This is a solid performing protein powder ideally suited to anyone following a plant based diet. Flavours can be a bit hit and miss, but the clean ingredients and mouth feel are both excellent.
- Outstanding ingredients
- Great texture
- 30g of protein per serve
- Higher than average fat and carbs
- Packaging could improve
Prana On is an Australian based company focussed on plant based products. Their Power Plant protein is their leading protein powder with a plant based protein blend.
Nutrition & Directions
As you would expect from a company focussed on plant based products, the Power Plant protein is based on three key ingredients – pea protein, rice protein and fababean protein. It is quite common to find pea and rice protein in a plant protein mix, but the fababean (or more commonly broad bean) protein is very unique. The combination of these three proteins does deliver a full amino acid spectrum which is important, especially for an athlete.
Being a plant based product, it’s great to see the use of all natural flavours and sweeteners (stevia and monk fruit extract) across all flavours.
So far, this is what you would expect from a typical plant based protein. But the Power Plant does begin to stand out with the addition of two key elements.
Firstly, there is the addition of added branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). Plant based proteins are often quite low in these amino acids and so the fortification is a great idea for anyone who is taking this protein as part of their training.
Secondly, there is a “Gut Health Blend” which combines digestive enzymes and probiotics. This not only helps to promote a healthy microbiome, but may actually enhance the rate of absorption of this product (again ideal after a workout).
Worth noting, there is reishi mushroom in the blend which may help with immunity and the reduction in fatigue.
This is overall a very great blend and I find very little to fault with this vegan-friendly plant based protein. I really only query one thing, and that’s the inclusion of the MCT’s in the mix. If you’re taking this product post workout, the inclusion of the MCT’s may actually slow down the rate of absorption of the proteins and amino acids due to the additional fat content. This is generally something you would want to be taking throughout the day as a source of energy – so if that’s how you’re taking this protein power then the ingredients is pretty solid. Whereas post workout, I don’t see the value in including the MCT powder.
You’re getting 30g of protein per serve as advertised and that’s obviously the big selling point. Meanwhile the fat varies between 3.2-4g per serve and with between 4.2-7.4g of carbs per serve.
If you’re taking this product as a shake throughout the day, this is great as a snack replacement. You’re getting a good protein hit and a little fat and carbohydrate at less than 200 calories (if you’re mixing it with water).
Post workout however, the relatively high amount of fat for a protein shake which can slow down the rate of absorption of the protein itself. The product is roughly 7.7% fat which places it in the bottom 20% of the natural protein powder category when we compare fat percentages.
If you are looking for a low carb protein powder, this is definitely on the higher side. From my experience, most people are looking to minimise carbs. This product sits at roughly 13% carbohydrate, ranking in the bottom 32% of similar protein powders.
All in all, the macro’s certainly aren’t bad, but the higher amount of carbohydrate and fat will present a barrier to some.
There is nothing misleading about the claims on this label. On the front there are selling points such as “Branch chain amino acids” and “Digestive Enzymes + Probiotics” and these are clearly added into the ingredient mix.
While the ingredient listing is clear, there is the use of ingredient blends which does disguise exactly how much of each ingredient there is relative to everything else. For example, within the protein blend, there is pea, rice and fababean protein. However we do not know if there is more fababean protein than the next ingredient on the list, simply because it’s all grouped together within the one larger “Protein Blend” group. This is unfortunate because I would love to know the ratio of pea vs rice vs fababean protein and given this lack of information, it is possible (though unlikely) that pea could be 99% of the protein.
I would also love to know the CFU count of the probiotics contained within the product.
There is one other transparency consideration on the label, and that’s the Amino Acid Profile. They have listed all the amino acids here and typically you would expect to see a breakdown of amino acids per serve. Instead, they have ticks. So yes, we know it’s in there, but a full amino acid breakdown would be immensely helpful to the serious athlete.
Directions & Servings
The directions are vague in the sense that you are not instructed when to consume this protein. We don’t know if this is a protein designed to be taken during the day or after a training session. Although not a big deal, it would be helpful to the newbie. Apart from this, it’s fairly straight forward with a single scoop to be added into a shaker of water.
But there is an issue, and that’s the scoop size. You’ll see that after weighing a heaped scoop of the chocolate flavour, it only came out to 34g (10g or 23% less than the desired 44g serve). That’s quite a significant difference.
Taste & Texture
There are 7 flavour options which is very impressive for the plant based category. Typically in this category you can expect your stock standard chocolate and vanilla flavours, but Prana On are leading the category by also adding banana, coconut, salted caramel, strawberry and original (or unflavoured).
Being a plant protein, all the flavours tested had a relatively strong pea and bean taste – obviously as a result of the pea and bean proteins contained within. And to be frank, it’s very hard to make a plant based protein taste good due to the strong flavour of the plant protein itself. There were some flavours that seemed to pair much better than others.
Starting with the chocolate, it’s a really pleasant chocolate which went very well with the plant protein base. The chocolate isn’t overpowering, but it is very enjoyable and sweetened really well.
I was most excited to try the coconut mylk and I must say, it doesn’t disappoint. The coconut flavour is well balanced with the plant protein. To my delight, there were little chunks of coconut in the powder itself.
Moving on to the banana, I don’t feel that the flavouring is strong enough. The taste of the plant protein is a little overpowering and this flavour is more like a protein with a hint of banana.
The Himalayan salted caramel flavour was okay. It isn’t particularly sweet and the caramel is more a slightly burned caramel or even a coffee flavour.
The strawberry sundae certainly wasn’t a sundae taste – there just wasn’t the thickness and creaminess that you would expect from a sundae. The strawberry in my opinion really didn’t hit the mark – it just tastes a bit fake and shallow in flavour depth.
Finally the French vanilla is a fairly neutral and somewhat subtle tasting vanilla. I did not feel that it was sweet enough. This one was okay and I feel would be best suited if you’re going to make up a smoothie and have some other flavours added in there.
While both the chocolate and the coconut paired very well, the other flavours were not outstanding. While no flavour was offensive as such, I do believe that the flavour profiles could be significantly improved for a really outstanding taste.
Flavour Rating Consistency
With a 20% difference in the ratings of each flavour from our customers and this ranks this product in the top 49% of the category.
Solubility & Texture
Often pea based protein powders can be quite unpleasant leaving a granular residue in your mouth. While you can certainly identify the presence of pea protein within this shake, it is very easy to drink and mixes extremely well in water. However some people may take issue with this minor amount of graininess, especially if you are used to a whey protein.
There is the addition of xanthan gum and guar gum to thicken the protein up and to improve the mouth feel which does make this product very pleasant to drink.
This is one of our top sellers within the natural protein category yielding full marks!
Rate of Repurchase
Overall customers are very likely to repurchase this product ranking in the top 20%.
The average score for the Power Plant Protein is 89%, placing it in the top 68% of the category when compared to similar products.
Value for Money
There are three standard sizes available – 400g, 1kg and 3kg. The 3kg is a box comprised of 3x 1kg bags (great for keeping your product unopened and fresh!). There is also a 264g multipack size.
With four sizes available, this product is at the top of the natural category with full marks.
The product is packed in a resealable pouch. Now the powder itself is extremely fine and so when you open and close the pouch, it tends to form a bit of a dust cloud and go everywhere.
Considering that this is more of a premium product at the price point at which it is being sold, I do question if a pouch is the best choice for packaging. It’s just a bit messy.
Besides that, the pouch is of good quality. It’s a combination of plastic and foil which will keep the product fresh.
We weighed a 400g pouch and it came out at exactly 400g. Full marks here – you’re getting what you pay for.
This product is priced at the higher end for a protein powder. When we compare the price per serve to the remainder of the natural protein category, it ranks in the bottom 25% (cheaper being a higher ranking).
The ingredients in this product is excellent and it not your standard protein powder. You are paying a premium for an all-natural plant based blend with the benefits of additions such as digestive enzymes, probiotics and added amino acids.
So if you’re looking for a premium blend, spending that little bit extra can be very easily justified. It’s a unique product priced fairly.
There’s a lot to love about this product – the clean ingredients, the texture, the fact that it’s vegan friendly and a couple of the flavours. Some people may take issue with the carbohydrate and fat content and there is certainly room for improvement across several flavours. Overall this is a very good product.