Optimum Nutrition VS Musclepharm

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The Battle of Optimum Nutrition Whey vs. MusclePharm Combat 100 percent Whey

We can't deny that Optimum Nutrition Whey has the MusclePharm Combat Whey beat on a multitude of aspects after extensively studying each of these protein powders. It tastes better, has a smoother texture, and has a more comprehensive nutritional profile than the MusclePharm brand.

Whey protein is a fast-absorbing protein that is crucial for post-workout recovery, and Optimum Nutrition's whey was definitely created with this in mind. Optimum obviously understood what they were doing when they produced this smoothie, from the branched-chain amino acid profile to the added recovery vitamins and minerals.

The MusclePharm Whey was still a good choice, although it appeared to be more artificial and possibly less nutritional than the Optimum version. Regardless, we put each one to the test and selected a winner based on a thorough examination.

What Is the Purpose of Protein?

The human body is incapable of producing its own amino acids, but they are required for good health. Nearly 20 different amino acids, including arginine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and tyrosine, are found in a diet with a comprehensive amino acid profile.

Complete proteins are used to make hair, nails, and, most crucially, muscle, as well as being a vital building block for bone, blood, and cartilage. It is unquestionably critical for sportsmen and exercise aficionados.

Whey Protein's Importance Whey protein is the fastest absorbing type of protein, making it perfect for when the body is depleted. The hours immediately following a workout are an illustration of one of these instances. Muscle breakdown happens as part of the overall process of strength training.

The body then starts to repair those muscle fibers, but it need protein to do so. The recovery process begins nearly immediately after a strength training session, but it can't start until the body has enough bioavailable protein.

Casein protein, for example, is broken down considerably more slowly than other proteins, making it perfect for preventing muscle catabolism while we sleep. Whey, on the other hand, is a much better option after a workout because it is easier for the body to break down and use quickly.

Whey protein smoothies are ideal for these demands due to their convenience, but selecting the appropriate one can be tricky. You may believe you're receiving enough amino acids when you're actually sipping a chocolate shake with a lot of filler.



Whey Protein from Optimum Nutrition

Nutrition at its Finest Whey protein is designed to be consumed in the morning, prior to a workout, or following a workout. It comes in over 20 flavors and may be mixed in a blender, a protein shaker, or even used to prepare protein-packed meals. Whey protein isolate is the main ingredient, and each scoop includes 24 grams of protein, as the name implies. Overall, it's a good protein powder that comes with a scooper, tastes good, and doesn't appear to be artificial or filled with fillers.

Profile of Amino Acids

A full amino acid profile that fulfills fundamental demands for the active weightlifter or athlete may be found in one scoop of Optimum Nutrition Whey. The protein powder, for starters, provides the following important amino acids:

  • tryptophan 
  • valine
  • threonine
  • isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine 
  • phenylalanine
  • methionine

These are micronutrients, and while just a few of them may sound recognizable, they are all required for fundamental human function.

The conditionally necessary amino acids are next on the list. Arginine, cysteine, tyrosine, histidine, proline, glutamine, and glutamic acid are among them. While these amino acids are not "essential," they are nevertheless part of a complete amino acid profile and are employed as muscular building blocks after exercise.

Optimum Whey additionally contains four non-essential but helpful amino acids to round out the amino acid profile. Aspartic acid, serine, glycine, and alanine are the amino acids in question. Despite the fact that they are technically non-essential, they play an important role in muscle healing and reversal.

We were especially thrilled to learn that each dose contained 4 grams of naturally occurring glutamine. Glutamine has been demonstrated to help with post-exercise soreness and play an important part in total protein metabolism. Simply said, more glutamine = better protein absorption.

Because they are not found organically in nature, all protein shakes are officially termed "processed" foods. However, you should opt for protein powders with the shortest ingredient lists as a general rule of thumb.

There are only six ingredients in Optimum Whey. A protein blend, chocolate (depending on the flavor), lecithin, natural and artificial flavors, acesulfame potassium, and lactase are all included in each jug.

We didn't get the idea that this shake was laden with chemicals or artificial components because most of these ingredients looked to be very simple. It's worth mentioning, though, that acesulfame potassium is a synthetic sweetener. It's found in a wide range of foods, and the FDA has cleared it for widespread usage. However, if you are concerned about the effects of artificial sweeteners, the presence of acesulfame potassium may be a disincentive to purchasing this protein.




Overall, we found the Optimum Nutrition Whey to be a drink that could not only be used at the gym but also as a meal replacement. Each scoop has 120 calories and only 3 grams of carbs, making it a good protein source when you don't have access to other options and need to eat.

It comes in 20 different varieties, and Optimum Nutrition even recommends making Birthday Cake Protein Pudding Pies with it. Last but not least, it's available in five different weights: five, two, ten, and one pound.

Combat Whey by MusclePharm

The MusclePharm Combat Whey was an adequate protein solution for heavy exercisers or people who may lack protein in their diet, even though we didn't appreciate it as much as the Optimum Nutrition Whey. It contains 25 grams of protein per scoop and has a low calorie and fat content.

It's actually a mix of proteins rather than just whey, which isn't a positive as some might think. Whey protein concentrates, hydrolysates, and isolates, egg albumin, and micellar casein are all included in each scoop. It's a fantastic protein blend, but it makes this protein drink less useful after workouts or when you're low on protein. Casein is a protein that can be found in dairy products such as cheese, butter, and ice cream. It has a slow absorption rate and is an allergy for many people.

Profile of Amino Acids

Despite the fact that MusclePharm Whey claims to contain whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate, the amino acids it contains are not listed anywhere on the box. Although it's logical to assume that if there's whey protein in the mix, there'll be a complete amino acid profile, not making this apparent felt misleading, especially when so many other companies make this clear on their labels. The whey isolate in the shake was filtered, according to the manufacturer, to remove any excess fat, sugar, or contaminants.

MusclePharm Combat Whey isn't as persuasive as the Optimum brand because it isn't as detailed. MusclePharm's packaging is flamboyant and appealing, but when it comes to nutritional data, the company leaves a lot to be desired.


The ingredients for MusclePharm Combat Whey are listed on the label, much like the Optimum brand whey. However, there are a few more hidden ones in this edition than in the Optimum version. MusclePharm, for example, uses cellulose gum, guar gum, xanthan gum, sucralose, and potassium acesulfame. Apart from the acesulfame potassium, these are all extra components that we didn't think were necessary.

We were particularly disturbed to discover that the shake contained not one, but two artificial sweeteners. Sucralose is commonly referred to as Splenda, and nutritionists have long contested its health consequences. While we'd prefer a smoothie without artificial sweeteners, MusclePharm's usage of two was a major drawback. It's necessary to have a good taste, but it's not worth the risk of consuming chemicals.




The MusclePharm Combat Whey is, for the most part, just a shake. It's unlikely that you'll be able to utilize it to make protein-rich sweets, and it appears to be primarily intended as a meal replacement or post-workout smoothie. It's also only available in five flavors and two sizes. It's less expensive than Optimum's whey, which isn't surprising.

Overall, it's a far less stunning shake, and while it does contain a wide variety of proteins, it doesn't feel nearly up to Optimum's more natural, pure blend.

A Word About Shakes As Meal Substitutes

When you're in a rush or need nutrients after an exercise, protein shakes are a fantastic option. Real food, on the other hand, is always a superior choice. If you have the option of choosing between a protein shake and a pair of chicken breasts with rice and vegetables, go for the more natural, organic option.

While protein shakes are a good health supplement, they are still processed meals, and the body absorbs more nutrients from organic foods. They're good as far as convenience goes; just don't let smoothies replace your entire diet. 

Is optimal nutrition a high-quality product?

In a nutshell, this is top-notch material — especially for a mainstream vitamin. It's made up of a mix of whey concentrate and whey isolation, with the isolate outnumbering the concentrate, as you can see.



Last Word

I chose Optimum Nutrition Whey as our winner because it appeared to be a lot more honest, cleaner protein drink overall.

The amino acid profile was clearly mentioned on the box, and the shake was created specifically for post-workout recovery. Optimum Nutrition, on the other hand, provided a variety of uses for the shake, which we thought added to its total value.

MusclePharm is a less expensive choice, but it appears to leave a lot to be desired in terms of what it might contain. The amino-acid profile isn't specified on the package, and there are a variety of proteins in the mix, so the shake isn't necessarily ideal for a single purpose. It's also simply a shake, and unlike the Optimum version, there are no suggestions on how to use it creatively.

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