A lot of health products like to label themselves as “premium” and some will go as far as to say they are the best. These statements are rarely backed up by the products, but there is one exception to that and it comes in the form of ON Gold Standard Whey.
This is gold standard in more than just name. It is a protein powder that always makes it to the top of the bestsellers lists, and that’s as true on major international sites as it is on sites that focus on UK and US markets. Many of our regular readers have asked us for our opinion on this, eager to see if this is another product we will knock like we did with our many mass gainer reviews.
So, this is our ON Gold Standard review, as completed by our own bodybuilding expert. And because we also sampled some of their Gold Standard 100% Casein, you can also find our review of that below.
Best Optimum Protein
There are many protein drinks produced by ON, but it is the ON Whey Gold Standard that tops all of the lists. This is basic whey protein, something that everyone who lifts will have in their diet. It’s the multivitamin of protein powders. However, they also have some top sellers in other categories, including the 100% casein, which I have reviewed below.
You can order the ON Whey Gold Standard in tubs and in bags, ranging from 1 pound bags and 2 pound tubs, up to 5 pound tubs and 10 pound bags. There are more than 20 unique flavors out there but while these all have tempting names, some of them are a lot more “miss” than “hit”. This is something you will want to pay attention to, because there’s nothing worse than spending big on a protein powder only to end up with something that you just can’t drink.
In fact, the ones with tempting names, including Cookies and Cream and Salted Caramel, tend to be the worst ones, with a taste that can be synthetic, while the best ones are the basic ones, including Chocolate, Banana and even Vanilla (although not Vanilla Ice Cream,)
What Makes Optimum Nutrition Protein so Special?
There is only so much that you can do with whey. ON Whey Gold Standard adds BCAAs to the mix, but the same could be said for most other protein drinks (see Elite Whey). The difference is that ON Whey Gold Standard is basic. There is no additional creatine and there isn’t a long list of 100% RDA vitamins. In other words, it’s not trying to be a complete meal replacement and knows that many of its customers will already be on some kind of supplement stack and will not want or need these extras.
The main difference, however, is the mixability, the subtle but palatable taste and the fact that it seems to be much easier to digest than other protein powders. There are also very few calories, with no empty fats and carbs to bulk it up. You’ll get a 24 gram hit of protein from just 120 calories, which leaves plenty of room to add anything else you want or even to enjoy a big meal an hour or two after you have drunk it.
ON Whey Gold Standard Review: 10/10
You saw that right: 10/10. This is currently the only review on the You-Reviews website that has scored so highly, and there are many reasons for that. It mixed incredibly well. I have used many protein powders that only mix cleanly when you stick them in a processor or shake for several minutes. ON Gold Standard Whey mixes easily with just 20 seconds of shaking in a bottle.
The taste is good and it is one of the better ones I have tasted. It is not as sweet as Elite Whey and initially that’s a bad thing, but it works very well for mixing in other products, such as a superfood mix, matcha tea and fibre supplements. These things can be very strong and off-putting and when you add them to a sweet drink it makes for a sickly and wretch-worthy experience. The taste of ON Whey Gold Standard is subtle enough to make it easy to drink on its own and to keep the flavor of those additional substances neutral.
The chocolate flavor is said to be the best of all ON Whey Gold Standard flavors. I have tried it, and it’s okay. However, I’m not big on chocolate flavoring. Anything that is not the real deal just doesn’t taste right to me and I’m generally averse to the taste of powdered cocoa and chocolate flavoring. The best flavor for me was the banana, while the worst was probably the Cookies and Cream.
That’s the end of my ON Gold Standard Why review, now it’s time to move onto the 100% Casein Gold Standard Review. And if you thought I loved this one, wait until you see what I have to say about nighttime protein and about the product in general.
Do you Need Casein Protein?
First, a note on casein protein. I have always sworn by this stuff, even though it seems to be massively underused. The pros use it and won’t go to sleep without some form of long-lasting protein, but the same can’t be said for many amateurs and that’s a shame.
I am not a pro, far from it, but when I started out I struggled to get gains using whey concentrate. The first time I used casein I noticed a huge change and I have been using it ever since. I also recently recommended it to a friend of mine and they saw similar gains.
If you maintain a solid diet with the right protein and carbs throughout the day, then you might not notice a huge difference. If you’re a little lazy and overworked, not devoting as much time to it as you should, then you will see a huge difference as it will keep your body fueled throughout the night and into the morning, ensuring those gains aren’t wasted.
ON Micellar Casein Protein Features
This protein is described as ideal for use “between meals and at night”. Really, unless you’re a pro struggling to get the calories in, you should only be using it at night and whenever you don’t think you’ll be eating for a while (long trips, etc.,). It contains 24 grams of protein per scoop and like the ON Whey Gold Standard, there are also 9 grams of BCAAs in there. It promises to deliver these essential amino acids over the course of 7 hours, which means you can keep them in your system throughout the day.
There is 60% of your RDA of calcium here and if you drink with milk (more on that in my review below) then you will get even more. This is the original all casein protein and it’s also an award winner, but does that make it the best or is this one time when Optimum Nutrition went to far with their naming?
ON Micellar Casein Protein Review: 9/10
I want to put this straight out there: I love this. This is actually the very first casein protein drink I used when I had all those gains and it’s the one I recommend all of the time as well. it works, simple as that, and that’s all you can ask for.
It also tastes better than ON Whey and it tastes even better when you combine with milk. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the best way to drink this. The milk is natural source of calcium and casein, it makes the drink thicker and creamier and it’ll also boost the nutrient level and the protein content of the drink.
It can fill you up, so I wouldn’t recommend knocking it back and then jumping straight into bed. Give yourself an hour after drinking before sleeping. And just like a warm cup of milk before bed, it will actually aid with your sleep. It certainly has done for me.
All in all, my ON Gold Standard 100% Casein review couldn’t be more positive, because this drink couldn’t be better. The only negatives I have found are that several tubs have come without a scoop and it is also a little more expensive than whey, but it’s reasonably priced when compared to other casein drinks and it’s a naturally more expensive protein anyway.