I contacted Labrada Nutrition to find out about their gluten free products. Now I will say that this means, in this context, that the products are not certified gluten free, but that there are no gluten containing ingredients, and that best manufacturing principles have been followed. This does not mean that dedicated equipment has been used. So-as I always say, get the facts, then make an informed decision for yourself.
Having said that, the representative I corresponded with were wonderful. Dave Ramirez answered all of my many questions, and provided me with products to review.
There are a few Labrada products that DO contain gluten. The ones that contain gluten are:
- Lean Body Breakfast Shake
- All bars (see, another reason to make homemade bars)
- GlutaLean Plus
(This was my decision to add this one. It contains glutamine peptides, which are derived from wheat. I have had adverse reactions in the past to these, so I added this product to the glutinous list. They also have a product which is GlutaLean (not Plus) which contains only L-glutamine, not glutamine peptides, and would be safe. I will be doing an article on glutamine soon, as it can have some gut-health benefits but seems to be a bit controversial.)
I received 3 products to review:
- Carb Watchers Lean Body protein shake in Peanut Butter Chocolate
- Elasti-Joint Joint Support Formula
- Pro V-60 multipurpose protein blend in Chocolate Ice Cream
Carb Watchers Lean Body
This comes in premeasured packets, so it’s convenient to take with you if you’re on the run, or even leave a few in your car or in your purse “in case of emergency.”
Nutrition wise, one packet contains 250 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate (4 of fiber), and 40 grams of protein. For me, I only used half a packet at at time. The protein source is a blend of whey and soy proteins. The fat comes from sunflower, MCT, and flaxseed oil. The carbohydrates from Fibersol Fiber, oat flour and rice bran.
Here’s a concern. There could have been cross-contamination there, in the ingredients before they even got to Labrada. I can tell you that I had no apparent adverse reaction-but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sweetener is acesulfame potassium and sucralose, which I can handle OK in small doses. Really the only place I get sweeteners other than stevia is in my protein powders. Obvious allergens are soy and milk.
Taste-wise, it was very sweet. That’s OK for me, because generally I use protein powders to help satisfy my sweet tooth. For this flavor, the peanut butter was very subtle. The flavor was primarily chocolate. The texture was good, a little thicker than a straight up isolate due to the protein blend, carbs and fat added.
Overall, I have concerns about this truly being gluten free and would proceed with caution. I need to look into a device to test for gluten-isn’t that out there somewhere? However, setting that aside, this is a good general purpose use product that tastes good.
ElastiJoint Joint Support Formula
If you have read my About page, you know I’ve had multiple knee surgeries on both sides. (4 on the left and 2 on the right, to be exact.) I am always trying to find a good joint support formula.
I had read great reviews about this product, and was very excited to try it. I gave it 3 weeks of use. I also want to preface this by saying I have used glucosamine and chondroitin products in the past without benefit. I may be a non-responder, but I wanted to give this a shot because it did also contain MSM, Vitamin C and gelatin. Worth a whirl.
I am sorry to report that I did not notice a benefit. Again-this may be me, and others may find differently. The product contains 2000 mg of MSM, 5000 mg of gelatin, 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, and 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate. The glucosamine is derived from shellfish. This is also processed on equipment that also processes wheat, peanut, tree nut, sesame, and shellfish. Again-good manufacturing processes with cleaning equipment-but caveat emptor.
The taste was drinkable, it was fruit punch, and I would recommend not sipping it, just drink it.
Pro V60 Protein Blend-Chocolate Ice Cream
This is good stuff. It does not have added carbohydrate ot fat sources like the Carb Watchers Lean Body shake, just the tagalongs that occur in the proteins. It uses a 5 protein blend-whey protein concentrate, egg protein, calcium caseinate, and 2 types of filtered whey protein isolate. Allergens are milk, egg and soy (lecithin.) Sweeteners are acesulfame potassium and sucralose again.
Nutrition wise, 1 scoop contains 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate, and 30 grams of protein. Due to the protein blend, this would be a more slowly digesting protein source as opposed to like a whey isolate.
I also findprotein blends tend to bake better, like to use in homemade protein bars. The taste of this protein is phenomenal-even my incredibly picky fiance likes it. It has a nice consistency, is again pretty sweet, and has a rich flavor. Last night I mixed it with enough water to make a brownie batter consistency and nuked it for 40 seconds. Voila-protein brownie. Great way to curb the sweet tooth and keep it healthy.
Overall, Labrada was very helpful and responded quickly to my questions, so thank you very much.
For more information on Labrada products, please visit them at their website www.labrada.com.
Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Go forth and have a healthy day!