I’m always up for trying budget products. Of course, I go in sceptically – you’ve always got to ask yourself why a product is cheap! However, every so often there is a true gem that stands out from the crowd, asking little of your wallet whilst delivering the goods time and again.
With this in mind, I’ve been eyeing up Nutrisport 90+ for quite some time. It has its detractors. It also has its evangelists. It is at the lower end of the market, coming in at a really reasonable price bracket. There are some definite sacrifices in quality in certain respects, allowing Nutrisport 90+ to maintain its low price tag. However, those who love it, really love it – it has a reputation for really punching above its weight.
There is a lot to this. Nutrisport 90+ is a cheap whey protein that doesn’t quite behave like a cheap whey protein. It isn’t all whey – they blend in a couple of forms of protein, to great effect. There is a lot to be desired from them, which I’ll get into below in my full Nutrisport 90 review.
However, as you’ll see, Nutrisport 90+ artfully cuts corners. It saves money where it doesn’t matter and puts a lot of effort into what does matter. As a mission statement, I really respect this. But do they pull it off? Does this artfulness translate into a good product?
Let’s get into the full Nutrisport 90+ review right now.
Nutrisport 90+ Nutritional Values
A single 70g serving of Nutrisport 90 gives you 187 calories, of which 49g are protein, alongside 11.2g of carbohydrates. The protein is delivered by means of a 4-Phase Protein Blend. This is far from lean – many higher end protein blends can give you just a gram or two of carbohydrates for this kind of protein hit.
I would therefore hesitate to recommend anybody use Nutrisport 90 on a strict cut, during a deficit of over 500 calories per day. The carbs you will get from it will likely push you over your macronutrient count for the day, if you’re relying on it as the main source of your added protein intake.
Firstly, if you’re looking to gain mass, and are therefore looking for a decent caloric surplus, it’s perfect. You will be able to cram in a lot of good quality calories very quickly, even as you hit your protein targets.
Secondly, if you’re looking for a decent shake to take pre-workout, around half an hour to an hour before training, this will work well. The protein will obviously fuel your recovery afterwards. The carbs will be a decent, ready-made energy source during training. Add some caffeine, amino acids and electrolytes, and you have practically perfect pre-workout nutrition.
We do need to talk about the quality of the whey used in Nutrisport 90+.
Low-end whey products will often use denatured whey. Simply put, this means that they will have been run through a far cheaper form of processing that includes heat. This processing changes the protein’s structure, which will lead to it losing a great deal of its efficacy. Amino acid contents can be greatly depleted, or even eliminated entirely.
This can be okay at a stretch – and will suit a tight budget – but it’s not ideal.
Realistically, if you want to keep amino acid content in place, you want to go with under-natured whey. The process used to make under-natured whey causes the protein molecules to bond with each other. This makes it possible for them to be separated by filtration, rather than through any heating, as is used with denatured whey.
This, in turn, preserves much more of the protein’s nourishment and efficacy.
Nutrisport 90+ uses under-natured CFM whey protein isolate, which is very surprising given its price. I was very much expecting it to be denatured concentrate, as would be more typical at this price point.
How does it manage this? Well, it’s not all whey – Nutrisport 90+ uses a hybrid recipe. The higher carb content comes in large part from the use of soya isolate and rice protein isolate, which are both cheap, and are both very good forms of protein, rich in amino acids and various micronutrients. It also uses under-natured micellar casein, which is a slow digesting, slow-release protein form often used at night to fuel muscle growth through sleep.
It’s a very impressive recipe, and a novel way to keep prices down without sacrificing quality. I really do respect what they have done here.
Nutrisport 90+ Taste And Consistency
You only get five flavours with Nutrisport 90+. I would generally expect a lot more variety from a mainstream whey powder. However, it’s not a must. Also, in keeping things simple, Nutrisport 90+ are once again saving money. They pass this saving onto you, the consumer, once more cutting corners where they don’t really matter.
The flavours are also really nice and all fairly standard – you can go for banana, chocolate, raspberry, strawberry and vanilla. I’m a sucker for fruity whey, so the raspberry and strawberry were perfect for me. They were incredibly palatable, even in large quantities.
You can also go with vanilla and add your own ingredients to change it up if you get bored. I’m a fan of vanilla, a shot of cold espresso, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and maybe a syrup.
The flavour isn’t the strongest. Or, rather, it isn’t the sweetest. I suspect this is down to the inclusion of rice protein, which isn’t known for its flavour. This suits me very well. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth and, in leaving out tooth-aching sweetness, you get a fresh, mellow taste that I found very refreshing (particularly in the fruitier flavours).
However, if you do like things sweet, I would suggest adding a syrup, as above. A simple, cheap coffee syrup will do well (though remember to factor any sugar involved into your macronutrient count).
One scoop well diluted won’t taste like much. You will kind of get where they are going with it, but there won’t be any really strong taste. Two or three scoops will be much better, much fuller and rounder.
The consistency isn’t the best. Again, this shouldn’t matter too much – especially when considering it next to the stellar nutrient profile – but if you’re drinking two or three of these a day, you want to get it right.
I wouldn’t use a shaker. It can be a little clumpy, especially if you add the powder before the water (which, let’s be honest, most of us will be doing). If you can, take a little tub to the gym with you, fill your shaker up from the water cooler, then put the powder in and give it a very good shake.
I would always recommend using a blender. My Nutribullet worked wonders with Nutrisport 90+, though most good blenders will do well. Add some ice, maybe a dash of milk, some fruit, the powder, then give it a good whizz. The shake you will get will be far more like a classic milkshake than the clumpy goop that Nutrisport 90+ has the potential to be!
So, it falls behind slightly on flavour (depending on how sweet and strong you like your shakes) and lags quite a bit on mixability. I wouldn’t write any whey off on either count – the nutrient profile is always far more important, and Nutrisport 90+ uses good quality protein sources.
Nutrisport 90+ also isn’t anywhere near bad enough on either count to do it down – it trails, but it’s fine. As above, you can work around it all easily enough, if needs be.
Nutrisport 90+ Overall Verdict
Nutrisport 90+ has very artfully cut corners, as I said above.
The nutritional value is a little off – there are slightly too many calories and carbs per portion unless you’re looking for a pre-workout or bulking supplement. However, they’ve done this in large part to keep costs down whilst still providing their customers with top-drawer whey protein – all the goodness is left in, and much of it is slow releasing casein.
I also don’t sniff at plant-based protein supplements. They can give a very nice protein profile whilst delivering great micronutrient loads, all whilst being arguably far more sustainable and ethically sound than animal-based products.
The flavours are limited, and the texture leaves a bit to be desired. If you want excellent flavour across a broad range, and a shake that blends perfectly, this isn’t the protein powder for you. There are plenty of other protein shakes in this price bracket that will give you a sweeter taste and a smoother texture. However, they do this by sacrificing nutritional quality.
Nutrisport 90+ sacrifices the least important facets of a dietary supplement – taste and texture – to maintain what actually matters – the nutrition itself.
I would definitely recommend them to anybody looking to save some pennies without sacrificing quality.