One of the newest protein products on the market, V12 has one major thing going for it: convenience.
Getting the right nutritional balance can be a tough slog every day, and while those who are passionate about food create blogs and have healthy recipes that we can all make, some of us just don't have the time (or the cash) to spend ages whipping up tasty meals to carry around all day.
That's where supplements come into it, and while we're probably all familiar with protein shakes these days, protein shots are still relatively new to a lot of people. The V12 shot is small, packs in 24g of protein, and you can fit one in your pocket (maybe even in skinny jeans) so that you can take it on the go. In that respect, it's handier than carrying a big shaker around, but is this simply a new craze or something that's here to stay? The Man Cave takes a look.
For those who are really watching what they eat, the contents of V12 mean that it's pretty good on all fronts: no sugar, no carbs and no aspartame, which has been shown to be a pretty bad news not only in that in can actually increase your appetite, but it's also been linked to joint problems and a few other pretty nasty things. In our book, those are all pluses.
It also gets 24g of protein in, as already mentioned, but that's a pretty solid amount. If you're working on your macros and breaking down what you eat, it can be hard to get the right amount of protein into every meal, so using this as a top up with a snack is a handy way to bump up your protein intake. If you find it difficult to digest whey protein, or you're lactose intolerant, then you'll still be able to take the V12 shot as it's made up of collagen protein. It can also help you feel a bit less bloated than whey, if that's something you find to be an issue.
The company itself is run by an Irishman called Ciaran Greenwood, and they have been making waves over in England, where they first launched the product. They've gotten a couple of professional sports teams on board, not least Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were pretty glowing in their recommendations...keeping in mind that footballers aren't actors, of course.
While there are plenty of plus points, there are still a few negatives with this. The texture is still a bit off putting, maybe because there's something in our heads that links collagen to people getting surgery, but it does seem a little gloopy and slimey, contributing to an overall very processed and synthetic feel. That's a pretty small thing, but if you have difficulty dealing with strange textures in foods, then this might be a bit of struggle. That said, you can just throw it down and not have to think about it too much.
The other thing that's still a bit difficult to work with is the taste. It's reminiscent of the sour apple boiled sweets that we used to get as a child, but it can verge on the overly sour at times. According to Greenwood, a lot of thought and research has gone into the flavour, with people saying they prefer it to the other options they put forward, so they have no plans to change it just yet. With most protein being dairy based, we're used to a sweeter taste when taking a hit of protein, but it wouldn't hurt to have a few different flavours to choose from, something that will hopefully change as the company grows and the product becomes more popular.
If you're really clued in, then there are a few differences between whey protein and collagen protein will be in the number of branched chain amino acids that whey has, which can help to keep you feeling full rather than reaching for another snack. Overall, there are plenty of plus points to this, not least the fact that it's small and portable, so that you can bring it with you and not have to worry about time consuming meal prep. If you know you're going to be out or not going to get to eat for a while, this handy little bottle will make a big difference. Sure you can even take it to the top of a crane...
V12 shots are available from their website