PVL Whey Gourmet Review – Is This Really The World’s Best Tasting Protein Shake?

If you consume a lot of protein supplements (and let’s face it: it’s not like most bodybuilders don’t…), then you’re probably not indifferent to the taste of these products. In that regard, protein powder users today should consider themselves extremely lucky compared to those who roamed the supplement stores in the eighties: overall, these products taste much, much better today than they used to. They are usually also much easier to mix, and just plain better in terms of nutritional values. And if you wanted a short version of this product it would be that it is a fine example of all of that.

We’ve reviewed a number of great tasting protein supplements on this site, like Protein Delite and Jay Robb Whey Protein (which we reviewed here and here respectively), and had great expectations for PVL’s Whey Gourmet as well. Now that we’ve been using it for a few weeks, do we think it’s the best tasting whey protein powder in the world?Hm, I’m not sure about that. Is it a really good tasting protein powder, though? Yes, it is. And it scores quite well overall too, as you can see below.

Nutritional Contents

With each 30 gram serving of Whey Gourmet, you’ll get 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Those are good numbers, and better than most of the “gourmet tasting” protein supplements on the market today, as many of these types of products are filled to the brim with carbs and fats in order to taste as good as they do (check out our review of BSN’s popular Syntha-6 for an example of that).

With each serving you also get 110 mgs of sodium, 230 mgs of Potassium and a little calcium and vitamin C.

Bottom line: nutritionally speaking, this is one of the best of its class.

Whey Gourmet Ingredients:

Whey Gourmet Protein (micro and ultra filtered whey protein isolates & concentrates), gourmet natural and artificial flavours, drum dried raspberry powder, malic acid, red beet powder, carboxymethyl cellulose, modified starch, soya lecithin, sodium chloride, silicon dioxide, sucralose (24mg/30g), ascorbic acid, acesulfame-potassium (20mg/30g).

Taste and Mixability

Mixability was GREAT. This stuff dissolves so easily in milk that I just need a glass and a spoon (or a fork) to mix a nice, lump-free protein drink. Most powders are not this easy to mix, so that was a really pleasant surprise.

The taste is also very good, although referring to this as “the world’s best protein shake might be a bit of a stretch.” The taste is just too artificial for me. If you’re into a really candy-like taste, then this product is probably the right one for you be for you, but if you prefer a more natural tasting protein drink you might want to look elsewhere. Now, stuff like Scitec’s Protein Delite might not taste 100% natural either, but I’ve got to be honest here and say that I prefer the taste of that product over PVL’s offering. And while I do enjoy the taste of Whey Gourmet mixed with milk according to PVL’s guidelines, I can’t make the really thick, yoghurt like protein shakes with this product like I can with Protein Delite – they taste is just too strong and sweet for me. To compare the two products is a tad unfair, though: check out the nutritional profile of Scitec’s offering, and it’s no contest. Whey Gourmet is a solid, low carb, low fat product that you can have on an everyday basis, while I tend to think of Protein Delite as more of a treat to enjoy here and there.

I’ve tried this product in my fruit smoothies too (which are quite milkshake-like as I usually mix them with yoghurt and milk and not juice) and it works great. Not to brag, but I make the tastiest fruit smoothies known to man – I should open up a smoothie bar or something, no joke. I should probably post my recipes here one day, but then I might want to keep them a secret. There’s more money in selling the best tasting smoothies ever than blogging about it, after all.

Verdict time!

But I digress. Bottom line? This is a high quality product that you may or may not find to be the best tasting protein shake in the world. While I personally have other favorites, I think this is a very good product that is easy to recommend. It’s got lots of the stuff you want in  whey protein powder – namely whey protein – and very little of what you do not want (fats and carbs). For anti-aspartame people it’s also a good choice as it contains no aspartame, but it does contain two artificial sweeteners, namely sucralose and aceculfame-potassium. If you’re okay with that (they are considered to be utterly safe to use), then check this product out. You might flat out  love it.

Nanox Varcil R2

Rejoice, supplementaholics: it’s time for a new protein powder review! Varcil R2 is a high end whey isolate powder that costs a litte more than Nanox’s Protilox (which we have already reviewed). Here’s what I think of it:

Taste, texture and mixability

While I wasn’t crazy about the taste of Protilox I’d heard great things about the taste of this product, so expectations were quite high and when ordering I decided to go for the “Belgian Chocolate” flavor. It seems like the most popular version of this product, and I’ve been enjoying chocolate flavored protein drinks lately. Unfortunately, I actually ended up finding the taste of this product a little disappointing. It’s pretty far from the best tasting chocolate flavored protein drinks I’ve had – at least  when mixed with milk. However, when I mix this powder with milk and a banana, the drink actually becomes quite palatable to me. Give that a try yourself (and let me know what you think – lots of bodybuilders seem to like banana/chocolate flavored drinks and shakes).

It shouldn’t be forgotten that this is a whey isolate product, though, and these things are usually harder to get right in terms of taste than products that contain mostly whey protein concentrates. Also: I might be a freak. I’ve heard from several people that they really like the taste of this stuff. You might fall in that category yourself even if I didn’t. You can also get this product in cappucino (that sounds interesting), strawberry and vanilla flavored varieties.

In terms of mixability this product is pretty good, but not at the very top of the heap – I can mix it fine with a fork or a spoon, but getting my protein drink completely lump free isn’t easy that way. I recommend using a blender or a stick mixer if you want a really smooth mix.

Varcil R2 Ingredients and Nutritional Profile

Ok, so the taste wasn’t exactly a home run with me. Here’s what I think is really good about this product, though: it’s nutritional profile. And that’s what matters the most in the end, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Whey protein isolate (micro cross flow and ultra filtrated isolate), cacao powder, flavor: chocolate, sweetener sucralose. Contains soy lecithin and traces of lactose.

That’s the kind of list I like the best. No cheap fillers here of any kind. This is a product of quality, no doubt about that.

In terms of nutrition, 100 grams of Varcil R2 will give you 363.44 calories, 86.14 grams of protein, 1.47 grams of carbohydrates and 1.44 grams of fats. A 28 gram serving (scoop is provided) gets you 24.12 grams of protein, 0.41 grams of carbohydrates and 0.40 grams of fats. Those are very good values, and quite typical of the costlier high end protein supplements. Less than a gram each of carbohydrates and fats per serving should make many users very happy – you couldn’t go very wrong by using this product pre-contest, that’s for sure.

So what do I think then?

As I said, I did find the taste slightly disappointing, but then I did find a way to make quite tasty protein drinks with this powder. In terms of nutrition, this product is great – at least if you don’t mind the artificial sweetener used. Those who aren’t fans of Aspartame for whatever reason should be happy that this product is aspartame free.

As is always the case with protein supplements, assessing the gains gotten from use of this product is an exercise in futility. Research shows that using a whey protein supplement can be beneficial for muscle growth, though, and with a whey isolate product like this that has no cheap fillers you can expect as good gains as with pretty much any protein supplement out there. For that reason, I’m happy to put my stamp of approval on Varcil R2. I might even go so far as giving the Cappucino flavor a try sometime in the near future.

Maximuscle Promax Review

Looking for a premium quality whey protein powder that might just get you better results than other similar products and don’t care too much about the cost? Maximuscle Promax might be just what the doctor ordered. This is a classy tasting product that that has top quality written all over it. While I tend to use more inexpensive whey protein concentrate products these days in an effort to be a little more frugal, I do like to go for a high end product from the top shelf now and then. And Maximuscle Promax is just that.

This is a pure whey protein product consisting of Maximuscle’s Biomax, a proprietary blend of whey protein isolates, hydrolosates and whey peptides. The percentage of protein is high, with 24.3 grams of protein per 120 calorie serving, but not quite as high as we’ve seen in some of the other high end products on the market. As an example, Ultimate Nutrition’s Iso Cool (which we have not had a chance to review here yet), has a whopping 23 grams of protein per 90 calorie serving. Promax is still miles away from the super popular and great tasting Syntha-6, though, which has only 22 grams of protein per 200 calories. Protein percentage isn’t everything, of course. Many feel that they get better results from using Promax than they do using a similar product (and I’ve heard people say that about Syntha-6 too). While this product could be a little lower in fats and carbs, that would probably also have an adverse impact on the taste -  and taste does matter quite a bit, in my opinion.

Promax ingredients:

Biomax, (90%, a Maximuscle proprietary high quality blend of whey protein isolates, hydrolosates and whey peptides), cocoa powder in Promax chocolate, Flavours: either vanilla/cocoa/strawberry/banana depending on the flavour displayed on each tub, Colours: riboflavin in vanilla and banana, beta carotene in vanilla, chocineal in strawberry; betain hydrochloride, patented in zinc stabilised purified prolase preparation derived from carcia papaya, Glutamine peptides, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), L-ornithine-keto-glutarate (OKG), Sweetener: Acesulfame-K, chromium picolinate.

Taste & mixability

This product tastes very good, and I’d love to order another tub of banana flavoured Promax again. Mixability is also pretty good, even though I could easily name a few products that mix even easier. And to everyone who wants more reviews of chocolate flavoured protein supplements here: I’m sorry, but after more than two decades of chocolate protein drinks I’m starting to get more than a little sick of them. Maybe I’ll start buying them again in the future, but for now I’m most fond of the fruit flavoured stuff.

Maximuscle Promax is no longer just a whey protein powder

Promax has become a whole series of products, so you’re not just limited to the protein powder reviewed here. You can also get the Promax Extreme, which is fortified with creatine and other potent ingredients like beta-ecdysterone (Suma extract), methoxyflavone and chromium picolinate. If you don’t feel like messing around with a blender or a shaker to get your protein needs met, the Promax Meal Bars (which we will review here as soon as we can get our hands on them), RTD protein drinks, breakfast oats, the Crisp bar (another snack my sweet tooth has ordered me to check out),  and the Promax amino acid blend. If you wanted to, you could probably live on Promax products alone (which would obviously be very, very silly, so don’t).

Maximuscle Promax is a bit too expensive for my liking, but seeing as the quality is so high I’d be happy to buy it again – soon! And that’s even with my Scottish genes, so the price can’t be that bad! ;) You won’t get the highest amount of protein for your money here, but what you’ll get is very high quality protein, and if that is what matters most to you  I urge you to give this product a try.