My main goal this year is to become more physically active and try to become a bit leaner. 2017 started off very well and I’ve been going to the gym consistently. Usually I make it 5 times every week, but sometime there is an errant and I miss a day. That’s still not too bad, though. Check out my fitness log. I’ve been doing very well this year.
Getting leaner means I have to add some muscle and reduce fat. It’s May now and I can finally see some result. My weight is up a bit and my belly fat is slowly going down. It’s an ongoing process because I can’t work out that hard due to a medical condition. To help me on the fitness journey, I’ve been taking a few supplements. One is the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein and I’m going to review the product today.
What the heck is whey and why should I take it? I’ll just go over the basic because I don’t want to overwhelm you with the detail. Whey is a bit complicated, but it is the best protein power for most of us.
Whey is a by-product of cheese. The whey is further processed into powder form to increase their protein concentration. Whey protein breaks down easily and it will help you build muscle. Protein is best consumed before and after workout. That’s why you see those protein shakers at the gym. There are 3 major forms of whey.
- Whey Protein Concentrate – Modern whey concentrate is minimally processed and contain 70-80% protein. There are a lot of other good compounds left here as well as lactose and fat.
- Whey Protein Isolate – Whey isolate is processed to remove lactose and fat. WPI should be 90%+ protein.
- Whey Peptide (hydrolyzed) – The protein is partially broken down and it is absorbed faster.
Whey protein concentrate is the cheapest form because it requires less processing. The cost goes up from there. If you don’t mind a little fat and lactose, then WPC is the way to go. However, if you’re on a low fat diet or have some problem with lactose, then WPI is probably the better choice.
Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey is a blend of all 3 kinds of whey protein. That’s great because they all have different benefits.
Why take whey?
I’m not a serious bodybuilder or a professional athlete, but it is still good to take whey protein. Whey can help you gain muscle and lose fat. That’s my main goal this year. Whey is the most “thermogenic” food source you can eat which means it will help you burn calories after you eat it. Adding whey protein will increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. Of course, it’s not magic. You need to eat a balance diet and exercise too.
I take a little whey with milk and coffee before going to work out at 10 am. Then I drink a serving after I get home from the gym. The whey helps me delay lunch until after 1 pm and I don’t have to snack much before dinner. Any kind of protein will help stave off hunger.
So if you’re working out, you need to take whey protein. It helps whether you’re trying to bulk up or lose weight. It’s really one of the two essential supplements all gym goers should take. The other is creatine, but we’ll talk about that another day.
What’s in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey?
Let’s check out the label for the “double rich chocolate” flavor.
- Protein Blend – 3 kinds of whey.
- Cocoa – not bad.
- Lecithin – improve mixability
- Natural and artificial flavors – This one is bad.
- Acesulfame potassium – artificial sweetener
- Aminogen – good enzyme
- Lactase – aid digestion
The only problem I see is the artificial flavoring. The whey shake isn’t that sweet to me. Compare to hot cocoa, it’s about half as sweet.
Taste and mixability
I’d stick with the basic flavors – chocolate and vanilla. I read that the more complicated flavor like Rocky Road and Birthday Cake contain sucralose (splenda) and seems to taste bad for many people.
Here is how I take the whey. I heat up about 4 oz of milk and mix the whey powder in with a spoon. It’d be well mixed after about 30 seconds of stirring. Then, I add coffee. This works really well and I like how it taste.
The whey powder mixes very well with warm milk. It’s a bit clumpier if I scoop it right into my coffee. I guess it just mixes better with milk because that’s what it’s made from. I haven’t used it with a shaker, but I heard that works better than stirring.
A 5 lbs tub of Gold Standard Whey cost about $58 from Amazon. This is probably the most convenient way to purchase this product. You can also find it on the shelf at GNC and at your gym. My gym occasionally has it on sale for $50. The 5 lbs tub has 74 servings so each serving cost less than a dollar. That’s not too bad.
Bottom line – Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey is a great product. Just stick with chocolate or vanilla to avoid extra ingredients. It will help you gain muscle and lose fat. The whey powder taste good and mix well. Try a smaller size first if you’re not sure. The only complain I have is that the tub is huge. It’d be more convenient if they could make the tub smaller. It takes up so much room in the kitchen. Other than that, I love it. All in all, a great product and I recommend it.