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'No BS' dietitian Abbey Sharp made her own protein powder — here's my honest opinion

The dietitian says the supplement world is "a bit of the Wild West," that's why her product is third-party tested.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Abbey Sharp's new probiotic protein powder, neue theory, is a plant-based supplement targeting gut health. I put it to the test, and asked the dietitian all about it.
Abbey Sharp's new probiotic protein powder, neue theory, is a plant-based supplement targeting gut health. I put it to the test, and asked the dietitian all about it.

As someone who doesn't eat meat and is trying to up my protein intake, I'm always on the hunt for a good protein powder. Registered dietitian Abbey Sharp recently co-launched neue theory, her line of new protein powder. So, I put it to the test — and talked to Sharp about why she developed it.

Founders of neue theory say it "takes the guesswork out of nutritional decision," and is made with evidence-based ingredients that have been third-party tested. It's not only a protein powder, but it's blended with probiotics and high-quality supplements, specifically targeting IBS.

Each serving delivers 22 grams of plant-based protein and five billion CFU probiotics.

After two weeks of using neue theory, I'm honestly impressed. It's the best tasting plant-based protein powder I've tried — actually tastes like a milkshake and not too sweet. It doesn't have that artificial sweetener taste that so many others do, and it doesn't leave me feeling bloated (huge perk!).

I like to drink my protein shake in the morning, after I've already had a workout or taken my dog for a walk. My favourite way to have neue theory is blended with ice and half water, half milk. It makes it cold, creamy and light.

neue theory abbey sharp protein powder probiotic
Here's how I drink neue theory every morning.

Or, when I want to have protein powder on the go, for a hike or busy errand day, I pack it in a protein shaker. Any shaker will do, but I like the neue theory one because it keeps the drink cold for hours unlike plastic ones I normally use.

neue theory abbey sharp protein powder probiotic
Blended or shaken with ice gives it a real milkshake feel.

At $85 per bag (792 grams), this protein powder is a bit pricier than others. But if you're someone who spends monthly on probiotics and other supplements, or you're looking for great flavour, it's definitely worth it. Also, knowing that what I'm consuming is thoroughly tested and backed by real science adds a layer of trust and provides assurance.

That's why I sat down with one of the co-founders of neue theory. Read on to learn why Sharp developed this protein powder — and what sets it apart.

CEO and co-founder of neue theory, Abbey Sharp, opened up to Yahoo Canada about why she developed her own line of supplements, after being unhappy with the industry's standards.  neue theory abbey sharp protein powder probiotic
CEO and co-founder of neue theory, Abbey Sharp, opened up to Yahoo Canada about why she developed her own line of supplements, after being unhappy with the industry's standards. (Submitted)

What motivated you to develop your own line of protein powder?

I've devoted my career to dismantling diet culture and debunking wellness myths. A lot of the current products on the market, and the popular influencer-promoted supplements that are constantly in your social media feeds, fail to deliver quality ingredients in clinically effective dosages, along with just a lack of transparency around that process. It's very common to pack dozens of ingredients into these massive proprietary blends so that consumers think they're getting dozens of different functional ingredients. Having 75 ingredients packed into this huge secret blend is not helpful if none of them are present in large enough dosages to actually do the job.

I've never been able to find a plant based protein that didn't taste terrible. It has to be an enjoyable part of your day.

I also feel that people are more confused about nutrition than ever before, largely because there's just so much competing information out there. I really believe that a simple streamlined supplement can really help people achieve kind of a sense of food freedom. So one of my goals was to create a line of supplements that feel like self care, because they make you feel great without any kind of stress.

What makes neue theory different to other protein powders?

The supplement world is a bit of the Wild West. It often lacks accountability and commitment to quality, which ultimately costs money. A lot of these brands are just kind of hoping that consumers won't know the difference, they're not going to ask the questions. Not to mention a lot of supplements are just not there. They're not tested by a third party; and if they are, test results are rarely made available to the public.

We've approached this differently at neue theory. We thoroughly test our products using a third party lab and post the results on our website, which is something I've never seen a protein powder brand do, or at least not cherry pick which results they want to show you. We use evidence-based ingredients and dosages that work. I actually linked to scientific research on the website that supports the claims that I do make, so that way people can read up if they want further verification on our product.

The neue theory protein powder comes in two flavoures: chocolate silk and vanilla bean.  neue theory abbey sharp protein powder probiotic
The neue theory protein powder comes in two flavours: chocolate silk and vanilla bean. (Submitted)

You've emphasized the importance of taste in neue theory. Can you tell us about the flavour development process?

It was a two-year process, and if I'm honest, we drove our manufacturers and the food scientists on our team absolutely crazy with revisions. We knew we wanted to start with chocolate milk and vanilla bean because these are base flavors that people can really build on to make delicious smoothies that they love. The reason why I believe they taste so great is that we use really amazing, good quality ingredients. We use real vanilla bean and real cocoa to give that authentic, whole food flavour.

I didn't want our protein to just be tolerable; I wanted it to be enjoyable.

We also don't like super sweet things, so we sweetened this with monk fruit, which is generally considered the least triggering sweetener for folks with IBS. Plus, to avoid that chalky taste that many plant-based proteins have, we added in some MCT and coconut oil powder to round out the mouthfeel. Whether you add it to water or almond milk, we wanted it to really taste like a milkshake.

neue theory abbey sharp protein powder probiotic. Sharp says neue theory is third-party tested and uses evidence-based ingredients. (neuetheory.com)
Sharp says neue theory is third-party tested and uses evidence-based ingredients. (neuetheory.com)

Why did you choose probiotics and plant-based protein?

All three of our founders have IBS, and we've all struggled to find a protein powder that didn't cause bloating and gas. So we chose to include two different spore-forming Bacillus strain probiotics that are studied for their use with IBS, and helping to reduce bloating and other GI symptoms. The spore-forming probiotics are really unique because they can survive a medium like protein powder better than other probiotic strains.

And why plant-based protein? I really wanted this to be inclusive for most people. In addition to folks who don't consume dairy for ethical reasons, whey protein is notorious for making people feel bloated. But we wanted the plant-based protein to perform like the gold standard whey, so we added extra leucine, which is the most important amino acid for muscle protein synthesis, and it's something that most plant-based proteins are lacking. We also added protease digestive enzymes that have been specifically studied to increase amino acid bioavailability. Bottom line: I wanted it to be an inclusive product, but I wanted it to still perform like the gold standard.

Finally, what impact do you hope neue theory will have on its users?

Ultimately, I think that nutrition is so overwhelmingly complicated these days. And as a dietitian, I really wanted to help people simplify their supplement routine with products that they could inherently trust. You're getting a full clinical dose of anti-bloat probiotics, plus a full dose of high quality plant protein. So, neue theory to us is, ultimately, a little act of self-care.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.