World Class Protein Powders. Locally Sourced.
Have you ever read the label of your protein powder supplement? Sam Turner did – and he didn’t like what he saw. This is how Essential Gains was born…
“I started hitting the gym about five-six years ago and became very passionate about fitness, health and nutrition,” Sam explains. “The problem I always found with the majority of protein powders out there is that they often contain many artificial ingredients – and worst of all, artificial sweeteners. In my mind that did not make sense. I thought, ‘So I’m going to train five times a week, I’m going to look carefully at what I eat, and then after every workout I’m going to drink an artificial, man-made shake?’ No, I was not! And this is where the idea for the business started.”
Sam, who grew up in Plaistow and Chiddingfold, spent evenings and weekends over the following months researching ingredients to formulate a blend that was natural, clean and high quality. He also wanted to ensure that the product would be highly effective for muscle recovery and repair for dedicated fitness enthusiasts. As well as taste-testing the products himself, Sam asked a number of unrelated people to sample the flavours at each stage of the process.
“I bought small quantities of each ingredient and mixed them up in my kitchen to create small blends, so that I could ensure the taste was right. This process took quite a few months,” Sam says. “It was trial and error, and I kept tweaking the blends, even by a few grams here and there, until they were just right.”
The results were four Essential Gains protein powders: Strawberry, Blueberry, Chocolate and Vanilla. Sam’s requirements included a 100% natural formula, free from chemical flavourings and artificial sweeteners. Strawberry flavour comes from – wait for it – actual strawberries! Blueberries from blueberries. Chocolate from natural cocoa. Natural sweetness is derived from the stevia plant. Sam notes that using these natural ingredients increases the natural fibre and antioxidant content, which are beneficial for overall health.
Unlike other protein powders that are exposed to high heat, Essential Gains powders contain a premium, undenatured whey protein concentrate powder created through a cold filtration process.
The whey protein is natural, versatile and bioactive, with a high level of Essential and Branched-Chain Amino acids that help increase muscular recovery and improve health and energy levels. The production process protects the whey’s nutrients and Amino acids. Adding to product integrity, the whey protein is produced by an ‘Informed-Sport’ accredited company.
Sam left corporate life in March (he previously worked in the property industry) to formally set up Essential Gains, based in Chiddingfold. “I am so happy to say, the protein powders have been hugely popular so far. The next product line is going to be a plant-based protein powder,” he says.
The most obvious use for Essential Gains protein powders is a smoothie or shake. “I like the powders in a shake with very chilled water, as it really brings out the natural flavours, before and after a workout,” Sam explains. “I also love the powders in a shake with cold milk as a tasty, nutritious snack when I’m on the run during the day, alongside a banana.”
The powders are also an excellent addition to porridge and smoothie bowls. “I personally LOVE the powders blended with smoothies, and also mixed in with yogurt in a bowl, both of these snacks are great with oats and fruit,” Sam says, adding that the powders also can be added to pancakes, cookies and cakes.
Brand ambassadors and clients include a Team GB Age-Group triathlete, an international acrobatic performer, a number of well-regarded personal trainers in the southeast and CYC:D boutique fitness studio in Haslemere.
Sam concludes: “With the natural origins of our product, and our ethos, I firmly believe that Essential Gains is more than just about ‘going to the gym’ – it’s about fitness, health and wellbeing. It’s a lifestyle and a mindset.”
For more information and recipes for Essential Gains products, visit www.essentialgains.co.uk and @essentialgainsuk on Instagram. All Flavours are now available to purchase in-store also.