Based in Long Beach, California, Field Work Nutrition Co. is a relative newcomer to the meal replacement shake industry but they bring a lot to the table. Their flagship Primo Smoothie Meal promises to be great for anyone who “is looking for high-quality nutrition, and wants to steal back a few moments of their day without compromising their diet.”
While there are added vitamins and minerals, everything in the product can be considered “natural.” There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or added sugars, plus most of the ingredients are organic, and it’s free from soy and gluten.
While a lot of meal replacements are targeted at those with medical issues or at entrepreneurs too busy to eat, Primo Smoothie Meal is angled more toward athletes. It was founded by a guy who runs an endurance coaching business and it contains a lot of interesting ingredients, like tart cherry and curcumin, that may be of benefit to athletes. Let’s take a closer look at the nutrition.
Field Work Nutrition Co. Primo Smoothie Meal Nutrition
One serving is two scoops, and that provides 200 calories: 20 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates (5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar), and 5 grams of fat (3 grams of saturated fat). Despite the saturated fat and the fact that the protein is based in whey concentrate and milk concentrate, there’s just 5 percent of your daily cholesterol intake.
When it comes to micronutrients, there’s not quite as broad a swathe as you might find in some competitors, but the nutrients it does have are pretty impressive. There’s a whopping 150 percent of your daily intake of iron, about 60 percent of your daily magnesium and calcium — the magnesium is magnesium citrate, way better quality than the kind you usually find in these products — and there’s over 500 percent of your daily Vitamin D and Vitamin E.
It’s notably low in sodium (under 1 percent of the daily intake) and 4 percent of your sodium.
Field Work Nutrition Co. Primo Smoothie Meal Ingredients
The protein is a combination of grass-fed whey and not-grass-fed milk protein concentrate. As mentioned above, there are a lot of added nutrients like the magnesium citrate, but there are a ton of whole foods here as well.
There’s a “carb complex” of sweet potato, oats, buckwheat, and a few other fibrous foods. There’s also a 200-milligram organic fruit and veggie blend of a variety of berries and cruciferous greens. The fiber comes largely from corn fiber and flax seed powder while the fats are coming in part from coconut oil and CLA powder.
One big standout here is the emphasis on digestive health. There are six digestive enzymes (alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, cellulase, lactase, lipase, and protease); some prebiotic fiber from inulin; and four kinds of probiotic bacteria. We don’t know exactly how many probiotic bacteria there are.
Finally, the inflammation control blend contains a mixture of curcumin and tart cherry.
Field Work Nutrition Co. Primo Smoothie Meal Ingredients
Let’s start with that inflammation control blend, which could really have some benefits for athletes. Curcumin is full of antioxidants and has been strongly linked to lower inflammation and reduced joint pain, while the tart cherry has links to reduced muscle soreness. It’s hard to work out a “dose” of tart cherry but the curcumin dose seems pretty in line with research.
It’s also nice that this is so high in Vitamin D and magnesium, two nutrients that are really important for athletes and in which most people are deficient.
The emphasis on digestive health is really impressive. Very few meal replacements contain probiotic bacteria at all, but Primo Smoothie Meal has four strains, plus all the digestive enzymes and prebiotics. That may improve digestive health and improve the absorption of the other ingredients, while the lactase could potentially reduce indigestion from the whey among people who are extremely sensitive to lactose.
It’s cool that there are a lot of fruits and veggies in this product, which may add some antioxidants to the mix, though it’s worth emphasizing that there are just 200mg per serve and most of the vitamins and minerals appear to largely be added in, not derived from the plants. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Again, there’s no artificial anything and most of the plans, besides the sweet potato and a couple of others, are organic.
Macros-wise there’s a good amount of protein, though I confess that for a product aimed at athletes it seems a little low in carbs and there’s practically no sodium at all, even though sodium is a critically important mineral for athletes.
Field Work Nutrition Co. Primo Smoothie Meal Price
You can pick up a 36.7-ounce tub for about $55. That delivers 20 servings, so it’s about $2.77 per serving. That’s a little pricier than your standard meal replacement, which is usually around $2, but since this is all-natural and has a huge emphasis on digestive health and workout recovery, you may find the price worth it. Note that if it’s too pricy, you can save 15 percent by subscribing to a monthly shipment.
Field Work Nutrition Co. Primo Smoothie Meal Taste
I got the Mexican Vanilla flavor, and firstly I need to point out that you’re not really meant to drink this shaken up with some milk. The instructions explicitly state that it should be blended with some fruit and your milk of choice.
I just shook it up with some almond milk. It was clumpy, but I can’t call that a drawback since I was told to blend it.
The product smells like turmeric — probably where the curcumin comes from — and is bright yellow, so I was expecting a strong turmeric flavor. But it was actually tasty: it was mild, and I’d say it tasted a little more like birthday cake or cake batter-flavor than vanilla. Fortunately, I love birthday cake. This would definitely make a great base for smoothies but I’d be happy to keep drinking it with some milk.
The main drawbacks are that it’s tough to drink on the go, it’s low in sodium and carbs, and it’s not a true meal replacement in that it only has about 10 micronutrients when compared to the 26 you’ll get in more medically-focused meal replacement shakes. But for the average person who’s eating their veggies, this provides a fantastic hit of hard-to-find nutrients and hard-to-find digestive aids in a pretty tasty package. I’m a fan.