Optimum Nutrition Protein Energy provides you with 10 g of protein, 1 g of carbohydrates, 0.5 g of fat, and just 50 calories per serving (1 scoop), and is designed for muscle support and energy in the morning and mid-day.
So which option represents better value for money; ON Protein Energy as an all-in-one energy protein powder, or a pure whey protein powder combined with a separate pre-workout energy booster?
In this review we’ll compare Protein Energy to two other top-rated protein and energy combinations; Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey with Nootropic Bio Energy, and Organic Protein with Red Leaf Pre-Workout Energizer. This includes the ingredients and protein blend used, dosages, price, cost per serving, and customer feedback.
We’ve also added recommendations for the best BCAA, creatine, and glutamine supplements to combine with ON Protein Energy if you’re looking to boost workout endurance, muscle strength, muscle growth, and optimize recovery.
Optimum Nutrition Protein Energy Ingredients
Protein Energy is a bestselling whey protein powder from Optimum Nutrition, but with less protein per serving than Gold Standard Whey (20 g vs. 24 g). This is reflected in the price, with Protein Energy being the cheaper of the two supplements.
A closer look at the macronutrient profile shows you’re also getting fewer carbs than Gold Standard Whey (1 g vs. 5 g). This is because the protein blend combines whey protein concentrate with whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate.
Whey protein isolate means you’re getting less carbs per serving, while the hydrolyzed whey is fast-digesting to deliver a quick boost of aminos into your bloodstream. Standard whey concentrate is included for a slightly slower delivery of aminos, which works with the carbs to prevent you feeling hungry for longer.
In terms of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), Optimum Nutrition have added 30 IU of vitamin E for its antioxidant properties, which is 100% of your DV per 30 g serving.
Surprisingly, we couldn’t see calcium listed on the ingredient label, but the sodium content is quite high (220 mg, 9% DV), and cholesterol level is what we would expect from a protein powder containing whey (45 mg, 15% DV). For pure whey isolate protein powders the cholesterol tends to drop to 20 mg or less, such as with Isopure Zero Carb.
Other ingredients include cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors, sucralose (sweetener), milk, and soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is used in most protein powders to improve mixability, and doesn’t typically contain enough soy protein residues to cause allergic reactions. We would still recommend seeking advice from a health professional before taking Protein Energy, if you have a soy allergy or lactose intolerance.
Energy and Focus Blend
In addition to three types of protein, Optimum Nutrition have added ingredients specifically to boost mental and physical energy. For a 2-scoop serving of the chocolate flavor, this means 220 mg of an Energy and Focus Blend, which contains caffeine and green tea extract.
As well as being an effective energy boost, the caffeine and green tea catechin combination is effective for fat loss, which can work with the low carb content to help keep you lean. Just be careful not to combine this with a strong fat burner or thermogenic supplement if you’re looking to shed body fat, as they can also contain caffeine.
High levels of vitamin B6 (8 mg, 400% DV) and B12 (24 mcg, 400%) work together with the 120 mg of caffeine (as much as a 10-oz. cup of coffee) to give you a natural energy boost.
The only downside is that the high level of caffeine probably doesn’t make it the best option for a post-workout shake if you train in the evening, as it may have a negative impact on sleep quality. Breakfast or early in the day would be a better option.
Quick guide to Optimum Nutrition protein powders:
O.N. Protein Energy – Product Summary
- 20 g premium whey protein per serving
- 26 servings per container
- 220 mg Caffeine and green tea per 2 scoop serving
- Antioxidant Vitamin E
- Vitamins B6 & B12
- Chocolate, cinnamon bun, mocha cappuccino, and vanilla latte flavors available
When is the best time to take it?
Add two scoops to 8-10 oz. of water or milk in a glass or shaker cup. Stir or shake for 30 seconds.
Protein Energy vs. O.N. Gold Standard Whey
Protein Energy vs. Organic Protein
What flavors and sizes are available?
With a serving size of 28 grams, each tub provides you with 26 servings. Following the recommended daily dose of 1-2 servings, this should last up to 4 weeks.
At the time of writing this review, each serving was priced at $0.73. That’s half the price of Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydrowhey, but for 10 grams less protein and slightly fewer calories.
- Mocha Cappuccino
- Cinnamon Bun
- Vanilla Latte
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 Optimum Nutrition Protein Energy.
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.