We’ve all heard about Vega by now, right? I discovered them a few months ago when I was looking for a quality plant-based protein powder. I’ve been using their original formula chocolate and berry protein powder in my whole fruit smoothies for a while now, but I’ve always been curious to try their other products. I’ve secretly been hoping that Vega would send me some of their stuff for free to review and give away (like they did so many of the other bigger and better bloggers!), but, alas, it never came to pass. So a few weeks ago I shelled out $34 (sale price + shipping) of my hard-earned salary and bought a sample pack myself.
|Obviously a stock photo. I did not take the time to arrange the items in an orderly fashion, take a picture, and crop out the background. I promise this is not my photography.|
- 2 pre-workout energizers. Acai berry and lemon lime
- 2 recovery accelerators: Apple berry and tropical
- 3 performance protein powders: Chocolate, vanilla, and berry
- 2 endurance bars: Acai berry and mocha
- 2 endurance gels: Orange zest and raspberry
- 2 protein bars: Chocolate coconut and chocolate saviseed
- 2 electrolyte hydrators: Pom-berry and lemon lime
- I hated the pre-workout energizers. They did not energize my workout, as the name would have one believe. I used them before my mid-week mid-distance run. I’m tired when I get off work and need a boost to get through those. These don’t really make me feel any more energetic. Besides that, they don’t mix well, the shit settles to the bottom if you don’t stir it constantly, and both flavors tasted horrible. I usually really like anything lemon-lime flavored, but this just tasted like Lysol floor cleaner.
- The apple berry recovery accelerator tasted GREAT, and the tropical wasn’t half bad either. I drank the apple berry immediately after a 12-mile long run and the tropical after a 14-miler. The purpose of the recovery accelerator is to speed muscle recovery, reduce inflammation, and shorten rest periods between workouts. I gotta say, they’re onto something with this one. I woke up the next morning with fresh legs, ready to go again. I liked it so much I ordered a big tub of the apple berry. I’ve used it after every long run since and I’ve been shocked by how NOT sore I’ve been.
- The performance protein powder was a definite winner. It tasted great, even better than the Vega Sport original protein powder that I’ve been using for a while, and it seemed to blend better too. All three flavors were fantastic. I ordered a tub of the vanilla.
- The endurance bars are a blend of complex carbs (30g) and protein (8g) for sustained energy, but I don’t like eating anything during a run. Gels and shot bloks, sure, but not a bar. So instead I had them before a run. I had one as breakfast before a long training run in place of my regular Clif bar. Even though they had fewer grams of carbs than the Clif, they sustained me well and were gentle on the belly. The texture of the bar was light and gooey, not sticky and dry like some of the other plant-based bars I’ve had. The acai berry, unlike the pre-workout energizer of the same flavor, was delicious. And the mocha flavor, which I had as an afternoon snack before a mid-week 7-miler, was THE BOMB.
- The first thing I noticed about the endurance gels was the sheer size of the things. They are SO MUCH BIGGER than a Gu or a Clif Shot that I’m used to. It made me kind of nervous about trying to slurp down that much stuff during a run. Turns out it wasn’t an issue. The consistency is quite a bit thinner than a Gu, so it was much easier to consume on the go. Two more bonuses for me was they were much easier to open than Gu, and they didn’t hurt my sensitive teeth like Gu. And they were extremely easy on the gut. No issues there at all. The orange zest flavor was awesome. It reminded me of orange slices candy. I love those things! And the raspberry wasn’t half bad either. I had the orange one at mile 5 of a 14-miler and the raspberry one at mile 12 of a 15-miler (I didn’t want to take them both out that first time until I knew how well they got along with my digestive tract.) There were no issues either time. I’ll be replacing Gu as my go-to gel! I ordered a big box of the orange zest.
- The chocolate coconut protein bar was the best protein bar I’ve ever had. Hands down. Like Mounds, only with no guilt. The chocolate saviseed was great too. The only thing keeping me from ordering a full box of these is the price. They’re kind of steep, even on Amazon. I’ll have to stick to my PureFit vegan protein bars for now. They’re not quite as tasty, but they’re an affordable plant-based option. Plus they’re a great company who supports animal adoption and spay/neuter programs, so I feel great about supporting them anyway.
- The electrolyte hydrators were just okay in my opinion. The pom-berry flavor tasted kind of … mediciney? I don’t know, but it wasn’t my favorite. The lemon-lime definitely tasted better than the lemon-lime flavored pre-workout energizer, but still not great. I think I’ll have to stick to Nuun for the hydration.