Many people question the efficacy of the majority of bodybuilding supplements, but you’d rarely find two people arguing whether a protein powder is useful or not, especially for professional athletes.
Protein is one of the essential macronutrients that your body needs an adequate supply of on a daily basis, and more so if you are trying to build muscle.
Ideally, you should consume protein as part of your regular diet, and there are many various plant and animal sources of this nutrient. But if your diet lacks protein-rich foods, or if you are training on a professional level and need extra amounts of protein, then adding a protein powder to your workout regimen can be the right choice.
Whey protein is the most widely used and highly preferred type of protein most bodybuilders use. It is easy to digest and contains all of the essential amino acids, including BCAAs, needed to promote muscle growth, performance and endurance.
You won’t have a problem finding a whey protein supplement in any health food/sports nutrition store. In fact, there are so many choices that even experienced users may be baffled to settle on a specific product.
While essentially all protein powders are almost the same in terms of their efficacy, there are smaller details that vary from one brand to another, such as protein content (isolate vs. concentrate), added sugar, flavors, additional ingredients and fillers, etc.
This review will focus on two of the most popular brands of whey protein: IsoFlex by ALLMAX and Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition. How do they differ from each other and which one is a better choice? Let’s compare some of the main features of each:
IsoFlex is basically a blend of whey protein isolates in addition to a couple of protein-digesting enzymes (protease and bromelain). There are also other secondary ingredients that include natural and artificial flavors, artificial sweetener (sucralose), and some other ingredients that vary from one flavor to another.
Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein is a blend of whey protein isolate, concentrate and peptides, in addition to cocoa powder, natural and artificial flavors, artificial sweetener (sucralose), and other filler ingredients.
So basically both are just plain whey protein, however, IsoFlex is a pure isolate, while Gold Standard contains a blend of isolate and concentrate. Whey protein isolate contains a higher percentage of protein (about 90%) compared to concentrate (about 80%). The isolate also contains a lower percentage of milk sugar (lactose) and fat.
Each serving of IsoFlex (30 grams) contains 27 grams of protein, 0 to 0.5 grams total fat (varies per flavor), and 1 to 2 grams total carbs.
Each serving of ON Gold Standard (32 grams) contains 24 grams of protein, 1.5 grams total fat, and 3 grams total carbs.
Which One Is Better?
Both of these are quality whey protein powders with very small differences in their nutritional profile. You can’t go wrong with either of these two, but there are some minor pros and cons of each.
Some people claim IsoFlex is higher quality whey protein because it is pure isolate, but this just means it has a slightly higher protein content, which isn’t really going to make much of a difference. It also contains a little less fat and carbs.
ON Gold Standard, on the other hand, is a mix of isolate and concentrate, so it contains a little less protein per gram and a little more fat and carbs.
Both isolates and concentrates contain tiny amounts of lactose (milk sugar), with concentrates having a higher content. This means ON Gold Standard may cause some bloating and digestive issues for people who are highly sensitive to lactose. IsoFlex is a little easier on the stomach.