Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard Whey Protein


Today we dive into one of Optimum Nutrition’s products. They are a big company, with lots of supplements and have been around for a while. They are also very well known, and most people would know who they are just from the brand. This is a review of the Gold Standard Whey Protein by Optimum Nutrition and can be found everywhere from GNC to most Vitamin Shops.

So, let’s go over the pros of this product. When we take a look at the label, the packaging is amazing, and there are some isolates in this product. It also has 24 grams of protein, 5 grams of BCAAs and 4 grams of glutamine.

After taking it for a week and doing some additional research, we were able to review this product. Chris used to take this years ago and it was one of the first proteins that he purchased. Even though the protein has great flavor, it didn’t sit well with his stomach. Since Chris is sensitive to protein powders, Primal Body is Chris’ go to because he is able to easily digest it. Most people probably wouldn’t get digestive upset with this.

As far as how much protein you are getting, this is a good product. There are not a lot of bad ingredients. Looking through it, Chris looked for anything that could be absolutely terrible, and other than artificial sweetener, which is common in a protein powder, there wasn’t much else.

As Chris points out, there are a few sweeteners, such as, acesulfame potassium. This is just one of the many artificial sweeteners that is out there, as well as sucralose, which is very very common. These artificial sweeteners are not as bad as aspartame and so that is a plus that there is none of that in this product. There is a little bit of maltodextrin, which is corn starch. Essentially, this means corn syrup. There are also enzymes like lactase and some electrolytes.

According to Chris, this is overall not a bad product. One thing he points out is that Gold Standard Whey is not a grass-fed protein. It is a blend of isolate and concentrate and some whey peptides. The question is, are blends better or worse for you?

When you go for a blend, it’s going to digest a little slower. However, through a little bit of research Chris finds that the isolate is just better overall. The isolate has been heavily filtered and so the whey protein is pulled away from everything else. The concentrate is not going to come with anything else that was with the whey.

To be a whey isolate, the concentrate would go through a filtering process that would pull out the impurities and leave just the whey isolate. Typically, a whey isolate is more expensive due to the fact it goes through this extensive process. But even though it’s more expensive, the whey isolate has a bioavailability of 159. This is really high compared to the concentrate that has a bioavailability of 104. This makes the isolate the most bioavailable protein you can get. That means it’s the easiest for your body to absorb, recover with, and restore and rebuild muscle tissue. That is just something to take into consideration when shopping for proteins.

What else did Chris find out when he looked into some information? When it comes to proteins, most of us can read the ingredients. We can see that it’s a concentrate with some isolates and sweeteners. But Chris says that you can take it a step further and ask, “what is the quality of this protein?” You look into what is in the protein, like impurities. In an article that Chris found they ask, “how safe is your protein?” and a couple years back they did some studies on toxic metals in the proteins. So Chris did a little digging because he wanted to look at the purity of this protein.

There has been some research on this. The company Optimum Nutrition actually has third parties do studies on this for them to see if the toxic metals or impurities are in their protein. The top metals to look at are Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury and Lead. These are very brain toxic and toxic to the body. When you buy very cheap protein powder, you are being exposed to these things. The stuff on the shelf for twenty, thirty or even forty dollars sometimes can have these.

Sometimes people get up in arms that Primal Body might cost more than the products that “they can find at Walmart,” but they cannot compare these because the quality is so different. A lot of cheaper proteins are coming from other countries whose regulations are not strict or barley existent. That’s why these studies were done. In fact, Muscle Milk was found out to be the worse one. Now, this was a couple of years ago and maybe the company fixed that because it was a big blow to them, and they could have made some changes. As of right now there hasn’t been another follow up study.

The good news is that Optimum Nutrition came out clean. They compared the lead content to boiled shrimp that ranked at 3.2mcg, and this protein came out .3 mcg. This is significantly lower than shrimp and we are told that shrimp is ok to eat. They go on to compare them all with other foods, and there is no significant amount of these chemicals in there.

Overall this is a solid protein. It’s not the best on the market, but it is certainly not the worst. It’s got 24 grams of protein, BCAA’s, glutamine, and an almost clean impurities slate. It’s no wonder that they are a successful brand and it’s good that they keep doing what they are doing!

Thank you guys for tuning in. We would love to hear other products you would like to be reviewed. Leave those in the comments below and as always, be patient, stay the course, and let’s get fit together.