Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate Review: Is It Worthy?

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate Review

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Optimum Nutrition is not known for their budget priced products. Does Optimum Nutrition offer a budget priced option? Yes. So, here’s my Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate review.

Optimum Nutrition is THE recognized #1 protein powder seller in the world. I mean, it’s in their title, “The world’s best-selling whey protein,” how can you argue that?

I’m not reviewing their whey protein, which I have used in the past. I’m reviewing their isolate. The reason why I’m reviewing their isolate

  • I’m lactose intolerant
  • I scored a really great deal (Performance Whey Isolate) on Amazon for 40 servings
  • I need more protein


I had to do a double-take to see why the protein was such a great deal and if it was any different from the “other” isolate that is sold on their website.

The two products in question are ON Performance Isolate and Gold Standard. Here is the price break down

  • ON Performance Whey Isolate, 40 servings at $36.22; .91/serving
  • Isolate 43 servings at $56.99; $1.33/serving
  • Gold Standard 44 servings at $51.99; $1.18/serving

I’m sure you can find the ON performance isolate and Gold Standard for cheaper on Amazon, but why the price difference? Simple, protein grade.

  • Gold Standard is a 100% whey protein concentrate
  • ON 100% Isolate is protein isolate

This begs the question… What is ON performance isolate?

At the top of the bag, it states, “Protein from 100% whey isolate sources.” That reads, ON performance isolate is the leftovers from ON 100% isolate batches. Instead of trashing the leftover powders, ON performance isolate is packaged at budget priced.

UPDATE August 2021

When I purchased this protein isolate in August 2020, the price of this product was at an unbelievable price, $27.60 on Amazon.

When witting up a different protein review, I noticed that there was a price change on the product–OH BOY…

The current asking price on Amazon is $79.95.

  • 40 servings at 79.95, $2.00 per serving.

As stated in this review, Performance Whey is not listed for sale at Optimum Nutrition and is only available through Amazon.

Value: 3. There are better choices available in the market. At nearly $2.00 per serving, that’s a step price for only 40 servings. When compared to the Gold Standard at $51.99 with 44 servings ($1.30 per serving), go with the Gold Standard.

Optimum Nutrition Aminos Spiking

What you will find in one serving of ON Performance Whey Isolate
What you will find in one serving of ON Performance Whey Isolate

If you know me and my stance on protein supplements, I better be getting what I pay. That begs the question, does Optimum Nutrition amino spike?

A nutritional statement can be found on the package that the 6.5 gram of BCAA is Naturally OCCURRING, plus you can see on the package that an informed-choice.org label is in place that a specific manufacturing process has been met and exceeded so everything that is on the label is the only thing you’ll be getting in the product.

At the time of the writing, I feel it’s not spiked. However, I didn’t follow up with Optimum Nutrition. I should have requested an amino acid profile for ON Performance Isolate.

Protein Spiking: 10 (Not Spiked). Everything is properly labeled to inform the consumer of the quality of the product.


The weight per serving is 38 grams, which is in line with most protein isolates in the market. You will not have any issues mixing with water, milk, or nut milk. There are also no issues mixing with yogurts or hot cereals or foods. I didn’t have any clumps or any crusty rim powder near the pouring spot of my mixer bottle.

Mixability: 10. This is the easiest review I’ll probably ever do.

Ingredient Profile

Ingredient list of ON Performance Whey Isolate
Ingredient list of ON Performance Whey Isolate

DISCLAIMER, the only way a protein powder will ever receive a 10 is that it will have only ONE ingredient, that’s going to be the food itself. Do I view protein powders as food, yes. However, due to the manufacturing and processing to get protein powder, 100% of protein powders will never receive a 10.

With that being said, what does the ingredient profile list look like? 7 ingredients, that’s it. There is a reason why Optimum Nutrition is THE whey protein powder to purchase, a small ingredient list will go far ways. Plus, if you ever drank a protein powder that is loaded with a ton of different ingredients, the taste can get pretty funky…

Ingredient Profile: 9.5. Only 7 ingredients on the list is reassuring, especially with informed-choice.org you are getting a quality product. OH, the product also states that no artificial growth hormones are used for their protein. Soy is used as an emulsifier.

Macro Composition

Macro composition of Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate
Macro composition of Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate

This product is advertised primarily for any time and post-workout because of the low fat content.

1 scoop is a serving size at 38 grams

  • Calories 140 (1 serving is 38g)
  • Total Fat 1g
  • Total Carb 3g; Fiber 1g
  • 30 grams of protein per serving

As a post-workout shake, HELL YEA! Keto-friendly–YUP! Anytime protein–WHY NOT?!

No digestive enzyme is in this Optimum Nutrition protein. This, and all other whey protein isolate, is best used post workout. If you’re looking to pack on lean muscle, you benefit using Optimum Nutrition Performance whey protein within 30 minutes.

Macro Composition: 9.5. For the everyday gym-goer or athlete, this is a great product. If you are a bodybuilder or a physique athlete that needs to monitor your calories and consume as much protein, I could argue a 9. I’m going to settle in the middle, here’s why. This product isn’t the best protein isolate you can buy from Optimum Nutrition. ON has two higher purity isolate powders with fewer calories and fewer carbs. Small details, but it truly depends on your goal.

Taste Review

Will this be the best protein isolate you have ever drank? Nope, that title will always belong to BSN Syntha-6.

However, I feel that the flavor of the chocolate isolate is good. I’ve been drinking it now for a month, plus I’ve been using ON products since 2010. It’s solid. The best way to describe the taste and texture, that is if you’re using water, just think of chocolate milk, without using milk, and you used water. It’s not grainy, it’s not chalky, and it’s not sandy. It goes down like chocolate water.

Flavor: 8. It’s the weakest part of ON’s game. If you think about it, that’s where the low ingredient list and macro composition comes into play. If you want a great tasting product, you can either add more carbs OR add more fats. Of course, by doing that, you make a higher calorie product. I’m happy with the taste.

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate vs Gold Standard

You’re probably doing research for the best protein isolate you should buy. Which protein is better, ON Performance Whey Isolate or ON Gold Standard 100?

If you’re looking for the best protein you can buy on a budget, ON Gold Standard is better. Here’s my unbiased protein review of Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey. In that unbiased protein review, I wrote that ON Gold Standard

  • Mixes like a boss
  • Minimal bloating
  • 18 great flavors
  • Available anywhere

Final unbiased review score is 92%. It’s the best blended protein you can buy.

In a comparison of Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate vs Gold Standard. I’d gladly purchase Gold Standard over ON performance isolate.

Final Word

As I said in my review, this is going to be the easiest product I’ll be reviewing.

There is a reason why ON is the #1 protein seller in the supplement market. A high-quality product that doesn’t break the bank, everything on the label is what you’re getting, plus with ON’s isolate line you can buy varying grades of isolates. At the time of this writing, you are receive a good value for money.

Is it the best supplement? No. Fair value. I did not contact ON for an amino acid profile. If your goal is to recovery from your fitness routine. It’s a nice addition.

However, if you want to buy the Performance Whey Isolate, I only found it on Amazon. I think the reason is that ON doesn’t want consumers that purchase a lower grade isolate from their site, steer the traffic flow to either of the other two isolate products.

As stated, I’ve been using ON protein powders for a decade. Is it the best protein isolate in the market, hands down YES. My only knock on the product is that it can be pricey, depending on the protein purity you purchase and the price point. But if you’re in the market for isolates, you already know you’re going to pay a little more for more protein, fewer calories, and a lactose-free product.

Performance Whey Isolate Final Verdict (Updated August 2021)

Value: 3 out of 10 (Updated August 2021)
Protein Spiking: 10 (Not Spiked) out of 10
Mixability: 10 out of 10
Ingredient Profile: 9.5 out of 10
Macro Composition: 9.5 out of 10
Flavor: 8 out of 10

Overall Score 50/60, 83% B

James Kremmer

Meet James, a decade-long devotee to transforming fitness journeys, both in-person and online. As a virtual and remote personal trainer, he merges passion with expertise to deliver unparalleled fitness guidance. James isn’t just about workouts; he’s a protein powder aficionado, always on the hunt for the next best blend to enhance your gains. Holding Bachelor’s Degrees in Exercise Sports Science and Pre-Law, James's academic foundation is as solid as his fitness regimens. His certifications read like a who’s who of fitness excellence: NSCA (CSCS), Precision Nutrition Level 1, Online Trainer Academy (OTA), C-ISSN, and more. Whether you’re looking to overhaul your fitness routine, find the perfect protein, or navigate the intersection of wellness and law, James is your go-to guide for all things fitness.

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