Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2013 (Bloomington, MN) with: Ryan Anklam

Project HUGE: Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein - The Best Tasting, Best Mixing Protein Powder

By Ben Nadel on

Earlier today, on Twitter, I was asked what kind of protein powder I would recommend as a workout supplement. I'm sure as most people who work out do, I've tried a million different proteins over the years, constantly searching for that one drink that's the right combination of nutrients, taste, and cost. The good majority of the protein powders that I've tried have tasted so revolting that the nutritional content and the cost don't even get factored into my decision making. And, when you consider that fitness, and therefore protein supplementation, is a life-long pursuit, the long term enjoyment of the protein, as dictated by the taste, becomes even more important.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder

I'm excited to say that after years of searching, I've found a protein powder that hit the sweet spot. For my money, it doesn't get any better than Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein. I find it to be nutritionally sound and very cost effective; but, perhaps most importantly for long term enjoyment and sustain usage, it is the best tasting and easiest mixing protein powder that I have ever tried. To demonstrate how easily it mixes, I've put together a quick video:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As you can see, just a few shakes in the hand-mixer with a little bit of water and the protein powder has completely liquefied. And, for each of the above scoops, here's what I'm getting:

 
 
 
 
 
 
Optimum Nutrition - 100% Whey Gold Standard - The Best Tasting Protein Powder - The Easiest Mixing Protein Powder. 
 
 
 

The protein that I'm showing here (and drinking in the video) is 100% Whey Gold Standard (also available in 5LBs, 10LBs). This one is really good, but as you can see from the label, it concentrates mostly on the whey protein. If you want to spend a little more money, you can go with Optimum Nutrition's Natural Pro-Complex. Pro-Complex has a bit more protein and also includes a large number of other great nutrients:

 
 
 
 
 
 
Optimum Nutrition - Natural Pro-Complex  - The Best Tasting Protein Powder - The Easiest Mixing Protein Powder. 
 
 
 

Because of the higher cost, normally what I'll do is use the Natural Pro-Complex as my post-workout supplement and the 100% Whey Gold Standard as my every-other-time protein supplement. This way, I feel like I can optimized my protein intake without spending too much money.

While many of the flavors that Optimum Nutrition carries are good, I'd have to say that "Delicious Strawberry" is by far the best. It tastes a lot like strawberry Quick, but not as sugary. Normally, I'm not a big strawberry flavor fan, but this stuff is just tasty. It must be the reason that it's the only flavor that they explicitly call "delicious."

The bottom line is, if you want a protein powder that tastes great, mixes super easily, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, then I'd highly recommend the Optimum Nutrition brand. It would take something magical to get me to switch over to anything else.



Reader Comments

same one i use. I mix the extreme milk chocolate and banana and it's pretty decent. Also tried cookies & cream. Not bad, but it's still a protein shake.

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Same here, I have been using it for several years and it is one of the few that mix well without a blender. It is also awesome in oatmeal, one of my favorite breakfasts is quick oats, a table spoon of peanut butter and a scoop and a half of extreme milk chocolate.

My favorite after workout shake is cookies and cream muscle milk. It mixes just as well and tastes awesome

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BTW it has been a best seller on bodybuilding.com for years. Good prices and quick delivery have made them my site of choice for supplements.

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Since I don't have a sink at work, I use a paper cup and a fork. With this brand, at least there aren't any gross clumps.

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Love the video :)

I use maximuscle (which is what the england rugby team use ;). It's got a great taste to it, the only downside is the price - at around £25 for 2kg.

I prefer to eat a lot of protein-rich food (who wouldn't!), and take drinks on the days when I don't eat enough of the good stuff.

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@Derek,

I've tried the Cookies and Cream, and it's a bit funky to me. I think my mind is expecting something more like ice cream and the consistency of a drink causes some odd juxtaposition in my head. I've learned to stay away from the ice-cream-based flavors for any brand.

@Brandon,

Muscle Milk is pretty good, probably one of the better tasting ones. For me, though, it's always been a little *too* sweet tasting. I always feel like I'm drinking a milk shake. I don't use the powder though, I just get the cardboard bottle at the deli, so it might be too concentrated there or something.

@Seth,

Yeah, it's that easy. I used to work in an office for a number of years that didn't have a sink and this was still not a problem. It had a water cooler. Here's what I did:

1. Fill bottle with protein.
2. Add water from water cooler.
3. Drink.
4. Add more water to empty bottle and shake up a lot (to get it as clean as possible).
5. Drink the "detergent" water.
6. Lay bottle upside-down on a paper towel with the cap under one edge.

Number 6 is an important note. If you lay the bottle complete upside-down, it traps air and leads that that stinky "funky protein" smell that an unwashed protein container gets. But, if you allow some air circulation, it should be fine.

@Will,

Sounds good. I haven't tried it myself. I certainly wish I got more protein rich foods, but in reality, my diet is not that great. I should probably be taking some vitamins too.

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I love the video, hahaha... Did you get paid to make a commercial for them? that was AWESOME!

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Cool stuff.

I was never in to protein powders simply because I disliked the after taste of all I've tried thus far. I looooove to eat though so I pretty much go for a high protein diet. I wouldn't mind giving this brand a try because from the looks of it you really enjoyed it. :)

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Your given information is 100% correct and i agree with you that protein powder is very useful and important in women and child life.so it is the best information.

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Hey Ben,

Nice blog. I want to know if Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein is good for women also. Any idea? Do women add bulk if they use this product?

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@V,

Protein is good for everyone; I don't think your gender will matter. Bulk is not caused by the protein itself - it merely facilitates other bulk-creating activities like weight training.

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My favorite is Iron-Tek Essential Natural 100% Protein. I order it from Vitacost.com. It has a good flavor and mixes easily. I use a mason jar with a lid and just shake it. I also like the fact it has no preservatives, artificial flavor, artificial sweeteners or artificial color.

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I recently started doing some work for BNRG and in the process, learned a lot about hydrolyzed whey protein.

One thing became clear, you can buy cheaper protein powder, but when you factor in waste from non-hydrolyzed whey proteins...you don't really save any money.

Im going to do a blind study comparing taste, what other products would you suggest for the study besides Optimum?

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@Mike,

I have actually read similar things about hydrolyzed whey as well. That's why I started using Optimum Nutrition - Pro Complex. It has hydrolyzed whey protein. Sometimes, what I'll do is use the Whey standard for general supplementation and then use the Pro Complex right after my workout.

It's like $20 more per tub, so I haven't done it for a while (money has been tight). But, hopefully I'll be able to pick up with that again.

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LOLOLOLOLOL, that vid was classic. I have to grab some of that whey, just started back at it a few weeks ago. Stay stoked Ben!

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I've been using NutraBio.com's Whey Protein Isolate. It's less expensive than Optimum's but more important to me is that the protein ratio is much higher. ON's Whey Gold is only 81% protein (24g protein divided into a 29.4g serving) where NutraBio's is 88% protein (25g protein divided into 28.4 serving.) I'm guessing the 7% higer protein content comes from the fact that Nutrabio uses 100% whey isolate while ON mixes whey concentrate with the isolate. The cholesterol is also much higher in ON, 30mg compared to 1mg. I've use ON for years and had no complaints but I swithched to NutraBio becasue it's a cleaner protein and has a much higher protein content.

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Hello Ben
Great video!

Maybe you could help me with a question..
I bought Ultimate Whey protein (Strawberry) but Jesus, is soooo sweet for me! I could not drink anymore.
Do you think Whey Gold or Natural Pro Complex can be better?

Thank you,
J.

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@Joyce,

Did you mix it with water or milk? If you did milk, try it with water - might help. I don't find the ON products to be very sweet, but I use water.

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I mix the milk and chocolate but no banana cause i like to mix them with orange. It has a great taste, and it's decent too. That's what i call a protein shake.

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haha.. quality video.. great tasting protein hence why it wins awards year in year out ;)

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2 cups of that powder, is it too much? I see the way you drink it and no doubt it is delicious. The nutrition facts is amazing it is not a big deal if it is expensive. thanks a lot for sharing your product ben. keep the good work.

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Optimum Nutrition is by far one of the best proteins out there. It mixes well and very affordable. Above all, they have came a long way with their flavors!

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Nothing beats Proto Whey for taste, mix and quality. I tried them all and hands down Proto Whey wins.

In fact, in a blind taste test at The Arnold, Proto Whey was chosen 3 to 1 over ON.

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Well I got to agree with you,Pro-Complex has the most whey protein packed in a drink there is, and I believe is one of the best tasting as well.

I've been taking it with water since I find mixing it with milk a little bit sweet for my taste.

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Now a days, Become complex issue which whey protein is the right to healthy living. By your post I can easily justify optimum nutrition whey protein and also your post inspired to me take protein powder daily early morning...Thanks

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protein powder :- http://www.energyfirst.com/

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Weight-Gainer is a carbohydrate / protein / fat mixture in powder form, which is a great way to replace a meal. For people who have trouble taking with food or build difficult weight (hardgainers) is essential in a simple manner calories.

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What a great site. I especially loved the video. I myself use Gold Standard Whey,chocolate being my preference of flavour as it tastes great with water.

The results i have gained drinking this product compared to others is a lot better.

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If you ask me, Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard is without a doubt the best whey protein on the market today. There are times when you come across something and you can feel the presence of quality. Like your first time in a bimmer, or the swish of a three-pointer. I had one of those experiences after trying this product, it's just that good. It's got some competition as well, as the premium supplement category is about as stuffed to the gills as a market niche can get. It's a little pricey at nearly fifty bucks for a two-pound tub, but its quality makes up for the high price. For the purposes of this review, I will be going over the nutrition, mixability, and taste of Gold Standard chocolate whey.

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I've been having Optimum Protein from GNC for almost 10 years. I recently moved to Canada where a friend of mine started his own nutrition company called www.canadawhey.com. They provide a range of some quality proteins worth checking out if u're in this part of the world.

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100% Whey Gold Standard is my favorite. Fantastic stuff. Chocolate mint is by far the best flavor. Tastes like someone melted down mint ice cream and put it in a powder form lol. Only used it a few times, so I can't put out anything for results, but I'm sure it'll please me. AMAZING product, ON.

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Thanks for the info on the protein powder. I have used several different brands in the past, and have found Optimum to be one of the best. I have also used creatine in the past with some good results in strength, for that extra rep or two, even besides the extra water in the muscle tissue.

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Hello Ban. Thanks for sharing the information. Proteins are basic thing to carry on the different process in the body. It helps in building muscle mass and strength by enhancing the process of making more muscle tissue. I always recommend supplements rich in proteins for having best results. After all we all want a healthy and muscular body and not just huge fatty body.

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I like your informative information, Thanks for sharing,also when consuming whey protein powder that is lower in sugar, make sure to balance your diet and perform regular exercises.

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