Review: Designer Whey Protein

One of my 2013 goals was to continue increasing my protein consumption to >90 grams per day.  Last year, I found that focusing on protein intake made my meals infinitely more satisfying, so I vowed to keep it up and take it to the next level.  Plus, there's the added benefits of consuming protein post-workout to help repair and build your muscles.  Because I've also been focusing on strength training and conditioning, protein has become that much more important.  I've been amping up my protein in the form of nutritious, real foods: wild fish, high-quality meat, and nature's perfect gift--eggs.

Many people use protein powders to bulk up meals or shakes after exercise.  I have never been one of them.  First, there was the period of time I wasn't really eating meat, so integrating whey or casein just didn't appeal.  This year, whey wasn't so scary anymore, but I simply wasn't in the habit and didn't really know why or where to start.

When Designer Whey sent over some of their products to sample, I figured it was as good a time as any to give whey a try!

Designer Whey creates protein products for fitness-minded consumers.  They aim for superior taste and quality in their convenient products, which are all made to suit an active lifestyle.  

Why use whey?  Their website lists the benefits, most notably and well-known being that it's a complete protein that is quickly absorbed by the body.  This quick absorption is what maximizes post-workout recovery, which is why it's a popular post-gym supplement.  It also boasts a "perfect amino acid profile for muscle building," is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than other proteins, and "works as an antioxidant to boost your body's immune system." 

So that's whey, but what's Designer Whey all about?  Read on to find out...

Designer Whey's mission is clear, and their products reflect their values.  They've got everything you could need to help you get the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids you need, whether you're at home or on the go.  After testing a few of them out, I can vouch that convenience and flavor are definitely evident in Designer Whey protein products.

First, the powder:

The most basic way I consumed this whey was as a simple shake.  The whole point, after all, is a fast, convenient way to get in protein, particularly after a workout.  Mix a scoop of powder with cold water, and you've got a delicious, protein-packed drink in seconds.  

Instant white chocolate milkshake. Amazing. 
Or vanilla!  Or chocolate! .. Or stawberry!

Smoothies also worked well, although my usual flavor combinations weren't always winners with the sweet but strong powder flavors. 

Once I get ahold of some pumpkin, I want to try the vanilla powder in my Fall Pumpkin Smoothie.   Will keep you posted when that happens.

Beyond shakes and smoothies, I have been doing a bit of experimenting with the powders.  Although I haven't quite hit the jackpot yet, I'll share some of what I've been trying:

White Chocolate Designer Whey Protein Powder + Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt 
= Vanilla frosting. I swear.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse is really the greatest invention ever.  
I tried swapping the usual cocoa powder for Designer Whey white chocolate whey powder, but it wasn't as potent as the cocoa, so the avocado flavor took over and blended somewhat strangely.

Tried turning my old paleo muffin recipe into protein powerhouses.  
The texture was perfect, although they were a bit bland because I was hoping the vanilla and cinnamon would bring enough flavor. They didn't.  I'll keep tweaking this and share the final product with you.

Lesson learned: the flavor is fantastic alone in a shake, but doesn't hold up strongly when combined and cooked.  I'd be interested to try these same experiments with their "Plain and Simple" powder.  The lack of flavor could work well with some of the recipes into which I'd like to incorporate the powder.

But that was all my silly kitchen playtime.  Designer Whey sent over recipes, and they've also got all kinds of recipes on their website.  Those look delicious, so check those out, or, of course, you could stick with the basic shake!

The key to Designer Whey's products is that they make protein quick, convenient, and even portable.  You can make a shake at home, or take one on the road!

These ready-to-drink high-protein shakes pack 18 grams of protein into a portable container that you can toss in your gym, work, or travel bag.  Easy peasy!

You can also bring along the Protein Bar, which tastes like candy but comes with way more nutritional benefit. 

Although the bars tasted delicious and are definitely a better on-the-go option than many other comparable bars, I found the ingredient list a bit too long and complex for my preferences. 

But, if that doesn't turn you off, then by all means, these were tasty, and help you increase your protein consumption effortlessly.  The bars come in three flavors: Chocolate Caramel Crunch, Triple Chocolate Crunch, and Peanut Butter Crunch.

One product I think is a useful addition is the Protein 2Go Drink Mix, which is a pocket-sized packet of powder that transforms ordinary water into a protein- and vitamin-filled lemonade, mixed berry drink, or tropical orange juice.  You can leave some packets in your purse or gym bag, so those 10 grams of protein (from only 50 calories) per serving are always there for you when you need them.

Source: Designer Whey

After tasting and testing these products, I can confirm that Designer Whey delivers on its promise of taste and quality!  Flavor and convenience are the most evident draws of these various products.  If you're a already a fan of whey powders and products, Designer Whey's products can help you bring your protein from your kitchen to your car, to your gym, to your desk.  Convenience and flavor do not disappoint.  

For me, using whey protein at all is a brand new experience, so I'm just getting my feet wet.  I have a bit of powder left, so I'll continue experimenting and see how my body responds. Personally, I don't love the lengthy and scientific ingredient list, but they are all gluten-free and naturally flavored and sweetened, so there's little to no price to pay for the fast-absorbing lean protein.    Will I continue using whey protein?  That's a firm maybe.  In general, I try to get my nutrients from real food rather than supplements and powders, but the convenience factor is certainly appealing!

If you're looking to help build lean muscle and support your fitness goals, Designer Whey could be for you!  Check out the website to learn more and explore the many product offerings to see which fit into your lifestyle.  

Do you use protein supplements?  Which ones?  In what forms?  This is all new to me, so I'm curious to learn more. Please share below!

Dislaimer: I received Designer Whey products as a FitFluential Ambassador in exchange for a review, but the opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

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