Protein powder has always been an elusive element to my diet.
Usually, it doesn’t taste that great. I also come from a strong “less is more” mentality when it comes to protein. How much does the body really need, even for those of us who are extremely active? And even if that amount is more than what I normally consume, isn’t it best to get your protein from natural sources like wild-caught salmon, quinoa or lentils?
Lately, though, I’d been reconsidering my admittedly (somewhat) rash judgements. Maybe protein powder has a place in my increasingly busy life – especially when it comes to staying fueled and putting an end to that 3:30 p.m. stomach growl.
When Momentous jumped onto my radar, after free-solo climber Alex Honnold signed on board as an athlete and key investor for the company, I decided it might be a good place to start in reacquainting myself with the details of protein powder’s benefits.
Headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Momentous has unsurprisingly surrounded themselves with plenty of well-recognized high-performance athletes, including Honnold, climber and photographer Jimmy Chin, Olympic runner and climber Nick Symmonds, and many other triathletes, runners and cyclists.
Momentous is a brand that prides itself on being truly transparent – their site contains a painstakingly detailed account of each ingredient used in their products. The company outlines their practices with sourcing, straight through to the science behind why each ingredient was selected by Momentous’ expert team of performance engineers – a.k.a. dietitians and trainers who contribute to and test their products.
The star ingredient, a grass-fed whey protein isolate that’s been cold-processed, is sourced from a German manufacturer and was selected because all of the dairy ingredients are hormone and antibiotic-free and meticulously tested by USDA-accredited labs.
The cold-processed method allows the whey proteins to be concentrated in their purest possible form. Why is this important? Mainly because it allows for a more rapid and higher concentrated absorption of branched-chain amino acids – which are responsible for aiding the body’s metabolic process of creating new muscle protein.
All of Momentous’ products are also gluten-free and NSF-certified. With only 7 grams of sugar, 14 grams of carbs and 150 calories total in a serving size (2 scoops), I felt okay to try the product from a nutritional perspective.
The only thing on the supplement label that gave me pause was creatine. I’ve heard some negative things about creatine supplements in the past and I went back to do a bit more research. It turns out, creatine isn’t all that bad for you – if you are trying to build muscle. It will most likely, however, cause you to retain water, which is not what most of us are looking for in the long term.
A serving of Momentous ArcFire protein powder contains only 1.25 grams of creatine monohydrate (a safe amount is typically 3-5 grams per day). Ultimately, if you are only incorporating one serving per day, the affects of creatine would most likely be minimal.
With science and ingredient analysis aside, I was ready to understand how this product actually tasted and performed. On a particularly busy day when I wasn’t able to break for lunch, my eyes wildly searched around my office for something to satiate my mid-day hunger pangs.
That something happened to be a container of Momentous, which had been sitting in the corner for the last couple of days. I’d never added protein powder to just plain water (even though the exact directions read: add to cold water and enjoy.) Protein powder – again, usually not the best tasting in my previous experiences – was strictly reserved for adding to smoothies or shakes.
I nervously dropped a scoop full into my water bottle and peered down at it as it dissolved slowly in the water. I screwed the lid back on and gave it a couple vigorous shakes for good measure, uncovered it and took a tentative swig. Wow, it actually tasted pretty good.
As a side note, I’m also not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners – they always seem to leave this weird, residue-like aftertaste. Momentous does contain stevia, which they have sourced as a certified-organic zero-calorie sweetener. But for some reason, it didn’t taste as funky within the mix of their protein powder as others I’d sampled.
The flavor I decided to try was the Montreux Chocolate, which to me was reminiscent of a fudgey brownie … only in drink form. It was a little on the sweet side, but not in an overpowering way. After reading reviews, it appeared that the chocolate flavor was a fan favorite, but I also wanted to give the Valencia Creme a whirl.
I’m so glad I did. In my opinion, this flavor is even better than the chocolate. I actually added a scoopful of this flavor to a batch of banana bread. Although serving size is two scoops, I feared adding too much would cause the worst to happen: it could make the bread hard, or even give it a chalky flavor.
In reality, the end-result was amazing, and I could have easily used another scoop – the protein powder was virtually undetectable within the flavor of the bread. It also didn’t cause an over-the-top sweetness, and the bread wasn't dry in the least bit.
In the end, I think Momentous makes a solid product. I also like the fact that they have put some thoughtful details into the making of their protein power – namely, the fact that they offer three different types of protein depending on your lifestyle.
For someone looking to maintain or build muscle mass from workouts, the ArcFire makes the most sense.
The RedShift, designed for endurance athletes, provides energy after an extended training session without adding excessive calories or filler carbohydrates. It also has a lower amount of sugar (2 grams per 2-scoop serving) and contains 4 grams D-Ribose, meant to provide effective cardiac rejuvenation, according to Momentous.
The AbsoluteZero is for everyday use, which is mainly my speed and what I would opt for if I were planning to use protein powder on a regular basis. It simply contains whey isolate and ProHydrolase – a proprietary blend of enzymes that aid in digestion. It contains no sugar, 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per 1-scoop serving.
I’m also excited to try their vegan-friendly protein powder, set to launch later this year. For those with dairy allergies or who choose to skip milk for other reasons, this will surely be one of the best options out there in terms of quality ingredients and great taste.
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