Before I can accurately share my review of Naked Nutrition’s “Less Naked” Whey Protein powder with you, I have to reveal two important things.
First, while fitness and nutrition have been a big part of my life for many years now and I’m definitely a fitness fanatic, I’m definitely not a doctor, dietitian or personal trainer. So, while I’m happy to share my own personal thoughts and experiences, I don’t want you to think that I’m giving medical advice.
And second—the fact that I just described myself as a “fitness fanatic” notwithstanding—I am not, in fact, a douchebag.
I bring this up because, while I don’t know what your experience has been, personally I’ve never met a really fit person and thought “Wow, I love how much they talk about their fitness regimen. What a super appealing personality trait.”
Let’s just be honest: guys who
brag talk about their fitness too much, and/or find flimsy excuses to take their shirts off at every turn, are the worst.
So when Naked Nutrition reached out to ask if I wanted to review one of their products, I hesitated. I’ve already made a career out of writing about how much I love fashion; writing about how much I love fitness too seems like a fast track to getting punched right in the face.
But as someone who (please don’t punch me) does love fitness, the truth is that I’ve spent a lot of money on protein powder and other supplements over the years—and by “spent” I of course mean “wasted.”
Supplements are the New Snake Oil
The fitness supplement industry is kind of like today’s version of the snake oil business. There are so many hucksters out there using marketing and sales gimmicks to sell elixirs with mysterious (and often ineffective) ingredients that it’s often impossible to know what’s actually in your protein powder.
So I was pretty intrigued by Naked Nutrition’s pitch. Their whole mission is to sell supplements that only have the purest ingredients, and be completely transparent (hence the “Naked” thing) about what you’re putting in your body.
As mission statements go that’s as refreshing as it is appealing, so I was happy to swap out my usual protein powder and spend a few weeks putting Naked Nutrition’s Less Naked Whey to the test.
And in the spirit of full transparency, I’d just like to mention one more time that this is a sponsored post, which came about after Naked Nutrition reached out to ask if I’d like to review one of their products. I said yes, but only on the condition that my review be honest and fully represent my opinion of the product.
To their credit, they agreed, and what follows are my honest, unfiltered and (I’m not going to do it) naked (I did it) opinions about their protein powder.
Of all the myriad protein powders and supplements I’ve bought over the years, I had never seen a tub of protein powder that was transparent before.
I’m not sure if other supplement companies have something to hide, or if this one just takes the “Naked” part of their name a little too literally.
Either way, it was refreshing to be able to see the actual powder itself, before I even opened the container.
This is obviously a small detail, but it made me feel like I could trust the product I was receiving right from the jump.
Once I got over the see-through surprise, I looked a little more closely at the protein powder itself, and immediately realized that this is definitely not the same generic powder I’ve been downing all these years.
Where most vanilla whey protein powders have a bone-white color that makes it look almost like cocaine (which would be a very different way to supplement your workout…), this one had more of a creamy color that was punctuated by noticeable specks of brown.
If you’ve only ever had artificially flavored vanilla before, you may not realize that real vanilla spice is actually brown. At this point I still hadn’t actually tried the stuff yet, but it’s certainly encouraging when a product that claims to be natural looks like it actually comes from nature.
In order to properly test the Less Naked Whey, I worked it into my usual workout/supplementation regimen.
My workouts consist exclusively of one-hour weight training sessions (nowadays I get my cardio through walking and doing yard work), three to four times per week, so my supplementation is all about ensuring I have enough protein to restore and build up the muscle fibers I’m tearing when I lift.
I take one pre-workout shake about half an hour before I lift, and a post-workout shake immediately after. To be even more specific, here’s the recipe I use for both shakes.
Pre-Workout Peanut Butter and Banana Shake
- One banana
- One cup of sugar-free almond milk
- One scoop of Less Naked Whey
- One teaspoon of natural peanut butter
- One teaspoon of cocoa powder
- Blend mixture in Magic Bullet and drink half an hour pre-workout.
Post-Workout Orange Shake
- One navel orange
- Half cup water
- One scoop of Less Naked Whey
- Blend mixture in Magic Bullet and drink immediately post-workout.
Using the Less Naked Why with two shakes that are very different in terms of both taste and texture gave me a more accurate sense of how the protein powder stacks up across a wide spectrum of flavor profiles.
Speaking of which…
The color of the Less Naked Whey wasn’t the only thing that made it differ from other brands I’ve tried in the past—the taste was substantially better as well.
In my experience, most vanilla-flavored supplements don’t actually taste like vanilla, they taste more like “vanilla flavoring.” It’s a lot like the difference between an actual cherry and a cherry-flavored popsicle: the taste is definitely in the same ballpark, but it’s still pretty far from authentic.
But with the Less Naked Whey, the powder tasted a lot more like pure vanilla than some kind of fake vanilla flavoring, which you would expect from a product that’s low on artificial filler and high on real, authentic ingredients.
My wife, who’s a sommelier (a fancy word for “wine expert”) by trade and has a finely tuned palette, said that to her it tasted less chalky than the more artificial brands we’ve tried in the past, and “lighter on its feet.”
Maybe that’s because the Less Naked Whey isn’t loaded up with artificial ingredients designed to mask the taste of whatever else is in there, which I’ve always suspected is what was going on with other brands we’ve tried in the past.
Whatever the reason, both my shakes tasted better with the Less Naked Whey. It added a nice creaminess to both, which was a particular upgrade with the orange post-workout shake.
Even though the shake contained only healthy ingredients, it tasted like orange sorbet ice cream—a nice treat, and a significant step up from the somewhat chalky taste I was used to.
In addition to being “lighter on its feet” in terms of taste, the Less Naked Whey was also not as thick in terms of texture, which made my shakes more drinkable.
That was especially beneficial with the pre-work out shake that consists of banana, peanut butter and cocoa, because the creaminess of the blended banana combined with the (pretty hearty) scoop of peanut butter already gives that shake plenty of texture.
In the past I’ve found that when I add one scoop of protein powder on top of all that, it takes a lot longer to digest, which means I have to adjust my schedule to make sure I’m leaving enough time for my stomach to settle before working out.
But with the Less Naked Whey I was able to down the shake and feel settled/ready to work out quite quickly, which allowed me to hit the weights earlier than I normally would, and shorten the overall window I need to set aside for fuelling up, working out and recovering.
At about 90 bucks for a five-pound tub of the Less Naked Whey, it’s worth noting that Naked Nutrition’s protein powder is slightly more expensive than some of the other proteins on the market.
But as I’ve alluded to so far, in my experience it delivers way more value than its lower-end competitors, and more than justifies its $90 price tag.
The reason some protein brands are able to get away with pricing their product so low is because they’re (very likely) cutting it with all sorts of filler that’s low in nutritional value, which doesn’t really help your body.
By contrast, Naked Nutrition includes only pure ingredients, which pack a lot more nutritional value into each gram of its protein powder.
When you think about the amount of nutrition you’re getting per each gram, and how much money and prep work it would take to replace that nutrition with real food before and after each workout, the price of the Less Naked Whey all of a sudden goes from “a little more than some of the cheaper brands” to “what a bargain.”
Similarly, when you compare it to some of the other organic, natural and authentic products on the market, the price becomes even more appealing.
Unfortunately, a lot of stores add a hefty premium to healthy food (cough, Whole Foods, cough cough), so when you compare the Less Naked Whey to a comparable product at a high-end health food store, the price looks a lot more reasonable.
Is Naked Nutrition’s Less Naked Whey Protein Powder Worth it?
Between the taste, the texture and the fact that it’s not filled with artificial shit of suspect quality, Naked Nutrition’s Less Naked Whey is probably the best protein powder I’ve ever taken.
On top of everything mentioned above, all of which pertains to the actual experience of consuming the powder, the Less Naked Whey also performed better in the area that matters most (at least to me): how I felt afterwards.
In my decade-plus of working out and downing protein shakes, I’ve been able to add quite a bit of muscle mass to my frame, but always at the cost of feeling bloated and kind of gross after my workouts.
But with the Less Naked Whey, that feeling was almost completely absent. Even when sticking to my usual routine of one shake pre-workout and one shake post-, my stomach felt great and I was able to go on with my day without having to worry about indigestion or any of the other unpleasantness that sometimes comes with gulping down protein shakes.
From the taste and the texture to the price and the results, I highly recommend checking it out.
Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a (patient, if long-suffering) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and fortunately much more patient) wife.