Raw Nutrition is one of the hottest brands out there right now, and today I’m going to review their flagship protein – CBUM Itholate.
Not to be confused with ‘Isolate’, no folks, this is the ‘Itholate’ from Mister CBUM himself, famous bodybuilder Chris Bumstead.
In this review, we are going to pick apart this protein from top-to-bottom and give you a feel for if Raw Itholate ‘ith’ worth the money.
(see what I did there?)
What to Expect in This Raw CBUM Itholate Review
Let’s get something out of the way right now at the beginning…
This protein is expensive.
You are going to want to keep in mind as we go through this review that CBUM Raw Itholate protein is actually one of the priciest protein powders out there right now.
But that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t buy it – because I still would…
And in this review you are going to find out why.
First thing we’ll do in this review is talk about Raw Nutrition so you can understand a bit more about what’s behind this popular supplement brand.
The next thing we’ll do is a complete analysis of every single Raw Protein Itholate flavor.
I’ve tried each one, and will share my tasting notes on each to help you pick a flavor.
I’ll also give you the verdict on what’s the best flavor of CBUM protein, according to my expert palette.
Next, we’ll talk about the ingredients in this protein powder.
I want you guys to know exactly what is in here that makes it so good.
We’ll go over macros too, of course to cover the calorie count, protein amount, and all that good stuff.
The last things to review are the packaging, which is, well, not the strongest suit for CBUM products…
And then at the end I’ll share some final thoughts including a comparison of the product quality to it’s price.
This review will leave you with a very clear picture of Raw Itholate protein, and hopefully help you decide if it’s for you.
This review will leave you with a very clear picture of Raw Itholate protein, and hopefully help you decide if it’s for you.– lovelyreviews.com
Let’s start off with that company overview, as promised.
About Raw Nutrition
Raw Nutrition is a very, very popular brand right now, but it wasn’t always that way.
It was founded by Chris Bumstead – a Canadian amateur bodybuilder from Canada, who is both completely jacked, and very entertaining.
He became popular on Instagram for sharing his daily life and making content in a way that was accessible for people.
His nonchalant style and natural sense of humor made him (and still make him) a great follow.
Before long, Chris’ following grew to where he started gaining a lot of traction with the bodybuilding community.
He recognized, like many in the fitness space, that he could use that platform to make some serious money.
Raw Nutrition was born.
And it wasn’t long before the products earned a spot on the shelf at Vitamin Shoppe, and other large national retailers.
Today, Raw Itholate is one of the most searched protein powders on the market because of its fun flavors, charismatic founder, and product quality.
How I Came Across CBUM Protein
I actually first learned of the CBUM protein online when I saw another female fitness influencer taking it.
Like many, I was super confused as to why the product said ‘Itholate’ instead of ‘Isolate’..
Was it possible that they had a typo on their product label?
I had to find out…
I was also pretty intrigued by the post because the flavor looked amazing.
Before long I found myself on the Raw Nutrition website adding each flavor to my shopping cart.
As I waited patiently for my order to arrive, I kept pondering the strange name of this product…
Why Is CBUM Protein Called ‘Itholate’ Instead of ‘Isolate’?
After doing some research, I believe I found the answer, but to be quite honest the whole thing remains a little odd to me…
The reason why Raw Nutrition calls their protein ‘Itholate’ instead of ‘isolate’ is because Chris Bumstead has a speech impediment, where he rolls his ‘S’s into more of a ‘th’ sound…
Sort of like a classic ‘lisp’, which is kind of cute…
I’m not sure I would have gone so far as to name a nationally-distributed product with a miss-spelling, but, hey – it seems to be working out just find for them!
And the more I learn about this brand, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of the name…
…The more I learn about this brand, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of the name…– lovelyreviews.com
It kind of matches the uniqueness of the products themselves.
Speaking of the product – my giant Raw Nutrition order did eventually arrive, and I was able to do a complete taste test.
Below are the results.
CBUM Protein Flavor Analysis
Coming off the heels of my Podium protein review, I was really excited to have another new protein to try out.
Raw Nutrition CBUM products are often heralded for their exceptional flavor, so I was totally pumped to try these out.
The first one that I cracked open was the birthday cake, which seems to be their most popular flavor.
So, if you’re like me, you’ve probably had SEVERAL birthday cake flavored proteins at this point.
My personal favorite is still the Alani Nu protein ‘Confetti Cake’ which actually tastes like real birthday cake…
But honestly the CBUM birthday cake flavor is also incredibly good.
It’s sweet, smooth, and even has a bit of a ‘frosting’ taste…
The real kicker for me is that their are actual rainbow sprinkles in it too – how fun is that?
Mint Chip Ice Cream
You guys know that I’m not the biggest mint-chocolate fan out there – but to be honest this flavor was legitimately delicious.
The amount of chocolate was really nicely balanced with the mint, and it just had a certain lightness about it that I loved.
It was easy to drink, and I found myself reaching for it over and over throughout the past month, which is crazy!
Even if you don’t necessarily love mint-chocolate-flavored things, I think you would still like this one.
Totally would recommend.
Vanilla Oatmeal Cookie
This flavor of CBUM protein sort of fell flat for me, and I think I know why.
Look, if you make a protein powder line, you should have a plain old ‘vanilla’ flavor.
Even if its a ‘vanilla ice cream’ flavor, like 1st Phorm Phormula One protein has, you at least need to keep it basic.
What I didn’t like about the Itholate vanilla oatmeal was the oatmeal part…
Like – just give us plain old vanilla, because when I’m making a smoothie, maybe I don’t want an ‘oat-y’ flavor along with it.
Cinnamon Crunch Cereal
Now this was a seriously good flavor.
Sometimes this flavor is out of stock, and now I know why – it is incredible.
Much better than the Ghost protein cereal milk.. which is one of the best protein flavors ever made.
Raw Nutrition got this flavor dialed in just right.
It tastes identical to the original ‘Cinnamon Toast Crunch’ cereal, to the extent that I had to pick up the jar and double check that it wasn’t an actual flavor colab!
If you are a cereal fan, this one is a must-try.
Maple Waffle Eh?
Okay you guys – as good as the Cinnamon Crunch cereal was, is as bad as the Maple Waffle Eh flavor is.
I get that as a Canadian, Chris gave us a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’ cutesy-ness here, but the flavor is awful.
It doesn’t even taste like artificial waffle / maple syrup…
Which would have been bad enough…
But no, this just tastes like stale, artificial sugars to me.
In fact it almost had a bit of a bitterness to it that was a complete turn-off.
Yeah you can skip the Maple Waffle Eh flavor altogether – especially since their are so many other great options on this menu.
On to the next one…
This flavor of CBUM Itholate was just ‘okay’ for me.
I love strawberry, don’t get me wrong, but the strawberry bumcake missed the mark for me.
I think they were going for a shortcake flavor, but again, the naming is confusing just so that Bumstead could feel cute…
Like – not everything has to revolve around your name…
I love the guy, but to name every single detail of your product around you is a little self-indulgent.
There, I said it.
But back to the flavor itself, it just fell flat for me.
The strawberry notes were not sour enough to be believable as real strawberry, so you sort of just get a generic sweet berry flavor.
I’d opt for the cinnamon cereal, or birthday cake flavors over this one.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the seasonal ‘Gingerbread’ flavors of CBUM Itholate, and I was pretty impressed with it.
The packaging was brilliant, first of all, and I thought the flavor was also on-point.
They make it clear from the packaging that this flavor is supposed to taste like a holiday gingerbread cookie, and they totally delivered.
It has all the right spices, just the right amount of sweet, and a fantastic texture.
I also think I picked up a bit of a ‘frosting’ flavor in this one as well, which was a nice touch.
What’s the Best Flavor of Itholate Protein
So from all these great flavor options, which one is best?
After a very thorough (as you can tell) taste test…I have a winner.
The best flavor of Raw CBUM Protein Itholate is the Cinnamon Crunch Cereal.
The best flavor of Raw CBUM Protein Itholate is the Cinnamon Crunch Cereal.– lovelyreviews.com
Yes, the birthday cake flavor is solid, but when I do these reviews, I’m looking for what is the most unique, defining flavor for that brand.
And that is without a doubt the cinnamon crunch flavor.
This flavor is on another level when it comes to mimicking the nostalgic flavors of our favorite cinnamon cereal, and it might just be one of the best flavors I’ve tried this year.
It sits proudly atop the rankings for best flavor of Raw Itholate.
Ranking the CBUM Flavors
If I had to rank the CBUM Itholate protein flavors, here’s how I would do rank them from best, to worst:
- Cinnamon Crunch Cereal
- Birthday Cake
- Mint Chocolate
- Strawberry Bumcake
- Vanilla Oatmeal Cookie
- Maple Waffle Eh?
I will say that it was pretty close between the birthday cake, and mint chocolate for coming up with the silver medal winner…
You really can’t go wrong with either of those flavors, and I would recommend grabbing a tub of each (if you can afford it!)
But let’s take a look at the Raw Nutriiton protein ingredients now and see if we can figure out just why this protein is so dang expensive…
Raw Itholate Ingredients
Look – they say you get what you pay for…
But that’s not always the case in the protein powder industry.
Sometimes you pay a lot, and get a lousy product.
*Cough, I’m looking at you, Ritual Protein, cough*…
But seriously, it is a thing in this industry, so you really have to do your homework on what ingredients are in each product.
So let’s go through both the macros and ingredients in the Raw Nutrition protein powder to make sure we know exactly what goes into this product (and therefore our body).
CBUM Protein Macros
Being a bodybuilder, you know Chris Bumstead would have gone to great lengths to make sure the macros in his product were on point…
And it seems like he’s done just that.
Here’s how the macros shake out per each serving of Itholate protein:
- Calories 110
- Total Fat 0g
- Total Carbohydrate 2g
- Total Sugars 1g
- Protein 25g
— I love how every scoop has 25 full grams of protein in it – that’s actually more than most proteins have these days
— There are no excessive carbs, or fats in here, which, again, is about what I would expect since Bumstead is a bodybuilder
— The one thing I did notice is that there is a huge caloric discrepancy between flavors – for example the cinnamon crunch flavor has just 110 calories per serving, whereas the mint chocolate has 150… that’s a surprising, and significant difference
The calorie discrepancy is a little troubling, but you do see this from time-to-time, as the ingredients used to create those flavors can vary in their macros.
Speaking of ingredients, let’s cover those next.
Raw Itholate CBUM Protein Ingredients
Macros are important, but I’m usually even more intrigued by the ingredients in these protein powders…
To be honest, most of these products are very similar when it comes to the macros, so the ingredients really become more important.
Let’s take a look what’s really in this protein powder and then I’ll share my thoughts on the formulation:
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Natural & Artificial Flavors
- Gum Blend (Guar Gum, Gum Acacia, Xanthan Gum)
— The first thing that stands out to me here is that there are really only 5 ingredients total in this formula – which is not very many at all
— I think the Raw Nutrition brand takes a lot of pride in keeping their formulas limited in the total amount of ingredients – i.e. they keep their formula very ‘Raw’ indeed
— I also noticed that the entire protein amount is coming from whey isolate instead of using a blend of isolate – thus naming the protein ‘Itholate’ is actually appropriate
— My final note is that while Raw actively promotes that the product has ‘no artificial ingredients’, it does contain sucralose, which is literally an artificial ingredient (sweetener)
The bottom line on this formula, is that I’m very impressed by it.
Whey isolate is super expensive when compared with whey concentrate, so the fact that they use 100% isolate is impressive.
I wish they didn’t use the artificial sweeteners, but let’s be honest, the product would not taste nearly as good without it.
So the formula checks out, but are there any downsides to this product?
Raw Itholate Side Effects
Usually it’s pretty rare to experience side effects with a protein powder outside of the occasional bloating and some gas, but those are very real things…
Luckily with Raw Itholate, I didn’t notice very much bloating at all…and I wasn’t that gassy either.
I think that is a testament to the quality of ingredients that they use in the formula.
Let’s move along to the packaging portion of the review.
CBUM Protein Packaging is Pretty Bland
Sometimes packaging can be the make-or-break factor with these protein powders, but with Raw, I feel sort of indifferent.
The product doesn’t look ‘bad’ by any means…
Even Ghost Whey has much more personality than Raw in my opinion.
Raw just seems more generic, and not all that distinctive, other than the mis-spellings and other personal touches.
In fact, most of the things that make this product unique bother me, as I said earlier.
The misspellings, and even the sort of lame ‘brand ethos’ on the label that talks about ‘Saturdays being for the boys’ is a little, well, cringey.
But then again, I’m not exactly the target market as a woman in her mid-thirties.
So I suppose my biases are getting in the way.
But also not really – let’s face it this product is not anything special, visually-speaking.
But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fantastic product overall – because it really is.
Is Raw Itholate CBUM Protein Worth the Money?
This was always going to be the tricky part of this Raw Itholate review, because as I mentioned at the very beginning of the review – this product is expensive as heck.
At well over $2.00 per serving, Raw protein certainly has some sticker-shock.
..At well over $2.00 per serving, Raw protein certainly has some sticker-shock.– lovelyreviews.com
And if you aren’t really ‘rolling in it’ lately – this protein is probably just too expensive for you.
I know it’s priced just out of my financial reach right now, I don’t know about you…
But I will say that for a 100% whey isolate formula – you aren’t going to find much cheaper.
And factor in just how good these flavors are, and I still am tempted to buy it.
For now I just wait for the good discounts to make the product a little more affordable, because I really do like it.
In fact, you might just see it on this year’s LovelyList™ for proteins.
Let’s wrap things up and summarize what we’ve learned today about CBUM’s Itholate protein powder.
CBUM Protein Itholate Review Summary
— CBUM Itholate is the featured protein product in the Raw Nutrition line – the successful brand started by bodybuilding influencer Chris Bumstead
— Itholate protein comes in a variety of tasty flavors, the best of which is the cereal-themed ‘Cinnamon Crunch Cereal’
— My least favorite flavors of Raw Nutrition Itholate were the vanilla oatmeal, and strawberry bumcake.
— I found the repetitive references to Bumstead himself to be exhausting and a little self-indulgent, but some may find it endearing
— The formula of this protein is very simple, in the best way possible, and features all of the protein content derived from 100% whey isolate
— Other than using some artificial sweeteners, I can find no flaw with this protein formula – it’s very basic and very good
— CBUM packaging does leave something to be desired… It is a bit generic from a design-standpoint, although again it is littered with tongue-in-cheek references to the brand founder
— This is one of the most expensive protein powders on the market at over $50 for a 2 pound container, which puts each serving at over $2.00
So where does that all leave us?
If you can afford it, I would highly recommend it, although there are some cheaper options out there.*
Well, the bottom line is that this product tastes great, and uses very high quality ingredients.
- Flavor Grade: A
- Formula Grade: A
- Packaging Grade: B-
- Value Grade: B
- Final Grade: B+
- BPN Flight Pre Workout Review – Simple, Effective, & Affordable - February 22, 2024
- CBUM Protein Review – Is Chris Bumstead’s Brand Any Good? - January 13, 2024
- Beam Pre Workout Review – A Must Try for 2024 - January 9, 2024