Combat Powder vs Gold Standard Whey: Which Protein is Best?

There’s no doubt that working out takes a lot of effort. So, why not make the most out of your effort by following a strict diet? Yeah, that’s how I feel too.

That’s why I love the ease of having a great-tasting protein powder or two on hand. I know I’m never going to be a perfect dieter. So, having a protein shake over a candy bar is a win for me.

When comparing popular whey protein powders, you’ll come across two popular brands: Optimum Nutrition and Musclepharm. Optimum Nutrition makes Gold Standard Whey. Musclepharm makes Combat Protein Powder.

Combat Powder vs Gold Standard ingredient comparison


Before you choose a whey protein product, the ingredients are understandably important. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at how Musclepharm Combat 100% Whey and Gold Standard Whey stack up from a nutrition perspective.

Musclepharm Combat Whey ingredients

The ingredients in Musclepharm Combat Powder are:

  • Whey protein isolate
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Guar gum
  • Cellulose gum
  • Xanthan gum
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Soy lecithin
  • Natural and artificial flavors

Optimum Nutrition Whey ingredients

The ingredients in Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard protein powder are:

  • Whey protein isolate
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Hydrolyzed whey protein
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Soy lecithin
  • Salt
  • Acesulfame potassium
  • Sucralose

As you can see, there are only slight differences between Musclepharm Combat Whey and Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey when it comes to ingredients.

Another difference worth mentioning is that Musclepharm’s powder does contain artificial sweeteners. Gold Standard 100% whey does not contain sweeteners that are artificial. Both Combat Powder and Gold Standard 100% whey also contain naturally occurring glutamine.

But how does each serving of these protein supplements stack up to each other?

Combat vs Gold Standard Whey: A per-serving comparison

mixing protein powder

The size of one serving of Musclepharm Combat Whey is a single 31-gram scoop. Each serving of Combat Powder provides you with 25 grams of protein. Another perk of this whey protein powder is that it only contains 120 calories per scoop.

This company’s protein contains a mixture of whey isolate, casein protein, whey protein, and egg protein.

Musclepharm’s whey protein powder is also a great choice if you’re watching your intake of carbohydrates. Each serving of this whey protein only contains two carbohydrates.

Optimum Nutrition’s whey also features a 31-gram, one scoop serving size. Like Musclepharm Combat Whey, Optimum Nutrition’s line of protein powders is also 120 calories per scoop.

Interestingly, Gold Standard offers a little less protein per serving (24 grams compared to 25 grams of protein per serving in Musclepharm Combat Whey).

Both of these protein powders are low in fat. Gold Standard 100% Whey only contains one gram of saturated fat per serving. Musclepharm Combat Powder contains 1.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.


Musclepharm Combat 100% Whey is available, as of this writing, in six different flavors. Here are the current flavors of Combat powder:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate milk
  • Triple berry
  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Banana cream
  • Cookies ‘n cream

Optimum Nutrition has a few more flavors available… like a lot more flavors. In the past decade and a half I’ve spent working out, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a company with more flavors of protein powder.

Get ready, here are all of the current flavors of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey:

  • Chocolate coconut
  • Banana cream
  • Chocolate mint
  • Chocolate malt
  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Coffee
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Delicious strawberry
  • Double rich chocolate
  • Extreme milk chocolate
  • French vanilla creme
  • Mocha cappuccino
  • Rocky road
  • Strawberries & cream
  • Strawberry banana

Taste: Which why protein powder tastes best?

a scoop of protein powder

If you’re like me, taste is an important factor when choosing any kind of whey powder. To be honest, both Combat Whey and Gold Standard protein powder have good and okay flavors.

When it comes to Combat 100% Whey, I really enjoy the chocolate peanut butter and vanilla flavors. While I’ve only tried a few flavors of Combat Whey, each product tastes great.

Considering how many flavors of protein Optimum Nutrition makes, I definitely haven’t had the chance to try every flavor yet. But I’m also a huge fan of how delicious Optimum Nutrition’s protein tastes.

With that said, it’s not easy to find all of this company’s protein powder flavors in stores or online. Typically, you’ll see the same handful of flavors. Considering how great they taste, I’m not complaining.

My personal favorites from Optimum are cookies ‘n cream, extreme milk chocolate, and rocky road.

Price: How Much Does Each Whey Protein Supplement Cost?

Whether it’s whey or casein protein powder, some of these supplements can get expensive. To help you out, here’s a price breakdown between Gold Standard and Combat 100% Whey.

Before I start listing current prices, remember that prices for protein powder only can vary from website to website. So I don’t overwhelm you with a bunch of prices, I’m going to list the price I found for each of these supplements on Amazon.

After buying protein supplements for the best decade, I can safely say that Amazon’s prices reflect what should be the best prices for these supplements online.

Optimum Nutrition’s protein powder costs $36 for a 2-pound container, $62 for a 5-pound container, and $124 for a huge 10-pound bag. Typically, Optimum’s protein will be the cheaper option.

Musclepharm Combat Whey costs about $39 for a 2-pound container, and anywhere from $50-65 for a 5-pound container.

Who Is Protein Powder Right For?

Before you buy your first tub of protein powder, you might wonder why this kind of supplement is so beneficial. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the main benefits of protein supplements.


If you want to gain more muscle, you’ll quickly learn that building muscle means eating a lot of protein. Some people don’t have the time, energy, or budget to go on a steak shopping spree at their local supermarkets.

Fortunately, people can use protein powders as a convenient way to up their protein intake. Should protein powder always be a replacement for real food? No, but protein supplements are great for helping you meet your daily protein requirements.

Tastes Great

Many people also love protein powders because most of them taste great. With protein powder, you get to enjoy a drink that is also good for you. Am I saying that every protein powder tastes great? Definitely not. But when you find the perfect powder for your protein shakes, life is good.

The Building Blocks of Muscle Gain

Another great benefit of protein powders is that these supplements often contain amino acids. In the past, you might have heard of amino acids as the literal building blocks of muscle. This isn’t some sales pitch, it’s true.

Protein sources used in protein supplements also help fuel your muscles with amino acids. As you consume your protein blend of choice, you’re giving your muscles plenty of food for growth.

If you prefer to have casein protein, whey, and other proteins blended together, you’ll want to choose Combat Powder. Gold Standard only contains whey protein.

The Final Word About This Protein Powder Comparison

Honestly, both Gold Standard 100% Whey and Combat Powder stack up fairly equally. Of course, these products aren’t identical to each other.

For instance, Combat Powder is a protein blend. However, Gold Standard 100% Whey contains only whey protein. With that said, Combat Powder also contain digestive enzymes that Optimum’s whey doesn’t have. Combat Powder also contains glutamine.

Whether you need a meal replacement or a way to build more muscle (or both), protein shakes can help you reach your nutritional goals. If you need fast-absorbing, muscle-building protein powders, any option from Musclepharm or Optimum Nutrition is a great choice. Check out Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein if you’re looking for a lower-cost option.