I really wanted to like Decibel because I could tell they really wanted me to like it. The website is clearly meant to show professional, serious people doing extremely fit things. The packaging is black, white, and gold (in that order) and there’s a whole booklet on how awesome the product is, that is shipped with said product. Also, my trainer recommended it.
Quick break for this: one thing my trainer pointed out is protein shakes aren’t the same for everyone, and one thing to consider is how likely they are to act as (shall we say) Nature’s Broom. It never occurred to me that that would be a consideration.
So Decibel shipped from the UK and arrived while I was out of town, but I gave it a good week. This review is for Decibel Whey Protein Concentrate in Madagascan Vanilla.
The flavor: If I were making a shake that would be for dessert — you know, like the kind you get at a Dairy Queen or a Fatburger — then this is the shake to use. If you have a chronic sweet tooth and need your breakfast shakes to be dessert-level sweet, use this. I cannot stress enough how sweet this is. Unfortunately I tend to cut my shakes with things like banana or strawberries, which only serve to make the shake *more* sweet.
The texture: Not as moist in powder form as the Vega was, more of a ‘traditional’ powder. Blended with the usuals (or even stand-alone) it is *extremely* smooth; it even found a way to grind out some of the impact of the psyllium husks I use. Just like other shakes it will congeal if left and you want to rinse out your blender well.
The vitals: This has 23.6 grams of protein per serving, so more than my comparison point and quite a bit more than Vega. However the nutritional panel, while including things like fat, does *not* include cholesterol. Also I noticed something else — this said my daily intake of protein would be 50 grams (backward-calculated form 23.6 being 47% of my daily according to them), while Vega declined to opine just how much protein I need, and my original Designer Whey agreed that 50 grams was it. What I find interesting here is technically it depends on what kind of diet you’re on, but some calculators tell me I should aim for as much as 1 gram/pound. I weigh more than 50 pounds.
The performance: I stayed full, but the cloying sweetness would drive me to drink a bunch of coffee to kill the sweet; this resulted in a couple of over-caffeinated days and some dehydration (remember to drink water!). Also, that “nature’s broom” effect? Let’s just say it worked in reverse. You’d think the coffee would’ve helped with that.
The cost: Here’s where I’m glad I included cost per serving — I thought the bag was a bit large and I was right, this bag has 31 servings. It’s 18.99 british pounds per package not including shipping, and that was another 13 pounds. Just shy of 32 pounds translates to about $44, which in turn means this is about $1.42/serving and the most expensive one so far.
Grade: B-. More expensive, too sweet. If you are into sweet and you find your protein shake is not sweet enough, and/or if you don’t mind the extra expense, you can bump that up to an A or A-.
Next up: Gold Standard Whey in Vanilla.