A high protein diet is important for athletes, so finding the right protein powder to supplement your diet is key. A lot of athletes have an on-the-go lifestyle and need the convenience of something fast but nutritious. That’s where the powders from Abbott Nutrition’s EAS line come in to play.
I tried two of the EAS protein powders. The Recovery Protein is a powder with the purpose of building muscle, and the Lean 15 is intended for athletes who want to get leaner and more toned. I’d say there are three main types of protein powders: First, meal replacement powders, which typically have copious amounts of all three macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals. Second, you have the muscle builders, which have protein and carbs mixed together, usually in a specific ratio. Finally there are the pure protein powders that just contain protein, mostly by itself.
These aren’t my distinctions, mind you. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to replace a meal with a powder, but the industry usually divides them into these categories. So where would EAS products fit into this scheme? I would say the Recovery Protein powder fits into the middle category of muscle builders, and the Lean 15 falls into the third category of pure protein powders.
Before I address the powders individually, I’d like to point out what I put in the “con” section above. Both of these powders have only a modest amount of protein by the standards of a high protein diet. At 20 grams of protein for the Recovery and 15 grams for the Lean, the EAS powders certainly aren’t breaking any records. However, they will provide enough protein to do what they’re intended to do: supplement your diet.
Nevertheless, there were a few hectic days when I needed to double up on servings and mix with milk to get the amount of protein I wanted. You wouldn’t have to do this with a lot of high protein products, and it also made the powder disappear quickly. For this reason, I would categorize the amount of protein as “moderate.”
So let’s look at each product individually:
EAS Recovery Protein (1.8 lbs)
The Recovery Protein is the denser of the two products. With over double the serving size and 33% more protein than the Lean 15, it’s got more protein packed into each scoop.
It has more than just protein, too. This powder has a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Some studies suggest this is an ideal ratio for muscle tissue development. Since the carbohydrates stimulate insulin, an anabolic hormone, and replenish glycogen, which is the carbohydrate storage molecule in your muscles, a 2:1 ratio is common in this type of powder. Some products use a 3:1 ratio, which would likely be more sugary. The most recent research seems to disagree that this ratio is anything special, or that a high carb or high glycemic blend is needed with your protein. Fortunately, EAS uses a mix of sugary carbs and starchy carbs, the latter of which don’t release quite as fast. As an added bonus, this product also has 1.5 grams of HMB, a molecule that supports muscle sparing. Nevertheless, I think if you’re avoiding fat gain, you can go right to the Lean 15, even if you also want to build muscle.
Some people consider flavor to be a deciding factor when it comes to protein powders. I tried the chocolate flavor, and as far as protein powders go I thought the taste was enjoyable. The powder is sweetened by sucralose.
Lean 15 (1.7 lbs)
The Lean 15 is a low calorie powder. Despite having less protein than the Recovery, the serving size is also less than half. In fact, half of the 30 gram serving is protein, the rest being mostly low glycemic carbohydrate and flavoring, which makes this powder relatively higher in protein than the Recovery powder. Lean 15 protein is a mix of whey and casein, so it will digest at various speeds, some quickly and some over time.
Nearly half of the 11 grams of carbohydrates per serving is fiber. That means that although this powder contains whey for fast digestion, the fiber content will, nevertheless, slow digestion down. Personally, I don’t think this is a bad thing, although it certainly isn’t advertised on the bottle. Normally protein powders like this shy away from fiber due to its effects on digestion. In my opinion, fiber is a good thing, so have no fear.
In fact, some of that fiber is something called FOS, which is a prebiotic. It’s basically food for the good bacteria in your intestines. Getting more FOS in your diet is a good thing, and I was pleased to see it in there. The Lean 15 powder also contains a decent amount of vitamin E and 100% of your daily value of vitamin C, which are both antioxidants to help protect your muscles against exercise.
In terms of flavor, I enjoyed this product as well. I tried the chocolate fudge. I like chocolate in general and find it the best flavor to go with protein in a powder. Lean 15 is also sweetened by sucralose.
Overall, both of the EAS protein powders taste good and are solid products. Personally, I prefer the Lean 15 for any purpose, including muscle building. However, people who find they commonly need more than 15 or 20 grams of protein per serving may want to look elsewhere.