Pros: Full of good ingredients and vitamins. It tastes delicious; easy to use.
Cons: Not for the extreme athlete.
Natures Plus Spriru-Tein High Protein Energy Meal is not normally a product I would buy. I usually buy plain powders and add to them or I buy something that doesnt sound like oatmeal! So why this? Well a quick story: My daughter has been drinking my powders all summer and after investigating decided she would like a banana flavored protein powder which she saw in a store. I looked in Vitamin World and GNC and the closest I could come was the powder I am reviewing: Nutty Berry Burst. I gave that to her and she used it. Shortly after that I was in my local health food store and there is was. Spiru-tein Banana so I bought that and she gave me back the Nutty Berry Burst and I am glad she did! On further examination, this has some great stuff in it.
What is this?
This is a soy protein powder with Spirulina (The definition of Spirulina is below.)
With 1 cup of skim milk this only has 179 calories, which is about the lowest Ive seen. In addition it has no fat and only 9 grams of sugar. That is not a lot of sugar for a meal replacement product. You will be hard pressed to find a bar with less sugar, though there are some. Spiru-tein has 14 grams of plant-based protein, other essential nutrients, and 12 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
There are more theories about how much protein and carbohydrates we should eat on a daily basis that it is mind boggling. One theory (According to my Personal Trainer Manual) has me at about 46 grams of protein per day and 80 grams of carbohydrates per day. (I weight 125 pounds.) I eat 5 times a day so in order to keep to those numbers I have to eat a bit more carbs in other meals. This doesnt quite constitute a meal replacement shake, but it is close.
There is no cholesterol, 140 mg of sodium, 110 mg of potassium, 1 gram of fiber.
I paid about $18.95 for a 1.2 pound canister of this powder. There are 16 servings per container making each shake about $1.19, which is a reasonable price. You will pay that for a snack bar and a lot more for a meal replacement bar.
What is in it?
There are some interesting additions and information about Spiru-Tein:
-You will see on this product and more and more on others NON-GMO natural soy. What that means is that the soy used in this product or any that carries that stamp does not use genetically modified soybeans.
-You will get 100% of the vitamins you need based on a diet of 2,000 calories. The vitamins are:
A, C, D, E, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, Folic Acid, B12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Iodine, and zinc. In addition you will get 250% of the manganese you need and 30% or less of Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Selenium, Chromium and Molybdenum. (22 in all)
-The protein in this product is soy and the bee pollen it contains is for energy. Those are considered the energy nutrients.
-Lecithin, Spirulina, Choline and Inositol are considered diet aids. Lecithin is an important natural source of choline, inositol, and linoleic acid.
Choline and iositol are vital components of all call walls, and play important roles in cell growth and functionhttp://www.good-vitamins.com/index.html?target=Diet_Aids.html
-Bromelain and Papaya are the enzymes in Spiru-Tein. They are a source of fat and protein digesting enzymes, which enable foods to be broken down in the digestive process. Full digestion prevents the body from overloading on unused food and storing this excess as fat.
-Chlorophyll is the cleansing ingredient. Chlorophyll is the molecule that absorbs sunlight and uses its energy to synthesize carbohydrates from CO2 and water. This process is known as photosynthesis and is the basis for sustaining the life processes of all plants. Since animals and humans obtain their food supply by eating plants, photosynthesis can be said to be the source of our life also. http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/chlorophyll/chlorophyll_h.htm
-Bran, cellulose and apple pectin provide the fiber in this powder.
This is a vegetarian product and is yeastfree.
It should be kept in a cool, dry place and make sure the plastic top is sealed on it. I keep my powders in the refrigerator.
Keep this and all other meal replacement foods out of the reach of children. I dont consider this a product for children at all and would not recommend it. Natures Plus makes Spiru-Tein Juinior. If this sounds like something you like and you do like it, you may want to check out the junior formula for your child. As always check with his or her doctor first.
I add one scoop (and there is a scoop in the canister) to 8-ounces of skin milk, whole milk or juice and mix or shake it until it is smooth. I like my shakes very cold and mix them with ice cubes. We are told that a blender is not necessary, that it mixes instantly.
Nutty Berry Burst
Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl
Cookies & Cream
Cappaccino Chocolate Peanut Butter
I knew I liked the banana shake because my daughter made me one when I gave it to her along with her new blender as an apartment warming present.
What is the Nutty Berry Burst like?
Both flavors are very similar in consistency and I like the taste of them both. I am reviewing the Nutty Berry Burst in particular because that is what I currently have. I think I would like to try some of those other delicious sounding flavors next, though!
This shake really doesnt need a blender. That is the truth making it very easy to put in a bottle and later add milk or juice to it and just shake. You do have to shake it heartily though or it will leave some remnants behind on the bottom of the bottle. If you do that it will blend smoothly leaving no lumps or clumps behind and with a blender it will get foamy, especially with ice.
It is slightly sweet but not very. It is not tart but I can taste the berries and fruits and it is delicious. It is as good as the banana. I like them both. Unlike some powders and bars, which all sort of taste the same, these dont. They have different tastes.
Since it has the berries in it already, I dont need to add any and even with skim milk; it is a low-calorie meal replacement drink. Actually at only 179 calories I can (but havent) added other things like fresh fruit or egg protein powder if you want to increase the protein. For that matter if you added a banana, you would be increasing your carbohydrate intake solving some of that problem. I have done neither but it is something to think about.
The shake is filling! It is filling enough for me to wait a couple of hours before I eat again which is great. If you find you are still hungry, again with such a low number of calories, add another ? a scoop and 4 ounces of milk to make a larger shake.
Who and what is this shake for?
Meal replacement formulas are just as the name implies a meal replacement. Based on what I have read and my personal philosophy at this moment (Though it does change!) we should have more carbohydrates at a meal. Spiru-Tein doesnt quite make it as a true meal replacement shake but I have no problem recommending it as one because it is close enough and it has some really great ingredients.
Remember, though, if you are exercising intensely, this will probably not allow a really good post workout meal replacement recovery drink when carbohydrates rather than protein is the most crucial ingredient to get.
We need carbohydrates, which are stored in the body as glycogen, which is the predominant energy source for muscle-building exercise. The harder and longer you work out, the more glycogen your muscles require. So going full circle, we need the carbohydrates to replace the glycogen used during your workout.
Going with my formula above and if you want more details about that formula, let me know, there is enough protein for me in this shake to fulfill the protein I need. Protein is the basic building material for muscle tissue. So I would recommend it for someone who has worked out moderately. Most bodybuilders will want more protein than this has and many heavy, heavy lifters will want more carbohydrates. Again I am recommending it for adults only.
http://www.herbshop.com/np_spiru.htm and the canister:
All the flavors have the same % of vitamins and minerals and very similar ingredients. What changes are the ingredients that make the flavors, the flavors.
Non-GMO isolated soy protein, fructose, calcium(phosphate), BeFlora(proprietary sweet fiber from FOS and soy extract), beet juice, natural flavor (varies with product and in this product it is: natural hazelnut flavor, natural peanut butter flavor, natural raspberry flavor, natural cherry flavor, strawberry seeds), guar gum, psyllium, natural cream flavor, potassium citrate, magnesium oxide, oat bran, microcrystalline cellulose, natural strawberry flavor, natural almond flavor, spirulina, vitamin C, vitamin E acetate, choline bitartrate, inositol, apple pectin, bee pollen, niacinamide, vitamin A palmitate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, ferrous fumarate, calcium pantothenate, lecithin, lemon bioflavonoids, papaya, bromelain, chlorophyll, pyridoxine HCL, riboflavin, thiamine HCL, vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, chromium chloride, sodium selenate, sodium molybdate
My Final Thoughts:
I like Spiru-Tein. Although it is not a perfect Meal Replacement Meal, it has a decent amount of protein and can be supplemented if you want more carbohydrates. It is delicious, comes in a lot of flavors and is easy to use. This will be a 4 star product for me and I intend to buy other flavors in the future.
There are family species of microalgae such as blue-green algae spirulina and aphanizomenon, and green algae chlorella and dunaliella. Spirulina's scientific name is arthrospira platensis. This edible algae has a long history of safe human consumption and over 30 years of safety testing. Special farms where spirulina is cultivated under controlled conditions do not allow the growth of other contaminant blue-green algae, as in lakes and waterways.
You may also be interested in the following reviews:
Other reviews that you might find helpful:
Ultra Pure Protein Shake
Piranha Energy Drinks
Kashi GoLean Bars
Power Bar Harvest Dipped
Power Bar Pria
PowerBar Protein Plus
Atkins Advantage Bars
Labrada'sLean Body for Her Bar
Balance Bar Gold
Optimum Soy Protein
EAS Myoplex Shake
Choosing A Sports Nutrition Formula