I have spent a lot of wasted money over the years on poor tasting protein powders and I want to try and avoid you making the same mistake.
The first protein powder I ever tried was a horrible vanilla flavour many years ago. I can't remember the brand but I certainly remember forcing myself to drink it because I had paid out a lot of money for a large tub.
Thankfully for you, I have done all the hard work for you and put together the best optimum nutrition flavors.
Be sure to also check out the flavors that I recommended to avoid later in the article.
- 1 Our Favorite Optimum Nutrition Flavors Reviewed
- 2 What Flavors Are Available
- 3 Tips for Picking a Flavor
- 4 Variety Is The Spice Of Life
- 5 Best Optimum Nutrition Flavor for Water
- 6 Whey Protein Smoothie Ideas
- 7 Strawberry Starburst Smoothie
- 8 Optimum Nutrition Flavors to Avoid
- 9 Why Optimum Nutrition Protein Powders
Our Favorite Optimum Nutrition Flavors Reviewed
#1 Double Rich Chocolate
As the name suggests, this flavor is has a rich, decadent milk chocolate taste, without any real decadence. Delicious and nutritious, A double chocolate double win.
Probably goes down the easiest of all the flavours in the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein range, because who doesn’t love chocolate?
The authentic milk chocolate flavouring and its beautiful texture make it a worthy ally for any post workout situation. Probably the best flavor profile we’ve tried from the ON range and one of the most versatile too because it can very easily be adapted as a wheat flour substitute for anything from pancakes to chocolate brownies.
It tastes just like a chocolate milkshake, so you know exactly what you are getting and you won't be disappointed
#2 Chocolate Mint
The nostalgic classic combo of mint and chocolate reengineered through high grade modern nutritional science for your drinking pleasure.
The Optimum Nutrition Chocolate Mint Flavour is both as rich
as it is refreshing as the traditional flavour combination has come to be known. ON Choc Mint is also perfect as a base for many popular desserts such as chocolate mint crisp puddind.
Being a chocolate lover it was really hard to decide which one of these two great chocolate flavors was my number one but the double chocolate has just marginally the better flavor but if you love mint chocolate this is the one for you.
Just like the Double Rich Chocolate it tastes like chocolate milk shake with a subtle hint of mint.
3# Banana Cream
On a more tropical note, we have banana. A simple but delicious flavour profile that left us gulping down entire servings in seconds.
Awesomely refreshing and easy on the pallet, Optimum Nutrition’s Banana Cream whey powder isn’t too rich, but still manages to hit the spot and tastes delicious.
Banana and cream also goes well with some of the smoothie recipes we recommend below.
#4 Cookies and Cream
We don’t know what to say except proceed with caution. This flavor is super addictive, you don’t want to go spiking over your macros, but with the delicious cookies and cream flavor, It's a real danger.
Use this ON whey as a versatile alternative to flour for that authentically fluffy sponge cake or use it as a morning oats creamer. The blend of chocolatey and creamy flavor lends itself to many delicious variations.
I actually forgot how much I used to love this flavor and if it wasn't for my taste of trying new things cookies and cream would be my go to protein powder.
5# Delicious Strawberry
We don’t know what to say except proceed with caution. This flavour is super addictive, you don’t want to go spiking over your macros, but with the delicious cookies and cream flavour, It's a real danger.
Use this ON whey as a versatile alternative to flour for that authentically fluffy sponge cake or use it as a morning oats creamer. The blend of chocolatey and creamy flavour lends itself to many delicious variations.
strawberry is among the most frequently encountered flavors when it comes to whey protein shakes, This one steps it up a notch, coming pretty close to the authentic notes, flavour and aroma of the actual fruity.
Optimum Nutrition’s Delicious Strawberry is a great way to flavour up a cold yoghurt snack or a bowl of steaming oats.
What Flavors Are Available
Optimum Nutrition’s most popular whey product, Gold Standard, is available in 16 delicious flavors ranging from tangy, tropical fruit flavors and fruit flavor blends to classics, rich dessert flavors such as chocolate and vanilla.
Some of the other popular flavors that just missed out on our top 5 include:
If you feel like your sweet tooth is holding you back from achieving your diet goals, Optimum Nutrition has you covered.
You won’t hesitate to swig down a post workout protein serving with flavors such as Caramel Toffee Fudge or the Double Rich Chocolate, and if you feel like having a fruity, smooth drink to enjoy on your rest days, Optimum Nutrition’s exotic flavors such as Root Beer Float will leave your taste buds dancing on a tropical island, while your muscles replenish, recover and grow and grow.
Tips for Picking a Flavor
Think of your favorite sweet, fruit or dessert. Whatever it is, Optimum Nutrition will cater to your taste. You can rest assured that whatever whey protein flavor you choose, the same premium whey powder formula inside is of the same impeccable quality across the board with no shortcuts and no compromise. Here are our top 3 flavor picking tips:
1. Pick a Taste That Resembles Your Favourite Treat
A simple way to make sure you enjoy your vital protein intake, and this never skip a serving, is by replicating your favourite dessert
2. Pick a Flavor That Has Natural Flavoring
Doing this not only limits the number of artificial additives you will end up consuming, but also gives a familiar and authentic flavor profile which you can easily enjoy
3. Pick a Flavor That can be Adapted to Other Recipes
most fit food enthusiasts have dabbled in many recipes variations that substitute conventional ingredients such as baking flour with whey protein powder.
If you’re thinking of trying out some protein pancakes or a whey protein birthday cake, be sure to select a flavor that can easily be adapted to follow the classic taste of traditional recipes.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
We understand that having options is having freedom and that life is a matter of choice, Optimum Nutrition has put together a Variety Pack to help you decide and give you the power of choice with your powder of choice, and with 16 flavor variations to choose from, the power is all yours.
Optimum Nutrition Variety Pack contains single serving sachets of each of its fantastic flavors, altogether giving you 16 helpings of nutritious and delicious whey protein powder.
The Variety Pack also acts as a convenient way to enjoy your...whey! By eliminating the hassle and potential mess associated with scooping from a tub, you just open the sachet and pour the powder into your designated shaker.
Optimum Nutrition Variety Pack sachets are also convenient for travel, whether you want to keep a quick fix to knock down in the gym locker room, for your lunch break at work or over long journeys where carrying a giant tub of whey is not an option, the variety pack is your ultimate travel buddy.
Best Optimum Nutrition Flavor for Water
My Personal favourite from the list above to have with water is Delicious Strawberry or Cookies and Cream.
When mixed with milk, whey protein shakes have a more vibrant, smoother more dessert-like texture and flavor profile. However, many high performance or weight loss dietary goals eliminate milk from the list, it is very calorie dense, and a few servings can quickly put you in an unwanted calorie surplus state making it difficult to cut or lose those extra holiday season pounds.
You may have allergies associated with milk or not like milk in general. In any case, Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein offerings and flavors have been formulated to taste amazing with just water, after all, constant hydration is a key factor in optimizing your nutrition, and as the name suggests, that's precisely what Optimum Nutrition is all about.
If the idea of water doesn’t turn on your taste buds, there are plenty of non-dairy, low-calorie milk substitutes available in most local grocery and health food outlets such as soy, rice or almond milk. Be warned; these substitutes tend to cost a pretty penny more than your regular moo juice.
If you have no problem-consuming milk or you are going through a bulking cycle, mix your protein shakes with skimmed milk, Either way, your shakes will be not only delicious but also packed to the brim with all the essential amino acids to build a lean, clean muscle machine.
Whey Protein Smoothie Ideas
With Optimum Nutrition’s protein offerings, you’re not just limited to the standard, basic powder and liquid combination. You can mix things up a little or a lot depending on where you sense of culinary imagination takes you.
You can blend smoothies that include other nutritious ingredients such as fruits, veggies, grains and nut butters. Some of the healthiest superfood shakes on a typical fit food menu have whey protein as the base ingredient. Here are a few of our favourite recipes.
Double Choc Chunk Smoothie
This rich, creamy chocoholic's delight is perfect for a bulking cycle or as a substitute to traditional after-dinner dessert.
● 125ml water
● 125ml almond milk/skimmed milk
● 1/2 cup of rolled oats
● 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
● 1 cup of sugar-free chocolate ice cream (Optional)
● 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition Double Rich Chocolate whey protein
● 1 tsp of vanilla essence
● 1 tsp of chia seeds
● Half a cup of chopped almonds
Blend all ingredients together.
Strawberry Starburst Smoothie
Strawberries are a great way to start the day, needless to say, this is a refreshing first meal to add to your morning routine with fruity notes that will get you off to a stress-free start
● 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Delicious Strawberry whey
● 1/2 cup of rolled oats
● 1 cup frozen strawberries
● ½ cup fat-free Greek yogurt
● ¼ cup almond milk
● 1 cup ice
Blend all ingredients together
Barista Bomb Smoothie
What happens when you need your coffee fix and your protein fix at the same time? The barista bomb smoothie of course!
● 1/2 cup of rolled oats
● 1/2 cup of water
● 1/2 cup of soya / almond milk
● 2 tsp. of instant coffee
● 1 tsp. of vanilla essence
● sprinkled cinnamon
● 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition Mocha Cappuccino Whey Protein
● 1 frozen banana
Blend all ingredients together
Optimum Nutrition Flavors to Avoid
Whilst there are some cheaper protein powders on the market I would avoid all together because they taste very overly sweet and very powdery.
With optimum nutrition you don't tend to have that problem but there are a few that push my taste buds a little to far.
Thankfully, Optimum nutrition remove the ones that are not going down well with consumers quickly off their shelves.
Tropical Punch Protein Powder
This flavor has a unique fruity profile. Made to imitate a medley of tropical fruit, this flavor variant of Optimum Nutrition’s tried and trusted Gold Standard whey offerings falls short of some of the classic flavors in their range
The tropical flavor is overtly artificial, with no true resemblance to tropical fruit outside of the name on the packaging. Many were left disappointed and somewhat off-put by the bitter synthetic aftertaste experienced after the first gulp, this is probably due to the lack of natural flavorings, which would be difficult to add to the formula.
It is no wonder this flavor has since been pulled off the official Optimum Nutrition production line and product listings, although a few tubs can still be found floating around in your little obscure supplements store and on ebay.
I had high hopes for the one as I love the taste orange cream but, yet another fruity flavor on our avoid list.
The Optimum Nutrition ‘Orange Creme’ flavored whey protein bears similar attributes and problems as the Tropical Punch flavour. This dubious honour can be attributed to the sour, tart aroma and flavor profile, probably due to citric acid used to mimic that classic citrus tang.
This leads to an overbearing flavor profile, one that once combined with the inherent milkiness of the whey powder, can lead to an unsettling collision of conflicting flavor profiles. Think orange concentrate mixed with milk, not very inspiring.
This lead to a decrease in demand for this variant, and just like the tropical Punch variant, Orange Creme was pulled from production and off ON’s official online store.
Why Optimum Nutrition Protein Powders
Optimum Nutrition is the world’s best selling whey and that title isn’t just a throwaway tagline. Years of cutting-edge research into optimizing the value and bio-availability of the micro and macro nutrients in their supplements range have given Optimum Nutrition a second to none quality guarantee, and leading the charge is the whey protein range.
ON’s whey protein isolate (WPI) range from the Gold Standard, packs in a whopping 24g per single serving. Not only does it have an efficient ratio and high protein density, but ON’s Gold Standard whey powders have been instantized, meaning they can be as quickly mixed with a spoon in a glass as they can be with a shaker cup.
Aside from this, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey protein formulation includes many other vital constituents that make it a complete dietary source for all your muscle building and maintenance needs. These extra ingredients improve the overall, intake, benefit, bioavailability and results you expect from a premium protein powder. These include:
- Whey Protein Microfractions from Whey Protein Isolates & Ultra-Filtered Whey Protein Concentrate.
- Over 4 Grams of Glutamine & Glutamic Acid in Each Serving
- More Than 5 Grams of the Naturally Occurring Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Leucine,
- Isoleucine, and Valine in Each Serving.
The Gold Standard Whey is an industry leader in quality, authenticity and value. This has influenced the standards followed by many supplements brands whey powder offerings.
Whilst the best flavor is always a personal choice, we do think the flavors we have on this list is truly a great start.
Hi I’m James and I’m a self confessed fitness fanatic. When I’m not personal training I enjoy multi discipline endurance events, mma and hitting the gym. I also love to write about my passion and I’m a firm believer in healthy body healthy mind.