New natural protein drink – 33 Shake review

Trail Running mag's ed Claire and staffer Sarah try the 33 Shake Endurance Nutrition drink
Trail Running mag‘s ed Claire and staffer Sarah try the 33 Shake Endurance Nutrition drink

“There’s not a single ingredient that’s not exciting,” says my Trail Running mag colleague, reading the back of the 33 Shake Endurance Shake packet. She’s not wrong, the mostly organic inventory boasts a pulse-quickening list including Himalayan pink salt, birch tree sugar, bee pollen, maca, Incan berries, barley grass, broccoli (!?), spirulina (ultra runner Scott Jurek uses this), goji berries and my fave, reishi mushroom.

My fave thing on the ingredient list, healthy mushroom! I couldn't taste it tho...
My fave thing on the ingredient list, healthy mushroom! I couldn’t taste it tho…

Being honest, the drink looks like bits floating in a ponky old pond when made up with 150ml almond milk and 50ml milk! But don’t let this put you off, not one little bit. 33 Shake Original flavour tastes awesomely delicious. Like a beautifully tasty health drink rather than that sweet, synthetic, stick-in-your-mouth taste other protein drinks can give you (and I’ve tried a fair few as ed of Trail Running mag).

Looks like sewage (sorry 33 Shake!) tastes like heaven
Looks like sewage (sorry 33 Shake!) tastes like heaven

You also might want to use a wide-necked bottle and get a spoon involved, as there was a good tablespoonful of delicious gloop with all the biggest bits in that refused to reach my mouth from the bottle I used. I would feel short changed not to be able to devour the total product because of the next issue…

It’s not cheap – as you’d expect for an organic, super healthy product with a checklist of unusual ingredients from far flung corners of the globe. This 55g mix to be made up with 200ml milk or coconut water is £6. That’s a lot. SIS sell a 1kg tub for £30, that’s £1.60 per 55g. I’ll let you do your own taste test…

I used this on The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica this Feb, it's way cheaper...
I used this on The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica this Feb, it’s way cheaper…but the taste? I’ll leave that up to you to find out – taste is very personal…

So would I buy it? Actually, yes, but just for a real treat to really savour after races, knowing all the amazing ingredients I’m putting into my body to help it heal as well as possible. I’m not an elite athlete so I don’t think I’d notice the difference between necking any kind of protein drink at all against a pint of milk and mashed banana, or a simple can of tuna. But this tastes waaaay better than that, or any other protein drink I’ve tried.

33 Shake provide very interesting reasoning for the high price. Warren Pole told Trail Running mag, “Our unique business model and approach of only spending the money on what matters means we can spend 17,000% more on ingredients and production than industry norms. This results in products so much better than the competition it’s not funny, which is why, among other things, Team Sky have been trialling our Shakes extensively recently with their riders, why Bradley Wiggins personally placed our biggest ever order to date, and why other elite athletes including multiple Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington and Team GB’s Olympic gold medal winning track cyclist Phil Hindes are also huge fans.”

“Oh, and they also taste bloody spectacular. To sample at their most luxurious, spin in a blender with milk and a banana for the tastiest, and healthiest performance meal you’ll find anywhere. Ideal as breakfast on hard training and race days, they’re also the ultimate recovery meal too.”

All part of the £6 experience, the ingredients list is a cracking read. You feel like you're giving your tired body such a treat!
All part of the £6 experience, the ingredients list is a cracking read. You feel like you’re giving your tired body such a treat!

Because I’m a tight, cynical bugger I would never buy this outright – I’d have to have been given a free sample at a race first to see how good it tasted to believe how smashing they are. Good job they sent me one, because I’m now converted. It remains a treat at £6 a pop, but I’d consider buying one per day for my next 6-day race….

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