Welcome back! Hopefully you enjoyed the last review (and if you missed it, it’s right here). This time I’m going to look at breakfast whey with supagrains developed by Precision Engineered, which is a meal replacement powder sold as individual sachets.
I wanted to link this blog post to their website, but I have a problem finding it. The packaging shows website addresses of Holland & Barrett and Detuinen, which appears to be a Dutch version of Holland &Barrett. Too bad, they have a lot of products, so I thought it would be nice to link it directly to them. If you know their website address let me know and I will update this post, thanks!
Breakfast whey highlights
I think it makes sense to start with that. What are ‘supagrains’? Google says: Did you mean: supergrains? Clearly, even Google is confused. The breakfast whey packaging states: ‘The supegrains formula has been created using the most nutrient dense and fibrous grains from around the world (…)’.
Why call it supagrains and not simply supergrains? I don’t get it.
It seems that supergrains are kind of like superfruits – a marketing term to describe natural products with some health benefits. Other than that, there is no description which grains are actually included in this category. Heidi Skolnik in her article for Doctoroz.com described four grains which could belong here.
For fitness enthusiasts and ‘normal people’
This product is designed for both fitness entusiasts and people who don’t exercise, but would like to have a well-balanced breakfast – and looking at the ingredients I think I would agree. We are looking at a 70g sachet with 22g of protein, 5g of fibre, 37g carbohydrates (1.4g sugars) and 4g of fats (0.7g saturates). It sounds like a well-balanced meal, and the strawberry flavour is pretty good too.
Milk vs Water
You are meant to drink it within 20 minutes of mixing. If left for longer some natural residue may remain. Of course I left it for longer. Half an hour after mixing I tried it and it seemed just fine, no complaints. There’s some residue, but judge it for yourself – check out the photos in this blog post. What I would complain about is the ‘mix with milk’ suggestion. I mixed it with water. The Precision Engineered team recommend that this product is blended with 200ml of milk.
Firstly, some people are lactose intolerant, so that wouldn’t work. Secondly, 200ml milk (whole) is about 134kcals, so you top up on calories.
Marketing and packaging
I decided to talk less about marketing claims, logos, and product descriptions. You will notice a number of logos (no idea what some of them mean and why they are here – e.g. the ‘lean definition’ logo?). Hey, even the best product could struggle without a good marketing campaign and design and I am much more interested in the actual product than the packaging anyway, so let’s leave it here. The packaging looks professional.
It’s a breakfast meal, so you should have it in the morning, but really – since it has protein/carbohydrates/fats with some added fiber you could have it as a meal replacement for a lunch, dinner, or as a snack. Some products in the meal replacement category contain compounds which help you lose weight by keeping your metabolism active (e.g. caffeine) and shouldn’t be used as a dinner replacement, this is not the case with breakfast whey.
The 272kcals in a 70g sachet isn’t too much, so it would be a rather small meal. (NB: Unless you mix it with milk as recommended, which could take your kcal intake up to around 400 kcals per meal)
Are you getting enough calories?
To give you a better perspective – if you had breakfast whey with water for breakfast + lunch + dinner, you would get 816 kcals. Add it as your snack and that’s 1088kcals. Minimum recommended number of calories per day is 1800 kcals for men and 1500 kcals for women, so our breakfast whey could use some additional calories to make sure that you meet your daily needs for energy if you don’t want to use milk to blend it.
Molly McAdams in her article at Healthy Eating mentions that according to the American Heart Association we should aim to get less than 7% our daily calories from saturated fats. At 2000 kcals per day that’s 16 grams or 140 calories from saturated fat.
According to the NHS Live well we should try to reduce the amount of saturated fat in our diet. Breakfast whey has only 0.7g of saturated fat, so we’re doing quite well in this category.
The ‘of which Sugars’ on the label shows us the amount of simple carbohydrates in the product. This includes both sugar which naturally occurs in some ingredients and added sugars. Simple sugars which occur in e.g. fruits don’t need to be avoided as fiber helps us slow down the digestion process and sugar release into your blood stream.
On the other hand sugars added to cakes, sweets, and biscuits are not that great. Since there is no fiber to prevent it from being immediately released in your blood stream you can get ‘high on sugar’ or at least your blood will do.
Again, we have some guidelines for sugar intake. The NHS recommends no more than 5% of added sugar in your diet. This works out as a max of 30g of added sugar per day (or 7 sugar cubes). In this category the breakfast whey is doing pretty well too, with only 1.4g ‘of which Sugars’.
There’s one more thing to discuss here: 0.108g of Salt. It’s nothing compared to 22g of protein or 37g of carbohydrates, yet everything in life is relative. Too much salt raises blood pressure putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
For salt, the NHS recommends no more than 6g per day (or one teaspoon). Products with more than 1.5g salt (0.6g Sodium) per 100g are considered to be high in salt. Products with less than 0.3g salt (0.1g Sodium) per 100g are low in salt. The Breakfast whey is then low in salt, thank you Precision Engineered!
For a discussion about protein and fiber check out my blog post on Promax protein bar.
Ingredients in food supplements are listed in order of weight. This is supposed to help you identify key ingredients and understand whether the food you eat is high in protein, fats, carbohydrates, or something else. Do you read ingredients lists?
I’ve decided to select a couple of interesting ingredients and describe them more (red highlights). In case you have questions about other ingredients let me know and we could discuss them in the Comments below or on the Red Planet Forum.
All ingredients listed in order of weight, food allergens in bold:
- Oat Flour Powder (Wheat/Gluten)
- Protein Blend
- Whey (Milk) Protein Concentrate
- Whey (Milk) Protein Instant
- Acacia Gum
- Soya Lecithin
- Beetroot Powder
- Glazing Agent (Triacetin)
- Calcium Caseinate (Milk)
- Colostrum Powder (Milk)
- Egg Albumen Powder
- Flaxseed Powder
- Sweetener (Sucralose)
- Sunflower Oil
- Activated Barley Powder (Wheat/Gluten)
- Amaranth Flour
- Buckwheat Flour (Wheat/Gluten)
- Freekeh Spelt Flour (Wheat/Gluten)
- Kamut Flour (Wheat/Gluten)
- Quinoa Flour
- Teff Flour
No Artificial Colours. No Preservatives. No added Sugar or Salt. No Yeast. No Fish. No Porcine.
Whey Protein Instant:
Dave Draper described protein filtration processes here. Making protein instant is an additional step in the processing, which means it costs more. The higher the protein level, the worse is the behavior of the protein powder in a liquid because the powder is more hydrophilic and rewets too quickly on the surface. As a result, a gelatinous layer is formed at the interface of the powder and water. Read: a high % protein powder will be clumpy without being instantized. Read more about methods at Food Ingredients First.
An amino acid that can be synthesised by the body, but it is also present in high-protein foods like fish, meat, dairy, soybean, kale, beans. In food and beverage products it is used as a taste enhancer and sweetener according to Aminoacidstudies.org
Colostrum Powder (Milk):
Colostrum is produced by all mammals in the first few days after giving birth. It is known as ‘first milk’ and includs anti-microbial peptides, immunoglobulins and other elements like growth factors. The Guardian says that athletes can use colostrum to boost their immune system and improve strength of gut lining which can be damaged from intense activity. Professor Jon Buckley in his research discovered that athletic performance can be improved by more than 5% by supplementing diet with 60g of concentrated bovine colostrum. You can read more about it at Healthline.
Sucralose also known as splenda is a calorie-free artificial sweetener derived from sucrose. It is up to 650 times sweeter than sugar. To dilute the intense sweetness sucralose is often mixed with other sweetening ingredients that are not calorie-free, such as dextrose or maltodextrin, which is one of the ingredients of Breakfast whey. It is considered safe for human consumption and used in many products, however more studies are needed, as Jessica Girdwain mentioned in her article sucralose could have some harmful effects on your body.
Activated Barley Powder:
The interesting bit here is the word ‘activated’. Barley is extremely gelatinous, which makes commercial packaging difficult. Activation occurs by using low-temperature steam (produced in a partial vacuum) to take the barley just up to the point of sprouting — before it turns gelatinous, but after the point where all the proteins and carbohydrates have been converted, and at a temperature low enough so that no enzymes are damaged. Essentialy, the activation process keeps barley in a nutrient-rich state, when you get the most benefits out of it. You can learn more about it from Sun Warrior.
Red Planet Nutrition (RPN) Score
At Red Planet Nutrition we focus on three core elements: weight loss/maintenance, inflammation reduction, and fatigue /energy levels. All products receive a score 1-10 (1 – bad, 5 – neutral, 10 – great) to see how well they perform in these categories.
On top of that we check how well they would do if taken on a cruise to Mars. We assume a max recommended dose (if stated) of a product to be consumed. Read this as: if I eat this product, will it make me feel better and keep my weight in a healthy range?
I’m going to give it a ‘9’ in the weight loss category. I would give a ’10’, but I’m curious to see if you have anything against that. Breakfast whey with supagrains has 272 kcals, blended with 200ml milk that would be up to 400 kcals. It has protein, carbohydrates, and fats, with 5g fiber. If you put on weight, that wouldn’t be thanks to this meal replacement supplement.
Breakfast whey provides you with energy sources, but it has only 272 kcals so you could end up a bit low on energy. There are no micronutrients like vitamins and minerals e.g. iron. There’s no caffeine and the sugar level is low, so you shouldn’t experience any dramatic spikes in your blood sugar levels, but the carbohydrates should keep you going for a while.
There’s plenty of wheat/gluten/milk allergy advice here, so I would give a ‘4’ depending, which could go up or down depending on what triggers your inflammation. The breakfast whey supplement is focused on macronutrients and it doesn’t contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, well maybe with the exception of essential fatty acids.
According to this article by Anna Schaefer maltodextrin could have a negative impact on your gut bacteria and that wouldn’t be great as gut bacteria help fight inflammation. Casein found in whey products could also be a trigger, so the score stays at ‘4’.
I will give it a ‘7’. If you used as recommended by Precision Engineered team, it would have to get a much lower score – I think the ‘200 ml of milk’ could be an issue here. Water does work well for blending. It has a good mix of nutrients and fiber, and even though it’s a powder, which could be a pain in a standard packaging I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem with some adjustments. Low weight/meal should be considered an advantage too
What do you think about the Breakfast Whey with Supagrains as your space meal? Would you eat it? Leave a comment below. And of course if you are curios about the food eaten by astronauts in space NASA can help.
- Instantized protein info:
- L-Glycine info:
- Colostrum powder info:
- Sucralose info:
- Activated barley info:
- Food in space info:
- Maltodextrin info: