Choosing the right whey protein for you can be a difficult choice. There are so many brands on the market now that its hard to pick out the best ones. MyProtein and Optimum Nutrition are both market leaders who produce some of the best quality and most popular whey protein supplements. From MyProtein there are two choices of whey available. The standard Impact Whey uses Whey concentrate. The Impact Whey Isolate uses the Isolate version of whey protein. Gold Standard is primarily Whey Isolate but does contain some whey concentrate.
What’s the difference between when Concentrate & Isolate?
The fast release protein found in most protein supplements is Whey Protein, which is derived from Milk. Before Milk is processed, Slow release casein makes up the majority of protein & the rest is whey. When the milk is processed e.g. for yoghurt, Whey is the liquid left over. Both types of whey, concentrate & isolate, are common in protein supplements.
Liquid whey is used and goes through processing steps to increase its protein content. Whey concentrate is made up of 80% protein. The remaining 20% is fats and carbohydrates. To make whey isolate, slightly different processes are used. This produced an isolate that is over 90% of protein. Again, the remaining is made up of fats and carbohydrates. The BCAAs found in both are pretty much the same, as they are both derived from the same source.
Whey isolate has a higher level of protein compared with fats & carbohydrates. However, it is more expensive.
|MyProtein Impact Whey||MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate||Optimum nutrition Gold Standard|
|Protein||21 g||23 g||17 g|
|Energy||103 kcal||93 kcal||91 kcal|
|Fat||1.9 g||0.1 g||1.4 g|
|Carbs||1.0 g||0.6 g||2.75 g|
|Price||£19.99 1kg||£26.99 1kg||£23.99 908g|
We have compared myProtein Impact Whey & Isolate Chocolate Smooth flavour with ON Gold Standard Chocolate flavour. This is to create a real life comparison & with a popular flavour.
The nutritional values of Impact Whey and Gold standard mostly reflect whether they are using concentrate or isolate protein. The Impact Whey Isolate has the superior nutritional value. It contains the most protein and also the lowest carbs and fat. Gold Standard is second and the concentrate takes third. The differences here are not major though and a few grams are not going to make a different to most people, unless you are really strict with macros. Impact Whey concentrate has higher fats & carbohydrates but does offer great value for money.
All three proteins contain the same roughly4.5 g of BCAAs per serving. These Branched Chain Amino Acids are important if you are working out. The body uses them as the building blocks for muscle. BCAAs may help to reduce fatigue during a workout and also reduce muscle soreness. Some studies have also shown them to help increase muscle mass. Take a look at our favourite BCAA supplements.
About the brands
MyProtein, founded in 2004, is one of the best known supplement brands in the UK. as well as whey protein, they also produce a full range of related products. These include vitamins, clothing, protein bars and healthy foods. All of these can be purchased directly from the MyProtein website. I like this as it makes supplement shopping simple. Everything can be brought from the same place at the same time. MyProtein has a massive following online socially and is focused around purchasing directly from their website. Their focus is generally mainstream and good value supplements, rather than ultra premium quality. However, they do now have their own premium range of products including a premium whey called The Whey.
Optimum Nutrition is also based out of the UK, with production facilities in Middlesbrough. They are far more mature than MyProtein, having been founded in 1986, over 30 years ago. Theres a wide selection of products in their range including Whey, Casein, Pre workout and BCAAs. The focus of Optimum Nutrition is uncompromising quality. This quality is what leads to their premium price, often being more expensive compared with similar products. You can often find good offers online from websites such as Discount supplements. The Optimum Nutrition products are often much more widely available offline in the UK. They can be found in a variety of stores including Holland & Barrett and also some gyms.
Choice of flavours
This is where both brands get credit. Both have a lot of choice available when it comes to flavour and have all the standard flavours available. There is often not this much choice, with most brands only having a few options available
MyProtein comes out on top with the amount of flavours available. There is a huge over 40 different flavours available of their Impact Whey Concentrate. Even the Isolate version has over 20 flavours available. Some of the more unique flavours include: Apple Crumble & Custard, BlueBerry Cheesecake, Liquorice and Tiramisu. I have tried quite a few of MyProteins flavours, Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Orange are my favourites. The Mint reminds me of the Aero bubble chocolates and is easily drinkable I have always found the MyProtein protein flavours to be more sweeter compared with other brands. This isn’t a bad thing though if you prefer a sweeter flavour.
Optimum Nutritions Gold Standard Whey also has a generous choice of flavours available. There were 17 at last count. Some of the flavours include: Chocolate Hazelnut, Cinnamon bun, French Vanilla and Milk Chocolate. I have tried the Mint Chocolate version of this as well. The chocolate flavour does seem to be slightly more premium compared with MyProtein. It is definitely not as sweet but does taste great.
Overall, both have a wide range of great tasting flavours available. If you are fussy with which flavour MyProtein may be a better choice due to the huge amount. Sample packs of both can be ordered if you wish to sample different flavours before deciding.
I have found that the mixabilty of all these proteins is very good. I did not experience any clumping or more mixing with water.
Price & Value
This is where it gets slightly interesting. Impact Whey and Gold Standard are both aimed at slightly different audiences. Impact Whey is your mainstream protein choice, Gold Standard is your premium protein choice.
In terms of value, it cant be denied that MyProtein Impact Whey offers incredible value. Its a struggle to find a better priced protein than this, especially with all the flavours. this is concentrate whey though. If you want to step up to their Isolate, its quite a bit more. If you are not bothered by the slightly extra carbs & fat, theres not much reason to purchase the isolate. It is also worth noting that MyProtein often have lots of offers on which mean you rarely end up paying full price for protein. I’ve often seen offers such as 30% off.
Tip: The best offers tend to be around pay day.
Gold Standard is more expensive than Impact Whey. But this is due to the premium quality and as its using whey isolates which are more expensive. It also comes in a tub rathe than the bag that the Impact Whey comes in. If you prefer whey isolates or the tub, its probably best to go for Gold Standard. As Gold Standard is sold at a lot of places online, the prices can often vary a lot. Its worth shopping around to see if there are any offers on at the time of purchase. I prefer to either purchase from Amazon or Discount Supplements and rarely end up paying full price.
Overall, both Impact Whey and Optimum Nutrition are great whey protein supplements. The decision is going to come down to your personal preference and whether the small details matter to.
If you are mainly looking for value, go for the MyProtein Impact Whey. The cost is hard to beat and you get a high protein content for the price. If you are also fussy on selecting a flavour, the Impact Whey will be the best choice. This is due to the variety of flavours available. I have not seen anywhere with as many flavours available. Do remember though that the flavours can often be quite sweet. If you also like buying all your supplements from the same brand and in the same location, myProtein makes this nice and easy. Their website is packed with a huge variety, all available with fast delivery.
If you are looking for a premium protein brand to buy, go with the Gold Standard. The Isolate blend makes a great choice and there is still a considerable number of flavours to chose from. The flavours tend to taste more premium and higher quality. If you also prefer your protein to be stored in a tub, Gold Standard is the way to go. Do remember that you will need to do some research to see where you can get it at the best price. I often notice that online supplement stores can often have a lot of flavours out of stock at a time. If you have a local supplement store near, you may also be able to purchase it from there, unlike with the Impact Whey.