Gluten Free Sports Nutrition Product Review-Dairy Free edition! True Protein Gemma and Rice Protein Powders

Ah, protein powder. The words that polarize, the food product that can be a sweet treat, or a necessary evil. I have used many different brands and flavors of protein powder over the years, with varying results. Some have been great, others have had me struggling to reach the bottom of the canister. (Yet I refuse to throw it away. The stuff can be expensive!)

Personally, I am a celiac without dairy issues. So I have used whey and casein protein powders. Whey is generally considered the standard as far as peri-workout nutrition. It is quickly digested and has a high level of amino acids which assist in the recovery process. Casein is used as a slower digesting protein that can be used in conjunction with whey, or by itself, many times prior to bed (think cottage cheese.)

However, I know many of you cannot tolerate dairy, or choose to follow a vegan diet. And off I went in an attempt to find some protein powders that fit the bill.

There are 5 main types of non-dairy protein powder options that I am aware of. Egg/egg white, soy, hemp, rice, and gemma (pea.) In my previous post Gluten Free Dairy Free Protein Powders 101, I covered some of the characteristics of each of these.

When I last ordered from True Protein, I ordered tubs of rice protein and gemma to try. There are several companies that produce these protein powders. Jay Robb seems to be a popular maker of rice and egg protein, Sunwarrior makes a sprouted rice protein powder, Nutribiotics, Olympian Labs makes a pea protein, and Nutiva a hemp. This is just a sampling, I am sure there are more-if you are aware or have a favorite, shoot a comment below.

True Protein

True Protein

True Protein is a company that allows you to create custom protein mixes, and they also sell pre-made protein mixes,and various vitamins and supplements. From their website “Our Goal… To create a following and customer base in the athletic, fitness, bodybuilding and health world not on fancy marketing schemes but purely on a reputation as the company to go to, to find the highest quality nutritional supplements known to the public.” I have ordered from True Protein for several years and have been very pleased with their products and services in the past. They do not have fancy labels or packaging, everything is very simply marked with black and white labels, and minimally packaged. In fact you can have your powders sent in a food grade bag if you already have a canister to put it in. (Although transferring the powder can be a bit of a nightmare-but that’s another story for another day.) When it came time to try these new proteins (new to me) I chose to purchase them from True Protein. They also do carry the egg white, soy, and hemp protein powder. The rice and gemma powders that I tried are non-GMO.

From the True Protein FAQ:

“I am allergic to Wheat Gluten. Which of your products contain Wheat or Wheat Gluten?

None of our protein, carbohydrate, or flavoring materials will contain any form of wheat or wheat gluten. The only product that contains wheat gluten will be our Glutamine Peptides, which is maintained in an isolated storage unit within our clean oom facility to remove any risk of cross-contamination. Wheat gluten products are manufactured within our facility.”

Just to be certain, I contacted Carl at True Protein. This was his response (within 24 hours of when the email was sent): “The only item we carry that will contain even trace elements of Gluten will be the Glutamine Peptides and any custom product selected using that ingredient. We follow strict GMPs that have been designed using ISO9001 guidelines, with 0% chance for cross contamination within our facility. Thanks again and please dont hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or requests.” (Erin’s note-GMP=good manufacturing practices)

OK, on to the taste review!

I bought the premium dutch chocolate fudge flavor in both the rice and gemma, as I have had this flavor in whey isolate and thus a baseline for comparison. I mixed just with cold water in a shaker bottle. Keeping in mind that everyone’s tastes a bit different-here are my thoughts:

Gemma
-Mixes easily
-Thicker in consistency-you may need to use a bit more water. I liked it, because making protein powder into a pudding” is a favorite way of mine to combat the sweet tooth. Especially at night time. Blending half a scoop of this with some cottage cheese, stevia and cacao powder gives me my “chocolate pudding” fix
-Slight nutty flavor, not unpleasant at all

Rice
-Slightly tougher to mix, takes some vigorous shaking
-A bit chalky in texture-feels like it coats your teeth a bit
-Thinner consistency, more like whey isolate

One comment about the appearance of both-the brown is kind of a light brownish, not terrible visually appealing. Don’t let that fool you though, the chocolate flavor is definitely there.

Overall, both of these are very pleasant and will be in my protein powder rotation.

If you would like to order from True Protein, feel free to get 5% off using coupon code ENE038. If you buy using this code, it also adds points to my account and eventually I can earn free protein. Of course you can also order without using that code.

For more specific information on setting up a healthy gluten free nutrition plan, sign up below for my free guideline.

Have you tried any of these proteins? What has been your experience, good or bad? Specific brands and/or flavors you like? Share ‘em!! Leave a comment below!

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  1. Erin, I am impressed by the quality of their answer about gluten! I have never had a company respond with such a detailed and assuring answer. I would feel 100% confident ordering from them.

  2. Erin — Great couple of posts on protein! Very informative. I tend to stick with my hemp protein mixed with some carbs, but I do like the idea of pea protein. I haven’t tried that, but I know there are some new versions of that on the horizon. There’s always scrambled eggs. :-)

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Mike!
    I also was very pleased and impressed by the customer service at True Protein. I knew the products I had ordered in the past were gluten free and I had no issues, but it’s good to know about the rest of their products. I’m going to branch out into some of their more exotic flavors now!

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks Melissa!
    Very true about the scrambled eggs-and truth be told I have stuck a tupperware container of them in my gym bag in the past. The powder is a little more convenient-and smells better! :)

  5. True Protein is a fantastic company. I can’t recommend them enough.

  6. Jon Fernandes says:

    haha erin, i just made myself some gemma pudding with almonds, almond butter, with a little bit of fruity pebbles (crazy but it tasted awesome). perfect bedtime meal lmao. awesome article.

  7. Carl says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for the positive feedback and a big thanks to Erin for the positive reviews! Always feel free to contact our customer service team at admin@trueprotein.com with any other questions or requests,

    -Carl

  8. Erin says:

    Thanks Carl for stopping by! And thanks again for the great products and customer service that True Protein provides.

  9. [...] and it tastes great. Erin Elberson over at GlutenFreeFitness.com wrote an excellent review for TP’s gemma & rice protein powder. Check it [...]

  10. JC says:

    late to the party but I am in love with TP. Lately, I’ve been getting the MPI and it’s consistency is very much like the Gemma. I haven’t had the gemma in some time though but when i did, I was always pleased with the dutch chocolate flavor.

  11. Erin says:

    Hey JC!
    I haven’t tried the milk protein isolate yet, but it’s definitely on my list to try. I had some of the sample packs for flavorings I really liked the creamy coconut too! Surprising, but true.

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