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Supplement Review - MTS Machine Whey vs Optimum Nutrition Whey

The importance of protein, especially in regards to muscle growth and repair, is pretty well known throughout the fitness industry. It’s the de facto post-workout beverage of choice for just about any athlete, not just the prototypical muscle-bound bodybuilder sipping on his jug of BCAA all day long.

The protein powder most people will encounter when shopping is whey protein. It’s affordable, convenient, high in protein, and insanely delicious.

Today, we’re going to review MTS Nutrition Machine Whey and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey on flavor, texture, and mixability.

MTS Machine vs Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Protein Review Highlights

MTS Machine Whey
  • Protein blend (WPC-80 whey concentrate & WPI-90 whey isolate)
  • 155 calories
  • 25g Protein
  • 6g Carbs (3g sugar, 1g fiber)
  • 3.5g Fat (1.5g saturated)
  • Artificial sweetener -- sucralose
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
  • Protein blend (WPC-80 whey concentrate & WPI-90 whey isolate)
  • 120 calories
  • 24g Protein
  • 3g Carbs (2g sugar, 0g fiber)
  • 1.5g Fat (1g saturated)
  • Artificial sweetener -- ace-k and sucralose
MTS Whey vs Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Whey vs Whey Flavor Review

Machine Whey Ingredients

Protein Blend

When it comes to protein powders, whey protein is the gold standard due to its high biological value and BCAA content. MTS Nutrition Machine Whey uses two of the best quality forms of whey protein in its blend, which consists of whey protein concentrate (WPC-80) and whey protein isolate (WPI-90), in that order.

Whey protein concentrate is the least refined form of whey that also has the greatest variance in quality, ranging anywhere from 35% protein (WPC-35) by weight all the way up to 80% (WPC-80). The lower the grade of the whey (WPC 35), the less protein it has, and the more carbohydrates, lactose, and milk fats contained in the concentrate. Because of this, lower grade concentrates are often cheaper, contain more calories, and generally lead to more stomach upset due to the increased lactose content.

MTS Nutrition Machine Whey uses the highest quality form of whey concentrate in WPC-80, giving you more protein per scoop that other cheaper concentrates on the market, and less carbs, lactose, and fats.

The other portion of Machine Whey’s protein blend consists of whey protein isolate (WPI-90). Whey isolates are a more refined form of whey protein concentrate that removes some of the carbohydrates, lactose, and fats found in whey concentrates. This delivers a whey powder that maximizes protein while minimizing calories. Whey protein Isolate is ideal for those who are dairy sensitive and can’t tolerate the increased lactose content of concentrates.

The “drawback” to whey isolate is that it lacks some of the “character” of whey concentrate, in that it doesn’t have the same consistency, texture, or “mouthfeel” of whey concentrate, due to the less carbs and fats.

By using a mix of concentrate and isolate, Machine Whey creates a protein powder that is both extremely satisfying in taste and texture while simultaneously delivering a protein that contains an impressive 25 grams of protein per scoop without going overboard on the carb or fat count.

Unfortunately, the exact ratio of concentrate to isolate in Machine Whey is not disclosed, which makes it hard to figure out how much of the powder is made of concentrate and how much is isolate. Being that concentrate is listed first, you know that at least 50% of the blend is concentrate, with the rest consisting of whey protein isolate.

Now, let’s take a look at Optimum Nutrition’s Whey protein blend.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

Protein Blend

Compared to Machine Whey, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey uses a trio of whey proteins in its blend, which consists of whey protein Isolate, whey protein concentrate and whey peptides. Right from the get go, you’ll notice that Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein blend is led off by whey protein isolate, rather than whey concentrate, as was the case with MTS Nutrition Machine Whey.

Again, the breakdown of each form of whey protein is not listed, making it a guess, at best, as to how much of each kind of whey is in the powder. That being said, seeing isolate listed first means that it makes up the majority of the protein powder in the protein blend.

How much?

That’s a guess, but for the lactose sensitive out there, this may be more comforting to see an isolate listed first, as it will contain less lactose than Machine Whey, in all likelihood.

Digestive Enzymes

Aside from the difference in protein blend makeup, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey also contains a duo of digestive enzymes in Aminogen and lactase to help users digest and assimilate the nutrients in the protein powder. For those of you not familiar with Aminogen, it is a patented digestive enzyme complex shown to triple the rate of protein absorption. [1]

The inclusion of lactase is particularly helpful for those of you who are dairy sensitive and typically have issues with the lactose naturally-occurring in whey protein.

Head-to-Head Review

Mixing a scoop of each powder in 6 oz water, you’ll notice right off the bat that MTS Machine Whey mixes up without issue. There are cookie bits floating in your shaker, but those are included by design and to give texture and the feel of eating an actual ice cream sandwich.

On the other hand, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Extreme Milk Chocolate does not dissolve easily in the 6oz of water, leaving quit a few gobs of undissolved powder on the sides of the shaker. After further extensive shaking, most of the gobs dissolved, but still Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard does not mix up as easily as MTS Nutrition Whey.

Now, the part most of you are really interested in - the flavor.

Comparing the texture of the two proteins is night and day. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is much thinner in texture, which is due to the higher isolate content and lower concentrate content.

While the flavor is good, it’s more on the light, refreshing side. There’s nothing “extreme” about ON’s milk chocolate. It’s a very true milk chocolate flavor that will suffice, but never truly satisfies those looking for a rich, chocolatey flavor.

MTS Nutrition Machine Whey delivers in spades in terms of flavor. The texture is thick, rich, and delivers a very satisfying “coating” in your mouth that makes you feel as though you’ve just eaten some ice cream.

The cookie bits in the powder really help drive home the chocolate taste and texture you get from a true ice cream sandwich, and if the shake is left to sit for about 10-15 minutes, the cookie bits begin to soften and become a bit mushy just like a real ice cream sandwich.

In the end, both powders get a passing grade for flavor, but if you really want the “best” tasting and textured powder, MTS Machine Whey is the choice, no contest.

References
1) Oben J, Kothari SC, Anderson ML. An open label study to determine the effects of an oral proteolytic enzyme system on whey protein concentrate metabolism in healthy males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5(1):10. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-10.
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