Sativa are a fairly new name in the world of protein powders, but the owners have been around the protein market for a while now, so should know their way around flavouring & choosing flavours for their products.
We got a few samples of the Sativa flavours to try out over the last week and below I will give my personal views of the flavours.
A cautionary word. When it comes to protein flavours, things are very personal. Protein powders bring out the same extremes of views as foods like coffee, yeast extract and other foods that generate extreme responses of like and dislike. If I hate a flavour, you may love it, if I love it, you may hate it. For many people protein powders seem to generate extreme responses. “It is the worst taste ever!” or “OMG, it was the most fantastic shake I’ve ever had!” tends to be the common extremes. Most people don’t think protein powders are ‘ok’ as a rule. Some people obviously do, but maybe they aren’t as vocal as the lovers and haters online? My advice with any protein is to try some first if you can and then if you like it buy it in the biggest batch you can, as that will save you cash.
So, having given you that warning about the fact you may not agree with my descriptions let’s move onto the products themselves.
First off the whole range is vegan society approved, so they are off to a good start. Popping over to Sativa Shakes you have a choice of 3 different flavours (at the time of writing). These 3 flavours also cover some protein variations (as we shall see), so choosing the right one for you will be a matter of you goals and exactly what you want from your shake.
Strawberry and Banana
I’ll start with the strawberry and banana as this one was my personal favourite. The serving size was 30g with 105Kcal, 22.3g protein, 1.3g carbs, 1.2g fat. It is sweetened with stevia. The interesting part is the mixtures of proteins used in the blend. They include pea, soya, hemp & rice proteins. This makes for a nice amino acid blend. It mixed really well and tasted quite like strawberries and banana. It would make a pretty useful post-workout shake or as a snack between meals, or even to give yourself a healthy desert. I will try a few experiments with this flavour later, I will try out making it thicker with a plant-milk & seeing if I can make a thicker ‘whip-like’ consistency. If you can whip into a dessert this would be ideal dessert food for dieters or those trying to modify their macros to fit a lower carbohydrate plan, but they still wanted desert...stay tuned for that post, coming soon (assuming I succeed in my experiments)!
Anyway, I rate this flavour my favourite in terms of both flavour and nutritional make-up. The other flavours both have less protein per serving, but do have other benefits going for them, as we shall see.
The toffee flavour had the highest calories of the 3 flavours available. This may be important if you are dieting and have to be really careful about every calorie. Toffee is a little different as it only has hemp protein powder in it. This means that the protein is a little lower than the other two flavours. The nutritional breakdown is serving size 30g, 130Kcal per serving, 13.7g protein, 4.5g carbs and 3.7g fat. This flavour has more fat per serving than the other two flavours, but they are healthy fats mainly from essential fatty acids, these will aid recovery and boost your production of hormones if they are flagging due to low fat levels. It also has over 6 grams of fibre per serving. If you are unaware, the prime oestrogen removal system in the body is fibre, it traps oestrogen and causes it to be dumped in your stools, so if you worry about excess oestrogen, this will help you remove the excess from your body. I see this shake as primary for three distinct groups. Those wanting a balanced shake for everyday use, it has a nice mix of protein, healthy fats and fibre, hemp is hypoallergenic as well. The second group are those who have a shake before bedtime. If you want to take a shake before bed, then this one will digest slowly. The fat will cause the shake to slowly digest and so you will stay anabolic for as long as possible. The fibre will also cause satiation to last, so you will sleep well throughout the night. The third group are those who like a shake for breakfast, again the slow digestion and satiation factor of this shake will mean it is the ideal food for the start of the day. It should also keep hunger at bay due to the fat slowing the passage of the shake and the higher fibre content of the shake itself. So if you are after a ‘general purpose’ shake, a night time or morning shake then this one might be the one to go for.
Again it is sweetened with stevia. It wasn’t a bad tasting shake, but I did prefer the taste of the Strawberry and banana given a choice (for me, remember you might not be the same?).
Chocolate and Caramel
The choc caramel flavour was one calorie more than the strawberry and banana, it also had about 1 gram less of protein, other than that it looked very similar nutritionally to the strawberry and banana flavour. It had 30g per serving, 106Kcal per serving, 21g protein, 2.4g carbs and 1.3g fat. This one is the one if you are a chocolate fan. The nutritional profile may be slightly less than the strawberry and banana, but if you want chocolate, then you can use this as a healthy option to get your chocolate fix and still keep your macros in good shape! This is another one that is ideal for post-workout or if you need a ‘protein fix’. It will certainly up those amino acids without adding much in the way of carbs or fat. Again this one might also work if you add a little plant-milk and can whisk into a pudding consistency? I assume if I am successful with the strawberry and banana then this one will be successful as well as it uses the same blend of plant proteins from pea, soya, rice and hemp.
I must admit I am one of the few people who does not like chocolate all that much (I know hateful!). This flavour certainly tasted like chocolate and caramel to me, but was my least favourite. I think if you like chocolate it might be your favourite. My view is going to be somewhat coloured by the fact I don’t really like the flavouring as it tastes too much like the food it is copying (the flavour blenders at Sativa should take that as a compliment, if I had liked it, then that would have meant that they had failed to make it taste like chocolate at all!).
So, to wrap it all up, the choc caramel and the strawberry and banana are very similar nutritionally. They are the highest protein and would be best for times when you want maximum protein with least carbs and fat. You also get a very good balance of amino acids as the protein is blended for several sources.The toffee flavour has slightly higher fat and fibre and less protein, so would be good for a more general protein boost or bedtime/morning feeds that will keep you satiated longer. As they are all sweetened with stevia (a leaf) you are getting sweetness without excessive calories and the flavouring make it much more palatable if you do not like the taste of plain protein powders.
You can check out Sativa shakes at http://sativashakes.com/
The Strawberry and banana can be found at http://sativashakes.com/viva-high-pro-strawberry-banana/
The Toffee can be found at http://sativashakes.com/toffee/
The Choc caramel can be found at http://sativashakes.com/choc-caramel/
Let me know below your thoughts about it?