Monday, February 20, 2012

My take on Vega Sport

Let me begin this post by noting that I do not take any type supplements whatsoever. 

I do not prepare or refuel for my workouts with special powders that are sold in containers and need to be mixed with water, I do not take any vitamins, and I do not replace meals with protein shakes, I just simply do not venture into the faux-nutrient realm often. Instead, I prefer to fuel my body with real foods. This is my choice because this is what makes my body feel strong and energized and in my opinion what humans should be eating.

Recently I was extended an opportunity to test out and review some Vega Sport products. If you haven't already read the multitude of reviews circling the healthy-living blogosphere, Vega Sport is a Canadian based company that produces natural plant-based fueling for endurance athletes.

Their fueling system consists of a 3-step process: 


"Designed to take your workout to the next level by significantly enhancing physical and mental performance"

Products:
Pre-Workout Energizer


"Provide immediate and sustained energy, hydration, and electrolyte replenishment"

Products:
Electrolyte Hydrator
Endurance Bar
Endurance Gel


"Replenishes your system, repairs muscle tissue, and reduce inflammation to assist in recovery"

Products:
Performance Protein
Protein Bar
Recovery Accelerator

My take on the products:

While I have a great appreciation that these are all plant-based items, I do not have the same appreciation for most of the flavoring of the items. I love food, and I feel like if I'm going to consume calories of any kind that I want the taste to knock my socks off. That goes for beverages too. 

Products I liked:

Mocha Endurance Bar
It had nice flavor but the chia seeds freak me out. I don't know why people like these so much, they have no flavor and just get stuck in the deep crevices of my teeth.


Chocolate Coconut Protein Bar
This tasted almost like a candy bar, and as a matter of fact I think it practically was. Held off my post-run hunger long enough for me to run an hour of errands after a speed workout. But I generally tend to avoid these types of chocolate filled bars because they are high in fat, have lots of calories, and aren't real chocolate. Quite frankly I would rather have had a milky way if solely comparing nutritional data and this isn't usually how I would fuel up post workout.


Recovery Accelerator Appleberry
This was a powder mix that dissolved in 12 oz of water and had a very light flavoring. I don't generally drink any beverages other then water and coffee, so even though I liked the flavoring the 12 oz of this was too much for me.


Endurance Gels
Taste wise these weren't too bad, and they tasted like dates. However, texture wise I didn't care for this. Unlike a Clif Gel or Gu that is a smooth consistency, this was actually chunky which was a bit of a surprise mid long run. But it kept me from crashing in the late miles. The portion size of this was a bit large as well.



Products I didn't care for:

Electrolyte Hydrator
Had a weird flavor that made me feel nauseated to drink while working out. I feel like it had little effect on my energy levels and I just couldn't get it down.


Pre-Workout Energizer
The only positive thing that I can say about this was that it dissolved well in water. My stomach hated both the lemon lime and acai berry flavors and I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth during my workout which weirded me out a bit.


Performance Protein
Hate protein drinks and sadly Vega's spin on the traditional protein different was no different for me. Had high hopes for the chocolate flavor, but it unfortunately did not taste at all like chocolate to me and I just did not enjoy drinking it post run. I also thought that for some reason that it smelled like berries, which is strange.



Overall I would say that Vega Sport has some great products available for those looking for plant-based fueling options, but sadly I don't think that I'm one of those athletes. I really wanted to like this stuff, but I am very particular about the things I eat and most of these items just didn't float my boat. Being a person who doesn't use these types of products often, I don't know if my opinion really has much weight in this matter because I honestly prefer to take in my fuels from whole food sources.

For me the biggest draw back to Vega Sport is just that there are simply too many steps to their fueling. The thought about figuring out when to take each of these products and balance them with the whole foods in my diet was rather overwhelming for me. So, thank you Vega for the opportunity to try out your products but I'm going to stick with the whole foods in my diet that I already love so much.

Vega Sport products were given to me free of charge, however the opinions expressed here are all my own. All photos of Vega's products were taken from their website.

7 comments:

  1. and when you burp that gel and hydrator up while running you want to vomit! at least I did. I loved the protein bars though, they can send me more of those anyday

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  2. Thank you for your candid review! I've never used powders or bars for protein, nutrients, or energy either, but I was intrigued by Vega simply because I've read so much about it and because it's vegetarian-friendly (I'm a veg-head). But, like you, I'd be annoyed if it didn't also taste awesome and I'd go find real food to eat or make a smoothie of my own with real fruit. Oh well! I'll still keep an open mind, but for now I'll stick to getting my nutrients from food. Thanks!

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  3. I'm with you Britt on the products I liked too! Although I'm not afraid to supplement or take vitamins, I totally respect your decision not too. I'll keep reading regardless!!

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  4. Thanks for the very honest review! I'm like you in that I really don't use anything other than food for fueling, with the exception of GU on long runs. I do use the occasional protein powder in a smoothie, but it is one of the rare versions that hasn't been denatured by a heat process. So it was good to get your perspective on all this. Laughed about the chia seeds!

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  5. Man, they are gonna love your review.
    You know, I am exactly like you. Heck, I don't even get people who make protein shakes and then add spinach. Why? Spinach is much better roasted with EVOO and garlic. Really like this post, exactly my thoughts. I don't get people who use supplements, powders and such and I am positive that 10 years from now lots of research will come out as to how bad these are for us! And yes about the chia seeds!

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  6. thanks for sharing! i really don't like to eat many of the 'sports foods' unless they are really good or i'm in a time pinch, i usually like 'real food' haha. but i'd never heard of or tried Vega so it's interesting to read..and i really appreciate all of ur honest. great review!

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  7. You should come link up with my Favorite Things....I bet everyone would love to hear about your fave running items....gear, clothes, shoes, etc. :)

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