Did you know that whey protein is far and away the most popular fitness supplement on the market today? It is no secret that protein is the most essential nutrient the body needs when it comes to the growth and maintenance of our muscles.
Whey protein isn’t just any old protein. It is tightly packed, full of the vital nutrients we need to help our muscles recover, repair, and grow after our training sessions. It contains a massive array of essential amino acids that are crucial for muscle generation.
Studies have shown that if whey protein is taken regularly in conjunction with weight training exercises or endurance exercises, then users are likely to see significant increases in muscle mass, strength, and even reductions in body fat.
In this article, we will look at two of the most popular brands of whey protein and see what differences there are between the two, Dymatize Elite Whey vs Optimum Gold Standard.
But first, let’s have a look at what key factors we need to consider when looking to buy a new whey protein supplement.
Table of Contents
What is Whey?
One of the main reasons that whey protein is so popular is due to its simplicity. It is derived from whey, which is an ingredient that can be found in milk during the production process when making cheese.
There are two types of protein that can be found in milk, one of them is casein, the other is whey. We will be just discussing the latter of the two in this article.
Whey is widely considered to be much better for a workout supplement due to its amino acid profile. It is densely packed with vital essential amino acids that our bodies need for muscle production and regeneration, two vital processes.
To be specific, the amino acids that whey protein is denser in are the branch chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAAS. They contain leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
What to Look for in Whey Protein
When looking at whey protein, we must consider the quality. You will notice that there are countless brands of whey protein suppliers out there, all of them varying in price. So why not just go for the cheapest option?
The first and most significant difference is the protein quantity. The more protein, the better. It is as simple as that. Below, we will look further into the types of whey protein, but a general rule of thumb is that the more protein is, the better.
When you purchase cheaper options, you may find more carbs and fats, which are unnecessary and unwanted ingredients in our supplement. They will also likely add to the overall calorie content, which is not ideal for bodybuilders looking to cut.
Another point to consider is the sugar content. Cheaper options often contain more sugar and can be packed with artificial flavorings and colorings. It is usually best to avoid these if possible.
Many users report a better flavor with more expensive whey protein brands. This could be down to the use of higher quality ingredients.
Types of Whey
One thing we must also consider is the type of whey protein that we are buying. These are:
- Whey protein isolate – 85%+ of protein
- Whey protein concentrate – between 70-80% protein and will usually contain lactose
- Whey protein hydrolysate – pre-digested whey that is absorbed into the body faster
From these three, the most popular types are concentrate and isolate; the majority of popular brands contain a blend. Some people find it hard to digest this, though. In that instance, it would be best to switch to one of the others.
Dymatize Elite Whey contains isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate while Optimum Gold Standard includes isolate and concentrate.
For reference, the exact two products that we have reviewed are Dymatize Elite Whey – Chocolate Cake Batter and Optimum Gold Standard – Delicious Strawberry. Both of them are the 2lb versions. You can find the ingredient labels below.
Now we will look into the main differences between these two brands. They are both very similar in their compositions and do not differ much at all. However, we will point out some differences that may be of note to some users.
Dymatize Elite Whey
Dymatize has risen through the ranks recently and has become one of the more popular whey protein supplements on the market. It is a fast-absorbing blend of whey concentrate and whey isolate, the two most popular forms of whey protein.
Compared to Optimum Gold Standard, it has a slightly higher protein count per serving, although the serving is 5g larger. It does contain 20% of your daily dose of calcium, which is excellent, and also has 6% of your daily iron. This is much higher than Optimum.
One thing to note is that this one contains 2g of fat compared to 1g in Optimum.
Dymatize Elite Whey has 6.2 g of BCAAs per serving, including 2.8 grams of the vital L-leucine. This is great for those looking to build muscle more quickly as BCAAs provide the building blocks for protein synthesis and muscle regeneration.
BCAAs are also one of the most popular pre workout supplements, helping to increase muscular endurance during workouts and reduce the effects of fatigue.
It’s good to see that Dymatize has gone with the preferred BCAAs ratio of 2:1:1, which is what has been proven to give the best results for physical performance.
What we like
- 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs
- More protein per serving
- 20% of daily calcium
- 4.4 grams of glutamine
What we don’t like
- Larger serving size – 5 g more than optimum
- Higher fat content
- Higher calorie content of 140
Optimum Gold Standard
Optimum gold standard is actually the most popular whey protein product on the market. In fact, it is the most popular sports supplement around and is used by millions of people each year to help them improve their muscle growth and power output.
Compared to Dymatize, it does pretty similarly. It has a lower protein count, but this is mainly due to the smaller serving size, and Optimum has four more servings per tub.
One important thing to note is the much wider variety of flavors available. If you are going to be taking a supplement every day, then it’s essential that it tastes good!
On to BCAAs. Optimum falls slightly short of its counterpart here with only 5.4 grams per serving, but again we can attribute some of this loss to the smaller serving size.
Looking into the amino acid profile, the BCAAs ratio is, in fact, close to 2:1:1, but with lower values than Dymatize. The L-leucine count being 2.5g, just 0.3g short of Elite Whey.
This also contains 4grams of glutamine, which is 0.7 grams less than Dymatize.
What we like
- Much better tasting, and a lot more flavors to choose from
- Comes with more size options
- Lower calorie content of 120
What we don’t like
- Less protein than Dymatize
- Less BCAAs
- Less Glutamine/Glutamic Acid
- Ingredient Labels
Here are both of the ingredient labels for each product
|*Per Serving||Dymatize Elite Whey (% Daily Value)||Optimum Gold Standard (% Daily Value)|
|Calories From Fat||20||10|
|Total Fat||2 g||1 g (2%)|
|Saturated Fat||1.5 g||1 g (5%)|
|Trans Fat||0 g||0 g|
|Cholesterol||70 mg||40 mg (13%)|
|Sodium||130 mg||140 mg (1%)|
|Total Carbohydrate||3 g||–|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g||<1 g|
|Sugars||2 g||1 g|
|Protein||25 g||24 g (48%)|
Size and Servings
Let’s take a look at the serving sizes for each supplement.
Dymatize Elite Whey
Serving Size – 1 Scoop – 36 g
Servings per container – 25
Total grams – 900 g
- Chocolate Cake Batter
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Cookies & Cream
- Gourmet Vanilla
- Raspberry Cheesecake
- Rich Chocolate
- Strawberry Blast
- Vanilla Cupcake
Optimum Gold Standard
Serving Size – 1 Scoop – 31 g
Servings per container – 29
Total grams – 899 g
Available flavors with flavor rating:
- Banana Cream
- Birthday Cake
- Cake Donut
- Chocolate Hazelnut
- Chocolate malt
- Chocolate Mint
- Cookies and Cream
- Delicious Strawberry
- Double Rich Chocolate
- Extreme Milk Chocolate
- French Vanilla Creme
- Mocha Cappuccino
- Peppermint mocha
- Rocky Road
- Strawberries and Cream
- Strawberry Banana
- Vanilla Ice cream
Unfortunately, the ingredients label does not give us a clear breakdown of the ingredients, so we have rounded up the two most important below (other than protein of course)
As mentioned earlier, BCAAs are essential amino acids that play a crucial role in muscle production. The BCAAs are referred to as the building blocks that our body uses to create proteins. It’s important that we get these in our diet as part of our supplementation.
Some benefits we see from supplementing BCAAs include:
- Quicker strength gains
- Muscular increases
- Energy boosts
- Delayed fatigue during workouts
- Quicker recovery times post-workout
The ideal ratio of BCAAs is 2:1:1, and both of these supplements are roughly there. Here are the breakdowns for each supplement.
|*per serving||Dymatize Elite Whey||Optimum Gold Standard|
|Overall BCAAs||6.2 g||5.4 g|
|L-Leucine||2.8 g||2.5 g|
|L-Isoleucine||1.7 g||1.5 g|
|L-Valine||1.7 g||1.4 g|
L-Leucine is the most important of the three due to it being found to be a major player in the enhancing of our anabolic systems and muscle protein synthesis.
The results are pretty close here, but Dymatize gets the nod with high quantities of each of the BCAAs.
Glutamine & Glutamic Acid
Dymatize Elite Whey 4.7g
Optimum Gold Standard 4g
Glutamine has a wide number of functions in the body, which is why it is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body. It is used as fuel by the body for a lot of our cellular processes.
Currently, there are mixed reviews around glutamine and its effects on our body composition and muscle production. It is a non-essential amino acid, which means it is naturally occurring in the body.
There are some studies that suggest glutamine can aid recovery and help to fight muscle fatigue, which is of clear benefit to people taking fitness supplements. However, these studies are debated. Because of this, we will not put too much weight on this.
From the above information, it is clear to see that these products are very similar in their ingredient profile.
This is common with whey supplements since they are very simple products that are designed with the sole purpose of providing high quantities of protein to the user per serving.
Whey is considered to be a complete protein, being comprised of all nine essential amino acids. This is why the labels do not break down which specific amino acids they include because they include all of them.
This is the main reason why whey is such a great workout supplement, as it provides all of the necessary building blocks for protein synthesis in one powder.
Because of this, when we compare two high-end whey protein products such as these two, it becomes important to consider what type of whey they are made up of (isolate, concentrate or hydrolysate) as well as the calories, fat, sugar content and the range of flavors.
The two products, Dyamtize Elite Whey vs Optimum Gold Standard, are so similar that it would be unfair to pick one clear winner. They are both at a very similar price point, with Dymatize being the slightly cheaper of the two.
When it comes to pure protein per serving, Dymatize is the winner again with an extra gram pers serving, but as we stated, this is due to bigger serving size.
The only things worth pointing out are the calorie differences and fat content. These are both high in Dymatize, at 140 calories compared 120 calories in optimum, and 2g to 1g of fat too.
This may not sound like a lot, but when we consider the fact that you might be having two shakes per day, every day, it can add to be a significant amount in your overall weekly totals. However, it’s not exactly a deal-breaker.
We consume whey protein to promote muscle growth, reduce muscle soreness and recovery periods, and to increase our strength and power output over the long term. Both of these supplements will do these jobs very well.
Overall, the nod has to go to Dymatize as it just edges Optimum Gold Whey in a few key areas. The main and most obvious being the BCAAs. With 0.8grams more per serving and a higher content of each of the essential amino acids.
It also boasts a higher glutamine content, which could be of benefit to users looking to reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery.
Both of these products are great and are packed with high-quality protein that will produce great benefits for gym-goers. But if you really want the best bang for your buck, then opt for Dymatize Elite Whey.