Optimum 100% Whey Protein Review
Optimum whey protein stands as a protein brand that, while it does have its nutritional downfalls, stands out from its chemically-engineered competition. In the controversial world of protein powders, this is very important.
Optimum whey won the Supplement Of The Year and Protein Powder Of The Year in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The awards were held on a top bodybuilding website, with millions of voters. Optimum whey certainly has a solid following, but does their product match the hype?
While the ingredients are certainly higher quality than a majority of the competing brands, the product contains a few bad apples that cannot be ignored. One such ingredient is Acesulfame K, or Acesulfame Potassium. Approved for use by the FDA in 1988, Acesulfame K is a deriviative of acetoacetic acid. It is an artificial sweetener that has been likened to deadly aspartame.
The effects of this additive has begun to surface, with links to conditions such as leukemia and various types of tumors. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the FDA was petitioned to review its decision to approve this ingredient for use.
Other questionable ingredients include artificial flavorings, heavily processed and modified ingredients, and yellow #5 (which is food coloring that has been linked to ADHD, allergies, and other serious conditions). It also has ingredients that derive from soy, which is one of the most genetically modified plants in the world.
Optimum, the company that produces this protein powder, claims that Optimum Whey Protein comes with everything you do want, and nothing that you do not want.
To give you more of what you want (pure, unadulterated whey protein) with less of what you don´t (fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, lactose, and other carbohydrates) with every serving. This whey protein supplement is no exception. In fact, ON 100% Whey Gold Standard is better than ever!
To be fair, a lot of people who are buying protein powder are not concerned as much with the artificial flavoring and artificial ingredients as much as they are concerned with the macro-nutrient makeup of the product. That is, the carbohydrate content, the protein content, the fat content, etc.
While it is a seemingly logical approach to only worry about the protein verses carbohydrate ratio if you just want to increase muscle mass, it is a destructive one. Even if you are getting adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates, the hidden additives in the food can be extremely destructive to your muscle building goals.
Besides the harmful additives, the product does deliver a reasonable ratio of protein to carbohydrates. The problem is that you need some degree of fat to properly utilize protein, so there is no reason to be afraid of fat in protein shakes. It does have 1g of fat, but taking this with a higher fat source would certainly be ideal.
At $11.99 per pound, and $79.99 for 10 lbs., you’re getting an okay deal. Higher quality protein powders that do not contain artificial ingredients weigh in at around 20 or 30 dollars per pound, and are not very affordable for the majority of us.
The problem is that while this product is cheap, it is cheap for a reason. Filler ingredients and highly processed additives are thrown in to make the product cost effective, and lengthen its shelf life. It is in no way a great deal, but it is certainly affordable. You really get what you pay for with this product.
Optimum 100% whey protein is blown out of the water when it comes to higher quality brands such as Miracle Whey or Pro-Optimum Whey, but it does stand against many mainstream brands that have far more processed fillers and health-siphoning ingredients. Some of these mainstream protein powders proudly display that they contain genetically modified ingredients, which have been proven to be a threat to health.
What it comes down to is whether or not you can afford a higher quality protein powder. You can always just make your own shake with some eggs, honey, and a banana. Food sources are also an excellent (and usually better) alternative to shakes as well, and most organic/hormone-free meats can meet your protein requirements.
Bottom line: I cannot recommend purchasing this product, as it has several ingredients that are known to damage the body, and will restrain your muscle building goals. Try a food source alternative or a higher quality product made with 100% natural ingredients if you can afford it.
Natural Society staff contribution