Every experienced athlete and bodybuilder knows that post workout supplements, like Gold Standard Whey, are essential to maximise the benefits of working out.
Firstly, they facilitate recovery from workout-related soreness and fatigue. Secondly, they repair muscles faster, thereby enabling you to achieve full range of motion, less soreness (DOMS) and tightness, which leads to more effective workouts.
This is precisely the reason why almost all successful bodybuilders use post-workout supplements to compliment their training. Does this mean you should be using them too?
Not in every case. But generally my advice would be yes.
Post workout your body needs around 30 grams of protein within 20-30 minutes of your workout to repair muscle, reduce soreness and maximise gains. If you can get this directly from meat as whole foods, great! Otherwise, post workout supplements provide an excellent solution to consume protein (and other beneficial post workout supplements & nutrients) fast.
Finding the best post workout supplement
Finding the right post workout whey is always a challenge. The market is full of products, each of which claims to be the “best”. Then you compare ingredients, noticing some have BCAA's, some don't, some use sweeteners, some don't.
Then there's also the issue - how does it taste?
Today, let's review one of the most popular post workout supplements in the world, Gold Standard Whey by Optimum Nutrition.
Gold Standard Whey Review
In this review, I aim to answer some of the most common questions about Gold Standard whey:
- Why is Gold Standard whey one of the bestselling protein powders in the world?
- What are the Gold Standard nutritional facts I should be aware of?
- What is the Gold Standard whey best flavour?
- Is Gold Standard whey suitable for weight loss?
- Where can I find an honest Gold Standard review?
- Where are the cheapest places to buy Gold Standard whey?
Let's get started.
Intro to ON Gold Standard Whey Protein
Gold Standard is a whey protein supplement produced by Optimum Nutrition (ON) – a company renowned for its range of supplements. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey is a post-workout supplement which is intended to facilitate recovery from soreness, boost energy and promote muscle growth.
Since it first entered the market, the Gold Standard has been very popular with athletes, bodybuilders and aspiring bodybuilders.
On Bodybuilding.com it is the most highly rated post-workout supplement with an average rating of 9.2 out of 10. One of the major reasons for its popularity is its unique nutritional profile.
Gold Standard Whey Ingredients
There are four main categories ingredients in the ON Gold Standard protein. They are Whey Protein Isolate, Branched Chain Amino Acids, Glutamine & Glutaminc Acid and Whey Protein Microfractions. Let's examine these ingredients in more detail.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
This is the main ingredient in Gold Standard and just about every post workout on the market. Whey Protein Isolate is created by separating the components of milk. Whey is usually a by-product of the cheese making process. WPI is the represents the highest and purest form of protein possible. WPI is pure protein and is free of fats, carbohydrates, cholesterol and lactose. This basically means that it can facilitate muscle repair and restoration, without exposing the body to the downsides associated with fats, carbohydrates and cholesterol. This is exactly what ON Gold Standard offers. Thanks to having WPI as a main ingredient, the supplement fast-tracks recovery from workouts. This reduces soreness while reducing likelihood of DOMS. It also helps your body to recover sooner from muscle strains and mini-tears. Ultimately, WPI enables you to workout more frequently and improves the performance of those workouts by allowing normal range of motion that is not constrained by muscle soreness or tightness.
Naturally Occurring BCCA's
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCCA's) are naturally occurring amino acids which are highly concentrated in the muscle tissues. Their purpose is two-fold. First of all, they stimulate the muscles to synthesize proteins. Secondly, they act as a fuel for the muscles – causing you to feel vibrant, vivacious and energetic. The only problem with BCCAs is that they can be depleted during strenuous physical activity. This is what causes the feelings of fatigue, lethargy or general weakness especially after an intense workout. The body has its own mechanism for replenishing BCCAs, but it takes a while. In the meantime, you feel very weak. This is where a supplement like ON Gold Standard comes in handy. The supplement contains up to 4g of BCCAs in every servings. Among the amino acids in the supplement are Isoleucine, Valine and Leucine. Each of these plays an essential role in the body:
- Isoleucine: helps with muscle tissue repair, speeds up recovery from physical injuries (e.g.) cuts and increases physical endurance.
- Valine: supplies energy the muscles
- Leucine: stimulates protein synthesis and thus enables the body to break down proteins and build muscles
The combined effect of these BCCAs is that they eliminate the typical soreness or fatigue which follows a strenuous workout. They also enable you to recover faster from any injuries incurred during the workout. This means that you can workout more frequently and reduce fatigue post workout.
Glutamine & Glutaminc Acid
Glutamine is one of the most essential free amino acids in the body. It is produced in the muscles, and is transported throughout the body through the bloodstream. It plays a number of essential roles from boosting the immune system to countering the effects of certain medications. In the context of exercise, Glutamine plays the role of fueling the body. It supplies nitrogen and carbon to the body’s cells, thereby boosting energy. As such, Glutamine is essential for enhancing exercise performance and promoting in endurance. This also makes it the perfect ingredient for replenishing the body after a workout. Glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid whose major role is to facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses. When combined with Glutamine, it speeds up the body’s reception of the latter. This basically means that the benefits of Glutamine (i.e. fueling the body) are felt much faster. To someone who has been working out, it gives the perception of “instant recovery”.
Whey Protein Microfractions
Microfractions are simply dietary components which are created during the making of whey proteins. Besides WPI, other types of components released are whey protein concentrates and whey hydrolysates. The microfractions contained in ON Gold Standard are whey protein concentrates (WPC's). WPC's facilitate muscle hypertrophy, allowing the muscles expand and increase in size, playing an essential role in muscle building.
Gold Standard Whey Nutritional Facts
Here are the Gold Standard Whey Nutritional facts:
These are some of the best nutritional macronutrients available on the market today.
Gold Standard Whey: The Pros
The ON Gold Standard is arguably the best post-workout supplement on the market. On Bodybuilding.com, Gold Standard has an average user rating of 9.2 out of ten from over 9,000 users. However, the supplement isn’t just popular with bodybuilders. Different categories of athletes from amateurs to professionals absolutely love it. The ultimate question is: why do they choose Gold Standard product over others?
1. Excellent balance of ingredients: the supplement provides the maximum concentration of proteins, with minimum calories, and almost no fats or carbs. A bottle contains 24g of protein, 1g of fats and 3g of fats. It is also gives a maximum of 120 calories. This makes it better balanced than other supplements (e.g. Performance Whey which offers 22g of protein, 4g of fats, 9g of carbs and 160 calories).
2. Instant action: Most users of this supplement say that it provides “instant results”. In other words, the effect of the supplement is felt almost immediately after taking it. This is because it is designed to be instantly absorbed into the body.
3. Enduring results: This protein facilitates muscle development. What sets it apart is that even if you stop using it, the muscles remain (as long as you maintain you exercise regime). Most supplements are designed to “hook” your body to them. As such, the results begin fade when you stop using them. The ON Gold Standard is different. As such, you can use them safely knowing that even when you choose to stop, the results will remain.
4. Easy to use & mixes well: This supplement is extremely simple to prepare. It is instantized to mix easily. As such, whether you use a shaker or simply a glass and spoon, you can have your post-workout drink within the shortest time possible.
I find it mixes well with cold water or milk. Personally, I prefer to take mine with cold water.
5. Lots of flavours to choose from: This supplement is designed to not only be effective, but to also taste great. This is generally the major difference between post workout supplements; the taste. Gold Standard has some of the nicest flavours on the market. More on this below.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Flavours
The ON Gold Standard whey protein is one of the flavour-rich supplements on the market. It comes with a vast variety of 20 tasty flavours to choose from. Basically, whatever flavour excites your palate, you can find it. The sheer number of flavours can be quite overwhelming especially for first-timers.
The Gold Standard Whey best flavour?
According to Bodybuilding.com, it is Mocha Cappuccino, which beats Extreme Milk Chocolate by the slightest of margins.
Here are the other flavours rated in order (maximum rating is 10):
- Mocha cappuccino (9.1)
- Extreme Milk Chocolate (9)
- Chocolate Coconut (8.8)
- Salted Caramel (8.8)
- Coffee (8.8)
- Double Rich Chocolate (8.6)
- Banana Cream (8.5)
- Cake Batter (8.4)
- French Vanilla Creme (8.4)
- Strawberry Banana (8.3)
My personal favourites? Extreme Milk Chocolate & White Chocolate. I didn't like Double Rich Chocolate as it tasted too cocoa-ey for me.
What are your favourite Gold Standard flavours? Comment below!
Gold Standard: The Verdict
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey protein is arguably the most popular post workout supplement ever made. While the taste is outstanding, it also maintains an excellent nutritional profile, mixes well. And the price per serving is also very good. For more information and to order Optmium Nutritin Gold Standard Whey, click here.