I have used Whey Protein powder supplements for many years as a post workout muscle recovery drink and also as a meal replacement shake when I combine it with fruits and vegetables – which I call a “power shake.”
But scientific research has also suggested that Whey Protein can have numerous beneficial effects like increasing Glutathione levels in the body.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman from the Cleveland Clinic:
“Glutathione is the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more.” (article link)
For these reasons, Whey Protein is one of the few supplements that I take on a regular basis.
And for these reasons, I am always searching for the absolute best Whey Protein powder supplement which means I am constantly trying out new products.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy ProMix Whey Protein in the Vanilla flavor which is what I most commonly use and prefer.
After running through my list of 7 criteria for selecting an all natural whey protein powder, I was really excited to give this one a try.
Note: The more I geek out on whey protein, the more items get added to my list of criteria. I have just added 3 new criteria to my list – so this review will be quite thorough. But hey, if you’re like me, you want to know everything you can before making a purchase right?
Ok so this is a pretty long review but my hope is that this will help you make the best decision for yourself. With that goal in mind, I’m giving you as much as I can so you can make a well informed decision. Hope it helps!
Alright then, let’s get to it!
Criteria # 1: Must Be All Natural
ProMix whey Vanilla is an all-natural whey protein powder with only 4 Ingredients: Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, Non-GMO Cane Sugar, Indonesian Vanilla Extract and Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin.
Criteria # 2: Whey From Grass-Fed Cows
If you’ve read my article “What is the best all natural whey” you know that I prefer Whey from Grass-Fed Cows and this whey protein does in fact come from Grass-Fed cows so we’re all good there. So now it’s time to look at where the whey is produced and the cost.
Criteria # 3: Produced Close To Home
This is a new piece of criteria I added to the equation. Because freshness and potency of the product matter, I want whey protein that is produced as close to home as possible. I live in the USA so ideally, the best option for me is a whey powder made in the USA.
Why do I want Whey protein that is produced close to home? Well, some whey protein powders are produced in other countries and shipped by Ocean Freight to the United States. This process can take anywhere from 20-40 days depending on where the product is shipped from and how smoothly the entire process goes.
While I don’t think this delay impacts the freshness or potency of the product too much, I think it does have some impact.
And since my goal is to find the absolute best whey protein, I think it’s important to consider the time between when the product was processed (when the Whey is extracted from the Milk) to the time you are consuming the product.
In an ideal world, the whey would be processed today and I would receive it today. But we’re not there yet…maybe one day 🙂
Anyway, I live in the USA and ProMix Whey Protein is produced in the USA (California) so this protein gets a double thumbs up for me in this category.
Criteria # 4: Cost
As you can see in my all natural whey protein chart, this whey protein is one of the most competitively priced all-natural whey protein powders.
You can click HERE to view the chart and then click on the “cost per gram of protein” header to sort the chart and see exactly where this one ranks in terms of cost.
Criteria # 5: Convenience
This product is available on Amazon Prime so for me, it meets my convenience criteria. I can click the buy button and have it delivered to my door in 2 days. I asked Promix about their shipping and they advised they have warehouses all across the US and the product will be shipped from the warehouse closest to my address. I believe they have stocked some or all of Amazon’s warehouses across the US with their product so standard shipping through Amazon should get the product delivered to you relatively fast I believe.
Criteria # 6: Additional Ingredients
From an ingredients standpoint, this whey protein looks great with the exception of the cane sugar. I’m not a fan of Cane Sugar as a sweetener because as I mentioned above, I believe it is the reason for the gritty-ness of the protein.
Also, each serving of ProMix Vanilla Whey contains 6 grams of sugar whereas most other whey protein concentrate powders provide approximately 1 gram of sugar per serving.
I just don’t get it. In my opinion, there are so many drawbacks to using Can Sugar as a sweetener, it just doesn’t make sense when you can use something like Stevia.
On the plus side though, I am really glad to see they are using Non-GMO Vanilla Extract and Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin.
I don’t want to consume GMO ingredients so that’s definitely a big plus. And I’m happy they are using Vanilla Extract which comes from Vanilla Beans, unlike “natural vanilla flavoring” which can come from a variety of sources including the anal glands of beavers and no I’m not kidding, read this article if you didn’t hear about that yet.
As far as “Lecithin” goes, Sunflower is the best option. There are still a lot of whey protein powders that contain “Soy” lecithin which I don’t think is a huge problem but I try to avoid soy at all costs so Sunflower Lecithin is preferred.
Criteria # 7: Openness of Manufacturer
This is another important factor in search for the best of the best in all natural whey protein powders. If I am consuming a product, I want to know as much as possible about that product. If the company is unresponsive to my inquiries about their products or not very open about their product, then I’m a bit leary about putting that product in my body.
Promix gets a thumbs up here. They have been quick in responding to my questions and they have a long list of Frequently Asked Questions which seem to be real questions asked by real consumers. So the company appears to be pretty open, which definitely adds a level of comfort for me.
Criteria # 8: The Taste Test
I was very hopeful I would love this stuff at first taste but unfortunately, the taste test is where my excitement ended. I bought the Vanilla flavor but this product tastes like an unflavored whey protein with the slightest hint of vanilla. I personally don’t mind unflavored whey protein, but I ordered “vanilla” flavor so I was hoping the product would taste more like vanilla than unflavored whey protein.
Criteria # 9: Texture
The next thing that was disappointing was the texture. It’s gritty. They use Cane Sugar as the sweetener in this product and cane sugar is naturally gritty so I’m guessing that’s what it is. Most companies use Stevia to sweeten their whey protein and stevia is a very fine powder so you don’t even notice it.
To be fair, when I make my shakes in a blender with fruit/vegetables I don’t notice the gritty-ness too much. However, when I’m in a hurry and want to make a quick protein drink, I use a mason jar or a blender bottle and shake it up with some water or milk and when I make them this way, they taste very gritty. This is the first time I’ve ever had a gritty tasting whey protein powder and I’ve tried a TON of different brands and varieties of whey protein using a shaker cup or blender bottle. It’s gotta be the cane sugar so if Promix can swap that out for something with a finer texture like Stevia, I think it would be a big improvement.
Update: Here is Promix response about the gritty texture of the Vanilla Whey Protein powder
The crunchy texture that you note is due to the cane sugar. If the liquid is very cold the sugar will not fully dissolve.
Criteria # 10: Mixability
This powder mixes fine in my regular black and decker blender and also in my blender bottle. However it comes out clumpy if I just mix it in a glass with a spoon and even if I mix it in a shaker cup (I use a mason jar) which I typically use if I am in a big hurry. So bottom line – if you mix your whey protein powder in a glass with a spoon or if you use a shaker cup – it’s going to be clumpy. If you use a blender or a blender bottle, you’re all good.
Criteria # 11: Color
I don’t usually judge whey protein powders by their color but I had to point out that this stuff is orange. I noticed several questions about the color of this product from customers in the ProMix FAQ section of their website but all of the answers described the whey as being a yellow/golden color. This is very normal for whey protein that is derived from grass fed cows because the milk has a more yellow color due to the beta carotene in the cows grass diet. But this stuff is orange. There’s no mistaking it. Here’s a picture comparing the color of the protein to a “yellow” banana. It’s orange right?
I’m not sure what caused this whey to be orange. Maybe the cane sugar? I don’t think it’s cause for concern or anything like that but it’s just strange – I’ve never seen an orange colored vanilla whey protein before so of course when I opened the jar I was a bit shocked. I haven’t asked ProMix about this yet but when I do I will post their response here.
Update: Here is Promix response about the orange color of their Vanilla Whey Protein
As to the orange color, this is because we are using whey from yellow cheese batches in our flavored whey protein! Same farms, same cows, just different cheese batches. Grass-fed milk has a slight yellow color because of the extra beta carotene (plant based form of vitamin A, naturally yellow in color) found in the milk of grass-fed cows. The dark yellow color in some batches is from the natural annatto color used in making yellow cheeses.
In summary, I think Promix Vanilla Whey Protein is a really high quality all natural whey protein product at an extremely reasonable price.
If you want a high quality whey concentrate with a slight hint of vanilla flavor and you’re ok with having a relatively higher amount of sugar (6 grams per serving) then this is a great choice.
However, if you want something with a stronger Vanilla Flavor and lower sugar (approximately 1 gram per servig) I’d go with Energy First Vanilla Whey (Whey Protein from USA) or BlueBonnet Vanilla Whey (Whey Protein from New Zealand). So far, those are my two personal favorites based on all my criteria.
As always, if you’d like to see a full list of All Natural Whey Protein Powders and be able to compare each one based on criteria like Cost, Type of Protein (Concentrate, Isolate etc.), Grass-Fed or Non-Grass Fed and more, then go check out my All Natural Whey Protein Chart HERE.