If you’re on the lookout for a complete protein supplement that’s also vegan and contains no soy, then look no further. I recently tried Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein in the vanilla flavor and it’s a solid addition to the vegan protein powders.
Clean Lean Protein is sourced from peas. It’s also free of soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, and GMO ingredients. Nuzest has a pH of 7.8, which means it’s alkaline. Since proteins are made up of amino acids (emphasis on the second word there) they are usually acidic, but not Clean Lean Protein. It’s also a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, a trait that is not always found in vegetable-sourced supplements.
One serving of Clean Lean Protein has just over 1.7g of leucine, which is thought to be the most important amino acid for anabolic effects. Previous studies have shown that 1.7g is needed for maximum effectiveness. More leucine than that amount doesn’t seem to have any added benefit. Clean Lean Protein contains 21g of protein per serving with just the right amount of leucine, so more than one serving isn’t needed unless you want to get in more total protein. This is a huge advantage for a vegetable-sourced protein.
Speaking of typical disadvantages with veggie proteins, we have the ever critical issue in the protein supplement industry: taste. Many vegetable protein powders have a chalky taste. Personally, I don’t mind this, but let’s face it – in general, whey protein powders taste better. Whether this is because of the nature of the industry, or the nature of vegetable proteins, it doesn’t matter much to the consumer. What matters is the bottom line, which is whether or not we can stomach the powder to begin with.
The typical taste of veggie protein powders did not apply to Clean Lean Protein, which boasted a well above average taste. I tried the vanilla flavor, which can be risky, but it paid off. Chocolate is generally considered the safest flavor for any protein powder, since it seems to be able to cover up unpleasant protein and vitamin or mineral flavors the most. Some vanilla-flavored products are great, and some are awful. Fortunately, Clean Lean Protein fits into the former category. Oddly enough, only when I watered it down did I get even the hint of a chalky flavor. When I mixed it to be very thick, it actually tasted even better.
Speaking of ingredients, in the vanilla flavor there were only three: isolated pea protein, vanilla, and thaumatin. Thaumatin is the sweetener in this protein powder. It is actually a protein found in several plants. As of now, it seems to be safe for consumption by humans (and dogs and rats for that matter) without any known toxic effects. It is reported to have a long-lasting flavor and to taste lightly like licorice, but I greatly dislike licorice flavor and didn’t notice this at all. Just be conscious of any effects it may have on you if you’ve never tried products containing thaumatin before.
As with most protein powders of three ingredients or less, mixing can be an issue. I’m not sure how the Clean Lean Protein wizards did what they did, but the key seems to be the fine grind of the powder. Like all proteins, you’re better off adding your liquid first, followed by the powder itself, but outside of that, you just need a few arm-powered shakes of this protein and it’s good and mixed. No lumps whatsoever, and shockingly little fluid required if you prefer your shakes thicker.
The protein is a little pricey compared to similarly crafted whey products, but if you’re looking for a vegetable protein you may be accustomed to this, especially for one so well produced. Also, the powder and the mixed shake can smell of peas, which I suppose might bother some people. I like peas, so it didn’t bother me, and it’s only the smell and not the flavor. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I had a few other people check it out, and they were more sensitive to it than I was.
Clean Lean Protein is by far the best tasting vegetable sourced protein powder I’ve ever had. It mixes easily, has few ingredients, and does not contain soy. If you want a vegetable protein, especially one to drink on it’s own, give Clean Lean Protein a shot.
Clean Lean Protein is available for $44.95 at Nuzest-USA.com.