Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Review 2020

In our quest to help muscle builders and athletes meet their goals of getting into the best shape of their lives, we are always on the lookout for better supplement options. One of the most important of all the supplements and nutrient solutions that we’re looking at is whey protein powder. Does ON Gold Standard Whey live up to its hype, or is it just an inflated product that can’t stand up to the claims of being the best. We have used this product for many years and tested many different flavours and put together an in-depth Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein review to help everyone understand whether this powder is worth the cost or not.

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Per 30 gram serving – Total Calories: 120 | Protein: 24 grams | Total Carbohydrates: 3 grams | Sugar: 1 gram | Fat: 1 gram | Lactose-Free: No | Protein Blends: Whey Isolate/Whey Concentrate


  • Really effective at boosting recovery
  • Over 20 flavours to choose from
  • Mixes really well
  • Quality ingredients including 5.5 g BCAA’s and 4 g Glutamine


  • Can be a bit watery if you use more then 250ml of liquid
  • Not fully lactose-free
  • Some flavours taste a bit unnatural

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Review

Effectiveness and Nutrition

The most important aspect of any protein powder is how effective it really is. While we can’t say for 100% certain that using this solution is going to make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron, it will help improve your chances of building muscle with the right supplementary diet and workout routine just because of what it’s made from. We took a close look at the different nutrients, proteins and amino acids included in Gold Standard Protein by Optimum Nutrition and we were overly impressed.

Excellent Muscle Building Nutrients

The most important factor that determines whether a protein powder is worth taking or not, is the nutrients and compounds that it contains. If the powder has enough muscle-building nutrients in it, it’s worth taking. If it’s lacking a key component there is likely a better option on the market instead.

Gold Standard Whey has an extremely impressive nutrient composition. Its main source of protein comes from whey isolate which has allowed ON to pack an impressive 24g of whey protein per serving, along with a highly beneficial 5.5 grams of BCAAs as well. BCAAs and whey protein work very well together to maximize muscle building potential, so it’s really good to see the two ingredients in such high quantities in this powder formula. We would like to note that we’ve seen other protein powders with higher concentrations of whey protein per serving, but most of these come at a higher cost as well.

Good for After Workout Recovery

Thanks to its inclusion of 4 grams of Glutamine per serving, Gold Standard whey protein powder is excellent for muscle repair and recovery after a workout as well. L-Glutamine helps to reduce muscle breakdown while speeding up muscle repair, aiding in faster recovery periods overall. Many protein powders lack in this ingredient, and that’s one of the reasons that we highly recommend Gol Standard from Optimum Nutrition.

Heavily Tested

While we often get excited about new products entering the market, including new protein powders, one thing that we loved seeing while making this Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein review was the thousands of reviews that this product has on big sites like Amazon. With literally tens of thousands of users from around the world, this protein powder solution has been tested heavily and overall has mostly positive feedback. Many newer products haven’t been tested so much, so it’s impossible to say that they will stand up to the scrutiny that this protein brand has for so long.

optimum nutrition gold standard whey protein review ingredients

Value and Purchase Options

Effectiveness is the most important consideration when purchasing any sort of supplement, but that shouldn’t be the only thing you think about when making that type of decision. While building this Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein review we looked closely at the purchase options available as well as what sort of value this product has to offer to create a more accurate picture of the products overall quality.

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Plenty of Size Options

Just as we look for different flavour options when judging a protein powder, we also look at the different size options available. Most bodybuilders will want to go for the biggest size possible when buying a tub of protein powder, but that’s not always the best idea when trying out a new product. This powder is sold in 10lb., 5lb., 2lb. and 1lb. packages, letting you test out small doses first before committing to full-sized containers of the powder. This is excellent for interested buyers that want to try out multiple flavours, and it’s just nice to have different options to choose from when making a purchase.

Great Overall Value

Another important factor to consider when looking at protein powder is how much protein you’re getting in a package, versus how much you’re paying for that container. This product is one of the more affordable options that you’re going to come across for good quality whey protein powder. A single 2lb. container of this powder, for instance, has around 700 grams of protein. That’s a whole lot of protein packed into a pretty low-cost option.  If you’re a bodybuilder on a budget and you still want to take in good quality protein powder, you will be doing good with this option.

Taste and Texture

Finally, with any sort of food product, it’s important to think about how it actually tastes when you drink it. We did a lot of testing to figure out how this protein powder stands up against the competition as far as taste is concerned, but we had to rely on user reviews as well, due to the sheer number of flavours offered for the Gold Standard protein powder.

Huge 20 Flavours To Choose From

For people that like having lots of options for their protein powder, Gold Standard stands out in this regard. There are many different standard flavours, with the most popular being Double Rich Chocolate, Chocolate Coconut and Cake Batter. There are others as well like Plant Berry, Chocolate Malt and Chocolate Peanut. You will be able to choose from more than 20 flavours in all, giving everyone a chance to find their favourite.

With so many different flavours to choose from it’s easy to always be testing out something new, or to rotate between a few favourite flavours to keep things interesting over time. With that said, many customers complain that the flavours aren’t quite as good as they could be. Flavours like Cake Batter are plagued with issues of being too sweet or having an artificial flavour to them. Other customers complain of the milk chocolate flavour not having enough chocolate taste.  We 100% agree with this, as milk chocolate was our least favourite flavour.

After testing a few of the flavours ourselves we ended up enjoying the Double Rich Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut the best and not having an issue with a few others. Everyone has different taste buds though, so it’s important to try out multiple flavours before making a final decision about which flavours to use. Fortunately, there are enough options to make it possible for everyone to find a flavour they enjoy.

Mixes To A Nice Smooth TextureShaker and protein powder on white background

Nothing ruins a gym session more than a lumpy smoothie, which is why it’s important to get a protein powder that mixes in smoothly. Many will form lumps and create a grainy texture when being mixed in, but we didn’t experience that issue much with this protein powder. In fact, even when mixed together with a low-quality blender we were still able to create a pretty smooth finished protein powder. The product is well-regarded by other users for its ability to mix in smoothly and create a nice thick shake or smoothie that’s almost desert-like in quality. Optimum Nutrition advertises that this protein powder has been instantized for easy mixing, which means it’s been heated in a specific way to help it dissolve faster and more completely in water and other liquids. After testing the powder out it’s obvious that this technique is effective at helping to create a nice smooth texture.

There is a slight downside though.  If you put in much more then 250ml of liquid into your shaker, then the consistency can turn a tad watery.

Is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Worth the Cost?

After carefully reviewing this protein powder, we can say with confidence that the product is worth the cost that it’s currently selling at. Sure, there are options with higher protein amounts per serving, but for pure value and quality, there is nothing that comes close.

It comes in a huge variety of flavours and most people like at least one of them after testing out enough kinds. Not only that, but this protein powder packs many of the most important muscle-building substances into one mixed formula that’s very beneficial to your average athlete. There’s not much to dislike about this product, and its low cost makes up for most of the cons that we experienced when putting together this review.

It’s by far our favourite whey protein powder currently on the market

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