For years, Optimum Nutrition has truly been the Gold Standard of protein powder.
It is considered to be the best selling whey protein powder, and it’s really no surprise why; through a careful use of high quality ingredients and careful taste control, Gold Standard has established itself as the best.
One thing anyone who has ever used protein powder can agree on, is that a lot of protein powders out there live something of a foul taste in your mouth.
One of Gold Standards greatest strengths is that they’ve figured out a way to eliminate that, creating a product that actually tastes good. Here are the top three best-tasting Gold Standard 100% protein flavors.
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#1 Double Rich Chocolate
This flavor is undoubtedly a crowd favorite. It comes in a variety of available sizes, including a one-pound, two-pound, five-pound, and ten-pound container.
The two-pound tub, which is a relatively standard size for many protein powders is one of the most reasonably priced powders out there.
One serving (one scoop) contains 24 grams of protein, 120 calories, and one gram of sugar. The protein they use is 100% whey protein, but for Gold Standard, it’s not that simple.
Whey protein comes in three forms – Isolate, Concentrate, and Peptides. Whey protein Isolate is the most common form of whey protein, and contains the highest percentage of pure protein.
The drawback of this is that other nutritional benefits that might be found in whey protein are eliminated in the isolation process. Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest form of whey protein, and contains a lower percentage of protein.
However, this means that it also contains higher percentages of other nutrients like Phospholipids. Whey protein peptides are the most expensive and most broken-down form of whey protein.
The benefit of this is that it digests even faster than the other forms of fast-digesting whey protein – it is considered pre-digested. By combining all three types of whey protein, Gold Standard is allowing the consumer to garner the most benefits.
In regards to the sugar content, it is low in sugar, which is always a great addition to a health product, especially when that doesn’t affect taste.
Their ingredients list is actually relatively small, which is always a welcome sight in a food-product. Each tub contains whey protein blend, cocoa, lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, acesulfame potassium, aminogen, and lactase.
The lecithin is used to improve mixability, though it may also aid in lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. Aminogen is an enzyme blend that aids with digestion, and the lactase helps make the lactose content easier to digest.
Acesulfame potassium is a little-known calorie-free sugar substitute that often goes under the name “Sunnet” or “Sweet One.” Like most artificial sweeteners, it’s best to avoid, however, in low levels, it won’t cause any damage.
In addition to the protein content, this protein powder includes 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) as well as 4 grams of glutamine.
BCAAs are vital to the protein synthesis process, with certain Amino Acids like Leucine opening the biological pathway that begins this process at the cellular level.
Glutamine is known as a building block of protein, and additionally, may decrease muscle soreness and improve muscle recovery.
#2 Extreme Milk Chocolate
Our second place winner – the Extreme Milk Chocolate Gold Standard 100% protein powder.
This powder is very slightly cheaper than the Double Rich Chocolate option for a two-pound container. Its’ macros are certainly similar but have a few slight differences, so it begs to mention.
One serving contains 24 grams of that same whey protein blend, 5.5 grams of BCAAs, 4 grams of Glutamine, 120 calories, and 2 grams of sugar.
It’s barely noticeable, but each serving does contain an additional gram of sugar in comparison to the Double Rich Chocolate flavor. The reason for this becomes clear when you check the ingredients list.
Extreme Milk Chocolate contains that Protein Blend, Cocoa, Natural and Artificial flavors, Lecithin, Creamer (which includes sunflower oil and food starch), Salt, Aminogen, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, and Lactase.
In addition to the Acesulfame Potassium sugar substitute, this flavor, strangely enough, also contains another artificial sweetener Sucralose. Other than that, this flavor has all the same info as Double Rich Chocolate.
#3 Mocha Cappuccino
Comes third place: Mocha Cappuccino. For a two-pound tub, this flavor comes at the same price as Double Rich Chocolate.
Interestingly, it contains the same macros (btw check out this accurate macro calculator) cool mas the Extreme Chocolate flavor, which displays a difference from Double Rich Chocolate in sugar content and ingredients (specifically in the addition of Sucralose).
Flavors and taste, like most things in the health and fitness world, are relatively subjective. If you hate chocolate, you’ll probably disagree with a majority of this list here.
These are just, according to real consumers, the best-tasting flavors out there. That doesn’t mean that the other flavors are bad. You’ll have to sample a few and see for yourself.
PS! This delicious strawberry flavor is my personal favorite for over 5 years now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does whey protein gold standard do?
Whey protein is beneficial as it can help you lose weight, build muscle and also reach your protein intake goals. It boosts energy expenditure and makes people eat fewer calories throughout the day because it keeps you more full for longer.
People take whey protein to try to retain their muscle in the body but also whilst trying to lose body fat. Whey protein also helps with muscle recovery and will reduce DOMS, so you can get back in action sooner than normal after a tough workout.
If you’re someone who’s tracking macronutrients and particularly looking to maintain certain protein levels in your diet then whey protein will help you reach those goals without you having to constantly be eating meat.
Is gold standard whey protein worth it?
Yes, gold stand whey protein has tons of tasty flavors that will suit any taste and also keeps you nice and full for longer so you don’t end up snacking on bad treats. It has high-quality ingredients that help boost muscle growth and aid with recovery so you can train at your best all the time.
Does gold standard whey protein have any negative side effects?
When taken appropriately, gold standard whey protein should not have any negative side effects unless you are allergic to whey. However, if you are consuming more doses than recommended then you could see an increase in your bowel movement and be more prone to bloating and cramping.
Taking too much whey protein will reduce your appetite and you could feel more tired than usual as you’re not consuming other foods filled with other macronutrients.
Can whey protein make you gain weight?
When consumed with a balanced diet, whey protein powder can actually make you lose weight and gain muscle. However, if you are overeating and taking whey protein then you could find yourself struggling to lose weight or even gaining weight.
If you are trying to gain weight then you can drink whey protein to fill in your extra calories for the day. Each whey protein will differ in calorie content, so if you’re looking to gain or lose weight then you should look at the calorie density of each portion.
Is it ok to drink whey protein without working out?
What is the best time to take whey protein?
Can you drink more than one protein shake a day?
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.
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