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9 Best Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Flavors

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 9, 2021

When it comes to whey protein powders, no brand has yet surpassed Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey in the rankings.

However, nailing down the best Optimum Nutrition flavor is quite tricky, considering that you have to choose from over 20 varieties.

We tried them all and scoured through tons of user reviews to squeeze out the best Gold Standard Whey protein flavors.

The Best Optimum Nutrition Flavors As Ranked By Buyers

1. Double Rich Chocolate

chocolate bar

True to its name, this one has a very rich chocolate flavor. It's creamy, milky, and tasty - it almost feels like you're drinking real chocolate milk.

Despite being "double rich," its sweetness is not overpowering, which a lot of people appreciate. Its light sweet flavor and cocoa powder taste have made it a crowd favorite.

Double Rich Chocolate also mixes extremely well (even with just a stick) and has the same thin consistency whether you combine it with water or milk.

Many protein powder companies also have this flavor, but Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Double Rich Chocolate can easily surpass most of its competitors.

Pros
  • Mixes extremely well
  • Maintains the same consistency when mixed with water or milk
  • Not overly swee
Cons
  • Does not taste as good at room temperature

2. Chocolate Hazelnut

Chocolate Hazelnut

The first protein powder on this list is quite controversial, as people seem to have a love-hate relationship with it.

Despite that, it still came out as one of the top flavors mainly due to its mixability, which is crucial in choosing the best whey protein powder.

This variant easily dissolves in a shaker or a standard blender bottle, so preparing it was a breeze.

As I read through the reviews, I've seen many people saying that it doesn't mix well with hot water.

Well, there's actually an easy fix for that. Just mix the whey protein powder with about an ounce of cold or room temperature water and stir for 2-3 minutes before mixing it with the hot liquid.

I was kind of hoping that Chocolate Hazelnut would taste like Nutella, but it doesn't, so manage your expectations if you ever decide to try this flavor.

See our list of the best-tasting chocolate whey protein powders.

Pros
  • Dissolves well in cold and warm water/milk
  • Has a pleasant chocolate milkshake taste
  • Has a smooth texture
Cons
  • Its hazelnut flavor is too subtle and tastes quite artificial

3. Chocolate Malt

Chocolate Malt

After trying out Optimum Nutrition's Chocolate Malt protein powder, I was instantly hooked.

I mixed this one with milk, and the best way I can describe its texture is smooth and velvety, which I just love.

It brought back memories of me as a child buying milk chocolate ice cream from our local shop.

I also like that it's not too sweet. However, I would say that it leaves a weird aftertaste, which most protein powders tend to have.

As a self-confessed chocoholic, I admit that I have my biases. But I genuinely believe that even those who aren't chocolate lovers will enjoy this flavor.

Pros
  • Tastes great with both water and milk
  • Has just the right amount of sweetness
  • Doesn’t clump when mixed with a blender
Cons
  • Might leave a weird aftertaste
  • The powder easily sticks to spoons or glasses, making manual mixing difficult

4. Chocolate Peanut Butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter

This one has become a favorite among Gold Standard Whey protein fans, and it's easy to see (or taste) why.

Despite having a chocolate base, this variant strikes the perfect balance between chocolate and peanut butter. Neither one dominates the overall flavor.

I think Chocolate Peanut Butter just tastes wonderful, especially when blended with almond milk and half a banana.

It mixes smoothly and doesn't form clumps.

It also didn't have the dreaded chalky texture that other protein powders tend to have, which is a big plus.

The PB taste is so good that this one might just help you skip real peanut butter so you can cut on a few calories.

Pros
  • Tastes delicious and mixes well
  • Provides a balanced flavor of chocolate and PB
  • Has a smooth, non-chalky texture
Cons
  • Might have a slightly chemical-like aftertaste
  • Some users say that it has a weird taste and smell that is hard to place

5. French Vanilla Crème

genus vanilla orchid on a table

Vanilla is often a hit or miss when it comes to protein shakes, but this one from Optimum Nutrition is most definitely a hit.

It tastes delicious and feels a lot like you're drinking melted vanilla ice cream or a vanilla milkshake that isn't too sweet, which is ah-mazing.

I've never had problems with the powder getting all lumpy when mixed with water/milk using a standard blender bottle.

It also smells heavenly, but I recommend adding this to milk instead of water to bring out its yummy vanilla flavor.

So if I were you, don't write off this French Vanilla Creme flavor just yet because it's pretty good.

See our list of the best-tasting vanilla protein powders.

Pros
  • No chalky texture and weird aftertaste
  • Not too sweet
  • Blends really well
Cons
  • Contains soy, a major food allergen
  • Might taste bland for some when mixed with only water

“The use of post-workout protein shakes is essential for anyone participating in weight training, and a dose of 30-40 grams is widely accepted as being the optimal amount for recovery and growth.” - James Castle-Mason, Fitness Trainer

6. White Chocolate

a plate with a white chocolate bar

This White Chocolate from Optimum Nutrition is another whey protein flavor that those with sweet teeth will surely love.

If you don’t like sweet treats—or actual white chocolate—then you won’t be as much of a fan of this one as I am.

Personally, I think it’s super delicious that it’s almost hard to believe that I’m taking a supplement.

To me, it tastes more of a milkshake. And you don’t even need to mix it with mik to achieve this taste; just water is fine.

I also like that it doesn’t have an extravagant flavor that is overwhelming. But some users think otherwise and say that that subtlety made it too bland.

Pros
  • Tastes like a milkshake
  • Tastes great with water
  • Not too sweet
Cons
  • Subtle white chocolate flavor made it too bland
  • Gives sort of an artificial taste

Other Flavors To Consider

different sweet flavors

If you're not too crazy about the Optimum Nutrition flavors listed above, here are other flavors that didn't make it to the top but are also worth trying.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Like French Vanilla Creme, I can say that Optimum Nutrition's Vanilla Ice Cream flavor tastes exactly just like its name.

The only difference is that it has a richer and sweeter taste than the French variant. So if you don't mind the extra dose of sweetness, you'd probably like this one better.

Rocky Road

When you hear "rocky road," you immediately think of chocolate, walnuts, and marshmallows.

That would be a pretty accurate description of this flavor, except for the nuts part. This one has more of a chocolate-cherry taste, which I think is delightful. It's not too strong or sweet, either.

Extreme Milk Chocolate

Extreme Milk Chocolate tastes quite similar to Double Rich Chocolate, but it has an even sweeter and richer milk chocolate flavor.

Although it tastes terrific with milk, I think this one is better mixed with just water because of its inherent sweetness. If you're a chocoholic, you can't go wrong with this flavor.

If you avoid sweeteners, we advise you to check out our recommended unflavored protein powders.

FAQs

What Does Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Do?

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey protein delivers 24 grams of high-quality whey protein and 5.5 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs that support muscle growth and help repair and rebuild muscle fibers after training [1].

Does Gold Standard Whey Help You Gain Weight?

Gold Standard Whey protein can help you gain weight as long as you consume a diet with more calories than you burn.

If you're trying to increase your muscle mass, you should consume extra calories per day from quality foods—including whey protein—and commit to working out regularly.

Is Optimum Nutrition Whey the Best?

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey is composed of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey peptides that support lean muscle mass growth [2].

The company adheres to the highest production standards, and each ingredient has been verified by third-party testing companies as safe and potent. It's no wonder that it's still the world's #1 selling whey protein powder.

How Can You Tell if Gold Standard Whey Is Real?

You only need to check four things. First, the bottle should have a gold hologram seal on the black plastic neckband.

Next, the crease on the bottom of U.S. made tubs is a mold mark from plastic thermoforming, which looks the same on every tub.

Third, It should have inkjet printing on the bottom or side of the tub indicating the manufacture date, expiration date, and batch code.

Finally, there should be a cardboard vacuum barrier that helps hold the powder under the cap.

When should whey protein be taken?

This supplement is best taken first thing in the morning and/or 30 minutes before or immediately after training. Simply mix one rounded scoop of this protein powder in 180-240 ml of cold water to avoid clumping.

The Best Flavor of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Is…

Based on user feedback and our team's own standards, we've determined that the best Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard flavor is Double Rich Chocolate.

Most people rave about its real chocolate milk taste that hits the taste buds just right. It isn't overly sweet and mixes really well, even without a blender.

With over 20 options to choose from, we know picking the best-tasting Gold Standard flavor can be difficult. So we really hope that this guide helps you do just that.

Give these top flavors a try, and let us know what you think of them.


References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263371

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