Saturday, 20 April 2024

Protein Powder

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder Review

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Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey provides you with 22 g of protein, 9 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fat, and 160 calories per serving. This is delivered via a protein blend that contains Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate, and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Concentrate.

But even with its ultra-filtered and concentrated whey protein complex, you’re not getting any Creatine Monohydrate, L-Glutamine, BCAAs, or pre-workout energy boost. So how does it compare to an ‘all-in-one’ protein powder, and does it represent good value for money?

In this review we’ll compare O.N. Performance Whey to two other top-rated protein powders; MusclePharm Combat, and the number 1 bestselling whey protein, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard. This includes the price, flavors, dosages, cost per serving, ingredients, and customer feedback, to help you decide if this is the best protein powder for your current fitness goals and budget.

We’ve also added recommendations for the best way to combine O.N. Performance Whey with highly rated Creatine, L-Glutamine, BCAA, and pre-workout supplements. These are designed to boost your strength gains, increase the rate of lean muscle building, and reduce your recovery time post-workout.

O.N. Performance Whey Ingredients

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Ingredients

Each scoop of Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey has a similar macronutrient profile to BSN Syntha-6, but with less carbs (9 g vs. 15 g) and fat (4 g vs. 6 g). This creates a protein powder with fewer calories (160 vs. 200) that’s slightly different to other Optimum Nutrition supplements.

In comparison, Natural Oats and Whey has much more carbs (23 g) and twice the amount of fat, making it better for bulking diets or as a meal replacement. Platinum Hydrowhey has more protein (30 g) and less carbs, with a faster digesting hydrolyzed whey formula, while Protein Energy is a low-calorie protein powder with added stimulants (caffeine) to give you an added energy boost.

Protein Blend

The protein blend used in Performance Whey contains whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein concentrate.

Being hydrolyzed means the amino bonds have been broken down by enzymes to create a protein that’s quicker to digest, reducing the time it takes for aminos to enter your bloodstream. Mixing this with standard whey concentrate creates a sustained delivery of aminos, which helps prevent you feeling hungry for longer.

Whey isolate has been included to help keep the carb and fat content low, but you’re still looking at a very high level of cholesterol compared to other protein powders (90 mg per scoop). For comparison, Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer has 60 mg, Gold Standard Whey has 30 mg, and Platinum Hydrowhey just 5 mg of cholesterol per serving.

Sodium content is about average, at 140 mg per scoop, while calcium is a little lower than we would expect, at 8% of your daily value (same as Gold Standard Whey). Sugar content is higher than most protein powders we review, with 4 g per serving.

Other ingredients include cocoa, acesulfame potassium, sucralose (sweetener), milk, and soy lecithin, which acts as an instantizing agent to improve mixability.

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Protein Powder

O.N. Performance Whey – Product Summary

  • 22 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, and 160 calories per serving
  • Protein Blend contains Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Ultra-Filtered and Concentrated Whey Protein
  • 1 Rounded scoop = 1 serving (39 grams)
  • Available in 2 great flavors; Chocolate Shake and Vanilla Shake
  • Contains sucralose and acesulfame potassium as artificial sweeteners

When is the best time to take it?

Recommended use

Add one rounded scoop of Performance Whey to a glass or shaker cup filled with 6-8 ounces of cold water, milk, or juice. Mix for 20-30 seconds.

Performance Whey vs. MusclePharm Combat

Performance Whey
MusclePharm Combat
Protein: 22 g
Protein: 25 g
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fat: 4 g
Fat: 1.5 g
Calories: 160
Calories: 130
Protein density: 56%
Protein density: 72%
Container size: 1950 g
Container size: 1814 g
Serving size: 39 g
Serving size: 35 g
Cost per serving: $0.81
Cost per serving: $0.96

Performance Whey vs. O.N. Gold Standard

Performance Whey
Gold Standard Whey
Protein: 22 g
Protein: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 9 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Fat: 4 g
Fat: 1 g
Calories: 160
Calories: 120
Protein density: 56%
Protein density: 75%
Container size: 1950 g
Container size: 2250 g
Serving size: 39 g
Serving size: 31 g
Cost per serving: $0.81
Cost per serving: $0.78

What flavors and sizes are available?

With a serving size of 38 grams, each tub provides you with either 25 or 50 servings. Following the recommendation of 2 servings per day, this should be enough to last up to 4 weeks.

At the time of writing this review, the best value for money comes from the 4.3 pound tub. Each serving was priced at $0.70, compared to $0.84 per serving with the smaller 2.09 pound tub. That’s why we always recommend calculating the average cost per serving, across all sizes, before making a final buying decision.


  • Vanilla Shake
  • Chocolate Shake

Save money with Amazon

If you’re looking to save money on your monthly protein powder order, you might want to consider the Amazon Subscribe & Save program.

Subscribe & Save allows you to unlock savings of up to 15% on a wide range of supplements, including O.N. Performance Whey (selected flavors only).

You can save 5% with a subscription to 1 product, or save the full 15% by subscribing to 5 products, provided they’re all delivered to the same address. The delivery schedule can be set from monthly, up to once every 6 months.

Although 5 products might sound a lot, if you already supplement with a protein powder, multivitamin, creatine, BCAA, and glutamine, the savings can soon add up.

Who are Optimum Nutrition?

With over 30 years in the sports nutrition industry, Optimum Nutrition currently produces some of the bestselling sports nutrition products in the world. These have been designed to improve your strength and recovery, health and wellness, and help increase your protein intake, such as their Gold Standard 100% Whey.

To find out more about their protein powders, bars, ready to drinks, BCAAs, glutamine, pre-workout supplements, creatine, multivitamins, and weight loss products, we recommend our Optimum Nutrition buying guide. This includes a summary of the health benefits you can expect from each product, which sizes and flavors are available, and dosages for the top ingredients.

We’ve also added in-depth reviews and comparisons with other top rated nutrition companies, to guarantee you only buy the best supplement for your fitness goals.

Protein Powder Buying Guide

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

At the time of writing this review, each 39 gram serving of Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey was priced at $0.81, based on buying the 4.3 pound tub. This makes it more expensive than their Gold Standard 100% Whey protein ($0.78), despite having 2 g less protein per serving.

The slightly higher price tag is due to the protein blend. Performance Whey includes hydrolyzed whey isolate and hydrolyzed whey concentrate, which is a more refined type of protein that’s digested quicker than standard whey isolate and whey concentrate.

So in our opinion, $40 for a 50-serving tub is a fair price (found on Amazon). It’s just a few cents more per serving compared to Gold Standard 100% Whey, and almost identical to the price of BSN Syntha-6. Syntha-6 also delivers 22 g of protein, but with slightly more carbs (15 g).

Only having two flavors (chocolate shake and vanilla shake) is a little disappointing, and the cholesterol level is higher than any other Optimum Nutrition protein powder. But customer feedback is still impressive.

You can currently find hundreds of highly rated customer reviews on Amazon, praising the delicious taste, affordable price, and its ability to mix well in water. But there were also a few customers unhappy with the high cholesterol level (30% DV), high amount of sugar (twice as much as BSN Syntha-6), and fact that you’re getting less protein than Gold Standard Whey.

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