In my never-ending search for the best vegan protein, I’ve tried many brands, blends and flavors. Some were good, most were ‘meh’ and others just downright nasty. I found Prana ON about 4 months ago and it has since become my go-to protein. Despite its unusual name, this Aussie-made protein really delivers. See how PRANA Plant Power protein stacks up with my full hands-on review below.
How’s it taste?
I know ingredients and quality should always trump taste, but it is important. Let’s face it, if you can’t stomach it, its money down the drain. For that reason I strongly suggest the trial packs before you stump up the the cash for a larger serving to see which one you like best. You get one 40g serve of each flavor: Rich Chocolate, Coconut Milk, Vanilla Creme, Original, Himalayan Salted Caramel and Bananas ‘N Cream. You also get a free shaker bottle, which is pretty neat!
Overall, I found the flavors to be some of the best I’ve ever had, they weren’t overpowering and had a nice smooth non-gritty texture. The powder was ‘fine’ and mixed well with water in the shaker bottle. I know vegan proteins sometimes bear a bad rap in the taste department, but I was genuinely impressed with PRANA.
Having tried each one, here are my top 3!
#1. Coconut Milk
#2. Rich Chocolate
#3. Himalayan Salted Caramel
In fact, these three were so good I’ve since bought 1kg bags of each! The Vanilla Creme and Original flavors were also good, but I found the Bananas ‘N Cream to be a bit too sweet and had a slightly artificial lingering aftertaste. I’m pleased to report I suffered no digestive issues upon finishing my shakes 🙂
What’s in it?
You’ll get some variation depending on the flavor you chose, but the ingredient staples look like this:
Pea Protein, Rice Protein, Natural Flavours, Crystallized Coconut Nectar, Fructose, Sacha Inchi Powder, Steviol Glycosides, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Flaxseed Powder, Beta-Alanine, L-Glutamine, L-Arginine, L-Leucine, Digestive Enzyme Powder (Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase, Lactase), Vegan Probiotic (Bacillus coagulans).
These are the type of ingredients I like to see – no fillers or artificial sweeteners, just the good stuff.
The only minor gripe I have with the ingredients list was the addition of fructose. Granted, it’s a natural ‘simple’ sugar derived from fruit which can be useful for post-workout glycogen replenishment, but I question it’s inclusion with Stevia (Steviol Glycosides) already present. Personally, I find the product sweet enough, so I’m just not sure it’s necessary. Fortunately, this is NOT high fructose corn syrup, which would be a disaster and instantly cause me to withdraw my support for the product.
As far as protein content goes, PRANA stacks up very well. I’ve seen many vegan brands use just rice or pea protein, however PRANA contains both to provide a complete amino acid profile which is superior to any single plant protein source. Delivering an impressive 26g of protein per serve, this puts it on par with whey powders and is more than enough to promote muscle growth and help you recover between gym sessions.
PRANA also contains digestive enzymes, including bromelain (a natural enzyme found in pineapple) and protease which enhance your body’s ability to digest and utilize protein, meaning your body is better able to assimilate and absorb the amino acids. This enhances bio-availability, therefore allowing for better recovery, repair, and growth.
The inclusion of Sacha Inchi (a super seed from the Amazonian rainforest – I had to Google it!) and Flax-seed for a dose of healthy fats are a cool bonus.
In an effort to be shady, some companies aren’t forthcoming in sharing their all-important amino profile. Why? Because some amino’s are cheaper than others, so in an effort to save a buck some unscrupulous companies purposely skew their amino ratio’s while packaging it as the same. I’m pleased to say that PRANA has no such issues and boasts a full and healthy amino spectrum.
What’s it cost?
PRANA isn’t the cheapest option out there, but being too frugal with your protein powder purchases rarely ends well. A 1kg bag of PRANA Power Plant protein will set you back $69 AUD. This is on the upper-end of the price range compared to other proteins, but given the quality of the ingredients, I feel this price-point is fair and justified. A 1kg bag typically lasts me for ~1 month.