Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

The Best Whey Protein Shake

“What protein shake do you use?” That’s a common discussion you’ll hear among fitness enthusiasts the world over. A central part of the diet for anyone involved in fitness, whey protein shakes are the most commonly used supplement on the market. Today we look at what I, and many others, consider to be the best variety available, Gold Standard 100% Whey by Optimum Nutrition.

Having been in the fitness industry for over a decade, I’ve used more protein shakes than I can count. From the great tasting to the unpalatable, and everything in between, I’ve done the due diligence so you don’t have to. I’ll lay out all of the benefits, as well as the drawbacks, and show you why I truly believe that, if you are in the market for a protein shake, this is the one for you. I’ll also show you some alternative options in case this one doesn’t quite fit your needs, all fully reviewed and broken down so picking the right one for you couldn’t be easier.

Protein Content Taste Value Included Supplements Quality
Gold Standard

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10/10 9/10 8/10 7/10 10/10
Impact Whey

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10/10 10/10 10/10 5/10 7/10
Muscle Fuel Anabolic

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5/10 6/10 8/10 10/10 8/10
PHD Diet Whey

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9/10 7/10 7/10 8/10 9/10
Vega Sport Premium

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8/10 5/10 6/10 6/10 9/10

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Having been producing supplements for over 30 years, Optimum Nutrition are one of the standard bearers in the supplement industry. As you would expect from such a company, they certainly know what they’re doing, and the reviews of their products by both customers and critics alike back that up. If that isn’t enough to convince you though, lets have a look at some of the facts to help you make up your mind.

Selling Points

  • High Quality Protein Content

One of the main selling points of any protein shake is its protein content. The common belief is higher the number, the more bang for your buck. Unfortunately, many brands will artificially inflate that number by pumping their powders full of cheap, low quality protein. Thankfully that’s not the case here though as only the finest whey isolate, whey concentrate and whey peptides are used. 100% whey protein.

  • Low Carb, Fat and Sugar

Another common issue with protein powders is that they often end up having large amounts of “fillers” added in. These will increase the weight of the product to make it seem like better value for money, while in actual fact doing the exact opposite as you will end up with less protein per lb of powder. Featuring only 3-4 grams of carbs, 1-3 grams of sugar and 1- 1.5 grams of fat per scoop, Gold Standard 100% whey is all killer, no filler.

  • Packed With BCAA’s

Branched chain amino acids, or BCAA’s as they’re often shortened to, are the building blocks of protein. They are essential for the body to build muscle, reduce soreness and alleviate fatigue. As they cannot be produced by the body naturally, they have become one of the most popular supplements on the market. While many people will have to shell out large sums of money to purchase them as a separate product, Optimum Nutrition have included 5 grams in every serving of Gold Standard so you can hold on to your hard earned cash.

  • Great Tasting

One of the common drawbacks with many protein shakes is the taste. With nutrition being the most important factor, the palatability of the product often takes a back seat, with some people even avoiding them altogether because of it. That’s not an issue you’ll have here though. Easily one of the best tasting shakes on the market, you’ll frequently hear users rave about how great it tastes. Gone are the days of dreading your post workout shake, with Gold Standard you’ll be looking forward to it.

  • Variety Of Flavours

Keeping things fresh is always important, as the more stale something becomes, the more likely you are to quit. While most protein shakes only offer you the three traditional flavours of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla, Gold Standard comes in a whopping 11 flavours. With that many to choose from, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself getting bored any time soon.

  • Mixability

A key factor in how drinkable a protein shake is will be how well the powder mixes in. Some leaves lumps, others leave a gritty texture and some pretty much need a blender to mix in at all. That’s not the case here though, all you need is a regular shaker and after 30 seconds you wouldn’t be able to tell there was anything there, no matter what liquid you mix it with.

With a list like that I’d imagine there’s a fair few of you already reaching for your credit cards. Before you do though, after singing its praises I think it’s only fair that I’m honest and look at the drawbacks, or in this case drawback, of the product as well. That way you can rest assured you are 100% informed when making your purchase.


  • Price

    There’s no getting around it, this is definitely a premium product and it is therefore priced accordingly. On items like this you sometimes need to look at value as well as cost and, when everything is taken into account, it is worth what they are charging. That being said, if you are shopping on a budget, or just getting into fitness and not ready to drop large sums on supplements, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

Alternative Options

Now, while I’ve clearly explained what I believe to be the best option, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for everyone. Therefore I think it’s only fair that I provide some alternative choices for people like I promised, and explain why they may prefer them.

Best Value Option-Myprotein Impact Whey

Myprotein are an English company that have been producing supplements for 15 years. Their Impact Whey is a top seller, as it not only does it pack a huge amount of weigh protein into every serving, but it’s also one of the best tasting shakes on the market, coming in an incredible 63 flavours. Maybe it’s top selling point though is its price. With its protein content and quality it is easily one of the best value shakes on the market, and this only increases the larger the bag you buy.

Impact Whey Protein

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Best All In One Option-USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic

While protein is the most important, and most popular supplement, there are many others that are useful to aid in your training. The problem is none of them come cheap and buying everything you want can get expensive in a hurry, which is why people often turn to “all in One” options. Shakes designed to provide everything in one source, these are becoming more and more popular due to their ease and quickness, as well as the price. Of all the shakes I’ve tried you cant beat Muscle Fuel Anabolic. On top of protein it also includes:

  • Creatine
  • A wide range of amino acids
  • 19 different vitamins and minerals
  • Testosterone Boosters

While its protein content isn’t as high as some of the other options, this is a great value, all in one, alternative.

Muscle Fuel Anabolic

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Best Weight Loss Option-PHD Diet Whey

While most people think of protein shakes as muscle builders, they are just as important for sculpting your physique as well. If that is your goal then PHD would be my go to option. While still packing in a good amount of protein and very few carbs, it’s the added supplements included that make the difference. Fat loss supplements are a market all of their own and this shake has three of the most effective included, which are:

  • CLA’s
  • L-Carnitine
  • Green Tea Extract

The combination of these supplements, along with the shakes overall nutritional profile, will have the fat falling off of you in no time.


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Best Vegan Option-Vega Sport Premium Protein

While this may be a little bit of a cheat as it isn’t technically whey, veganism is becoming more and more popular by the day, so feels only fair we include an option for all of our readers. The vegan market is still an emerging one, with lots of brands fighting to be on top. When you talk to people about their favourites though, the one name that seems to pop up on almost everyones list is Vega Sport Premium Protein. It has a protein content that will rival most brands of whey, includes additional BCAA’s and as well as being vegan is also GMO and gluten free. The perfect option for someone with very specific dietary needs.


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The Gold Standard 100% Whey really is true to its name in every way, as it sets the bar in this type of product. Quality, content, and taste all score top marks. Only the price is a slight barrier but, as they say, you get what you pay for and that’s definitely the case here.

When it comes to shopping for protein powders, I truly believe you don’t have to look any further than the five in this article. Whether you’re looking to bulk up, cut down, save money, or go vegan we’ve got you covered. There’s nothing you can look for in this type of product that one of these doesn’t cover.

With that in mind, what are you waiting for? Go pick up your new protein shake of choice and start seeing those results for yourself.

Author: Steve
Fitness Writer and Personal Trainer with over a decade of experience in the industry. As a semi-retired professional wrestler and fitness model I've travelled the world expanding my knowledge on all things fitness.