Arguably the flagship of the Vivo Life stable, Perform Protein has been designed from scratch which has clearly allowed original and innovative thinking to flourish to produce a truly unique protein blend.
In order to achieve the optimum amino acid profile, Josh and Salvatore combined four different plant proteins - yellow pea protein, cold pressed hemp protein, cracked cell wall chlorella and spirulina. The yellow pea protein is subjected to bio-fermentation in order to ensure maximum absorption whilst ensuring that the amino acid profile is retained which can be an issue with heat-based processing.
BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids)
This is the first UK protein we'd come across that specifically includes such a BCAA blend. L-leucine, L-isoleucine and L-valine have been incorporated to give Perform Protein a unique combination of plant protein and BCAAs.
All three Perform Proteins contain turmeric extract in order to fight oxidative stress resulting from exercise which helps increase recovery rate. Also included in each Performance Protein is Himalayan salt, which although in small amounts, provides the products with 82 trace minerals, electrolyte replenishment, and plays a crucial role in post-workout recovery and re-hydration.
Finally, in order to achieve maximum absorption, ginger extract, papain, peppermint leaf and fennel seed have been harnessed in order to create a digestive enzyme complex that works in synergy with the products as a whole.
There are three Perform Proteins currently available. The Madagascan Vanilla and Raw Cacao contain natural flavours that result in two tasty and highly effective protein blends. The final variety offers a slightly different proposition.
The Salted Maca Caramel has leaned down slightly on the plant-based proteins, containing the bio-fermented yellow pea and cold-pressed hemp proteins. It then has the addition of a Superfood Energy Complex consisting of gelatinised maca* and raw lucuma fruit along with a natural caramel flavour.
After some experimenting with various forms of exercise (particularly Weight Training, Climbing, Cycling and General Gym workouts), the concencus here at the Evolution Organics office is that for intense exercise, the Salted Maca Caramel 90 minutes or so prior to exercise helps ensure top performance, while for cycling and general gym workouts, the Raw Cocoa and Madagascan Vanilla worked very well. In terms of post workout recovery, Cacao or Vanilla protein was the choice for weights and climbing, whereas SUSTAIN Plant Based BCAAs & Coconut Water was preferred after cycling and general gym workouts.
All in all, we have found the Performance Proteins from Vivo Life to be remarkable in terms of their makeup and effectiveness. A very pleasant surprise we found while testing the products was just how well they blended with water. Plant-based proteins very often exhibit a grainy texture that some find to be unpleasant. These in comparison are just about as smooth as we could imagine a vegan protein to be. If you are stuck with whey proteins due to the grainy nature of plant proteins, these might just be worth a try. To be clear, plant proteins will never be quite as 'smooth' as whey, but my goodness, this stuff is close!*
Maca root has been used natively in South America for thousands of years. Maca powder as a performance supplement has gained greatly in popularity recently. Most of maca powder available is raw maca powder. For some people however, raw maca powder can cause unwanted symptoms such as stomach cramps and indigestion. This is in great part because the raw form of maca is mildly toxic. In fact, in South America, raw maca is not really consumed. The raw maca powder is used as a flour which is cooked prior to consumption.
Gelatinised maca from Vivo Life is heated and pressurised. This serves to break down the starch content and the unwanted enzymes and is then ground down and dried into the final powder. A side effect of this process is a smoother and less bitter taste.
The sourcing of maca is important also, as where and how the maca is grown will affect the mineral profile it offers. Vivo Life sources their maca from high altitude in the Andes in the mineral-rich soils of Peru.
View the full Vivo Life range here