Naturade Pea Protein is a natural plant-based protein supplement derived from split peas (also known as yellow peas) with a profile which includes nine amino acids essential for the support of bone, muscle and connective tissue. It’s an excellent source of vegetable-based protein, suitable for ‘low-carbohydrate dieters, vegetarians, vegans, children, athletes and anyone needing extra protein in their daily diet’.
We liked the idea of protein powder enough to look into Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla a little deeper into it to see how well it works, and this is what we found.
Pea protein is rich in amino acids, and is a good supplement for those who want to build muscle mass. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron.
We’ve found no indication that Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla has any side effects as a whole, but we looked at individual ingredients to see if they posed any risk, and this is what we found:
Split peas are a source of purines, which can increase the amount of uric acid in your blood, potentially leading to a gout flare-up.
Naturade does counteract that possibility by adding both potassium and sodium citrate to neutralise excess acid, but they can cause problems from digestion upsets to cramps and convulsions.
There’s an awful lot of sugar in Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla, which might go some way to help mask the kind of taste that we keep reading about in negative reviews of the product, but so much sugar isn’t going to help with any weight loss program.
And the more we discover about pea protein isolate, the less we like it or the way it’s isolated. That isolation is a laboratory process, often performed in countries where regulation for impurities is a lot less stringent than it is here.
And because any kind of protein powder has a weakening effect on the kidneys over time – thanks to the increased levels of uric acid they’re trying to flush out – we’re not so enthusiastic about protein powders in general now, whether they’re isolated or not.
Naturade Pea Protein Review
Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla has, as Naturade tells us ‘phenomenal amino acid profile’, and the company also says, ‘This product is highly soluble, easy to digest, hypoallergenic – and it tastes great!” Then again, taste is a matter of … well, taste, and there are a lot of users out there who’ve been quite vocal about how Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla isn’t exactly their flavour of the month. However, other users seem to be OK with how it tastes, but not so happy about its sugar content.
And we’re more than a little worried about Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla when we read the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre’s recommendation to limit our intake of split peas and other legumes to two small servings a week – and that works out to considerably less than Naturade’s own recommendation of two scoops of pea protein every single day.
How to Take Naturade Pea Protein
Mix 2 scoops (39g) with 8–10 ounces of cold water or your favourite beverage.
For best results mix in a shaker or blender for 30 seconds. For a smoothie, mix with crushed ice and fruit in a blender.
So there could be a very high risk of increased uric acid in our blood if we kept on taking Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla over time, but that’s supposedly counteracted by Naturade’s addition of both sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate to the product.
Naturade Pea Protein Concerns:
- We have to admit to being concerned when we discovered how pea protein in any form can raise uric acid levels in the blood. And even though two ingredients are included to lower those levels, their potential side effects sound a bit frightening: from cramps to swelling or weight gain … and even to convulsions.
- The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre suggests you limit your intake of legumes, such as split peas, to two 1/2-cup servings a week, which translates into about 1 1/2 scoops of pea protein powder a week, as opposed to two scoops of Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla as a replacement for a single meal each day.
- This makes us think we’re running the risk of seriously overdosing on something that could very easily lead to kidney damage if consumed in large quantities.
But both of those nitrates have potential for unpleasant side effects – anything from digestion problems to muscle cramps and even convulsions, so it looks from here like Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla might just be too much of a good thing for comfort.
What Does Naturade Pea Protein Claim To Do?
Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla appears in the Naturade website in the categories of ‘Women’s Health, Protein Booster Shakes, Vegan Protein Boosters, Sports Nutrition’ and claims to provide, ‘an excellent source of vegetable-based protein and is suitable for low-carbohydrate dieters, vegetarians, vegans, children, athletes and anyone needing extra protein in their daily diet’.
Does Naturade Pea Protein Work?
As a protein booster, we’d say yes, it certainly has the ingredients that go towards boosting the body’s intake of proteins. But as for using it as a weight-loss product, we’d have to say no, it doesn’t. Otherwise it would definitely be included on the Naturade website in their category of weight loss products like their meal replacement soy protein shakes.
What Are The Ingredients of Naturade Pea Protein?
Pea protein isolate: Much more digestible than whole split yellow peas and can contain more than 90% protein.
- Organic Cane Sugar: Much less processed than refined sugar, and so contains much of the nutrients and minerals lost during the refining process.
- Inulin Fibre: Once consumed, it takes up a lot of room in the digestive tract and absorbs water, making bowel movements easier.
- Sunflower Oil: An anti-inflammatory which strengthens the immune system, promotes cell regeneration and boosts energy levels.
- Natural Flavours: They’re not listed, so we don’t know what they could be.
- Corn Syrup Solids: Highly processed, and with little in the way of nutritional value.
- Sea Salt: Helps the body create digestive juices and prevents buildup in the digestive tract. Reduces acid levels in the body and helps it to absorb potassium.
- Potassium Citrate: Lowers acidity in the urine.
- Stevia Leaf Extract: Used as a sweetener.
- Sodium Citrate: Used for indigestion, heartburn and neutralising excess acid in blood.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides: Decrease appetite and so help with weight loss.
- Xanthan Gum: A thickening agent which can also be used as a saliva substitute. It swells up in the intestines and so can also be used as a laxative. No added vitamins.
- Vegan Formula
- 100% Soy and Dairy-Free
- 100% Gluten-Free
- 100% Cholesterol-Free
Made in a facility that also processes milk, soy and eggs.
Does Naturade Pea Protein Have Any Side Effects?
We couldn’t find any ‘official’ side effect listings for Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla as a single product, so we took a closer look at the individual ingredients, and this is what we found:
Pea protein is a source of purines, which can increase the amount of uric acid in the blood, while pea protein isolate is missing nutrients the body is expecting, so there’s the possibility of those nutrients being leached out of the body itself.
But whether it’s plain pea protein or pea protein isolate, too much of it can produce side effects like weight gain, joint pain or reduced kidney function.
Organic cane sugar can also leach nutrients from the body while it’s being digested, and perhaps more alarmingly it sets off a feedback loop in the body that makes you want to consume more and more of it – just like refined sugar does.
Inulin fibre can cause gas, ‘explosive’ diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal upsets.
Corn syrup solids have had a bad press for a long time, and with good reasons like weight gain, tooth decay, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart issues.
There’s also the chance of a weakened immune system, mood swings and digestion problems.
Potassium citrate can cause digestion problems, so it’s advisable to taking it on a full stomach.
Stevia leaf extract is shown to lower blood pressure when consumed in large amounts, and is thought to block absorption of glucose and carbohydrates.
Sodium citrate can not only induce digestion-related side effects, but can also cause twitching and cramps in the muscles, increased heart rate, mood changes and even convulsions.
Medium chain triglycerides can cause gas and other digestive problems.
Xanthan gum can cause gas and bloating.
The only two instances of the word ‘caution’ on the Naturade website have to do with their herbal diuretic and immune modulator spray. So we must assume Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla is OK for one and all, but we’d still advise you to reconsider if you’re planning on taking it when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding … and if you’re thinking about giving it to youngsters.
Are There Any Customer Reviews For Naturade Pea Protein?
On Amazon: 64% of reviewers give it 5 stars. Many negative reviews emphasise the taste of Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla, but there are also complaints about the ingredients, as in:
The fact that fructose is the second ingredient is bad for me, as I bought this as a *protein* powder and didn’t want to add any extra sugar/carbs to my smoothies.
I bought Naturade Pea Protein based on the positive reviews and “All Natural” claims. This product is not “all natural”.
And we thought just for fun we’d include:
This stuff says its vanilla flavoured. I don’t think they have ever tasted vanilla.
Does Naturade Pea Protein Offer a Money-Back Guarantee?
If you purchased products from the website, Naturade will happily accept returns of unopened, undamaged products within 30 days of receipt.
They’ll refund the purchase amount including taxes but minus shipping.
Where Can I Buy Naturade Pea Protein?
You can buy Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla from the Naturade website, and elsewhere online from marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, as well as from regular retail outlets.