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My review of the TB12 Plant-Based Protein chocolate powder supplement

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The plant-based protein powder that I am using after I come home from spin class every night is from TB12 (10% off with discount code PBP10). I like it.
My review of the TB12 Plant-Based Protein chocolate powder supplement

Chocolate TB12 Plant-Based Protein

Upon first opening the pretty white bag of vegan TB12 Plant-Based Chocolate Protein Powder I noticed two things: a scoop is included (as expected) and the chocolate protein powder was extremely fine, as fine as magnesium carbonate gym chalk. So, when you scoop, don’t expect a pretty little mound of powder but expect a consistency more like cake flour than all-purpose. What that does mean is that it mixes beautifully with just some shaking in my blue 20-ounce Blender Bottle shaker cup with just its little wire BlenderBall whisk.

I was happy not to need a Ninja or Bullet blender to get it right unless you plan to properly blend a smoothie. I really like it. As I said, it’s less of a sugary treat and if you mix it with water and take it at room temperature and really focus on the taste, you’ll get undertones of peas, I won’t lie, but I like it a lot more than the ON chocolate whey protein that I had been taking. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and had found myself going out of my way to try to just eat some chicken after my workout instead of just keeping things simple by drinking it.

It’s convenient and simple and tastes good too. Unlike some people, I don’t reward myself with candy. It’s not my vice (scotch-flavored protein?). While it’s chocolate flavor, its flavor is less processed than Carnation Instant Breakfast Ovaltine powder and more like raw food, which it is. TB12 Plant-Based Protein is made from peas. Pea protein is made from dried yellow split peas, grinding them into a fine powder, and extracting the fiber and starch.

TB12 Plant-Based ProteinAccording to the TB12 Sports website, peas are rich in lysine, an essential amino acid that is a key to muscle recovery by helping your body absorb calcium from your diet to build and repair muscle tissue, and arginine, a non-essential amino acid that promotes healing and blood flow. So, while it doesn’t taste like hot chocolate, it’s refreshing and lighter and has a much more raw, unprocessed, aftertaste that might take some time to get used to after being used to getting your protein delivered in a daily chocolate shake. 

Other than that, it offers the same 24 grams of protein-per-scoop that most other protein powders do, though instead of the 4 grams of carbs, 3 grams of sugar, and 1.5 gram of fat that the wheys offer, TB12 Plant-Based Protein has zero grams of sugar and only one carb, allowing it to be part of a low-carb and even a keto diet. I’ve been on a keto diet and there are zero carbs to spare when you’re counting carbs, generally fewer than 20-30 grams with a max of 50 grams. Every gram matters. 

I have spent a couple of weeks supplementing my normal, everyday, Intermittent Fasting (IF) diet, 19:5—19 hours fasting with a 5-hour eating window every day. Getting enough protein to make sure I can fast as well as workout intensely every day meant that I bridged my after-workout protein needs with a big scoop of supplemental protein powder, sometimes in milk, sometimes in almond, soy, or rice milk, and sometimes in water. I use a 20 oz Blender Bottle and never make smoothies or shakes. I had been using generic tubs of chocolate powder made with whey protein. When I was a kid, my mom served me Carnation Instant Breakfast and that’s what chocolate whey protein tastes like. Like the kind of sugary cocoa you give to kids. Also like Ovaltine, for those of you from across the pond.

At $40 for a 2.2lb bag, TB12 Plant-Based Protein costs $18.18/lb which is mid-pack when it comes to high-quality protein supplements, from as little as $12/lb for bulk whey protein, there are other vegan proteins that average $20.72/lb Vegan (20g), $28.04/lb Plant (15g), and even $30/lb Pea (25g). The mean (average) price-per-pound for all the proteins I collected for comparison ended up being 17.569, which is almost exactly where TB12 priced their supplement. Ingredients include pea protein, cocoa processed with alkali, salt, guar gum, reb a (stevia), natural flavors, and monk fruit extract.  At the end of the day, this vegan protein powder is purported as being the best plant-based protein on the market. Part of any decision for any purchase includes the brand reputation and there's nobody who eats their own dog food like the greatest of all-time Tom Brady. When the GOAT himself puts his name on a product, it's probably something he uses and the proof is in the pudding (six championship rings and nine total Super Bowl appearances).

There are some other benefits to plant-based pea protein as opposed to whey, according to the TB12 website:

  • Pea protein is naturally vegan and free of any dairy, soy, nuts, or gluten making it an ideal protein for those with any allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • Pea protein is easier for many people to digest than dairy-based proteins like whey or casein.
  • Pea protein is more environmentally friendly, as peas require less water and energy resources to grow than animal-based proteins or other plant proteins. This allows for less greenhouse gas emissions during the production of the product.
  • Growing peas improves the fertility of the soil it is grown in by supplying nitrogen to the soil. This added nitrogen reduces the need for future chemical fertilization of the soil.

As part of my transition towards 50 and away from sickness, I have committed to making a plant-based diet as much a part of my nutritional health as I can. As a major part of my return to health, I have jumped feet first into high-intensity interval training (HIIT) using kettlebells, both the Concept2 SkiErg and indoor rower (erg), and especially in the extremely challenging indoor cycling classes that I take down the street at the Columbia Pike Cyclebar; where, for 45-minutes, I get myself into a froth, reaching heart rate zones 3, 4, and sometimes even 5 during 60-second sprints. If you’re careful and spend a lot of time curating your shopping, cooking, and eating, you can have the perfect balance of calories, macros, vitamins, and nutrients; otherwise, a plant-based diet can be a potato chip-based diet, low in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and protein. 

You can Be Like Brady and carefully make sure you include lentils, quinoa, chia, almonds, seitan, chickpeas, spinach, beans, tofu, and peas; or, you can find ways to cross the gap in our busy lives and eat as many fresh vegetables and fruits as you can, every day, and then rely on supplementary vitamins and protein to bridge the gap between what you can eat and what your body needs to consume, process, and integrate in order to do with it what you need, especially in an active lifestyle. According to an article in UltraRunning Magazine that just came out today, The Role of Protein During Exercise by Matt Laye, the addition of protein during or soon after exercise results in more “making-new-muscle” proteins than “breaking-down” proteins and is associated with improved performance the day following exhaustive exercise, which means that protein supplements are even useful for ultra athletes and not just for powerlifters.

While I am not a fan of smoothies and they’re not my regular delivery vehicle, I’ll sometimes make one on the weekend as a treat as I tend to have extremely active weekends (total weekend warrior). This one was adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef (see, the pea tie-in):

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Protein Shake Recipe

Chocolate banana peanut butter protein shake made with TB12 plant-based protein chocolate powder supplement


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ripe banana can be frozen, broken into large chunks
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop chocolate TB12 Plant-Based Protein powder
  • 5-10 ice cubes depending on how thick you like it
  • optional: 1 tsp. Honey


  • Add all ingredients in a blender, starting with the almond milk.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • If too thick, add more milk. If too thin, add some more ice.