on August 28, 2011
As a fitness enthusiast and a Science guy, I am always curious to find the real value of a supplement. What works and what does not work. More importantly, I believe the analysis of a product should be based on strong scientific knowledge base, combined with good old fashion practical use of the product, and only then one should come down to the final conclusion.
This product review and analysis was conducted based on 3 parameters
A. Constituents: What comes in the box, the real value of the product
B. Assimilation: How does this product goes down in your system, how much of it will your body assimilate
C. Usability : Long term usability and and effects.
I believe this is one of the best supplements available in the market today. The Question is Why?
1. The Quality of protein. Since its manufactured by Glanbia (who owns Optimum nutrition), this product is coming straight from the manufacturer. This is a BIG factor, 90% of the protein supplement companies source their raw materials from third parties, often importing them from third world countries.
100 grams of Whey protein isolate from one source is NOT equal to the 100 gram Whey protein isolate from another. Inferior resources usually have high level of Heavy metals and cattle Hormones. This has been elucidated from recent tests and published widely in the consumer reports. ON aced this report with minimum levels of such harmful residues. Reason is simple, they make their own whey in a plant which has to abide all regulations under US law.
Just for the point of reference. I am from India, and therefore know first hand how many poorly regulated cheese plants export their whey to Europe and US. So make sure your Whey protein is coming from Whey extracted in the US!!
2. Ideally, I will prefer the protein powder with no artificial sweetener. But lets face it, such a product will be hard to sell. However, Golds whey keep artificial sweeter to minimum. If you check Bodybuilding.com forums, lots of consumer complain that its not sweet enough. I request all such folks to realise that is actually good for them, if you feel this product is not sufficiently sweet for you. Its better you use lesser amount of hydrant (Milk, water, juice etc), or add a tiny bit of Honey.
The Profile- The Myth about Isolate vs a Blend
3. This might be hard for some people to digest. However, the truth is 96% people who use Whey supplements, will have no additional benefits of taking an Isolate vs a Blend. Please note, when I use the word blend, I mean a product lile Golds whey which is well balanced with Whey isolate and Whey Concentrate. (not any junk product form the market). If you take the blend, you might get 1 gram of extra fat or 2 grams of extra carbs which is absolutely nothing. You can burn this by adding 1.5 minute to your jog routine or walking for 2-3 minutes. You will get the same result and effect as the Isolate, so its not worth spending extra refined Isolate. The Isolate rumor is just a Hype created by the supplement industry. I will repeat this again, if your blend is as good as Golds whey i.e you are getting 24 grams per 30 gram scoop, you don't need an Isolate.
Who all comprise the 4% population who can benefit from an Isolate. First people who are extremely lactose Intolerant. I have used the word extremely since all good products add enzymes to digest the little amount of lactose residue in the supplement. Lactose is not a a bad thing, its simply the milk sugar. So if you are highly allergic to Lactose, Isolate will help (they have negligible levels of lactose)
Second tier of people who can benefit from Isolates are professional athletes who are pepping up for an upcoming competition. This competitive set is consuming 5-8+ scoops of Whey protein daily and therefore will benefit from reduction in additional fat or carbs.
4. Why go for Whey protein blend when you have specialized protein powders with Whey,egg and Casein.
Its simple science, Whey is just better with the best Biological value*. This means that your body will better absorb and use the protein source from Whey more than any other source, therefore no wastage. Egg is also a great resource, which is just behind Whey. However in real world it lags behind Whey substantially, even the delayed absorption rate cannot compensate much. Scientifically it has been proven that Whey is just better, since it doesn't tax your digestive processes as much as an egg protein.
Question of Casein:
Its true that Casein has an edge when it comes to delayed absorption. Its anti-catabolic properties and slow absorption makes it an ideal night time protein. This said, its best when you take Casein in concentrated from, i.e. if you need Casein, take only Caesin, do not mix it with Whey... Why do I say this, Its a big topic based on metabolism response(will add a different thread later). One last thing 24 grams of Whey protein is NOT equal to 24 grams of Casein as the Biological value of Casein is lower than Whey.However Caesin does have its own benifit of delayed response, provided you actually need it.
*Biological Value: Biological value (BV) is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism's body.
Whey protein concentrate: 104
Whole egg: 100
Cow milk: 91
Always keep a note of how much protein you are consuming from Supplements Vs straight from the food. Ideally one should keep protein sources from supplements under 25%, but if your life style is demanding and you are unable to get hold of good meals rich in protein, you should always keep your protein dependency under 50%. In layman terms, for most of us who are looking for fitness, keep it not more than 2 scoops/day. For those who really pump some heavy Iron keep it upto than 3 scoops/day. (let me know if you wish to know the science behind this)
In the end Supplements are only Supplements. The word Supplement has a lot of Drama attached to it, as if, if you don't take a protein shake within 30 minutes of your work out.. you will never make good gain. Total Crap. This is not a make or break factor(its just beneficial). Baring few exceptions. Supplements adds up only 20 percent of your fitness equation.
In the real world, for over 90% of us. The fitness equation is something like this.
A Intensity and Regularity of Workout: 30- 35%
B Lifestyle and Nutritional Choices: 40- 50%
C Supplements : 0 - 20%
So the most important thing is to focus on A%B. Once you have maximized A and B, think about C
on May 13, 2013
First off, I've purchased a bunch of different flavors of ON Gold Standard Whey. All of them have close to the same nutritional value, but they vary greatly in taste. Both my wife and I drink these protein shakes as part of our daily diet, and as a product, Optimum Nutrition is great. I've mixed with both milk and water, and all of the shakes mix well and don't seem to clump. I've tried other manufactures whey, and I keep finding myself going back to ON for the price, nutritional value, and above all the taste.
So the flavor question. As I mentioned, each flavor has a different characteristic from the others. Some are bland, some taste sweet, some taste overly fake. We loved some, and we hated some. Below is a list based on what we like so far and why. Bear in mind that I hate diet drinks for their bad aftertaste. The drinks don't have to be sweet for me to like them, but I can't stand the garbage aftertaste of fake sweeteners.
The best flavors:
Rocky Road - By far the single best tasting flavor. The downside is that it does taste a little sweet. The nutritional value is right on with the other flavors, but it is a bit sweet. I could drink this all day. If you only buy one flavor, this is it. There is no real aftertaste, and the flavor is great.
Extreme Milk Chocolate - Another good flavor with almost no aftertaste. This one tastes like chocolate, and doesn't have a fake taste to it. If you are looking at the chocolate flavors, this one is perfect.
Natural Vanilla - This is a slightly different product, and it comes in a tub with yellow labeling instead of the red. It's on Amazon for the same price, and it has the same nutritional values. They claim it has less artificial sweeteners in it, hence the natural label. In any case, this is the best vanilla out there. There is no aftertaste, and it tastes like vanilla milk. It is not as sweet as the others, but it the single best vanilla flavor I've found.
The middle of the road flavors:
Cookies and Cream - This one is both good and bad. If you like the creamy vanilla taste, you will like the flavor. It doesn't have a bad aftertaste, but it is sort bland. It is sweet, but bland. Also, the cookie chunks in it don't dissolve. This is the only flavor so far that has bits of stuff that you are swallowing when you drink it. It's odd. That said, I have reordered it in the past.
Chocolate Malt - It's just OK. The flavor is a little odd because of the malt. Given the choice, just order the Extreme Milk Chocolate.
Caramel Toffee Fudge - Again, just OK. They tried too hit to many flavors with this one, and it just turned out odd. Not a bad flavor, but don't start out here. I got bored so I tried it. I doubt I'll order it again.
And the bad:
Double Rich Chocolate - This flavor sucks. It tastes like fake chocolate. Not good fake chocolate, but generic fake chocolate. It has that bad aftertaste of fake sweetener, and is all around not good.
Vanilla Ice Cream - Another swing and a miss. This flavor tastes like bad fake powdered milk. It has that bad aftertaste, and is probably the single worst flavor they have. If you are looking for vanilla, avoid this at all costs and get the Natural Vanilla.
Tropical Punch - Another fake tasting flavor. When I got this, I could barely get through the first few shakes. Eventually it grew on me a little bit, and I was able to drink it without hating it. It tastes like strawberry milk with a bunch of fake sweetener. It's just wrong, and is not something you want to drink after a workout.
I know that taste varies from person to person, so take this with a grain of salt. I hate the taste of fake sweetener, so this list draws from that. I've taken to buying the 2lb tubs to try out a flavor, and then going with the 5lb tubs if I like it. It costs a bit more that way, but it means there is only 2lbs to choke down if you get a flavor that you hate.
on April 30, 2015
I've been drinking ON Protein Powder and building muscle-children for the last five years, thus I am an expert on the subject.
BROTIP#1: Always go for the 5LBer. Best deal and you wouldn't want 10 lbs of protein powder unless you are ordering Rocky Road or Graham-Cracker R.I.P.
I have sampled almost all flavors of ON and made a professional excel chart for you at home to enjoy. Note everything is mixed with water, cause milk doesn't refrigerate well in my sweaty gym-bag.
GOD-Tier: Could drink everyday forever and be satisfied:
Rocky Road: You can almost taste marshmallows in your protein, these guys are flavor wizards.
Nice Tier: I'd recommend these to a friend if they were branching out after chocolate.
Mocha Cappuccino: Once I tried mixing this with black coffee, tasted unfortunate.
Cookies and Cream: Hallmark of protein flavors since the dawn of mankind.
Chocolate Mint: Probably your safest bet ever, didn't need to read my review to figure that out.
Chocolate Coconut: Tastes like hot cocoa powder mixed with a little coconut, great powder to change things up a bit before back to Rocky Road.
BROTIP #2: If you are mixing without a mixer or a blender, here's how you channel McGuyver and feed your muscle-children. Step 1, add a little bit of water to the cup before adding your protein in. Thats it, it helps.
Ok Tier: It won't make you puke, but you aren't leaving a good tip (Perhaps just the tip).
Malt chocolate: Not enough malt, its chocolate + a palette confuser
Double Rich Chocolate: Too much chocolate and it tastes like poo-people chocolate that you buy in bulk after valentine's day cause nobody loves you.
Delicious Strawberry: Looks like strawberry, tastes like strawberry, mixes worse than the s*** that clings to your asshairs after a night of binge-drinking after your children disappoint you yet again.
Caramel Toffee Fudge: Sounds like a sure win right? I'd love for my protein to taste like any of these flavors, but sadly for me, it tastes like the flavor wizards each thought their respective flavor was the best and it was settled democratically, aka middle of the ground bland.
Gross Tier: You have to be a total monster, or mix it with milk to enjoy (AKA a total monster).
Banana Cream: If my mom wanted to branch out from soap to rinse my mouth out, it would be hard to not recommend Banana Cream as a painful substitute.