With a wide range of sizes and flavours, you’re bound to find a Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein shake to suit you…

Despite its name, Optimum Nutrition’s shake is 93% protein and a blend of concentrate and isolate. Each 31g serving contains 24g of protein to support muscle growth muscle protein synthesis after training, as well as 5.5g of naturally occurring branch chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine. It’s up there with the best protein bars.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard shake is widely available in a huge range of sizes and colours. Protein amount is good though taste might be a little sweet and texture a bit thin for some.
Pros
  • Good range of flavours
  • Low in calories and sugar
  • Value for money and widely available
Cons
  • A little too sweet
  • Thin when mixed with water
  • Contains artificial sweeteners

How we test the best whey protein powders

Registered nutritionist (AFN) and sports nutritionist (SENr) Rob Hobson only tested chocolate-flavoured powders to provide consistency in his reviews. He judged them on their taste, texture, solubility and nutritional effectiveness, as well as cost per serving and availability. He also took into account the variety of flavours and any recyclable packaging.

Sizes range from 300g to 4.54kg
Protein per serving:24g
Cost per serving:£1.18
Sizes:300g / 310g / 450g / 465g / 896g / 908g / 2.27kg / 4.54kg
Flavours:12 flavours plus unflavoured versions available

Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein in use

This powder is low in fat and sugar and uses sucralose and acesulfame K to sweeten. This is another powder that we found a little too sweet, but each variety does have a pleasantly rich flavour.

Ingredients are minimal but it does contains soy and artificial flavours, which may not appeal to people looking for something less synthetic.

A serving of the shake contains 116 calories when mixed with water, and just 0.7g sugars, 1.4g fat and 1.3g carbs. The powder combines well but we found it slightly thin for our tastes when mixed with water.

Wide range of sizes

The tubs are available in plenty of different sizes, ranging from 300g to 4.54kg. They’re good value for money for anyone who takes shakes regularly, working out about £1 per serving for the 896g tub and even cheaper for the 2.27kg and 4.54kg options. You can pick up Optimum Nutrition shakes online and in health food stores. Packaging for both tub and pouch versions is 100% recyclable.

If you find one version a little too sweet, you’ll probably find another one that isn’t. As well as an unflavoured version, there are 12 different flavours in all – ranging from banana cream and caramel toffee fudge to chocolate peanut butter and white chocolate raspberry.