Protein powders have been around for a long time, as far back as the1950s, and they have come a long way since then.
When I first started to try different types of protein powders many years ago chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry were the most common flavors you could find. Occasionally cookies & cream or banana creme could be spotted for a tasty change of pace. And in my opinion, none of them really tasted that great.
I also remember Whey and Casein protein being the mainstream options you had to choose from.
Fast forward to today, and you have endless options to choose from when scanning store shelves or the online market.
Beyond just chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, you can find flavors like mint chocolate, red velvet, seasonal flavors like pumpkin pie, and even those that taste like a couple of your favorite kids’ cereals.
Even the OG flavors have gotten serious upgrades in taste.
But with all of these flavors to choose from, how do we avoid option overload and choose a protein powder that both tastes good and provides us with a quality protein source?
That is what I’m hoping to help you do by trying different protein powders one by one and offering some info on them as well as my own personal opinion.
In this article, I am going to be talking about Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Double Rich Chocolate.
This is a protein powder brand that I expect many people to be familiar with and seems to be very popular.
If you decide to purchase this protein powder using any of the links in this article, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult with a qualified physician before taking part in any exercise or fitness regimen, as well as any type of supplement intake.
These are also my opinions. You and others’ tastes and preferences may vary.
|Whey Protein Isolate makes up a majority of this protein blend. Contains 20 amino acids.|
|Mixes well. Not overly sweet but not sweet enough for my taste. Could work for you if you prefer more subtle flavoring.|
|Would continue to use it when adding sweeteners and/or other ingredients.|
The Importance of Protein
As most of us know, protein is an essential macronutrient. It helps us to build, grow and recover from the work that we put in at the gym. It also assists in many other bodily functions like the transportation of nutrients around our bodies and helping to strengthen our immune system.
Protein is also high on the satiety scale, which helps us feel fuller for longer periods after meals. This can help reduce swings in appetite and aid in maintaining a healthy body weight.
Protein contains 20 amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential, which means that the body can not produce them on its own and must be obtained from our nutrition.
These 9 essential amino acids are Phenylalanine, Lysine, Valine, Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Methionine, Histidine, and Leucine, and a quality protein powder will contain all of these.
Main Criteria & Details
These are the 4 most important factors for me when it comes to choosing and sticking with a protein powder:
- Ingredients & Nutritional Content
I will be checking out how much protein is in each serving as well as the different types of protein that make up this particular blend.
I’ll be paying close attention to the taste, which hopefully provides the thick and rich chocolatey flavor that I imagine when reading the name on the label.
I’ll also be looking for a smooth texture in any of the ways that I use this whey protein powder. I dont think any of us want clumps or undissolved powder in our shakes or food.
Lastly I’ll be comparing how the prices of different size tubs of Optimum Nutrition stack up against others you can find out there.
Ingredients and Nutritional Content
This 2 lb (.9 kg) tub that I’m currently using has 29 servings, which should last me about a month if I continue to use my usual 1 scoop per day.
Each scoop is listed at 30.4 grams, and as you can see here a leveled off scoop comes in pretty much right on the money.
Each serving is a total of 120 calories, broken down into 24 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fat.
When you look at the ingredients you can see a protein blend of whey concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein.
These days, blends are pretty much the norm unless we were to search for and choose a product that specifically states that it is a certain type of protein all the way through.
Whey Protein Concentrate is a protein that is usually up to and around 80% protein after processing, with the remaining 20% being made up of carbs and fat.
Whey Protein Isolate is a protein that is broken down even further than concentrate and usually contains around 90% protein. The extra processing, as well as having nearly all lactose removes, makes this easier on the digestive system for those who experience some degree of lactose intolerance.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein is a type of protein that takes processing even further than protein isolate does. Hydrolyzed whey is actually “predigested” which is thought to make this form of protein even more tolerated by those with lactose intolerance or sensitivity.
Optimum Nutrition states that this blend is made up of a majority of Whey Protein Isolate, which in combination with Hydrolyzed Whey Protein, leads me to believe that this protein powder could possibly work for you even if do sometimes experience some level of lactose intolerance.
All Gold Standard Whey protein powders contain 20 of the amino acids in their profile, which includes the 9 essential amino acids that we mentioned earlier.
Taste and Mixability
As usual, I’ll be testing this whey protein powder in 3 of the most common ways that I use it regularly.
I’ll be mixing it into a shake using both water as well as almond milk which is what I always prefer, as well as Greek yogurt and oats.
I followed the directions on the tub and used 8 ounces of liquid for both of my shakes.
I wasn’t a fan of the water-based shake. While it mixed well, the chocolate flavor hardly came through and I could only taste it very faintly.
The almond milk-based shake was a different story and tasted much better. The chocolate flavor was more pronounced and reminded me of the old-school Nestle Quik powder that used to come in the square can with the round pop top. If you weren’t an 80’s baby you may not remember this ancient product.
In my yogurt mixture, I used a single serving of Greek yogurt (170 g) and 1 scoop of protein powder.
The powder mixed in well without much effort and created a creamy consistency.
The flavor of the chocolate was very mild and didn’t come through all that powerfully. It tasted more so like an unsweetened chocolate.
I went and added a bit of artificial sweetener and that kicked up the flavor some more and added that sweetness to the chocolate that I was looking for.
When making oatmeal for this test, I used a single serving of 5-minute oats (40 g), water as per the directions, and 1 scoop of protein powder.
Once again, the powder mixed in well with no traces of grit or clumps.
In a similar fashion to the Greek yogurt I tried, the chocolate flavor was pretty subdued and didn’t pop with much sweetness. It was very much in the background and came off more as an unsweetened chocolate powder.
Adding a packet of artificial sweetener once again did enhance the flavor and I was able to enjoy it a lot more after that.
In short, I’ll say that this protein powder mixed really well in all the ways that I used it. The chocolate flavor did not pop and was pretty mild until I added some extra sweetener to it. For me, this is fine since I like to add other things when making these anyway. But this is worth keeping in mind if you enjoy making these straight up.
Now I know that I could have added more powder to try and possibly make it taste more chocolatey, but I wanted to keep the serving sizes reasonable to get a true idea of taste without having to dump in multiple scoops to achieve it.
This 2 lb (.9 kg) tub is currently going for $37.32 on Amazon at the time that this article was published.
This price point seems pretty average when doing a quick search of other protein tubs on the market of this size.
You may find a couple of brands that are a few bucks cheaper and a bunch of brands that are a few bucks higher, so overall this price point isn’t out of the ordinary.
Do keep in mind that Whey Protein Isolate makes up a majority of this blend (though we don’t know how much exactly), which is usually a more expensive type of protein. So to be getting a blend that contains both Whey Protein Isolate as its main source as well as Hydrolyzed Whey Protein on top of that, $37.32 isn’t all that bad.
Wrapping It Up
So, would I continue to use Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Double Rich Chocolate Whey?
The answer is yes I would, but not as my first choice.
Personally, I like my protein powder flavors to come through strong as what they are labeled to be, while at the same time not tasting chemically sweet.
ON Double Rich Chocolate was enjoyable because it wasn’t over-the-top sweet and I was able to use it over and over without getting sick of it, but it just wasn’t sweet enough for my tastes.
Now if you’re like me and like to add sweetener/sugar and other items into your shakes and oats etc, then this protein powder will work just fine since that did seem to reveal more of a chocolatey taste for me.
Or, if you enjoy powders that are more subtle and provide more of a light background flavor then you would probably enjoy this.
But if you’re looking for something that will curb your strong chocolate craving without any added bells and whistles, this may leave you hanging a bit.