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.
Instead of using whole peas to make up the protein element in Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla, Naturade uses pea protein isolate, boosting the protein content from around 10–15% in unprocessed peas to over 90% in the isolate.
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.
Too much pea protein can cause weight gain, joint pain and reduced kidney function.
15 servings for $24.99 from naturade.com, also available on Amazon in 12-serving size from $15.34.
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.
So although Naturade Pea Protein Vanilla sounds like a great idea in theory, in practice we’re going to have to reject it.
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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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
Pea protein isolate: Much more digestible than whole split yellow peas and can contain more than 90% protein.
Made in a facility that also processes milk, soy and eggs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.