Gold Standard Mass Gainer Review 2022 (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

Best for: Meticulous Hard-Gainers

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Gainer contains 760 calories per serving, all of it from quality ingredients.

Every 2 scoops provide your body with 55 grams of quick-absorbing protein, 112 grams of natural complex carbohydrates, and 10 grams of healthy fats.

This supplement aims to set the gold standard for premium mass gainers, a standard that Optimum Nutrition has already set in the whey protein game.

We’ll cover the most important factors in-depth later. Here’s the product at a glance to start off this Gold Standard Gainer review:

Nutrition profileProtein contentFlavorPricing
5.0 out of 5.0 stars5.0 out of 5.0 stars4.0 out of 5.0 stars4.0 out of 5.0 stars
High protein content per serving❌ Lack of added micronutrients
✅ Natural and complex carbohydrates❌ A bit pricey
✅ Extra calories from healthy fats

This article is all about the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer and what sets it apart from other mass gainers in the market. I will show you the good and the bad so you can see for yourself if this is the mass gainer for you.

In this Gold Standard Gainer review, I’ll go in-depth on its features and ingredients. Specifically, we will look at the following:

  • Macronutrient sources
  • Protein content
  • Best way to use it
  • Who is it best for
  • Flavor
  • Pricing

Stick with me until the end so you can decide if this is your ideal gym buddy. 

Product Overview

Before I dive deep into my Gold Standard Gainer review, I want to give you the what’s-what regarding this popular mass gainer.

Optimum Nutrition’s “Gold Standard” products are their premium line of fitness supplements meant for pro-athletes and gym enthusiasts alike. 

This particular gainer product was formulated to be the best among all their mass gainers.

Looking at the Gold Standard Gainer ingredients and macronutrient makeup, this product deserves the “gold standard” label without a doubt.

At 760 calories per serving, it is the in-between of filler-stuffed mega mass gainers meant for hard gainers and ultra-conservative clean gainers for lifters that won the genetic lottery.

One serving of Gold Standard Gainer delivers 55g of fast-digesting protein, 112g of high-quality carbs, and 10g of fats from great sources.

Thus, it will not only fit your macros but it is also sourced from premium ingredients to help improve your overall health as well.

I started going to the gym just to look good and improve my health. 

And just like you, I got hooked on the iron. 

Eventually, I wanted to learn more about exercise and proper nutrition so I can get as jacked as I can while still paying attention to my overall health.

I learned that taking care of my body was like investing in a business.

I should have the best tools I can get my hands on to help me reach my fitness goals.

This is why I tried the Gold Standard Gainer. 

The macronutrient ratio and its sources make it one of the best in the market. 

It’s a bit pricey compared to other mass gainers, but the quality is incomparable.

And, the results speak for themselves. I felt better – less sluggish- from the carb content of the Gold Standard Gainer since it’s a mix of mostly complex carbs and some maltodextrin. 

Thanks to the mainly-whey protein content, I felt less sore after my workouts. That’s a good indicator of recovery.

If you are:

  • Looking to increase your daily caloric intake with healthy macros
  • Someone who needs high amounts of calories, but doesn’t want to rely on supplements

Then keep on reading.

However, if you’re on an if-it-fits-your-macros (IIFYM) diet or looking for something that costs less, you could opt for the GNC Pro Performance Weight Gainer or the GNC Pro Performance Bulk 1340 that has almost double the calories in one serving.

Here’s My Thoughts and Opinions On “Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer”

Nutrition Profile

Unlike most mass gainers, the Gold Standard Gainer is not a maltodextrin-based supplement. 

That is its best feature in my opinion.

Maltodextrin is a cheap supplement filler that acts like sugar. It significantly spikes your blood-sugar levels and can make you feel dizzy, sluggish, and moody. 

The carb blend is composed mainly of natural complex carbohydrates from oat, pea, and potato. 

This gives you a stable energy source during your sweat sesh and makes it usable any time of the day.

The protein content is mainly from whey. 

Thus, it provides you with quick-acting nutrients to kickstart muscle repair so you can get the most gains out of your daily training and eating.

I also like that some added calories come from awesome fat sources like medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and flaxseed, not from sugar or any other fillers.

Aside from the lack of added vitamins and minerals which would have knocked the ball out of the park, the ON Gold Standard Gainer is an elite supplement meant for dedicated lifters and athletes.


I like the macronutrient ratio of this mass gainer. But take note that it has 760 calories in one serving. That’s about the same amount as your typical bulking meal. It is a supplement after all, so I advise that you calculate your calories well to avoid fat gain.
All its ingredients are from healthy and good quality sources, so I’d definitely keep this mass gainer in my to-buy list when I plan a significant bulk season

Protein Content

The proteins in the Gold Standard Gainer are whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, milk protein isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein isolate.

These are fast-absorbing proteins that make sure your body is able to use these muscle-building compounds immediately, especially after a brutal workout. 

Thus, they prevent catabolism and unbearable DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

55 grams of protein per serving is an ideal amount to supply your body with this much-needed nutrient and help you build muscles.


You can never go wrong with more protein in your diet. Excess protein is simply utilized as an energy source by the body.
 While there is a threshold, it’s mainly a price-related one. A gram of protein is more expensive than a gram of carb or fat.
With that said, I give Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Mass Gainer a 5-star rating in this aspect, given its amount per serving and the ingredients it comes from. I’d definitely recommend this mass gainer for its protein content and quality.


While it does not have the best taste, it is not so nasty either. 

It tastes as good as you would expect from a powdered supplement, especially considering that it only contains 12g of sugar.

It is also super easy to mix. 

This gives it a nice texture and consistency without having to use a blender. A shaker cup and blender ball are enough to prep your shake. 


It is easy to mix and easy to drink. You’ll enjoy drinking this mass gainer instead of trying to chug it all down at once to get things over with.
It would be better to have more flavor options as chocolate and vanilla seem to be the most overused flavors in many powdered bodybuilding supplements out there.


The price puts the “gold” in Gold Standard. 

At about $50 per 2kg or 5lb tub, it is roughly double the price of other mass gainers with the same quantity.

Although looking at the product features we have reviewed so far, I would say it is an almost fair price.

As long as you follow your well-laid out training and nutrition protocol dedicatedly, your money would not be going to waste on this supplement.


If you truly care about your overall health and not just putting on weight, then the price shouldn’t come as a surprise.
And, given the company’s good reputation, buying this mass gainer at its hefty price can almost assure you of your gains rather than it being a leap of faith.

Let’s have a look at what other people have to say about the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer:

“This is the best tasting gainer I’ve had yet. Calls for two scoops (760 calories), but I just use one. I also add half a banana, 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, which usually is about 450-600 calories for a 16 oz shake. I’ve gained almost 6lbs in one and a half months. Or sometimes I use half a scoop and add 1 scoop of ON vanilla ice cream whey protein. Combined with a healthy diet and gym 2-3 a week. You can’t take this stuff and not work out, otherwise, you will just get fat. Stuff usually costs $50-$60 in stores. Great value on Amazon. Optimum Nutrition is my go-to brand for all my supplements.”

“It is a bit expensive but it is worth its taste is excellent with both water and milk and can be divided into two shots of 380 calories to not exceed your goal”

Is the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer right for you?

Now that I’ve covered all the important aspects in this Gold Standard Gainer review, and even shared my two cents and experience using it, let’s shift the focus to YOU.

As with any supplement, the ON Gold Standard Gainer won’t be the right choice for every gym buff on a mass gaining journey. 

So, I’d like to specify who this ON mass gainer is most suitable for.

For the health-conscious hard gainer:

While it does not have a gigantic number of calories, you should keep in mind that 760 calories per serving is still a significant number. 

This mass gainer will deliver macronutrient portions that would match a hearty meal.

Thus, if you are a hard gainer and you want to take the smart and healthy route to gain mass, then the ON Gold Standard is for you.

For the financially-able gym bro or athlete:

I would not advise buying this product if you are strapped for cash since this mass gainer costs more than the average gainers available.

While you do get what you pay for –which is a premium mass gainer made from top-quality and healthy ingredients — it’s better to spend most of your budget on real food, not on supplements.


If you are looking for a mass gainer that does not break the bank but delivers the macros you need with little regard to the sources, then you can take a look at the GNC Pro Performance Weight Gainer. It has a similar macronutrient ratio with the ON mass gainer but comes at half the price.

Final Thoughts

The ON mass gainer’s ratio of protein to carbs is golden in my opinion. 

It gives you more than enough protein to achieve optimal muscle protein synthesis. And, the carbs fuel you sufficiently in a steady manner.

This mass gainer would be best for lifters that have some years of experience under their belt nutrition-wise. 


Because they can appreciate the content of the ON gainer better, in relation to the way it is priced.

Not all mass gainers are meant for beginners, and this is one of those. 

How do you see yourself as a lifter? How long have you been lifting? Think about these questions and you’ll know if the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer is the right pick for you.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Gainer, Colossal Chocolate, 5 Pound
  • 55 grams of protein-primarily from isolate sources
  • 770 calories from quality ingredients
  • 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins
  • 112g of carbs with oat, pea and potato
  • 11g of fats from flaxseed, chia and mcts


Is the Gold Standard mass gainer any good?

If you have a sound nutrition and training regimen, then, yes, this particular mass gainer is good; good being “it helps you gain muscle mass in a healthy way”.

What is the Gold Standard Gainer?

It is a mass gainer product of one of the most popular bodybuilding supplement brands, Optimum Nutrition. One serving provides you with 760 calories, 55g of fast-absorbing protein, 112g of natural complex carbohydrates, and 10g of fats from MCTs and Flaxseed.

How do you drink the Gold Standard Gainer?

You mix two scoops (203g) of the product with 12-16oz. of water or milk in a shaker cup – no need to use a blender.

Is the Gold Standard Gainer gluten-free?

No, it is not gluten-free.

Is the Gold Standard Gainer vegan?

No, it is not a vegan product.

Imad Deryan

My name is Imad, and I struggled to gain mass in the past due to my metabolism and being very skinny. In this blog, I share the best reviews and advice when it comes to gaining weight and mass, for all the people that are struggling like I was.

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