In the next few minutes I’ll be comparing, critiquing, and exposing two notorious protein powders — Nitro Tech vs ON Gold Standard Whey — across a number of different categories.
Currently, there are 4 different variations of Nitro Tech on the market. I’ll be pitting each of these against Gold Standard Whey to see how MuscleTech’s line of protein powders stacks up against one of the best.
So Which Should You Take?
MuscleTech Nitro Tech: whey, creatine, bcaas — nitro tech is clearly engineered to build muscle. It’s a great post-workout shake, boasting 6g more whey protein than Gold Standard. However, the added creatine isn’t for everyone so you’ll need to take a look at your current stack and see if it fits.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey: with over 70 servings per tub in some flavors, Gold Standard Whey is all about getting as much protein as possible for a fair price. Sure, there’s no added creatine like in Nitro Tech, but if you just want pure whey protein, go with Optimum Nutrition today.
The Main Differences That You Will Notice
In the next few minutes, I’ll show you the key differences between Nitro Tech and Gold Standard — across the most important categories. I’ve broken each category into small subsections so you can easily see where each protein powder excels, and where it could use work.
Best Overall & Best Value
Fat Loss Assistance
Let’s start by comparing the ingredients. Both products have similarities — as you’d expect with any half-decent protein powder. But on the other hand, there are some pretty huge differences that will be sure to sway your decision on whether to go with team Optimum Nutrition or team MuscleTech.
Type of Protein
Both Nitro Tech and Gold Standard use a blend of whey proteins. If you’re familiar with protein supplements, you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s combination of whey isolate and whey concentrate.
So, there’s little to separate the two here. However, in terms of which has more protein, that award definitely goes to MuscleTech (24g vs 30g).
That said, the scoop size of Nitro tech is around 50% larger than the scoop you’ll find in Gold Standard Whey. Why is this important?
Let me explain. Although MuscleTech's offering does indeed pack more protein per scoop, you have to use 50% more powder just to get those 6 extra grams of protein. So, if you calculated the protein concentration — how much of the powder is actually protein — Optimum Nutrition edge out MuscleTech today.
Calories, Carbs, Fats
If you’re on a low-carb or cutting diet, the last thing you want to do is drink a bunch of carbs or fats when all you really want is protein!
So with that said, let’s take a look at how these two protein powders stack up…
One serving of MuscleTech's protein powder has 160 calories, 4g of carbs, and 2.5g of fat — based on the Milk Chocolate flavor. Compare this with Gold standard whey — 120 calories, 3g of carbs, 1g of fats — and you’ll quickly see how Optimum Nutrition has created a leaner formula.
Of course, a few grams of extra carbs here or there shouldn’t sabotage your fat-loss progress. But still, they do add up when you’re drinking a few scoops a day.
I’m not one to drink my protein powder plain — I usually add milk or add it to a smoothie. Call me adventurous, but I’ve also been known to mix it into a yogurt (crazy I know).
However, with Nitro tech is very sweet. For me, this is good because I have a sweet-tooth — a big one at that — but if you prefer a tamer tasting shake you may find Nitro tech to taste a little overpowering.
In my experience, this is quite the contrast to Optimum Nutrition. I’ve tried more flavors of this stuff than I care to admit. And whilst I’ve never been mesmerized by the taste, I’ve never bought one that tastes bad, either.
For this reason, I recommend Gold Standard over its competitor — as far as taste goes anyway — because of the slightly less sweet taste. After all, if you more sweetness, you could just add milk.
If you’ve already had a look at the flavors, you’ll have seen that both MuscleTech and Optimum offer a huge range of flavors — over 15 in total — for their respective whey proteins.
Overall, I find that Optimum Nutrition use more simple flavors — I counted at least 5 different chocolate variations when I looked.
On the other hand, It doesn’t take much genius to see that MuscleTech has a more adventurous flavor selection with offerings such as "Snickerdoodle".
Personally, I get my rush from lifting heavy weights and watching horror movies, so I like to play it safe when it comes to protein powder flavors and stick to the basics that Optimum Nutrition offer..
A standard 5lb tub of Gold Standard in the Double Rich Chocolate flavor gives you an impressive 74 servings. On the other side of the coin, a 4lb tub of Nitro Tech has only 40 servings — a whopping 24 less!
Clearly, there’s a mismatch in tub sizes. So in the spirit of fairness, let’s calculate the servings per pound, shall we?
clever brain phone’s calculator, we can see that per pound, Gold Standard has 14.8 servings. On the other hand, Nitro Tech only has 10 servings per pound. So clearly, it’s an easy win for team Optimum Nutrition here.
Winner: Gold Standard Whey
As I mentioned earlier, a scoop of Nitro Tech is around 50% larger than that of its rival.. And although MuscleTech offers more protein per scoop — which is always a plus — you will burn through a tub of Nitro Tech much quicker than Gold Standard.
If you’re on a budget and don’t care about Nitro Tech’s added creatine, go with Optimum Nutrition today.
Which Is More Effective?
Whether you should choose Nitro Tech or Gold Standard Whey depends completely on your goals. I’ve split common fitness goals into subsections so you see how each supplement stacks up against your fitness wishes.
The Best For Building Muscle
Clearly, with over 20g of whey protein per scoop, both protein powders can be a reliable muscle-building supplement.
But in terms of which is best, MuscleTech get my vote here. Put simply, taking whey protein and creatine together — especially post-workout — is clearly better than taking whey protein alone. This study tells you more about that.
Of course, you could just level the playing field by adding some cheap creatine monohydrate to Gold Standard. But based only on the two supplements in front of us, Nitro tech packs more powder into each scoop.
Winner: Nitro Tech
The Best For Losing Weight
This one is simple. Gold Standard Whey is a better option for losing weight than Nitro Tech.
No, there’s no crazy fat-burning ingredients or anything like that. There are around 50 fewer calories. This might not seem like a lot but after taking a few servings, 50 calories here and there starts to add up — fast.
It also doesn’t contain creatine so you won’t retain as much water.
Winner: Gold Standard Whey
The Best Budget Choice
You could argue that Nitro Tech is the best value out of the two. After all, it contain whey protein and creatine — Gold Standard only has whey protein.
But what about if you’re only looking for a reliable whey protein?
In this case, team ON definitely offer the better budget protein. With over 20 extra scoops in each tub, it will last you much longer than MuscleTech's signature protein shake.
Nitro Tech Whey Gold VS Gold Standard
At A Glance
Nitro Tech Whey Gold: 24g of protein, 5.5g of bcaas, 4g of glutamine — Nitro Tech Whey Gold is a protein-heavy supplement with a focus on simplistic ingredients. It’s very similar to Gold Standard. However, it has around double the cholesterol which is something you should keep in mind.
Nitro Tech Whey Isolate Gold: consider this formula an optimized version of the regular Whey Gold. Unlike the original, this supplement is derived from 100% whey peptides and isolate. Because of this, it boasts more bcaas — a huge 11.2g per 2 scoops — than either of its competitors.
ON Gold Standard Whey: reliable in both the taste and ingredient departments, Gold Standard Whey has gained rightful popularity in recent times. The pure whey formula means you only pay for protein and not a bunch of fillers. It has half the cholesterol of Whey Gold which may definitely be worth it for some of you.
Let’s start by comparing Gold Standard Whey with the regular Nitro Tech Whey Gold. Both of these protein powders use a blend of whey isolates and concentrates. In terms of how much protein, there’s little to separate the two — each has 24g per scoop.
Based on the Double Rich Chocolate flavors, Gold Standard has 1g less fat whereas Whey Gold has a gram fewer carbs. Obviously, an extra gram of carbs here or there hardly matters, so let’s take a look at the cholesterol.
Per scoop, Whey Gold contains 65 mg of cholesterol. Compare this to Optimum Nutrition — who only include 30 mg — and you’ll see why Optimum Nutrition is the clear winner here.
How About Whey Isolate Gold?
Compared to MuscleTech’s regular Whey Gold, it has slightly more protein per serving and uses only whey isolate and whey peptides. So overall, there’s not a whole lot of difference but it may well be worth it for some of you.
But personally, I’d stick to the standard version.
Taste, Flavors, Mixability
As you’d expect from any lean whey protein, Nitro Tech Whey Gold has excellent mixability. But as far as taste is concerned, the jury is still out. It’s certainly not a bad tasting protein and has a more authentic flavor than regular Nitro Tech.
That said, Gold Standard Whey is a very reliable protein powder as far as taste goes. And as I said earlier, the flavors don’t blow me away — but they’re reliable, which goes a long way.
A 5.5lb tub of Whey Gold gives you a generous 76 servings. A standard 5 lb batch of Gold Standard Whey gives you two less — 74 servings for the Double Rich Chocolate flavor.
Overall, it’s clearly Nitro Tech that has more servings. However, when I calculated the servings per pound, the results weren’t as cut and dry.
Servings Per Pound
Nitro Tech Whey Gold: 13.8 servings
ON Gold Standard: 14.8 servings
Best Option For Tight Budgets
Despite Gold Standard having more servings per pound than Whey Gold, it’s not better value. Don’t get me wrong, Gold Standard is a great protein powder — one of my go-to supplements — but if you have a tight budget definitely go with Nitro Tech Whey Gold today.
Nitro Tech Ripped VS Gold Standard
At A Glance
Nitro Tech Ripped: l-carnitine, CLA, green tea extract — this protein powder is engineered with the aim of stripping off unwanted body fat. It has 170 calories per scoop — not the leanest on the market. However, the fact that MuscleTech only uses whey isolate and whey peptides put it above Gold Standard in the protein quality department.
Gold Standard Whey: an all-around performer, Gold Standard Whey is the better choice if all you want is whey protein — and not a whole bunch of confusing ingredients. It doesn’t offer as much protein per serving as Nitro Tech Ripped, but with around 30 more servings per tub, it will last you much longer.
The first thing you should take note of is the protein — Muscletech offer 6g extra protein per scoop compared with Optimum Nutrition. However, the scoop size is larger on the MuscleTech side of things. So if you calculated the protein per gram, it would actually be Optimum Nutrition who offers more protein.
In terms of bcaas, Nitro Tech Ripped has 6.6g whereas Gold Standard only has 5.5g. Still, 1g of bcaas is hardly going to make or break your progress, so let’s look at the other ingredients.
As for ingredient variety, Nitro Tech Ripped is hands down the winner. As well as CLA, l-carnitine, and green tea extract, each scoop contains rose hip extract and kelp.
Overall, if all you care about is protein, then go with team Optimum Nutrition. But, if you want a more diverse ingredient profile, then go with Nitro tech Ripped today.
Taste and Flavors
In terms of taste, Nitro Tech Ripped tastes authentically good. This means if you buy French Vanilla Swirl it actually tastes like vanilla — and not just sugar. As for Gold Standard, the taste is nice and by my reckoning, less sweet than MuscleTech protein powders.
You won’t be disappointed by either taste. But in terms of which flavor to buy, well, we all have our preferences.
So, as for the flavors available, Gold Standard is by far the best choice. It has way more flavors than Nitro tech Ripped so you have a higher chance of finding a flavor you want to use again and again.
The number of servings per tub is usually overlooked. But it’s actually quite important — the more servings you get, the less often you have to restock which saves you time and effort.
A tub of MuscleTech's protein will get you 42 servings. This is certainly a respectable amount. But nothing award-winning.
However, it doesn’t come close to what Gold Standard offers you…
Your standard 5lb tub in the French Vanilla Flavor gets you a full 73 servings — that’s over 30 more than Nitro Tech Ripped!
Best Option For Tight Budgets
Of course, with Nitro Tech Ripped you are paying extra for the weight-loss ingredients like CLA and l-carnitine. If you are trying to shred the pounds then these ingredients may well be worth paying for.
That said, perhaps you’re not trying to lose weight?
Maybe you just want a basic and reliable protein powder that works. If that’s the case, you're better off using Gold Standard Whey. The vastly higher amount of servings will make your tub last weeks longer which in the long run, puts less strain on your supplement budget.
Nitro Tech Power VS Gold Standard
At A Glance
Nitro Tech Power: boasting creatine monohydrate and betaine to increase explosive strength, Nitro Tech Power is no ordinary power. Aside from more strength, the 480mg of tart cherry has been shown to reduce muscular recovery time. With this, you can get back in the gym sooner and and get to your goals faster.
Gold Standard Whey: there’s no bravado with the Gold Standard Whey — the tried & tested ingredients do all the talking. It’s also gluten-free and easy mixing, which can getting your protein a much more comfortable experience.
You can also check out our Syntha 6 and Gold Standard comparison for more info on choosing a supplement.
Although both of these protein powders are built around the same primary ingredient — whey protein — the ingredient lists are very different.
Protein And Amino Acids
For starters, Nitro Tech power is more of an all-in-one muscle builder. And as is characteristic with all Nitro Tech formulas you get a 30g protein dose per scoop, which is 6g more than Optimum's offering.
On the BCAA side of the tub, MuscleTech’s protein powder gives you a very high 7.4g. Compare this to Gold Standard Whey — where you only get 5.5g — and you can see why Nitro Tech Power is the winner in the protein department.
Because Gold Standard Whey only contains one major ingredient — pure whey protein — Nitro Tech Power offers more in the way of variety. Now, ingredient variety is only a good thing if those ingredients actually have an effect on your body — and a positive one at that, like increasing strength.
So let’s take a look at what goodies we have in Nitro Tech Power…
For me, the most notable ingredient — aside from the terrific 3g of creatine — is definitely betaine. Although it’s not as studied as creatine monohydrate, one research study investigated its effects on power.
The results of this particular study showed that betaine increased power over a number of different tests and in particular, in the muscles of the upper body.
So betaine might not make you huge overnight, but it’s still nice to have around in your day-to-day protein powder.
Tart Cherry Concentrate
Tart cherry is not your typical bodybuilding ingredient. However, when you examine the research, the results are surprisingly impressive.
A study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine set out to examine how effective this humble ingredient was for preventing acute strength loss after intense exercise.
The placebo group — who weren’t allowed any tart cherry — lost around 22% of their strength. On the other side of the coin, the group who supplemented with tart cherry only lost 4% of their strength.
Eventually, your strength will go back to normal — even increase — if you train hard and eat right. That said, it’s surely a helping hand to have a supplement that can potentially speed up the process.
Taste and Flavors
In terms of flavor selection, Gold Standard trumps Nitro Tech Power. But as for the actual taste, things aren’t as clear-cut. But in general, I find MuscleTech protein powders to be very tasty indeed — Nitro tech Power is no exception to this.
You shouldn’t expect it to taste like a sugar-laden milkshake. But, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a genuinely rich and creamy taste either. As for Gold Standard, I’ve had a lot of success by sticking with the simple flavors — chocolate variations, strawberry, and vanilla.
Servings And Budget-Friendliness
There’s no hiding the fact that Nitro Tech power isn’t a market-leader when it comes to the servings — theres are only 38 scoops per 4lb tub. Compare this with Gold standard — a huge 72 servings in the Extreme Milk Chocolate flavor — and you’ll soon realize that Optimum Nutrition offers more servings and better value on this occasion.
All of that said, you do get more varied ingredients in Nitro Tech Power. So the best product for you depends on how highly you value the added creatine and betaine.
This concludes the Nitro Tech vs Gold Standard Whey debate. Now it’s time for me to pick a winner.
For me, ON Gold Standard Whey just edges out Nitro Tech due to having more servings and a more reliable taste.
In terms of ingredients, there’s little to choose between the two. But the fact that MuscleTech's formula contains creatine means that it isn’t for everyone.
Gold Standard Whey, on the other hand, is a Jack of all trades protein powder — it serves most people’s needs, whether that’s building muscle or staying healthy.