Optimum Nutrition‘s Gold Standard range was quick to become of the most trusted supplement series from one of the most trusted brands in the Supplement Market. Optimum Nutrition are continually relied on from a broad variety individuals; from bodybuilders to Professional Performance Athletes. Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey and Pre-Workout are some of the most popular products selected by fitness goers, with the recent introduction of their BCAA supplement unsurprisingly a huge hit. Now to complete the series is the highly anticipated Gainer, a protein powder intended for those seeking to build muscle, strength and size! After much anticipation, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer is now available to supplement enthusiasts, whose high expectations for this product have been met yet again thanks to Optimum Nutrition’s consistency and high quality products.
Optimum Nutrition frequently use a blend of Whey Protein sources in their Protein Powders, namely Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). Optimum Nutrition do not try to cut corners with their products, with WPI frequently appearing as the main contender. What does this mean? WPI yields a higher proportion of Protein per serve compared with less refined varieties. It is leaner, stripped of Carbohydrates and Fats, with less Lactose than many alternative products on the shelf. WPI is the most abundant source of Protein used in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, followed by WPC, Milk Protein Isolate and Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate; an even more refined version of WPI! The benefit of using such pure, refined protein sources in a Protein Powder is the speed of digestion. Left with just protein, and no fats or sugars to slow it down, you can guarantee that Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer will allow your muscle recovery process to commence as soon as ingested. A small portion of Flaxseed Protein has also been included, which is nutritionally rich in Omega 3s and Fibre, however it is thought to be included to improve the product texture when prepared with water.
The Carbohydrate Blend used in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer is unique to previous gainers in the Optimum Nutrition range such as Serious Mass and Pro Complex Gainer. This is because as opposed to independently relying low molecular weight Carbohydrates such as Maltodextrin, Optimum Nutrition have elected to use whole food sourced carbohydrates. These include Oat Flour, Pea Starch (patented as Carb10), Potato Starch and finally Maltodextrin. A benefit of using such Carbohydrates in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer is that they are accompanied by a variety of naturally occurring Vitamins and Minerals. This is important as many will utilise products like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer as a meal replacement, which means they are forgoing whole foods for a calorie dense shake and missing out on the opportunity to receive the nutrients from whole foods their bodies require daily to function. The Carbohydrate Blend used in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer will now provide you with a higher quantity of nutrients than many alternate Gainer Protein Powders on the market.
An additional benefit of using this product is that the Oat Flour, Pea Starch and Potato Starch utilised in the Carbohydrate Blend are complex in nature, which means they break down and digest at a slower rate than sugars such as Dextrose. This means that when ingesting this product, there will be a lesser impact on insulin levels; a hormone produced in the presence of high blood glucose in order to transport such nutrients out of the blood stream. Insulin is important as this hormone actually transports nutrients into muscle cells, where damage has occurred during training and therefore where recovery and consequential growth can take place. At times other than post-workout, it is not optimal to induce such a rapid insulin response, as this can have negative consequences on one’s energy levels and fat loss efforts. Therefore, as Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer doesn’t induce an insulin response to the extent of other Gainers, it makes it the perfect product to use at other times of the day, in between meals to reach calorie goals. Carb10 possesses low osmolality, which means it is rapidly digested by the body, but has minimal impact on insulin levels. As mentioned, a small amount of Maltodextrin is present in this formula, which will assist contained nutrients access damaged muscle cells, but far less than your average alternate Gainer on the shelf. Therefore, users of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer will benefit from the rapid nutrient delivery rate whilst avoiding the ingestion of unwanted sugars and experiencing negative effects from induced Insulin spikes.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer contains 10g of Fat per serve, which derive predoiminantly from Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These describe chains of approximately 2 – 3 fatty acids which receive much attention in the fitness industry. MCTs are not digested like other fat sources; they are transported directly into the liver where they are metabolised instantly for energy, and less likely to be stored in fat cells. In this sense, they act more as a carbohydrate instead of a typical fat, with studies reporting that MCTs increase one’s rate of thermogenesis and that the energy supplied by MCTs more than doubles when taken with a carbohydrate source. Therefore, MCTs provide users with a concentrated form of energy that are unlikely to be stored as body fat.In addition to MCTs, a small portion of Milled Chia Seed has been included, rich in Omega 3 and FIbre. It is uncertain whether this has been included for nutritional properties or to thicken the texture of this product when it is prepared with liquid.
The final ingredients are responsible for creating the desired flavour and texture of this product, including whole food sourced cocoa, both natural and artificial flavours, Lecithin (which improves how well the product combines with liquid when prepared), various Gums (Arabic, Cellulose, Xantham and Carrageenan which give the product a desirable thickness when prepared with liquid) and finally Sucralose as the sweetening agent of choice.
Taste & Mixability
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer comes in three classic flavours:
- Cookies and Cream
Optimum Nutrition are notorious for their highly regarded flavour profiles, particularly in these flavours which are some of the most popular, sought after by supplement enthusiasts. The Gold Standard 100% Whey range is available in 16 flavours, providing much variety to users, however we are somewhat limited in our choice with the Gainer. Rest assured, you cannot go wrong with either of these three flavours; they taste great, users do not get bored of them and they can easily be mixed with berries, oats and other foods to make breakfast recipes and smoothies. However, Optimum Nutriton fans may be interested to see this product arrive in something a little more adventurous.
Optimum Nutrition have become recognised for producing high quality products which mix easily due to the instantized nature of their ingredients. This means that their products can be prepared without the use of a Blender Bottle, and will successfully dissolve simply when mixed with a spoon. As a similar protein blend has been utilised in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, one can rightfully expect that mixability should pose no issue here. Unlike other Gainers however, which have utilised low molecular weight carbohydrates (which are extremely fine and dissolve with ease), users may question how well the new Carbohydrate Blend will mix. Whilst these carbohydrates have been dehydrated and powdered, their texture is still slightly more rough when compared to WPI or Maltodextrin. These carbohydrates do not dissolve as well in liquid, and while this product can still be consumed with ease, users will notice a slight ‘grittiness’ to the product. This is not unpleasant however; it simply just isn’t as smooth when directly compared with other products using sugars as their source of carbohydrate.
This product is classed as a Mass Gainer, which means it provides an extremely high caloric and carbohydrate content. For those looking to build size and optimise their recovery, but are more prone to gaining body fat, this product may not be ideal, and a lean gainer providing a lower Carbohydrate content may be necessary. For those however, who find it difficult to gain weight and need assistance in meeting their daily caloric needs, this product is ideal. Designed to be taken both post workout or in between your daily meals, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer works to accelerate muscle recovery, build size and strength and keep your insulin levels and health in check, with nutritionally sourced ingredients designed to make you feel healthy and energised. From one of the most trusted brands in the industry, you can rely on Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer to get you the desired results you’re after, without having to ingest unwanted sugars and other ingredients found in a variety of Gainer products on the market.