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The 8 best optimum nutrition flavors 2023

Protein powders offering a wide flavor variety have become the newest big thing. Of course, every company wants the protein powder with the best flavors.

Speaking of companies, Optimum Nutrition is one of the big boys in the supplement business. Their Gold Standard 100% Whey is a big seller and has the widest choice of flavors.

How do you know which ones taste good and which ones miss the mark?

This guide will look at the best Optimum Nutrition flavors and help you decide which one is right for you. Ready? Let’s go!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

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You’ll find Mocha Cappuccino at or near the top on most lists. It’s our pick for best overall. Whether you drink your coffee hot or cold, Mocha Cappuccino is a great tasting flavor. You can add to your morning cup of coffee. 

There’s real coffee flavor added, but there’s no listing of caffeine in this product. Don’t want to add it to coffee?

You can mix it in cold water or the milk beverage of your choice. It makes a great tasting shake or smoothie. 

Finally, it’s one of the top flavors by regular users of Gold Standard 100% Whey.

  • Includes Real Coffee Flavor & Cocoa Powder
  • Mix It With Your Hot Or Iced Coffee 
  • Low Sugar – Low fat
  • Some Users Feel It Needs To Be Mixed In A Blender Only

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This flavor isn’t about the chocolate or the peanut butter. It’s about a perfect balance of the two. Chocolate Peanut Butter works well in cold water or the milk beverage of your choice. That includes almond, coconut, oat, or regular cow’s milk. 

It’s a decadent flavor that’s great for anyone with a sweet tooth. If you like the idea of dipping chocolate into peanut butter, this is your flavor.

  • Good Balance Of Flavors
  • Great For Peanut Butter Lovers
  • Tastes Good In Water Or Milk
  • Some Users Don’t Like The Smell

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There are quite a few chocolate flavor options to choose from. For many, Chocolate Coconut is the most delicious. 

This is a flavor that, as long as you like coconut, rates consistently high. The Chocolate Coconut flavor has a smooth milk chocolate taste with a hint of coconut.  It’s not overpowering and it’s not too sweet. 

For many people, it’s like an Almond Joy bar. This is a flavor that tastes great in cold water or your favorite milk beverage.

  • Good Balance Of Chocolate And Coconut
  • Some Users Feel This Tastes Like An Almond Joy Bar
  • Makes A Great Shake In Water Or Your Favorite Milk Beverage
  • Some Users Feel The Protein Clumps Too Much

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Here’s another Optimum Nutrition flavor that competes for the top spot on many lists. If you’re a chocolate lover, this is a great flavor. It does not have an overpowering rich chocolate taste. Instead, it has a sweet milk chocolate flavor. 

For that reason, you can mix it with ice-cold water. It’s sweet enough that milk is not needed at all. Of course, you can also mix it in any hot or cold beverage. It’ll taste great in any kind of milk, and you can even use it in coffee.

  • Good Choice For Users That Typically Mix Their Shakes With Cold Water
  • This Is A Sweet Milk Chocolate Flavor
  • Can Be Mixed With Other Flavors If Desired
  • It May Be Too Sweet For Some Users
  • Some Users May Prefer A Richer Chocolate Taste

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This flavor, like most of the flavors in this guide, is mainly available with Gold Standard 100% Whey. It’s their best-selling protein powder. The flavor is like real ice cream, creamy and rich but not too sweet. It’s a vanilla flavor that only needs ice-cold water to taste good. 

Still, the beauty of vanilla is you can mix it with anything. You can mix it with any milk beverage or your favorite juice. Many users feel it’s a dessert-like flavor. If you want your vanilla to taste like an ice cream cone, this is the choice for you.

  • Rich Ice Cream-Like Vanilla Flavor
  • Not Too Sweet
  • Ideal Choice For Users Mixing Their Shakes In Water
  • May Be Too Sweet For Some Users

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This flavor provides a nice break from all the various chocolate and vanilla options. Strawberries & Cream is a highly rated flavor and a great choice for strawberry lovers. You can mix a fruity flavor like this in any smoothie for a good shot of protein. 

Or, mix it with water or any type of milk. Some users even like it mixed in yogurt. A good option with this flavor is that you can add in fresh or frozen fruit for a delicious fruit-flavored treat.

  • A Rich Tasting Fruit Flavor
  • Not Too Sweet
  • Mix It In Smoothies, Shakes Or Yogurt
  • Some Users Prefer The Regular Strawberry Flavor Over This

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This is a bit of an underrated flavor. It’s usually only available in the 5lb size, so any regular user of the smaller sizes will not have tried it. If you like white chocolate, you will like this flavor. It’s sweet enough to taste good in cold water, but it can be mixed in milk. 

You can mix it in a blender with ice and the milk beverage for your choice for a delicious milkshake. Or, add it to your shaker with cold water for a decadent shake-on-the-go.

  • Delicious, Decadent White Chocolate Flavor
  • Mixes Well In A Blender With Ice & Milk Beverage
  • Used It In Smoothies
  • May Be Too Sweet For Some Users

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Here’s a flavor that makes a great protein dessert. With Optimum’s Cookies & Cream, you can make a thick delicious shake using a blender. Or, freeze it and you have high protein ice cream. The thing with Cookies & Cream is that it’s popular. 

Most companies have a protein with this flavor. That said, it can taste great or not so great, depending on the company. 

Optimum Nutrition makes some great flavors, and they do an excellent job with this. If you’re a fan of Cookies & Cream, you’ll like Optimum’s take on it.

  • Thick, Rich Flavor
  • Use It As A Shake Or Make Protein Ice Cream
  • This Flavor Is Used In Optimum Casein & 100% Whey 
  • May Be Too Salty For Some Users

We’re talking about Optimum Nutrition flavors, so let’s look at the company.  Optimum Nutrition is an old and highly respected name in the business. They’ve been around since the 1980’s when the original owners decided to start their own company. In 2008, they were acquired by the Irish company Glanbia. This is an Irish nutrition group that operates in 32 countries, with products sold in 130 countries. Their acquisition of Optimum allows them to have a strong presence in North America. In 2011 Glanbia purchased BSN, giving them an even greater sports nutrition presence. 

Of course, some flavors, like extreme milk chocolate or mocha cappuccino, rate higher than others. Despite that, the best Optimum Nutrition flavor is a question of personal taste. Still, what if you aren’t sure about Optimum Nutrition’s flavors? Maybe you use a different brand’s protein powder. Start with the eight flavors in this guide. There’s no doubt one of them will become your new favorite.

The protein that has the best flavor selection is Gold Standard 100% Whey. This product provides 24g of protein per serving. Optimum uses an excellent protein blend for their 100% Whey. It consists of whey isolate, whey concentrate, and whey peptides. 

What are whey peptides? 

They are short polymers of amino acids that are linked by peptide bonds. Whey peptides are the best way for the body to absorb nitrogen into the muscles. Nitrogen is one of the components of protein and helps the body stay in an anabolic environment. This is important for lean muscle growth.

Besides a high-quality protein blend, 100% whey contains 2g sugar and 3g total carbs. There’s also 1g fat and 110mg sodium. If there’s a downside to 100% Whey, it’s the use of artificial ingredients. Still, 100% Whey has been one of the best-selling & best-tasting protein powders for decades. 

The flavors presented here are almost exclusive to 100% Whey. Only Gold Standard 100% Casein shares flavors. In this case, those flavors are chocolate peanut butter and cookies & cream. Casein contains 24g of micellar casein, the highest quality casein. Unfortunately, it also contains artificial ingredients. Yet, if you prefer a slow-digesting protein, give 100% Casein a try.

Some people like basic flavors such as vanilla. Others like the more exotic or sweet flavors, such as mocha cappuccino or white chocolate. The plain vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry protein powder flavors get tired after a while. If you drink multiple shakes a day, you probably want a more exotic flavor. 

Fortunately, Optimum Nutrition has flavors that appeal to every taste. If you enjoy standard flavors, Optimum has plenty to choose from. If you want a coffee-like flavor or decadent flavor, Optimum has those. Our guide features eight flavors that cover any taste preference. 

You can mix up Optimum Nutrition’s powders with a spoon, shaker, or blender. You can add it to yogurt or your oatmeal. Depending on the flavor, you can even use it as a coffee creamer. Many of Optimum’s flavors, such as vanilla ice cream or strawberries & cream, mix well in a smoothie.

Thickness and texture are two important considerations for any protein powder. No one wants a thin, watery shake. Also, no one wants a gritty texture. A thick, cold milkshake can be great on a hot summer day. Other times, you may want a little less thickness. No matter what, you don’t want a gritty, clumpy shake that has no thickness. Optimum is known for its good texture and the right amount of thickness. Whey isolate can be thin. Optimum solves that problem by adding whey concentrate and why peptides. 

Protein is a critically important macronutrient. This is true for everybody but especially true if you’re trying to build lean muscle. In this case, you’ll need to take in more protein than the average non-active individual. Your primary protein intake should be from whole food first. However, adding an Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey shake 1-3 times per day helps you meet your protein goals.

Protein powder is also important because of its convenience. Do you work long days? Maybe you have a difficult time making your meals. If you’re too busy for a scheduled meal, a protein shake can be a lifesaver. 

Another good reason to use a protein powder is that it helps you keep calories low. You can take in the protein you need yet not take in a lot of calories. If your goal is fat loss, this can make a big difference

A protein shake contains high amounts of BCAAs, which are important for muscle growth and recovery.  The BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are considered essential. Amino acids are a key component of protein. They are used in countless chains that regulate thousands of daily bodily functions. There are 20 common amino acids, and 11 are made in the body. These are known as non-essential amino acids. The remaining 9 are known as essential. This is because they need to be supplied from food and supplements. (1, 2)

Protein provides the following bodybuilding & fitness benefits:

  • Promotes Lean Muscle Growth
  • Helps The Body Maintain An Anabolic Environment – This Is Important For Muscle Growth To Occur
  • Enhances Recovery
  • Supports Fat Loss
  • Promotes Healthy Bones
  • Promotes Healthy Skin, Hair & Nails 

A good protein powder helps you achieve your goals. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is the ideal addition to your supplement arsenal. You can choose one flavor, or try several. You’ll have no problem meeting your protein needs with the flavors Optimum offers. 

You don’t have to use a protein powder with the same old 2-3 flavors. There’s no reason not to enjoy the flavor of your powder. A protein shake with the right flavor can be a decadent-tasting treat. A good example of this is our best overall Optimum Nutrition flavor, Mocha Cappuccino. If you like coffee and you like cappuccinos, this is the flavor for you! You can mix in water or any milk beverage. Better still, add it to your morning coffee, hot or cold. You’ll be in for a delicious treat!

If chocolate is more your thing, the best choice is Extreme Milk Chocolate. It’s not too sweet yet you only need to mix it in cold water. That’s enough for a great chocolate experience. Of course, you can mix it into any beverage you’d like to. This flavor tastes great no matter what.

Finally, if you want an ice cream dessert-like flavor, Cookies & Cream is the choice for you. This can be a flavor that’s difficult to get right. Optimum Nutrition uses real cookie bits to make one of the best cookie & cream shakes available. Imagine a thick, frosty Cookies & Cream shake!

There are several excellent Optimum Nutrition flavors. Use our guide to help you find your favorite.



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