Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer Review

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Written By
Andy Williams
Last Updated on

On Gold Standard Gainer is Optimum Nutrition’s highest quality mass gainer—on paper, at least. With 771 calories, 55g of protein, 102g of carbs, and 12g of fat, this Gold Standard Mass Gainer certainly seems promising. But does it live up to the Gold Standard name?

I decided to buy a tub to find out. I’ve been using Optimum Nutrition products on and off for a while now, so I had high hopes for this supplement.

With that said, my Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer review will discuss all the pros and cons of this nutrient-dense weight gainer.

ideal for weight gain
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
A tub of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
Taste: 9/10
Mixability: 9/10
Ingredient Quality: 9.5/10
Mass-Building Potential: 9.6/10
Overall Rating: 9.3/10
Pros
  • Contains 771 calories per serving to support healthy weight gain
  • Utilises oats, peas, and potato for carbs, as well as maltodextrin
  • Benefits from a 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio (102g vs 55g)
  • Tastes great (in my opinion) and mixes pretty well
  • Uses quality fats from MCTs and flaxseed
  • It’s Informed Choice certified
Cons
  • It’s expensive
  • You don’t get many servings per tub

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer Nutrition Facts

Each 203 gram serving (4 levels scoop) of Gold Standard Gainer provides the following nutrition:

Closeup of Gold Standard Weight Gainer
  • 771 calories
  • 102g of carbs
  • 55g of protein
  • 12g of fat
  • 12g of sugar
  • 7.5g of fibre

Just from looking at the nutrition label, I can already see that these are awesome macros for bulking.

While this gainer is still carb-heavy (and rightly so), the carb-to-protein ratio is an ideal 2:1, meaning that you’re not just paying for carbs with a sprinkling of protein.

You can see my Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass review if you’d like to see a higher-calorie gainer that has way more protein than carbs.

As for Gold Standard Gainer, I also like that there’s a good amount of fat. While many people think that eating fat will make them fat, this essential macronutrient is actually very important for hormone (read: testosterone) production.

Now, let’s look at each macronutrient in a bit more detail to see how the ingredients can actually help you to gain weight.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer Ingredients

A weight gainer is only as good as its ingredients. So before we get onto the taste and mixing, let’s see how effective ON Gold Standard gainer really is.

Complex Carbs

The Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer nutrition facts

Carbohydrates are the key ingredient in any weight gainer because they’re easy to consume, provide quality workout fuel, and they’re ideal for putting on weight.

Gold Standard Gainer utilises a mixture of fast-acting carbs like maltodextrin and slow-release carbohydrates like pea starch, potato starch, and oat flour.

This means that, yes, you get that quick energy boost when you need it, such as after a workout when you want to replenish your muscle glycogen levels.

However, you also get that sustained energy release that will keep you going through your workouts so that you can do more sets and reps.

Milk Proteins

Each serving of Gold Standard Gainer delivers 55g of milk-based protein, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally consuming low-quality proteins like soy.

The ON Gold Standard Gainer scoop size

The protein blend consists of whey isolate, whey concentrate, milk protein concentrate, and hydrolysed whey.

While the whey protein digests rapidly and provides a potent dose of highly bioavailable amino acids, the milk protein concentrate digests much more slowly and effectively drip-feeds your muscles with amino acids over a longer period of time.

To say that Gold Standard Gainer only has 771 calories, 55g of protein is quite a lot. It’s more than enough to absolutely maximise muscle protein synthesis after a workout, that’s for sure.

While you can definitely use whey protein in conjunction with ON Gold Standard Gainer, it probably won’t be necessary given how protein-packed this high-calorie powder is.

Quality Fats

A tub of Gold Standard Gainer next to a scoop and an Optimum Nutrition shaker cup

Did you know that a low fat content can actually be a sign of a low-quality mass gainer?

You see, gainers that only have a couple of grams of fat generally rely too heavily on maltodextrin.

And while some maltodextrin is fine, it’s much better to take a weight gainer that has balanced macros like Gold Standard Gainer.

With 12g of quality fat from MCTs and flaxseed, Gold Standard Gainer lives up to its reputation as a high-quality mass gainer that’s free from junk and filler ingredients.

While you don’t want too much fat in your mass gainer, it’s good to have a bit because fat is calorie-dense (ideal for bulking) and very important for hormone production.

great bulking macros
A tub of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer
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ON Gold Standard Gainer Taste Test

If you read the various Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer reviews, you’ll know that most users really liked the taste of their shakes.

A man pouring an ON Gold Standard Gainer shake into a cup

And you know what? I did too.

The Colossal Chocolate flavour tastes really good, much better than your typical mass gainer (and, it has to be said, even better than Optimum’s other gains).

What I particularly like about the Gold Standard Gainer taste, is that the shakes are flavourful and tasty even with water.

Usually, to get that satisfying taste from a weight gainer, you need to mix the powder with milk. And while you can certainly mix Gold Standard Gainer with milk for more calories and an even creamier shake, I find that it really hits the spot when mixed with plain water.

If you’d like to see how Gold Standard Gainer compares to Optimum Nutrition’s other mass gainers, you can check out these head-to-head comparisons:

ON Gold Standard Gainer Mixability and Digestion

A person doing a Mass Gainer Gold Standard review

As Optimum Gold Standard Gainer has a moderate amount of calories (for a weight gainer), it mixes much more easily than gainers with 1000+ calories.

You need to mix 4 level scoops (2-3g of powder) with 650 ml of water, then shake for 30-45 seconds. While this mixture will fit in a standard shaker bottle, I much prefer using a blender so that I don’t need to worry about the powder clumping.

If you do want to use a shaker bottle, though, the powder should mix okay as long as you give it a good shake.

Also, you can buy a shaker bottle with a 900 ml or 1L capacity so that you have more room to shake up all the liquid and powder.

Gold Standard Mass Gainer Side Effects

So, does Mass Gainer Gold Standard have any side effects?

Well, it depends.

A tub of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer ready for review

If you’ve never taken a weight gainer with 700 calories before, then you’re probably going to feel a bit bloated. Over time, though, the shakes won’t sit as heavy on your stomach as your body becomes acclimatised to the high-calorie shakes.

Also, as with any weight gainer, Gainer Gold Standard could lead to unwanted fat gain if you drink too much of it.

But honestly, you can’t blame a weight gainer for any fat gain. If you gain too much fat, then it’s because you ate in an excessive calorie surplus for too long, or because you weren’t active enough.

However, because Gold Standard Mass Gainer has a more favourable protein-to-carbs ratio than many of its competitors, it’s less likely to lead to fat gain.

But apart from feeling bloated and potentially gaining some fat (which is normal during a bulk), there aren’t any Gold Standard Gainer side effects that you need to watch out for.

Related: Optimum Nutrition Pro Gainer reviews

Gold Standard Weight Gainer Value For Money

So, as you might have noticed, Gold Standard Gainer is pretty pricey. I suppose Optimum Nutrition can charge a premium for their supplements because of their reputation.

Back view of Mass Gainer Gold Standard

Still, I think the better question is this: Is Gold Standard Gainer worth your money?

Honestly, while I think there are still better weight gainers on the market, Gold Standard Gainer is still a great supplement to have in your stack.

One serving can really boost your protein, carb, and calorie intake, which could be enough for a hardgainer to put on the muscle they desire.

With 771 calories, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Mass Gainer is moderate on the weight gainer calorie scale, meaning that it’s not as filling or carb-heavy as many other products.

And while there are cheaper alternatives to Gold Standard Gainer, most of these options have worse protein-to-carb ratios, meaning that you might end up paying a premium for basic maltodextrin!

Should You Invest in Gold Standard Mass Gainer?

Overhead view of Gold Standard Gainer from Optimum Nutrition

Investing in gold, they say, is always a good idea because gold is inherently valuable. However, when it comes to weight gainers, things aren’t so cut and dry.

So, with that in mind, is Mass Gainer Gold Standard worth adding to your supplement stack?

Given its high price point, I think that there are better mass gainers out there that will help you get faster results.

Yet, you also can’t go wrong with a tub (or bag) of Gold Standard Gainer. It ticks all of the boxes for someone looking to gain weight and muscle.

As I explained throughout my Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer review, this product has an excellent ratio of proteins to carbs, meaning that it can probably replace your regular protein shakes as long as you’re getting enough protein from whole food sources.

great for bulking
A tub of Gold Standard Gainer next to a scoop and an Optimum Nutrition shaker cup
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A picture of Best Mass Gainer UK founder, personal trainer Andy Williams
Andy Williams
Andy Williams is a UK-based personal trainer and bodybuilder who coaches gym-goers of all levels using proven evidence-based techniques in strength training, nutrition, and supplementation. He’s tested over 70 different mass gainers for their ingredient quality and muscle-building effectiveness and regularly shares his findings in his mass gainer reviews.
the logo for Best Mass Gainer UK showing a tub of weight gainer protein powder
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