Always keen to try new types of protein shake, I was excited to try Optimum Nutrition’s chocolate flavour Opti-Lean Whey. I was initially attracted by the really good nutritional content—being biased towards low fat and low carb shakes, this one ticked a lot of boxes. With only 1.4g of carbs and 1.1g of fat, it delivers an impressive 20g of protein per 27g serving. Being chocolate flavoured, what could go wrong?
Quite a lot actually, it’s certainly not the worst protein shake I’ve ever had, but it’s nowhere near the most enjoyable. Flavour-wise it was okay, there was a strong chocolate taste, but it wasn’t sweet enough for my liking. Having really enjoyed USN’s Iso Lean for the past couple of months, which has a similar nutritional content, but tastes divine, I set the bar quite high for ON’s Opti-Lean Whey, I was hoping it would be a direct competitor with Iso Lean.
I was also quite disappointed with the texture and didn’t feel it mixed well enough with either water or milk, being thin and powdery, even though I used the same shaker and blender as I do with all other products. Usually if I get a powder which doesn’t mix so well with water, using ice-cold milk saves the experience and makes a much more enjoyable drink—such was the case with PHD’s Diet Whey Peanut flavour, which was virtually repulsive with water yet quite nice with milk. Even with milk, ON Opti-Lean Whey was only marginally improved.
Having tried and loved Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey, I was expecting this variant to be much better than it was. Maybe I just had a bad batch.
Even though it wasn’t the delightful experience I was hoping for, Opti-Lean Whey saw me through a very active week in Amsterdam using it for meal replacement and as a recovery drink after some quite insane workouts. The shake is certainly palatable—but given the choice I doubt I’ll buy it again.
Nutrition (27g serving):