I want to eat what I need to eat to gain muscle, stay in shape, and hit the macronutrient numbers I’m aiming at. You—or maybe it’s just me—would be surprised at how difficult that often is.
A busy schedule is the death of even the best-laid plans. A project at work takes slightly longer than anticipated and all of a sudden lunch goes from a healthy something to a fast food shame-fest. Thus, meals that come together extremely quickly—like MRE shakes, for example—and keep me full without axe-murdering my health, are of great value. That’s what Vite Ramen, a protein-packed instant ramen noodle brand, is meant to be. I bought a dozen packs to find out more.
What Is Vite Ramen?
Vite Ramen is a decidedly rookie company, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s an Asian-American-owned startup run without investors that pays its workers a living wage, and manufactures everything within the U.S. On the company’s about us page, it makes clear that it’s not out to “maximize” profits as much as it is to run a healthy business.
While admirable, its products are what matters. The company makes calorie- and nutrient-rich instant ramen noodles—it’s as simple as that.
What’s Good About Vite Ramen?
The first of the two obvious and best reasons to try Vite Ramen for yourself. I’m not sure I need to expand on why having an ultra-fast, back-pocket dinner or lunch is valuable, but I will anyway.
You bring 2.5 cups of water to a boil, drop in the noodles for 3 minutes, throw in the flavor packet and a bit of oil, and you’re done. The basic package comes together in almost exactly five minutes every time. When I’m on deadline or I feel the urge to drive to Wendy’s instead of cooking some vegetable-ridden nonsense, I whip up a quick bowl of Vite Ramen instead. It’s part of my routine now, which is the highest praise I can give out.
Wicked-high protein content
The second of the two obvious and best reasons to try Vite Ramen is the kicker. Everyone on this planet has had cheap instant ramen from the grocery store, but that instant ramen is not what most would call nutritious (though undeniably delicious).
Here’s a head-to-head comparison of the all-popular Maruchan Instant Ramen (beef flavor, in this case) to Vite Ramen’s garlic pork flavor:
The difference across the board is striking, but it’s the four times higher protein number and big calorie boost that does it for me. Those numbers more closely resemble a full meal rather than a cheap way to trick your stomach for a while.
The sodium split is also worth mentioning. Despite Maruchan brand providing about half the calorie load, its sodium content is double that of Vite’s. That massive sodium number may not be an issue for all people, but for a food that gives you so little in terms of fulness or energy, it’s certainly not a good thing. Vite wins in every nutritional category, hands down.
Now that you’ve seen the numbers, perhaps an instant ramen that keeps you full isn’t surprising in the least. Even before I started experimenting with added ingredients from my pantry (a time-honored tradition among instant noodle enjoyers), a bowl of Vite held me over from lunch until the early evening.
Editor’s note: I recommend cracking an egg into the boiling water a minute before you cut the heat, then dropping a spoonful of chili crisp in there once it’s off the stove.
Excellent company philosophy
I won’t say much more on this subject than I’ve already said, but it’s nice to see a new company succeed on the back of its ideas, especially when those ideas don’t get in the way of paying employees a living wage. The fact that the product is made entirely in the U.S. is just the cherry on top.
What’s Not Good About Vite Ramen?
Pricier than most instant noodles
Depending on how many noodle packs you include in your order, your price-per-meal will shift somewhat, but generally you’re paying $8 or so per meal. In a vacuum, that’s pretty good, especially so considering how little time the meal takes to come together. But those cheap-noodle enthusiasts know instant noodles at the grocery store are less than a dollar per meal.
To be clear, this is a completely unfair critique given what you get from a bowl of Vite Ramen versus what you get from a bowl of the cheap stuff. But, the fact remains that there is a slight mental hurdle to be cleared.
Shipping is frustrating
The most annoying part of eating Vite Ramen is getting the damn noodles in your pantry. As best as I can tell, the company operates under a made-to-order philosophy. I can appreciate it as a concept, but in this case, it may take four to six weeks from online checkout to noodles at your door. This, plus the fact the noodles aren’t in physical grocery stores yet, is a pain in the ass.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for fast, protein-rich meals that aren’t oppressively expensive, it’s worth trying an order of Vite Ramen. Just be aware that the company’s production and shipping schedule means you’ll have to wait about a month before it arrives—so stock up.