Disclaimer: We partnered with  Eat The Bear to test the company's products and write an honest review of our experience. Read on to learn more!

I'm not gonna lie to you: I've never been one for protein shakes. I've never been able to get rid of the image of my brother choking down chocolate protein shakes when we were back in high school and he was bulking up for football season. I remember him coughing and making faces as he forced down the concoction after a tough workout. All I could think was, "Why in the world would somebody subject himself to such a disgusting taste? Can protein powder possibly offer enough health benefits to warrant this?" 

So, when my Work For Your Beer co-founder Mel told me that she swears by Eat The Bear Naturally Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder, I balked a bit. I didn't think I could ever stomach the taste of protein powder in my morning smoothie, even if it would help me reach my protein intake for the day (and help my muscles recover faster after a workout).

But as the protein powder virgin of the Work For Your Beer team, I realized I was in a unique spot. I could test out Eat The Bear's products and write about them for people who may have no idea about the benefits of consuming whey protein, and who might want to learn more about the product and its benefits. 

Spoiler alert: I ended up absolutely loving Eat The Bear's blueberry muffin-flavored protein powder, and now I add it to my smoothie every morning. 

How did I get to this point, you ask? How can you get a discount on Eat The Bear protein for yourself? And what's in my morning smoothie recipe? Great questions, my friend. Read on to find the answers. 

What Is Eat The Bear?

As described on the company's website, Eat The Bear is a sports nutrition-based lifestyle business that provides clean and lean supplements (such as whey protein, bare aminos, and more). They have also built a fitness community, combining an active social platform and the highest quality sports nutrition and gear available to help members achieve their highest fitness and wellness goals. 

Maybe you recognize Eat The Bear thanks to the company's partnership with Carolina Panther, Luke Kuechly (and if you weren't already aware they had a partnership, you should definitely watch this video.)

As Eat The Bear puts it: "We understand that reaching your fitness goals is more complicated than taking supplements, reading books, watching DVDs, or one's own desire. Yet we also believe that by utilizing appropriate, functional training methods and positive reinforcement, we can simplify the process and bring those goals within reach."


Which Eat The Bear Products Did We Try?  

We tested Eat The Bear's Naturally Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder in Blueberry Muffin, as well as the Bare Aminos BCAA in Jalapeno Margarita. 

Before we started incorporating them into our nutrition routines, I reached out to Drew Gehringer at Eat The Bear to learn a little more about each of these products. 

First, I wanted to know what made this particular protein powder different from others I might find at a health and wellness store near me. Drew explained that first and foremost, Eat The Bear's whey protein came from grass-fed cows.

​"Not only are grass-fed cows healthier, but their meat and milk are more nutritious than their cornfed counterparts," Drew said. "Grass-fed protein contains more beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids, and higher percentage of branch chain amino acids." 

This protein powder also contained nothing artificial, was sweetened with Stevia, and contained just five ingredients or less.

​All of these healthy terms he was throwing around made me worry that this powder was going to taste horrendous, but Drew assured me that it was all-natural and high quality, without lacking in taste. 

Then there were the Bare Aminos. "Amino acids are the building blocks for protein—protein being the macronutrient necessary for growing, repairing, and maintaining lean muscle," Drew said. He explained the Bare Aminos were meant to help repair and build muscle tissue, speeding up the recovery process to help you get your fitness results faster. 


Our Experience With Eat The Bear  

Drew recommended that we either consume our grass-fed whey protein powder 30 minutes after working out, or as a meal replacement. I was confused as to when I should be drinking the Bare Aminos, and whether I should be consuming them on their own or in addition to the whey protein.

"If you are just a weekend warrior, our protein is great by itself. Our grass-fed protein has aminos in its formula," Drew explained. "If you work out frequently throughout the week, then you will want to consume both Bare Aminos and our grass-fed whey protein. While our grass-fed protein has aminos in it, the added Bare Aminos will help to make the recovery faster so you can work out back-to-back days."

Truth be told: Mel and I are both crazy busy, so we try to fit in our workouts in the morning before the day gets away from us. After tasting the Jalapeno Margarita Bare Aminos (which were absolutely delicious, by the way!), we realized the flavor wouldn't be conducive to our morning workout routine, since it had such a kick. As much as we quite obviously condone drinking while working out (#workforyourbeer), a spicy margarita flavor first thing in the morning was a bit much even for us! We decided to stick to sipping on the Blueberry Muffin whey protein with our morning smoothies post-exercise.

With 20 grams of protein and just 115 calories per serving, we were feeling confident that this protein powder would really pack a punch as a new part of our morning routines. 

Blending the powder into my smoothie for the first time, I was happy to see that it dissolved smoothly without any lumps or chunks. I hesitantly took my first sip, worried that the Blueberry Muffin flavor might be chalky and unappetizing. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavor mixed in perfectly with my berry-based smoothie; if anything, it made the concoction taste even better than usual. I was relieved to find that I didn't get any weird aftertaste from it, either. 

I used the smoothie recipe listed below every day for two weeks without getting sick of it. I pre-prepared all of the components of the smoothie in a freezer bag, then after working out I dumped them into the blender, added the powder, and boom: tasty, healthy smoothie time.

Though I fell in love with this flavor, in all transparency, Mel switched back to her tried-and-true favorite after a few days of the Blueberry Muffin. She had been using the Eat The Bear Naturally Grass-Fed Whey Protein in Vanilla, and after testing both, she decided that she preferred that taste in her morning mix. To each her own!


My ETB Blueberry Muffin Morning Smoothie Recipe  

Ingredients: β€‹

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Enjoy!

​(Does it get easier than that? No, y'all, it does not.)


Try ETB For Yourself (& Get 20% Off Your Order!)  

If all of this has you curious about Eat The Bear, we definitely recommend trying out these (or any ETB products) out for yourself! Head to the Eat The Bear website now and get 20% off of your order when you use promo code WFYB20

What are your favorite Eat The Bear products? How do you incorporate them into your nutrition plan? Tell us in the comments below, or let us know on social media by tagging @workforyourbeer!