sides. As I said it isn’t perfect but the final result makes up for the former shortcoming. As such it gets a 4.5 out of 5 for mixability.
Taste is subjective but the mint chocolate chip flavor in this product leaves a lot to be desired. It is not offensive at all but is very light. No strong flavor comes through at any point during consumption. A slight reminder of mint with a chocolate afterthought is all that I taste. If you are looking for something you can pound back quickly this would work great but it is not a flavor worthy of sipping. As such, it get’s a 3. It is not off-putting but leaves plenty of room for future redevelopment.
The mouthfeel of this product is somewhat filmy. It is very thin and watery as you would expect from a pure whey isolate but the filmy feel sticks around for a notable duration of time. My score for this category is a 4 because I value thin easy to chug protein over a somewhat unappealing filmy after effect.
Cost is possibly the most important factor to some though it comes in behind macronutrients for me. In this case I purchased 5 lbs. of this protein when Canadian Protein was having a sale. As such I paid $59.99 with free shipping (combined with another item). Normally this protein sells for $69.99 CAD per 5 lbs.
When it comes to cost I always break it down to cost per gram of protein rather than serving size or per gram of product as grams of protein are what matter. For 5 lbs. of Canadian Protein’s 100% Premium Whey Protein Isolate (regardless of flavor) at $69.99 the cost comes out to $0.031924456 per gram. I paid $59.99 which comes out to $0.02736316782 per gram. $0.02736316782 is a great price per gram here in Canada where as $0.031924456 is good or above average for non-sale pricing. As a comparison the ever popular Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey (a blend) is as of this writing $0.04326298701 per gram and Kaizen (whey isolate) comes out to $0.02875 per gram. For price, this product gets a 4.
In conclusion Canadian Protein’s Mint Chocolate Chip flavor of 100% Premium Whey Protein Isolate is a decent value that mixes well but has some issues in the flavor/texture departments. The benefits outweigh the issues however and earn this protein an overall average of 4.1 stars.
Follow the following link if you are interested in Canadian Protein’s 100% Premium Whey Protein Isolate
- 100% Premium Whey Protein Isolate (5 lbs) – Canadian Protein.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2015, from http://www.canadianprotein.com/100-premium-whey-protein-isolate-5lbs.html ↩