I tried TEN flavors of Clean Simple Eats protein powder, and today I’m going to review all freaking ten of them for you guys.
This is the largest laundry list of flavors that I’ve reviewed since I reviewed all of the Bloom Protein flavors a few weeks ago, but I’m low-key excited to share what I found.
My husband and I blocked off an entire afternoon to go over ever single Clean Simple Eats protein flavor the other day, and today, you are going to hear about them all.
Here’s What You Can Expect in This Clean Simple Eats Review
The first thing I do in all my protein powder reviews is do a brief overview of the brand, and how I found it, so that is what we’ll do first.
I’ll talk about Clean Simple Eats, and everything that I know about them from my research.
After that, I’ll let you know where I first heard about Clean Simple Eats, so you know how I found them in the first place.
Then, it will be time for the flavor-fest.
That’s right, all EIGHTEEN flavors, analyzed by yours truly.
We’ll end up the flavor discussion with my own pick for the best flavor of Clean Simple Eats Protein powder.
You will surely want to read that part carefully, because the best flavor is not what you might expect!
The next section of the Clean Simple Eats protein review will feature an overview of the nutrition facts, and ingredients in this product.
There are some unexpected ingredients in this product that might also surprise you…
But what might surprise you the most is what happens in the last section of the review, where I talk about the Clean Simple Eats packaging.
There’s something about this product, and packaging specifically that I find very, very sketchy.
As always, we’ll close off the review with an evaluation of value, before our standard review summary, and final score.
Let’s get things started.
What I Know About the Brand: Clean Simple Eats
So, this brand caught me eye when I was googling for a new protein powder to try out, and it quickly became apparent that they have a LOT of different fun flavors, which is right up my alley.
After a few minutes on their website and socials, I realized that they actually also have a sort of diet program along with an app that seems to be quite popular.
The Clean Simple Eats app, which I have NOT yet downloaded, appears to be loaded with content and recipes that are designed to help you lose weight and live healthier.
The founders, Erika and ‘JJ’, are two fit white people who seem to be super passionate about helping people out, so I dig that…
I mean, we could all use a helping hand when it comes to tracking what we eat, so I might give their app a shot at some point.
But, yeah, this brand seems to be backed by a strong community of followers of the Clean Simple Eats lifestyle.
Pretty impressive, tbh.
Where I First Heard About Clean Simple Eats
Now that I think of it, I have definitely heard of Clean Simple Eats before…
Maybe it was back when I was in medical school that a bunch of my friends got super into lifting and stuff, and they just were always talking about an app that gave them healthy recipes and tips for getting leaner.
Idk.. Maybe it was CSE, maybe it was something else like myFitnessPal, but either way, I heard about the CSE protein from google when I was just looking for a new product to try out.
So that’s about all I know about Clean Simple Eats as a company…let’s get into these individual flavor reviews!
Individual Flavor Reviews
Okay guys, get ready for the ultimate freaking flavor review.
As you can tell, this section is going to be quite long, but I’m going to go over each and every flavor and tell you what Jim and I thought about each one.
We are actually going to start with the worst flavor, and work our way up to the best one – like a band that saves its best songs for the end of the concert.
At the end I’ll tell you what the best flavor of Clean Simple Eats protein is.
This might not come as a surprise to you, but, yes, the ‘cola’ flavored protein powder was absolutely terrible.
It actually might be the worst-tasting protein powder I’ve ever had.
It was actually like really bitter and overly sweet at the same time.. it was very, very bad.
Cotton candy was a very unpleasant-tasting protein powder as well.
Who would’ve thought – cotton candy does not translate into a protein shake?
Let’s be honest, you weren’t going to buy this flavor anyways, but still, it’s confounding that they even made a flavor this specific and exotic.
Do not get this flavor.
I actually love eggnog, so I was sort of stoked to try this flavor.
Unfortunately, it was one of Clean Simple Eats biggest misses on the flavor…
It actually was very cinnamon-y which I was surprised at.
I wanted this flavor to be sweeter, and much more creamy, but instead it almost tasted like watery and weak, with some weird spice notes.
You have much better options than this one.
I usually love anything birthday cake flavored, but the cake batter flavor of CSE protein missed the mark big time.
They didn’t give this flavor any of the ‘frosting’ flavor that I think it really needed to be a success, and on top of that, it had an aftertaste that I didn’t care for…
So idk if I got a bad batch, or what, but this flavor was not good.
Peaches ‘n Cream
My husband actually thought that this flavor was decent, but I disagreed.
I thought the peach tasted super artificial, and that it was overly salty, without being sweet enough to balance it out.
If you love peach things that taste really natural like real fruit, do not get this one.
This flavor was completely plain, and honestly had less of a taste than the vanilla.
The coconut was not prominent at all, and on top of that, it wasn’t even creamier than any of the other flavors.
I really, really wanted them to give a better effort on this flavor, but, alas, it didn’t work out.
Key Lime Pie
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love key lime pie, but just not as a protein powder.
Similar to the cotton candy and the cola flavor, I think that lime and protein powder just don’t play nicely.
Move along from this one, there are better choices.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Now we start to get into some of the flavors that I would not categorize as ‘bad’ but maybe they still aren’t something I would buy more than once.
The chocolate peanut butter is very plain, bordering on disappointing. It had a decent peanut butter taste, but the chocolate aspect was just barely there at all.
It needed much, much more chocolate to balance out the peanut butter.
German Chocolate Cake
If you are expecting a real ‘cake’ flavor with this one, similar to the cake batter flavor, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed.
There were some distinctive chocolate notes here, but for them to call it a German Chocolate cake is just sort of nonsense.
It tastes nothing like cake, it’s just a plain chocolate flavor.
This flavor actually wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I am honestly not even sure what toffee is supposed to taste like, but I think the caramel flavors in this protein really shine through in a big way. It’s sweet, and just the right amount of salty.
The vanilla is usually the most popular flavor of any protein powder, and this one was good, but not great.
I thought it could have used a little more sweetness, and my husband felt the same.
I will say that this is a good vanilla protein powder to use in smoothies, as long as you are mixing it with other ingredients that will provide a good amount of bold flavor, because overall this is a quite mild flavor.
There seems to be a common theme with the Clean Simple Eats protein flavors, that sometimes they give their product a fancy name, and the flavor doesn’t quite live up to that flavor profile.
The brownie batter is a perfect example of that.
Sure, I do taste the chocolate in here, but there isn’t much here that tastes like brownie to me…
It’s not bad at all, but it’s also not quite ‘brownie’ tasting.
If you love maple, than this flavor is going to be for you.
They made this flavor taste like drinking darn maple syrup.
It is so sweet and decadent that you might not want to have it more than once a week or so, because it really is that strong and borderline overpowering…
But it is good, and worth a try if you are a maple-lover.
The Banana’s Foster flavor was good, but because they gave it such an elaborate name, I was expecting even more from this flavor.
I think real Banana’s Foster has like caramel flavor, and toffee, and all these other things, but the protein was more or less just a generic banana flavor.
It was good, but not ‘great’.
My son actually really liked this flavor because he got home from soccer practice just as I was sampling this one.
He said it tasted more like a ‘Cinnamon Toast Crunch’ protein (which reminds me of the cereal milk flavor of Ghost Protein Powder), but, I could totally see where he was coming from.
It was a little bit too salty for me, but I thought it was very drinkable, and overall quite pleasant.
Cheesecake is one of my favorite all-time desserts, so I thought this was going to be a total home-run for me.
Unfortunately, it was not one of my favorite flavors, but it did hold up okay.
You should know that it is much more of a strawberry flavor than anything, but it’s very drinkable, and you aren’t likely to be disappointed if you go this direction…
Cookies ‘N Cream
I love Oreos just as much as the next gal, so I was really looking forward to this flavor of Clean Simple Eats protein, and it did deliver for me.
Rarely do I give a good review of a cookies ‘n cream protein powder because I feel like it is actually a difficult flavor to really nail down, but Clean Simple Eats really did a nice job.
It has the real chocolate cookie flavor that is required to pull off that ‘Oreo’-style sweetness.
And then it also had some sweet creaminess of a frosting-filling.
I really enjoyed this flavor of CSE protein.
The S’mores was a very close second place for me, and it actually ranked higher than the mint chocolate from my husband.
This flavor was intensely flavored, and you can really taste every aspect of a real s’more in here.
You have really nice milk chocolate flavor combined with the marshmallow notes, and even some true graham cracker flavors on top of it.
This is truly a fantastic flavor by Clean Simple Eats that I would highly recommend trying, even if it means getting it in their sample pack.
The best flavor, of the nearly 20 different flavors of Clean Simple Eats protein powder, is the Mint Chocolate.
I actually think that this is one of the best-tasting protein powders that I’ve sampled this year, and that is high praise coming from me.
This flavor has the perfect combination of minty and chocolate-y, which is very difficult to achieve in a protein powder.
Often times the mint is either over-powering, or not quite powerful enough, which leads to a rather weak flavor…
But I have to tip my hat to the Clean Simple Eats team for getting things absolutely dialed in with this flavor.
It also had the best balance of sweetness to the other flavors in the powder, and it was something you can drink over and over again.
I am nearly done with my bag of this flavor after having it for just a few weeks — that’s how good it is.
What’s the Best Flavor of Clean Simple Eats Protein Powder?
The best flavor of Clean Simple Eats protein powder is the Mint Chocolate, which has the most balanced flavor profile of them all.
The second-best flavor of the CSE protein is the s’mores flavor, which is dynamic and fun.
Some of the others that I did enjoy were cookies ‘n cream, maple donut, and strawberry cheesecake.
What’s In Clean Simple Eats Protein?
Now that you have a thorough understanding of how the Clean Simple Eats protein powder flavors stack up against one another, let’s drill down into what’s actually in this protein powder.
There are a few things that are very unconventional about Clean Simple Eats protein, that you should probably know about.
Let’s actually start with the nutritional info, before we talk about some of the strange ingredients in this protein powder.
Let’s see if you notice something weird about this product just from the nutrition facts (hint, what do you drink at the bar?)
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carb 9g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Total Sugar 1g
Added Sugar 0g
Sugar Alcohol 5g
- Did you notice what I noticed? Yep that’s right, a lot of carbohydrates for a protein powder, right?
- That’s because there are 5 grams of sugar alcohol in this product. More on that later.
- The total calorie count is pretty straightforward for a protein powder. There are 20 grams of protein delivering 80 of those calories, and everything else is coming mostly from carbohydrate.
- There is virtually no fat in this protein powder, which is a good thing, especially if you are trying to track macros and want a pure protein powder.
Let’s look at the ingredients now…
Clean Simple Eats Protein Ingredients
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Non-Fat Dry Milk
- Prebiotic Fiber
- Natural Flavors
- Coconut Oil MCT
- Xanthan Gum
- Stevia Leaf Extract
- Enzyme Blend
- Sea Salt
- Monk Fruit
- Soy Lecithin
- Even though there aren’t any ‘artificial sweeteners’ in this one, there are quite a few things that raised my eyebrows on this label
- The first of them is the sugar alcohol, which is actually worse for you than most artificial sweeteners. There is a LOT of it in this formula, too. More on that below…
- Clean Simple Eats protein uses xanthan gum, and coconut oil to provide extra mouth-feel and a desirable texture, although neither are serving a nutritional purpose (there must be very little-none coconut oil in here because there is 0 fat listed on the nutritional info)…
- The product does contain soy lecithin, which is used as an emulsifier, but also makes this label incompatible with anyone with a soy allergy…
Why I Hate Sugar Alcohol
I just wanted to add an extra note on sugar alcohol, since I spoke very negatively about it in the previous section…
And that’s because whenever I drink something with sugar alcohol like erythritol or xylitol (which is in this product), I get incredibly bloated and cramp-y feeling.
It can get really bad sometimes, and actually after my husband and I sampled all these flavors of protein I feel like I had almost ‘OD’d on sugar alcohol.
I started sweating, and my stomach got very sharp pains.
So, just keep that in mind if you are sensitive to sugar alcohol, you might want to go a different route.
(In addition, there’s some super troubling new studies showing that erythritol is actually really bad for your gut.)
I hate sugar alcohol, and how it makes me feel, so that sort of eliminates this product from becoming my new ‘go-to’, but, beyond that, there is something I truly hate about this product.
And it’s the packaging.
Not the whole design, or the artistic elements.
It’s the misleading nature of it.
The overall design of this product is average to begin with, but that’s not what I hate about the packaging…
Hear me out.
On the very front of the packaging, in the top right-hand corner, there’s a green icon.
On first-glance you say ‘ah- it’s organic’!
And then you realize….
It’s just a silly icon that says ‘100% grass-fed whey’ on it.
And then they clearly designed it to decieve the customer, since they made it green and stylistically-identical to the USDA organic logo.
It’s actually super shady of Clean Simple Eats, and I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t come right out and sue them for false advertising.
Why This Protein is Somewhat Sketchy
Not to rant on for too long about this, but, I think this protein is super sketchy because of the way they designed the packaging.
They created a meaningless ‘grass-fed’ icon that is deliberately designed to look like a USDA Certified Organic declaration!
I mean, in this day and age, who likes being lied to?
Not me, and I’m sure someone on Tik-Tok will get in there face about it…
Either way, I wouldn’t buy this product until they fix it.
At the end of the day, what else are they trying to be deceptive about?
Is Clean Simple Eats Protein Worth It?
I did really enjoy many of the Clean Simple Eats protein powder flavors, but, I find there packaging to be deceptive, and honestly the formula is not that clean.
It has soy, gums, and sugar alcohols which make my stomach feel terrible.
Those are all rather difficult hurdles for me personally, so for those reasons, Clean Simple Eats is a no for me.
– Clean Simple Eats is a diet and lifestyle app that has a full line of supplements to complement it, including the Clean Simple Eats Protein Powder.
– CSE Protein comes in 18 different flavors, with the best flavor being the Mint Chocolate. The strawberry cheesecake, cookies ‘n cream, and Snickerdoodle are all quite good as well.
– The nutritional of this protein are relatively straightforward, with about 100 calories, very little fats, but slightly above-average amounts of carbohydrates, which are mostly from sugar alcohol
– The formula contains mostly whey protein isolate, as you might expect, but then it also uses sugar alcohol (xylitol), xanthan gum, and soy lecithin – none of which I prefer in my protein powder.
– The worst part about Clean Simple Eats is their packaging, which is more than a little bit mis-leading, since they use confusing mark that is meant to trick you into thinking that it is organic.
Final Score: 7.8
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