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Tested: Zahler Reach Whey Protein Powder

zahler reach whey protein powder

No longer is whey protein powder exclusive to bodybuilders or even athletes in general. It’s everywhere, especially when used as the basis for a meal replacement shake.

Fortunately, though you may be getting sick of the clickity-clack of a Blender Ball in the cubicle next to you, that means good things. It means that protein powder has gotten better.

There are so many more flavor options, the flavors taste better, and you can get grass-fed, certified hormone free, and even kosher protein powders now!

One of the kosher options is Zahler Reach Whey Protein Powder.

It’s selling for $33.77 for a canister. That sounds normal for a 2-3 lb canister, so I thought nothing of it… then realized it’s only 1.1 lb!

Yeah, $30.70 per pound! Yikes!

To put things in perspective, I’m used to paying closer to $10 per pound.

Even the most expensive protein powder I’ve ever used – Gnarly Whey, which comes from grass-fed cows in New Zealand – is under $30 per pound!

Outlandish supplement prices on Amazon.com set off a red flag for me now, so I did a little investigating. Fortunately, Zahler is a real company selling a number of product lines. They have a website, phone number, and a USA address (and according to Google Maps Street View, it’s a real place!)

So let’s see how good this protein is…

Nutrition Analysis

To start with, I like how the label is very clear and straightforward. It explains the important stuff, like what’s inside and where it was made, without adding a bunch of hype.

Of course, Amazon stuck the label right over the ingredients list, but I was able to find it online!

zahler reach whey protein powder

Ingredients: Whey protein concentrate, Cocoa powder, Natural cookies & cream flavor, Xanthan gum powder, Guar gum powder, Silicon dioxide.

It also contains stevia leaf extract (which gets its own line in the Supplement Facts section.)

That’s a fairly standard ingredients list. You’ve got the powders you want to eat, and then small amounts of other powders to keep it from clumping too much. I’m just happy it’s not loaded with aspartame.

Supplement Facts

Calories 134
Fat 1g
Total Carbs 5g
Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 25g

That’s exactly what you want. A lot of protein and amino acids, a few carbs, and very little fat, sugar, or fiber.

And it’s kosher, in case you happen to be looking for kosher whey protein powder.

Zahler Reach Protein Shake Taste Testing

This protein powder is available in five flavors:

These days, everyone should be able to offer excellent chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.

So I chose Cookies and Cream.

zahler reach whey protein powder

I was hoping for something better than a watered-down chocolate flavor.

The first thing I do is lick the inside of the freshness seal, since it’s coated with light powdery residue. There’s flavor there! And as confirmed by mixing up a real drink, yes, this has flavor!

The flavor is fairly potent – more than “mild,” but not “strong.” You can distinguish it from a chocolate flavor. It’s not quite as good as eating Oreos or cookie dough ice cream, but it’s certainly both “cookies” and “cream” so it’s pretty good. Similar to a cookies and cream protein bar.

The best thing to note is that it does not have a stevia flavor.

Long term, I’d probably go with one of the basic flavors instead, but since a jar only contains 14 servings, it’s not a big commitment.

The texture is completely different than what I’m used to!

The texture is so different, in fact, that I hardly noticed the flavor the first time around!

It’s like a mixture of chocolate pudding and whipped cream, thinned just enough that you can drink it.

If you put it in the fridge for a while after mixing, it will get even thicker, just like pudding!

If you’ve never had whey protein before, you’ll probably think, “well this is like eating dessert, why are people always complaining about choking down chalky drinks?!”

The funny thing is, I’m too shocked by the different texture here to be able to tell if I prefer it over the typical whey powders I’ve had or not.

It’s a little too “foamy” tasting for my liking. (But consider that I’m not a fan of whipped cream.)

So I got to thinking, maybe it’s actually better in plain water? And sure enough, it is! This is the only protein powder I can recall that actually tastes better in plain water than in milk! It creates its own texture – it doesn’t even need milk to thicken it!

Seriously, a scoop of this powder and cold water. That’s it.

Though, if you want even more chocolate flavor, without ruining the cookies and cream flavor, add a Tbsp or two of cocoa powder. Now THAT is delicious!

With these changes, the taste began to grow on me!

As usual, I mixed it up in a Blender Bottle.

If you’ve never used a Blender Bottle, it’s hands down the best device ever for mixing up protein powders into something drinkable. It works flawlessly, has measure markers on the side, doesn’t spill or leak, and it’s easy to clean.

I determined that 1 scoop of protein powder was best mixed with 10 oz liquid. (The label says 8oz, but that left clumps, so I’d recommend 10-12 oz instead.)

Of course, it worked fine. I didn’t even bother trying to mix it with a plain old cup and spoon.

Any digestion issues?

The first time I had this stuff, I did feel a little funny afterwards. I figured it was just the surprises of the unique texture, but two days later when I had my second serving, the same thing occurred. Both times, a few hours after drinking my shake, I had a mild upset stomach.

So I refreshed my memory on xanthan gum powder and guar gum powder. Like artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, they are known to cause troubles for a small group of people. Nothing major, just some cramping and gas, but not something you look forward to.

In high doses, either can be used as a laxative. If you’re sensitive to it, though, just a little bit might do the trick. (Think of it like caffeine. Some people can drink a few espressos, while other people are kept awake at night after drinking green tea.)

These two ingredients are perfectly safe, but if you know you’re sensitive to them, obviously choose a different protein powder.

I very rarely have issues. I know I’ve consumed xanthan gum on numerous occasions, too. Maybe it’s the guar gum, or maybe I haven’t had enough probiotics lately. It’s hard to tell.

Regardless, everything was fine after that first week. My body must have adapted quickly. Now I have my Zahlers Reach protein shake, enjoy the taste and texture, and go on with my day.

zahler reach whey protein powder canister

Why is it outrageously expensive?

Good question! Honestly, I have no idea. My first thought was that because it’s kosher, and that’s rare, especially for whey protein.

Except that it’s not rare. I just haven’t been paying attention. Once I started looking around, I discovered that even $11/pound Designer Whey protein powder is kosher!

Continuing the price comparison, the True Nutrition whey protein concentrate I typically use costs about $11 per pound now (compared to $7 when I first started buying it.) And it’s only $15 per pound for their grass-fed whey, which is a very high-quality option.

The Optimum Nutrition gold standard whey, a mass market product found everywhere, but still a natural formula containing no artificial stuff, is about $11.50 per pound now – you get a big 5 lb canister for $55.

#ZahlerWheyProtein is double or triple the price! This just blows my mind.

My final verdict is…

It’s not the most expensive protein powder I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely up there! It’s more expensive than most, and double the price of what I usually take. So it would have to be incredibly special to get my recommendation.

Unfortunately, I’m just not seeing any reason to spend so much money on something as basic as whey protein powder. Potential digestive issues aside, it’s not bad, just seems overpriced. Even though I enjoy the taste and texture, I don’t enjoy it that much.

Official website: www.Zahlers.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Zahler
Product: Zahler Reach Whey Protein Powder
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-10-31
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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