Tag Archives: protein

A few thoughts on cheap protein supplements

optimumI’ve been buying protein supplements for the past few years without actually knowing whether I was getting a good deal, so I figured I’d finally do some math and share it. I took the four protein supplements I’ve used most in the past and looked at how much they cost per stuff inside the protein powder. Here’s the table I made:


Here’s how to made sense of this table:

  • Cost – Since we’re trying to figure out what the best deal is, absolute cost doesn’t actually matter. However, you will generally get a better deal as you buy bigger jugs/sacks of protein, so I listed the cost of the jug/sack on which I was evaluating the value.
  • Cost/oz – This is the cost of the jug divided by the mass of the powder inside of it. I’d best describe it as “how cheap the powder seems.” However, we don’t care about the mass on its own because the mass could just be a bunch of cheap filler.
  • Cost/serving – This is probably one of the more useful metrics as it tells you how much you’re paying for whatever it is that the manufacturer is advertising in their “nutritional information” panel.
  • Cost/g protein – This metric is interesting if you only really care about the protein and you just want to know how much each gram of protein costs.

Putting everything together, I’ve concluded in my very non-scientific survey that Syntha 6 seems the cheapest, but it’s actually a bit more expensive per serving. This is possibly because you’re also paying for all of the other stuff they put in Syntha 6 (fiber, vitamins, minerals, unicorn tears). This is also possibly because they have a pretty, translucent red bottle, so they think you’ll value it more. In any case, if you just want cheap protein, Optimum Gold Standard Whey seems like the way to go.

That said, there are a bunch of other factors that you may want to consider when buying protein like:

  • total number of calories
  • amino acid profile
  • speed of absorption
  • taste
  • what color it makes your poop1

…but I don’t plan to get into that on this blog as I’d just end up summarizing The Protein Book, so if you’re interested, you can probably just go straight to his blog. Good luck!

1Just kidding about that. Protein powder shouldn’t actually change the color of your poop. If it does… you may want to get that checked out.

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