Optimum Nutrition – or ON – have a distinguished reputation within the field of supplements – and this product is at the spearhead of that reputation.
The Gold Standard whey is unquestionably behind the continued relevance of Optimum Nutrition and many discussions of whey require it to be discussed. This is the huge presence this product has on the market.
However, with all this popularity and hype, does the product live up to the reputation? We’ve used this product and reviewed it so you know what you’re going to get before you buy!
Gold Standard Whey is exactly that: a protein product that focuses on the quality, mixability, and experience of their protein supplement.
It’s not a super-high-protein powder, as with some others on the market, and you’re likely to get around 24g of protein per serving (somewhere around 85-90% protein by weight). Others can offer 100%, but the focus is on a whey protein powder that you can use comfortably – and enjoy!
In this sense, the focus of ON has been on some of the overlooked areas of protein supplementation: mixability, digestibility, and taste.
We’re not looking at the most concentrated protein powder ever, but perhaps the goal is to produce the supplement you can enjoyably consume the most of.
ON Gold Standard Whey Ingredients
The active ingredients here are milk proteins. Duh.
Whey is a specific, fast-absorbing form of protein that has made it popular as a post-workout supplement. This makes it a timing-specific product that has significant benefits when used properly.
A single serving of this product (31g) provides 23-24g of protein, which is around 70-75% purity. This is relatively normal and doesn’t strike us as being amazing or notably poor – it’s an industry-standard dose.
There’s a small amount of sugar (1-2g) per serving and this can be beneficial when combined with protein in a post-workout shake but is pretty irrelevant unless you’re really watching your sugar intake.
These are some pretty obvious, predictable ingredients and the most we can say about them is that they’re exactly what you want and expect. We can guarantee the effectiveness, but it doesn’t out-perform others on this factor alone.
My Experience with ON Gold Standard Whey
This is where the vast majority of this product’s virtues come out – because the experience is fantastic.
The ingredients are exactly what you’d expect from a protein powder, but the actual feelings and sensations of using it are anything but standard! I’m not usually a huge fan of whey protein powders, but this product has legitimately been pleasant to use.
ON Gold Standard Whey Taste
While it is a protein powder – and thus not amazing compared to actual delicious drinks – it’s amazing within the category of protein powders.
The flavor we’ve been using is double chocolate (because what kind of loser restricts themselves to single chocolate?). This is a relatively subtle taste that doesn’t feel particularly sugary, chemical, or have any of the lingering whey taste you experience with some brands.
The texture is great, the end result is pleasant and even enjoyable when using 2 scoops in 500ml of milk, so it’s clearly not overpowering. The end result is a chocolate-ish, creamy flavor that I actually anticipate eagerly.
It’s not a chocolate milkshake, but it’s a great attempt for a healthy, pro-muscle supplement.
The taste of this product only works because it’s one of the most mixable products I’ve used.
The actual powder is an interesting texture by itself and I didn’t expect it to mix well because it was a little coarser than I’m used to. However, the moment it hits your liquid of choice, it seems to totally disappear.
The mixability really is fantastic – it’s not a huge selling feature but I’ve had some awful experiences with other protein powders that clump up. With ON gold standard, at least, I don’t have to chew my protein shake!
This is another area where I’m pleasantly surprised with ON and their product.
Whey tends to be more of a digestive stress than other forms of protein due to the rapid-absorption and, obviously, you’re drinking it so it’s even faster. This is the point of whey, but it can be uncomfortable.
However, I’ve not experienced this during my use of ON, which is a really pleasant change. I’m usually a bigger fan of Casein proteins for this difference, but the ON product feels considerably better than others I’ve used.
It’s not perfect – perhaps removing 90-95% of th digestive discomfort – but this is a huge improvement in its own right.
The Final Verdict
This is a product that distinguishes itself purely based on the overall quality of the experience. As mentioned above, it is amazing for the digestibility, mixability, and taste that it offers.
The actual protein content isn’t super high compared to some other products on the market, that’s clear. However, I’d legitimately prefer to add another 10-20% powder using ON than have a purer product that simply isn’t as pleasant or comfortable.
This is why I believe that ON Gold Standard is my favorite whey to date. It takes the sting out of the unpleasantness associated with a whey protein. It’s a silky, creamy, digestion-friendly experience for me and, as much as I hate buying into reputations, this product stands on its own as a great choice.
Gold Standard 100% Whey
- Good price
- Taste is brilliant. Subtle, chocolatey, a great amount of sweetness, and no chemical or whey residual-tastes.
- Mixability is surprisingly flawless. Absolutely no clumps even when combining 2.5 scoops with 500ml of milk.
- For a whey shake, I really enjoyed the digestive effects of this product.
- Protein levels are good – enough to be surely-effective – though not perfect.
- Protein levels can be out-classed on the market (even if there are easy ways around this)