Protein you say? Now its safe to assume from looking at me that I’m not a protein mad gym-head. I’ve never been one for the protein shakes, partly as I’ve always felt I’m not doing the types of workouts that require it nor am I looking to ‘get big’, but also because of the powdery/lumpy texture and taste when they mix. I can be fussy it’s true. I know where protein fits in my diet of course but I’ve never been focused on counting the macros and planning specifically what I consume and when. In the past I’ve tried various protein powders/supplements but haven’t matched them with a training plan to maximise the protein content. I’ve never really enjoyed them and that has largely been down to the effort required to make them, the lumpy/glue like consistencies and the effort required to clean the gloopy bottles afterwards – it hasn’t been for me, it is just more hassle I don’t need in life.
Then I was introduced to Native Whey Protein and challenged to the #NativeShake….
On the surface its more of the same, a protein supplement. But what is it that makes this different from the rest? Well, a high protein content for one – 94% (apparently the highest on the market – I’m not going to check that fact as I trust the supplier and the processes they would have been through). Native Whey also includes added “digestive enzymes” which, alien to me, apparently increases protein uptake. Again, science I shall faithfully trust. The ingredients are minimal – “High quality fresh milk is the only ingredient used to produce Native Whey” – so no added chemical agents (Note, there are flavourings and Stevia added to the Chocolate and Strawberry offerings)! The Native Whey Protein is produced from an innovative “micro and ultra-filtration” process which is what results in the high protein content and recovery benefits over Whey Protein Isolates.
It comes in three flavours – Unflavoured (Natural), Madagascan Vanilla and Belgium Chocolate. What did appeal to me though is the claim that, upon mixing, the shake wouldn’t become lumpy and thick. So I Just had to try this for myself.
How I’ve used it… In context, if you haven’t gathered already, I’m a runner. I like to run and not much else. The more running I do, naturally the more ‘help’ I need with recovery. I’ve never put much effort into understanding the science behind nutrition, but I do know that protein is needed to aid muscle recovery and growth. Native Whey Protein is “naturally rich in Amino Acids” and promotes muscle repair and growth. All sounds good to me. So I started using the Native Whey Protein as a post run shake to help with exactly that. I’ve taken it specifically after longer runs (>10 miles or so) and also after specific training sessions (e.g. hill running workouts) where some of the muscle groups have been more targeted. Besides that, I’ve used it after three Ultra marathons. Each time I’ve taken one heaped spoon mixed with approximately 200mls of milk/water and I’ve found that does the job just fine. I’ve been using the ‘unflavoured’ flavour which is true to taste. Mixed with milk it tastes….milky. Mixed with water it doesn’t really taste of anything. Unflavoured indeed. I’ve mixed it up literally (see what I did there 😉 ) by, having it straight, lobbing in some Nesquik (strawberry, I know, I’m like a child) for flavour and included it in my smoothies for that extra protein pow-pow.
Here’s a lil’ slide show of the powder pre and post shake!
What I like
- How it mixes. I was skeptical when reading the marketing blurb and the reviews, but wow, it really does mix well. This stuff is different from what I’ve tried in the past, it lives up to the hype. A few shakes of the bottle/stir with a spoon/fork and the powder is completely dissolved into the liquid. It really is a smooth taste! What’s more, I’ve found it goes almost as far as becoming foam-like. As if it seems to incorporate air into the mixture and become very, very light and easy to consume. I imagine if we were able to drink clouds, then this is what it would feel like. I’m quite amazed by the result – I don’t even have any mix attachments(?) in the bottles I use to mix it! Literally just shake and go.
- The versatility of the unflavoured product – I’ve found that some ‘unflavoured products I’ve previously used actually come with a ‘twang’ that can contaminate the flavour of say a smoothie. This isn’t the case with Native Whey, it is as unflavoured as it should be, which becomes particularly useful when mixing with your favourite shakes!
- No negative gut effects!!
What I didn’t like
- That at some point the tub is going to run out and be empty! This will probably happen too soon!
Get involved! If you’re looking for a great tasting protein supplement that is easy to mix then this is the stuff for you. I could invest some time in isolating all the other factors in my life to test out the protein content and recovery capabilities but, I trust the boffins behind the product have already done that and passed the tests to market it! Do I feel recovered and repaired afterwards, yes, can I say it’s a direct correlation, no. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try though! If you want to know more about the science then head over to the Hellenia UK website for an explanation: Native Whey Protein