Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Review – Is The Most Popular Protein Powder Worth Buying?

Product Name:Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder 10 Pound Review
Best Flavor:Extreme Milk Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream
Cheapest Place To Buy:Amazon.com
Price:$$$ (Check the latest price)
Our Rating:9.3/10


A whey protein supplement is an important part of every individual’s diet who is active or is involved in any sports/ training as a part of their daily life. Whey protein is among the most researched supplements in the world and the most important of all protein powders for a good reason. Which is why today we are getting started with the Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein review on popular demand to help make you a better buying decision in meeting your daily protein needs.

A few of its benefits include being an outstanding source of high-quality protein, promoting muscle growth and recovery, assisting in weight loss, ideal quick digesting post-workout supplement, and highly satiating among many others. Thus, making whey protein an excellent choice for protein supplementation. This brings us to the topic of finding and reviewing the most popular whey protein supplement out there.

Among other factors that make this protein powder popular, the most important criteria to judge its popularity and effectiveness is the real ratings and reviews of thousands of people from all corners of the world that have spread the word of mouth through the best online supplement stores and countless other places on the world wide web.

A look at a few of the numbers below helps us better understand what makes it the world’s best-selling protein:

  • Over 88,000 or more than 80% Five-Star Reviews on Amazon.com
  • An overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 (over 19,000 Reviews) on Bodybuilding.com
  • Over 14,000 five star reviews on iHerb.com with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars

After personally trying it myself, below I find out why so many people love this product and is it worth the hype as compared to the other popular whey protein powders in the market. Let’s get started!

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Product Overview

Optimum Nutrition (ON) Gold Standard 100% whey protein powder has been voted supplement of the year and protein of the year continuously for 13 years and running which is no small feat when you consider how huge the fitness industry is and how significant is the demand for whey protein in that market.

Of course, other protein powders come close to being effective in delivering results but there are a few unique things Optimum Nutrition does differently to give itself an edge over the competition.

  • 10 Consecutive Years of Award-Winning Quality
  • World’s Most Trusted Sports Nutrition Brand
  • Whey Protein Isolates used as a Primary Source of Ingredient
  • 5.5 Grams of Naturally Occurring BCAAs
  • 4 Grams of Naturally Occurring Glutamine and Glutamic Acid
  • Instantized to Mix Easily Using Just a Glass and Spoon
  • Over 20 Different Flavors to Choose From
  • Gluten-Free and Banned Substance Tested

When you should take Optimum Nutrition whey protein?

The best time to take Optimum Nutrition whey protein supplement to maximize results is 30 to 60 minutes before a workout if you haven’t eaten protein in the three to four hours preceding your workout. It is also most beneficial to eat 30 to 40 grams of protein after finishing a workout as a part of your post-workout nutrition for muscle gain/maintenance or fat loss, whichever is your target goal.

Each serving of Optimum Nutrition whey protein will give you 24 grams of high-quality protein for building and maintaining your muscle along with 5.5 grams of BCAA’s to promote endurance and recovery from your workouts.

The naturally occurring amino acid profile (none added) of Gold Standard Whey is great for non-lifters and is well-suited for muscle-building needs. This amino acid profile is naturally occurring and is very similar to what you would get in a glass of cow’s milk from which whey is made. This matters because amino acids provide your body with the raw materials needed to build muscle tissue. This is why you need to eat enough protein daily to maximize muscle growth if that’s what your goal is.

Gold Standard 100% Whey contains 11 grams Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) including 7.7 grams of Conditionally Essential Amino Acids and 5.5 grams of BCAA’s (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine in 2:1:1 ratio), and 5.3 grams of Non-Essential Amino Acids (NAAs) roughly for each serving. 

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Nutrition Facts and Ingredients Breakdown

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Nutrition Facts for 10 lbs
Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Nutrition Facts for 10 lbs

The ingredients listed below are from the new and updated Gold Standard whey protein formula as of August 2020:

  • Protein Blend of

1. Whey Protein Isolate:

As per Wikipedia, whey protein isolate contains a higher percentage of pure protein (at least 90 percent protein) and can be pure enough to be virtually lactose-free, carbohydrate-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.

2. Whey Protein Concentrate:

Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest and most common form of whey protein having a low level of fat and cholesterol. They are 29% to 89% protein by weight.

3. Whey Peptides:

Also known as whey protein that is derived from the liquid in dairy products called milk plasma. Created with a higher concentration of protein, easily absorbed with fewer calories and carbohydrates. It also acts as a fuel to working muscles and is an important ingredient for people who want to lose fat, gain muscle, and increase overall fitness.

  • Lecithin (Soy Oil):

Lecithin is used as a food additive and emulsifier in whey protein powders. It helps give them a smooth and creamy texture, also helping the powder mix instantly with water without any clumps.

  • Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali):

A process that the cocoa powder goes through to reduce its acidity that also gives it a darker color and a rich flavor.

  • Natural And Artificial Flavor:

Ingredients derived from both natural and artificial sources are added to get the desired flavor or taste for a whey protein powder.

  • Acesulfame Potassium:

An artificial and calorie-free sweetener commonly and widely used in foods and beverages to enhance their taste.

  • Lactase:

Lactase is a digestive enzyme that is involved in the digestion of milk and the lactose content of dairy products. Some people’s bodies do not make enough lactase, so they are not able to digest milk well. Therefore, lactase is added to whey protein powders for easy digestion and toleration of lactose to avoid any unpleasant symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.

Optimum nutrition claims to make all of its products with the highest standards of quality and raw materials by using state-of-the-art manufacturing. to know more about how Optimum Nutrition makes its award-winning supplements and consistently delivers the highest quality products, check out their YouTube video explaining the whole process below.

Optimum Nutrition’s Manufacturing Process

How Good is Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein?


1. When choosing a high-quality whey protein for yourself, the only two most important things you should look for are

  • First, the ingredients list to confirm that the very first ingredient is listed as either whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolates, or whey protein hydrolysate. The reason behind this is that the ingredients on protein powders are listed in descending order which means that there is more of the first listed ingredient than the second and so on.

Based on this first criteria, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard has whey protein isolates listed as the first ingredient which is therefore added in the largest quantity. This makes Optimum Nutrition whey protein a great choice for a superior quality protein powder.

  • Second, the serving size per scoop should be close enough to the amount of protein per serving for the reason that all protein powders, even the ‘cleanest’ ones have sweeteners and artificial flavoring among other ingredients added to the formula.

However, if the difference between the serving size and protein content is too large, it is better to not buy that product as you would surely not need the added stuff to the formula that may cause allergies or reactions.

A few harmful ingredients to avoid for a protein supplement are artificial sugars and sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, dextrose, maltodextrin, glucose, sorbitol and maltitol, gluten, soy, milk solids/ milk protein, vegetable oils and fats, thickeners, and gums, fillers, and any chemicals.

Based on the second criteria, for a 1 scoop serving size of 30.4 grams, ON Gold Standard 100% Whey has 24 grams of protein, which is 77% protein by weight. This is as close as it can come to be the industry standard for being the cleanest protein powder with the fewest possible added ingredients.

2. Great Taste and Mixability with a Variety of Flavors

Gold Standard whey protein tastes great and mixes well in both water and milk. There are several flavors to choose from that Optimum Nutrition offers for its best-selling protein powder. My personal preference when buying a whey protein supplement is going with the evergreen chocolate or vanilla flavor, which are the two flavors I always stick with.

For ON Gold Standard Whey, the best flavors in chocolate are Double Rich Chocolate (which goes well with milk but tastes plain or you can say it has a mild chocolate flavor in water) and Extreme Milk Chocolate (which has an extremely rich flavor like sweet chocolaty milk that works great with water). In Vanilla, the best flavor to go with is Vanilla Ice Cream flavor that pretty much tastes like melted vanilla ice cream as the name goes and with a sweeter taste, it best goes with water instead of milk.

3. No Side Effects and Highest Quality Ingredients

When consumed responsibly, a whey protein supplement is the greatest investment for meeting one’s overall daily protein requirements. Remember, not to consume more than 40 to 50 grams of protein powder in one sitting and not to get more than 30 percent of your daily calorie intake from protein powders. This is the universal recommendation that can be applied to all protein supplements, including ON’s Gold Standard Whey.

With Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) as the main ingredient, ON Gold Standard gives a power-packed boost of whey protein with every serving that is both of the highest quality and superior to the other two forms of whey proteins.


Added Artificial Flavoring

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein does contain a few natural and artificial flavors along with the popular artificial sweetener called Acesulfame Potassium that is said to be about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Although this sweetener has zero calories and carbs, it may cause some allergies or reactions in some people who are intolerant to artificial sweeteners.

The majority of the people will do just fine with a negligible amount of flavoring added in the overall formula as long as the whey protein content in the supplement of their choice is high quality and from a trusted brand.

If this added flavoring is a concern for you, there is some good news. Optimum Nutrition also makes the same superior quality Gold Standard whey protein powder in a natural flavor with no added artificial ingredients or sweeteners. It’s called Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Naturally Flavored 100% Whey.

Concluding the Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Review

ON Gold Standard Whey 10 lb

Looking at this whey protein’s popularity that has spread all over the internet through intelligent marketing, brand collaborations, and sponsorship with top influencers, in my opinion, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey is a good protein powder backed by research that is worth spending money on.

But, with this great popularity comes a higher chance of fake or counterfeit products being made. 

How can you tell if your Gold Standard Whey Protein is real?

To check the authenticity of your whey protein from Optimum nutrition, always make sure to look for the neckbands, tub design, date and batch codes, vacuum barriers, and product authentication stickers in some countries. For more detailed tips on product authentication, you can visit the Optimum Nutrition website

Do know that there are other equally worthwhile whey protein powders coming from trusted brands? These include Body Fortress, Orgain, Life Extension, Isopure, and Dymatize among others that deserve everyone’s attention for their high-quality whey protein products. Some of these brands have products even considered superior in terms of benefits, results, and overall macronutrient profile when compared to ON’s Gold Standard Whey but only with lesser popularity.

That said, when deciding to choose the best whey protein supplement for helping with your goals, you will make a brilliant choice going with the crowd favorite, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey Protein. It’s one of the best whey you can buy for your money that is inexpensive, has a great amino acid profile, easy mixability, and digestion that also comes in a wide variety of over 20 different flavors.

When consuming protein supplements, always consider that they are processed materials and often do not contain other essential nutrients required for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is therefore rightly suggested that the required protein intake should be obtained from natural food sources and protein supplementation should be resorted to only if sufficient protein is not available in the normal diet.

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey or want to leave your review about this product, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder 10 Pound


Taste and Flavors






Ingredient Quality


Value for Money



  • Whey Protein Isolate (Up to 90% protein) │ Primary source
  • Available in 25 delicious flavors
  • Great taste and mixability with easy digestion
  • Banned substance tested by Informed Choice
  • Affordable price considering it's 'World's Best-Selling Protein' title


  • Contains natural and artificial flavors
  • May cause some allergies or reactions in people intolerant to added flavoring

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