For so many runners, myself included, drinking a protein shake after running is a key part of the recovery process. It used to be that being a plant-based athlete you would have a limited choice of plant-protein powders, this is not the case anymore. With so many options out there, where should you begin? I asked myself the same question, and my answer has been to try as many different ones as possible in order to see how they compare. I’m far from having tried all of them but I have tested a few of the more popular brands giving me a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Today I’m reviewing Life Extension’s Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete, which is a sustainably sourced plant-based pea protein powder and amino acid complex.
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Why do runners use protein powder?
Protein powders like Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete are a really convenient way for athletes to get the right food before or after a run when access to real food is limited. Please note that protein powders should be used as a supplement to real food, rather than a meal replacement.
Protein Powders have a higher protein content than the average real-food meal, which is why you are able to repair and build muscle mass faster if you go for the shake supplement.
Should I drink a protein shake before or after my run?
I tend to have protein shakes after running, although a small one beforehand could keep that awful feeling of hunger at bay if you haven’t eaten much. You’ll be pleased to know that you really don’t need to have a protein shake after every run, to do this would be unnecessary and very expensive. I generally only drink a protein shake after really intense workouts where my legs have really been pushed hard. This includes hill repeats, speed sessions, and long runs. Another reason you may want to consider having a protein shake would be when you’re expecting a big gap between finishing your run and your next proper meal.
Remember to drink your shake within 30 minutes of finishing a run as the body absorbs the nutrients at a quicker rate during this window of time.
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Using Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete as a post-run shake
How does it taste?
Firstly, to make the shake as recommended, and as I have been drinking it, mix one scoop of powder (approx. 30g (scooper is included in the container)) with 8 oz. of water.
The Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete shake tastes a little like a mix of vanilla and caramel, even though the flavor is listed as being Vanilla. It’s a unique taste that I enjoy. It also has a bit of a sweet taste which I believe is coming from the Stevia sweetener.
The powder mixes well with water to create a smooth textured drink that’s easy to swallow and enjoyable to drink.
How does it perform?
I have noticed that my leg muscles have been recovering faster since using this product especially after intense trail runs. It has been pretty easy for me to notice the difference as I’ve been upping my hill training as of late, and those are the types of runs that really test my quad and calf muscles. If you’re new to using protein powder, it won’t be long before you get a feel for how much of a portion you need after each intense run. For example, if I do an intense speed session that lasts 30 minutes, I’ll use about half a scoop of powder, and that will be enough for me.
What are the ingredients?
Pea protein is dairy-free, which makes it a good choice for those with lactose intolerance. It’s also a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids which can’t be made by the body, so must come from diet.
- Calories = 100
- Calories from Fat = 10
- Total Fat = 1.5 g
- Sodium = 75 mg
- Total Carbohydrate = 4 g
- Dietary Fiber = 2 g
- Protein = 18 g
- Calcium = 130 mg
- Plant Protein and Amino Acid Blend = 25 g
- [Organic pea protein isolate, branched chain amino acids ( L-leucine, L-isoleucine, L-valine), glycine, L-glutamine, brown rice protein concentrate]
- Nutrim® Oat Bran = 1,875 mg
- Inulin/FOS [from Agave tequilana (blue agave) juice extract (plant)] = 1,537 mg
- Enzyme Blend [bromelain (from pineapple) (stem), alpha-galactosidase (Aspergillus niger)] = 93 mg
- Other ingredients: stevia extract, maltodextrin, natural flavor, sunflower oil powder, rice starch, acacia gum, xanthan gum, modified food starch.
How long does it last?
Roughly 15 servings per container. I sometimes have half portions depending on activity intensity which allows me to get a few more portions out of a pack.
How much does it cost?
A 450 gram (0.99 lb or 15.87 oz.) container of Life Extension’s Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete cost $25.50, which equates to roughly $1.70 per portion, not bad compared to its competition!
I’m really enjoying using this plant-based pea protein powder. I love that Wellness Code® Plant Protein Complete is sustainably sourced, tasty, easy to drink and reasonably priced. This particular protein powder also has an amino acid complex, is non-GMO and contains no animal by-products.
FDA disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.