Food For Sport reviews FutureLife High Protein
A large number of my clients and friends are faithful users of FutureLife as a breakfast porridge or smoothie ingredient. I reviewed the original Smart Food version last year (more on that here), a high energy cereal that is suitable for the active individual. The pros of FutureLife include a low Gi, added vitamins and minerals, a good source of fiber and inclusion of Moducare®, a plant sterol formula. FutureLife is also free from gluten, wheat, egg, trans fatty acids and cholesterol.
FutureLife High Protein is similar in terms of these benefits but lower in total energy and carbohydrate and obviously higher in protein. The aim apparently was to produce a product with greater relevance to athletes, diabetics and those wanting to lose weight. The carbohydrate content is both maize and soya based. Thankfully the extra protein is in the form of whey isolate which is included in combination with soy isolate and calcium caseinate. The regular product is only soy based protein. On its own soy protein is a good quality option but protein blends such as this have shown great promise in research into recovery nutrition. The three proteins provide an immediate and sustained supply of amino acids that encourage protein synthesis. This characteristic also benefits satiety (keeping you fuller for longer). Amongst these three proteins they provide a good supply of essential amino acids and in particular branched chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAA are important for muscle growth and repair as well as exercise performance due to their role in fatigue. In comparison to the regular option, the high protein version provides almost double the amount of BCAA.
The recommended serving is 75 g compared to 50 g for the regular one. From experience most people seem to consider 75 g a serving for the regular version anyway so I have converted the nutritional information to that and tabulated the differences for the nutrients of interest below:
|Nutrient||Unit||Smart Food||High Protein Smart Food|
|omega 3 (ALA)||mg||375||375|
As far as “breakfast-out-a-box” goes FutureLife High Protein is suitable. I always advocate something a bit more fresh but for convenience it works. As a pre or post exercise snack I think it is ideal. It gives you the 20-30 g protein goal you should be aiming for. I would however include it with an extra source of carbohydrate after an endurance session. Add a fruit, fruit juice, energy bar or energy drink to help restore muscle glycogen after more than 90 minutes of exercise. Alternatively as part of a smoothie made with fruit or fruit juice it could provide the ±60 g serving of carbohydrate that you are looking for.
For weight loss goals I might err on the side of smaller portions (50 g) but this would depend on the remainder of your daily dietary intake and how much exercise you are doing.
My main concern with FutureLife High Protein, as well as the regular version, is the high omega 6 content and omega 6:omega 3. We should be striving to reverse this and reduce the pro-inflammatory effect a high ratio promotes. Obviously the remainder of your diet will determine what your ultimate ratio is but choosing low omega 6 foods is a good start.
Quite a lot has been said about the safety and concern of soya products, a topic I recently reviewed. These are issues that can be kept in mind when choosing soya based food items. Both FutureLife products use soy bean flour as a base and soy isolate for protein as well soy lecithin as an emulsifier. FutureLife High Protein, as mentioned, does include whey and casein to provide the majority of protein however. After contacting FutureLife they provided this media release article on soy with permission to add to this post for further information.
Taste wise I found the original flavour fairly similar to the regular version although much less rich which was an improvement for me. The fine gritty nature of the porridge remains naturally from the maize and soy flour but this is somewhat moderated by the creaminess that the added whey provides. It can be mixed with water or milk and in contrast to the regular version mixing it with milk does not make it over-rich, too much so for me personally. Do bear in mind however that if you add milk you will further add to the nutritional value with a little extra carbohydrate, protein and fat. FutureLife High Protein is also available in chocolate. It retails for around R 49 a box which is more expensive than the R 34 regular version but a small price to pay for that extra protein. You will get about 7 servings per box which makes it roughly R 7 per 20 g of protein. Not bad.
An added bonus for athletes is that the product is registered and tested by Informed Choice providing assurance of a low-risk product in terms of banned and/or unlabeled ingredients.
Depending on your dietary needs, the remainder of your diet and your personal goals this product may be suitable for:
- weight loss