When it comes to protein, most of us have our “go to” brand or product. For me, that product is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. This was among one of the few proteins I tried when I first started lifting over ten years ago. In a ten year span, I have tried many different whey proteins, some good and some bad but I always find myself going back to this particular protein powder.
Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard whey is one of the world’s top selling whey protein supplements for good reason – it’s good quality.
Sure, it’s not the “best” out there by any means, and the label could definitely use some clearing up.
But to describe it as a run-of-the-mill product would be doing it a disservice.
Here is the nutritional breakdown per serving:
With these macronutrients, you’re looking at a whey protein supplement which could be used either to gain size or to trim down.
By keeping the fat and carbohydrates quite low – anything under 2.5g and 5g considered “low” – Optimum have essentially catered to both the bodybuilding market and the fat loss market simultaneously with the same product.
With a total scoop size of 29.4g, you have a protein per serving ratio of 82%.
I consider anything above the 80% mark to be very good, so Gold Standard whey delivers on this front. If confused by the 100% often used in the product’s name, it’s merely part of the product name, nothing more.
The protein blend itself – which can be seen by looking at the ingredients list – is where this product loses a few points.
First up, it’s a proprietary blend.
Sure, you can see the types of protein which were used to formulate the product, but no dosages are given.
This means that although the product lists whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and hydrolised whey protein isolate, we have no way of knowing whether, say, the hydrolised whey protein isolate makes up only a fractional proportion of each serving, or whether it plays a bigger role.
The one thing you can tell from this, however, it’s that your main ingredient here is whey protein isolate.
If you are ever unsure as to how to tell this, just look at the first ingredient listed in the protein blend.
Don’t you hate swallowing protein clumps when drinking your protein? I know I do. That’s why I feel this is an important aspect in my Gold Standard Whey Review. I normally use the vortex mixer to blend proteins because I find it does a better job at mixing than the standard shaker cup. I’ve tried Gold Standard whey using both methods and this protein mixes perfectly without any clumps both ways. Gold Standard Whey earns a 4/5 for mixability.
Effectiveness of protein is realized over time. Unlike pre-workouts, you will not be able to determine how effective a protein is with only one serving. This will largely depend on you and your training/diet program. If your diet and training program is already fine-tuned, taking Gold Standard Whey will definitely help you meet your daily protein requirements and make a difference in your recovery. I’ve been using this product for years and I know it makes a difference in muscle soreness and recovery. Gold Standard Whey earns a 5/5 for effectiveness.
In my opinion, chocolate is usually the best flavor for any protein shake. It’s usually my safe choice. For this review, I used the Double Rich Chocolate flavor which tasted great. The flavor will change depending on if you’re using milk or water. I recommend using milk for this product for enhancing the taste because with water, it feels little like watered down chocolate milk. Of course if you are dieting, water is the way to go. I rate Gold Standard Whey 4.5/5 for taste.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey is a very good whey protein supplement.
Does it deserve the title of “best-selling whey protein in the world”?
Well, I think that has more to do with the marketing of the product than the actual ingredients.
Like I mentioned above, Optimum have branded themselves incredibly well to the point where they are able to charge a premium rate for products and while you could certainly get just as good elsewhere, they definitely don’t have as much “pazzazz” about them.
When you buy Apple, you are doing so because Apple is a very cool brand. Not because they make ground-breaking tech.
When you buy Nike, you are doing so because Nike is a brand for serious athletes. Not because they make the best running shoes on the entire market.
And when you buy Optimum, you are also in part paying for the name.
You do this because you know you are getting quality for the most part, and it removes the doubt created by trying a product you’ve never heard of.
This is reflected in the product’s price.
With that said, once you get under the hood it isn’t a bad supplement at all.