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Optimum Nutrition is not a company which needs introduction. Producers of arguably the world's most popular protein powder; the Gold Standard 100% Whey, Optimum Nutrition has also released a bevy of popular products over the last couple of years including their Platinum Hydrowhey and Platinum Hydrobuilder. With 2012 fast becoming a year in which supplement companies are pushing out new products at a tremendous rate, Optimum Nutrition won't be left behind with the introduction of their latest protein creation; their 'Performance Whey'. So how does Optimum's new product fare in a sea of supplements?

Performance Whey

What is it?

Performance Whey is Optimum Nutrition's latest protein offering aimed at highly active people or people who require or want extra protein throughout the day and who value a longer and more constant release of proteins.

First Impressions

At first glance, Optimum Nutrition's Performance Whey is a no frills kind of whey protein powder and is most similar to their Gold Standard 100% Whey. With a similar protein blend and many of the same ingredients, Optimum Nutrition's Performance Whey offers 22g Protein per serve with 9g of Carbs and 4g of Fat. At 160 calories, it is a fantastic option as a healthy light snack. For those who work out often, it becomes important to consume protein regularly throughout the day to provide a constant source of protein supply as a way of counteracting our body's protein breakdown. Moore et al (2009) concluded in his study that for those who weight train often and expect lean muscle mass gains, they need to consume at least 20g of protein around 5-6 times per day. Furthermore, what is more important is that there needs to be a calorie surplus, which many of you may already know. Optimum Nutrition's Performance Whey offers those extra calories and makes it easier to reach your daily energy goals.

Difference From the Competition

In comparing Performance Whey to Gold Standard Whey, as mentioned previously, most of the ingredients are the same. The major difference that one should notice is the switching around of the protein blends. Performance Whey contains a higher amount of whey protein concentrate and does not contain Aminogen®, the protease used in Gold Standard to accelerate digestion and absorption time. These key differences serve three purposes:

To slow down the rate of absorption and digestion to ensure a slower, more long term release. Increasing the amount of whey protein concentrate to isolate increases the fat and carbohydrate content which increases the calorie count.Increasing the whey protein concentrate to isolate ratio also generally improves the flavour.

Of Particular Interest

The addition of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) is a great idea as it is a type of fat which is easily digested and metabolised. Interestingly MCTs have been studied quite extensively and has been said to help with weight loss and fat oxidation. For someone looking to gain lean muscle mass and to improve their body composition with less fat mass, the use of MCTs in Optimum Nutrition's Performance Whey is an ideal ingredient to incorporate.

Flavour & Mixability

Optimum Nutrition is perhaps one of the front runners in flavouring and production technology. They're usually renowned for well mixing protein powders with excellent flavours. Performance Whey is no different. It is extremely easy to mix, even with half the recommended amount of water, for a super thick and tasty shake. All this is achieved without any nasty clumps or residue.

Negatives

As of yet, there are only two flavours of Performance Whey available. Those that aren't fans of chocolate or vanilla may be stumped for choice. However, knowing Optimum Nutrition, they will probably soon release a whole range of other flavours in the near future. Another potential downside, is that unlike Gold Standard, Performance Whey does not contain any lactase. This could be a problem for those with lactose intolerance, especially since there is more lactase in Performance Whey compared to Gold standard.

Who is it For?

ON Performance Whey is an extremely versatile product which sits nicely below Gold Standard in price. It is recommended for bodybuilders, athletes, and other active individuals looking for a tasty way to add more high quality protein to their diet.

Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, Tang JE, Glover EI, Wilkinson SB, Prior T, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM.  Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):161-8.

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