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Protein powder is an easy way to increase protein intake to support general health, manage weight, and increase muscle growth1. There are, quite literally, hundreds of protein powders to choose from, but whey protein continues to be the top choice for most protein enthusiasts. 

Whey protein concentrate is the most affordable form of whey protein and Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate Powder has carved itself a reputation as a no-frills, budget-friendly option. Nutricost offers other types of protein, including grass-fed whey, so how do you know which one to try? Keep reading our full Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate review for our thoughts on this product’s ingredients and tips for choosing a whey protein.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We Know Protein Because We Use Protein Daily

GGR’s staff, product testers, and contributing writers are a team of fitness and nutrition pros who understand the benefits of consuming plenty of protein. We’re big fans of the convenience and nutrition protein powder offers, so of course we’re always game to try new flavors and brands. 

To date, our product testers have tested over 100 protein powders to find the best protein supplement, including whey protein powders, egg white protein powders, plant-based protein powders, and more. Our testers, who include certified personal trainers, CrossFit Level 1 trainers, and nutrition professionals, personally taste-test and rate every protein powder we review. Besides taste, rating criteria includes formulation, price per serving, solubility, third-party testing, and customer service.

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

GGR Score: 4.6 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • 25 grams of whey protein concentrate per serving
  • Available in 5 flavors, including unflavored
  • High-quality ingredients and third-party testing
  • Supports lean muscle growth and recovery after workouts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Manufactured in GMP-compliant facility
  • Unflavored option only contains one ingredient, instantized whey protein concentrate

Cons

  • Whey concentrate may not mix as well as whey isolate
  • Flavored options are higher in calories than other whey proteins

Bottom Line

Nutricost Whey Concentrate contains 25 grams of high-quality whey protein concentrate, available in five flavors. It's gluten-free, non-GMO, manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility, and third-party tested.

A Quick Look at Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

Nutricost has an extensive line of dietary supplements that includes protein powders, pre-workout, creatine monohydrate, vitamins, and more. Their whey protein concentrate powder is a low-cost option, but it doesn’t have the cleanest formulation. 

If you have wiggle room in your budget, they also have high-quality, clean protein powder with grass-fed whey that is 100% organic and free from artificial ingredients.

Before You Buy

  • The unflavored protein is 100% straight protein, but the flavored proteins contain flavorings and artificial sweetener.
  • All Nutricost products come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, but it’s not clear if purchases from other retailers are eligible.
  • If you find a flavor you like, we recommend getting the 5-pound canister on subscription for the lowest price per serving.

Is Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate Worth It?

I think this protein is a great choice if you go with the unflavored version because it has clean ingredients, is affordable, and can be added to all sorts of recipes beyond a protein shake to bump up the protein content without adding flavor. 

nutricost whey protein in cup

I know most people love flavored protein and if that’s you, our tester was very into the chocolate flavor she tried and other customer reviews rave about the taste of other flavors. The flavored proteins do contain artificial sweeteners, which some find beneficial and others wish to avoid.

The price varies a bit depending on where you get it and how much you get, but since there are options to get it for less than $1 per serving, we think it could very well be worth it for most people.

RELATED: Best Protein Powder Without Artificial Sweeteners

Great for:

  • Individuals who want to increase protein intake
  • People looking for a decent budget protein 
  • Anyone who needs a convenient post-workout protein option

Not recommended for:

  • Those who avoid artificial sweeteners
  • Anyone sensitive to dairy or lactose
  • Vegans

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate Specs

Price per serving$0.74-$1.83
Serving size 1 scoop (approximately ⅓ cup)
FlavorsUnflavored, Chocolate, Vanilla, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry Milkshake
Calories per serving130-150, depending on flavor
Protein sourceWhey protein concentrate
Protein per serving25 g
Carbs per servingUnflavored has 1 g, Flavors have 3 g
Fat per serving3 g
Third-party tested?Yes

Experience Using Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

Kate Meier, GGR’s senior director of content and a certified personal trainer, put Nutricost whey concentrate protein powder to the test. Since unflavored has, well, no flavor, she chose the chocolate peanut butter protein to assess its mixability, taste, and side effects. 

smoothie ingredients for nutricost whey protein isolate

“I really, really like this flavor,” said Kate. Each serving added 25 grams of protein to her day and she didn’t experience any stomach issues from the whey concentrate or artificial sweeteners. 

Her experience with this protein was positive from start to finish, but how do the price per serving and formulation fare with our rating system? Read on to find out.

Price Per Serving

This protein comes in 2-pound and 5-pound canisters and the price depends on the size you order and where you purchase it. Here’s the pricing from Nutricost’s website:

  • The 2-pound tub contains 24 servings and sells for $43.95, or $1.83 per serving.
  • The 5-pound tub contains 69 servings and sells for $89.95, or $1.30 per serving. 

You can also subscribe to save 20% off the above prices. Amazon has it priced even lower, with the 2-pound tubs around $28 and the 5-pound around $51, which comes out to $1.17 and $0.74, respectively. 

The 5-pound canister has the better price point no matter where you buy it from. This ranks as an affordable whey protein according to our GGR methodology and therefore earns a 5 out 5 for price.

Formulation

The ingredients in the unflavored protein don’t get more simple. It contains just whey protein concentrate and sunflower lecithin, which is a natural substance that helps protein powder dissolve in liquid. 

The flavored protein powders contain the same type of protein, plus flavoring and sweeteners. Some of the flavors contain natural ingredients, like cocoa powder in the chocolate protein and peanut flour in the chocolate peanut butter. 

The flavored proteins also contain natural flavors and the chocolate versions also contain artificial flavors. All of the flavored proteins are artificially sweetened with sucralose. The chocolate protein is also sweetened with acesulfame potassium (Ace K). 

girl making smoothie with nutricost whey protein isolate

RELATED: How Is Protein Powder Made?

Each serving contains 25 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 1 to 3 grams of carbohydrate, depending on the flavor. The ingredients are non-GMO and gluten free. 

Since there’s nothing artificial or unnecessary in the unflavored protein, we rated it a 5 out of 5 for ingredients. Due to the presence of artificial ingredients, we rated the flavored proteins a 4 out of 5 for ingredient quality.

Taste and Solubility 

Kate decided on the chocolate peanut butter protein powder and rated it a 5 out of 5 for both taste and solubility. “I’m normally not a peanut butter fan but the flavor of this is great—the peanut butter is not overpowering the chocolate,” she said. 

woman drinking nutricost whey protein

Whey protein powders tend to mix better than other types of protein, especially plant-based proteins. Kate used a shaker cup to mix up hers with excellent results—it dissolved completely with no clumping or unpleasant chalky sediment stuck to the bottom. 

RELATED: Best-Tasting Protein Powder

Side Effects

Kate tolerated this protein without any issue, so she rated it a 5 out of 5 for this category. It’s unlikely this protein will result in side effects for most people, but of course there are the usual disclaimers. 

Whey protein isn’t vegan friendly and, although most of the lactose content has been removed, it can trigger digestive issues if you’re sensitive to lactose. Whey concentrate contains more lactose than whey protein isolate. Some people are also sensitive to artificial sweeteners, which can trigger an upset stomach or bloating.

RELATED: Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

Third-Party Testing 

Nutricost says their products are tested for safety, but they’re not verified by a major third-party testing lab or listed in one of our preferred databases, like NSF or Informed Choice. We’re taking their word on their commitment to safety due to the transparency of their labels and lack of proprietary blends, so we give them a 4 out of 5 for testing. 

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate vs Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey

GGR Score: 4.2 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Contains 3 different kinds of whey protein
  • Tested for banned substances
  • Over 5 g of BCAAs per serving
  • Instantized to help prevent clumping

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High in protein
  • Plenty of flavor options
  • Low in carbs

Cons

  • Some users say it's overly sweet
  • Contains artificial flavors
  • Most flavors contain sucralose

Bottom Line

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey is a team favorite for its budget-friendly prices and taste. Our team has tried multiple Optimum Nutrition flavors, and every one is ranked a 4 or 5 out of 5.

You’ll often find Nutricost’s whey protein concentrate compared to Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. We’ve tried both, so let’s see how they stack up against each other.

The Gold Standard Whey contains all three forms of whey protein: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed. Both protein powders contain similar amounts of total protein. According to a comparative meta-analysis2, all forms of whey protein can benefit muscle and strength gains when taken consistently and combined with weightlifting. 

The whey blend does offer a slight difference in nutrition. There’s a bit less fat and calories per serving in ON’s whey versus Nutricost, and every bit matters if you’re in a cutting phase. 

If you want protein flavors that rival an ice cream shop, check out Optimum Nutrition, which comes in 18 dessert-inspired flavors. Nutricost is the better option if you prefer a versatile, unflavored protein. 

Check out our full Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard review to learn more.

Nutricost Whey Protein ConcentrateOptimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
Price per serving$0.74 (at its lowest)$1.08 (at its lowest)
Serving size 1 scoop (about 31-37 g, depending on flavor)1 scoop (about 31 g)
Flavors518
Calories per serving130-150, depending on flavor120-130, depending on flavor
Protein sourceConcentrateIsolate, concentrate, hydrolyzed
Protein per serving25 g24 g
Carbs per serving1-3 g, depending on flavor3-4 g, depending on flavor
Fat per serving3 g0-1.5 g, depending on flavor
Third-party tested?YesYes

Customer Experience 

Nutricost’s contact information is easy to locate and their customer service can be contacted by phone or email. They provide a 60-day money-back guarantee on all products, which is plenty of time to see if this protein works for you. If you’re not a fan, you can receive a full refund minus any shipping costs. The generous return policy earns a 5-star rating for customer service.

Ordering Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

You can order Nutricost whey concentrate from the Nutricost website or Amazon. Simply choose your preferred size and flavor and you’re ready to check out. You can also choose to subscribe to Nutricost to save 20%. You’ll need to spend $59 on the Nutricost site to score free shipping, otherwise it’ll cost $7.00. 

Customer Reviews

With nearly 6,500 ratings on Amazon, this protein powder has an average score of 4.4 out of 5 stars. There are only 92 customer reviews on the Nutricost site, but it has a similar rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars there.

The mixability and taste are highlights for most customers, for both the unflavored and flavored versions. “It’s great for adding to baked goods and oatmeal to get more protein but no protein flavor,” writes one Nutricost customer about the unflavored protein.

Customers also acknowledge the 5-pound tubs are a great value and last a long time. They’re big though and one Nutricost customer says “the 5 pound canister is a little bit difficult to store.”

Final Verdict of Our Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate Review

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate won’t win any clean label awards, but if you don’t mind that it has artificial ingredients and isn’t third-party tested, this protein powder is a solid option. It has a high protein content, is affordable, and comes with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

  • There are only five flavors, including an unflavored version
  • Each flavor delivers 25 grams protein, 3 grams fat, and 1 to 3 grams of carbs per serving
  • Except for the unflavored protein, all the flavors contain artificial sweetener

Full Rating

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate

Nutricost Whey Concentrate contains 25 grams of high-quality whey protein concentrate, available in five flavors. It's gluten-free, non-GMO, manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility, and third-party tested.

Product Brand: Nutricost

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 59.95

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.6

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate Rating

Price per serving – 5
Formulation – 4
Taste – 5
Solubility – 5
Side effects – 5
Third-party testing – 4
Customer service – 5
Customer reviews – 4.4
Buy Now

Nutricost Whey Protein Concentrate: FAQs

Is Nutricost a good brand of protein powder?

Nutricost offers several types of protein powder, including whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein, and plant-based protein, at affordable prices. They have both standard and certified organic proteins, but note that the non-organic options contain artificial sweeteners, while the organic versions contain stevia. 

Is whey protein concentrate good for you?

Whey protein concentrate is an excellent source of dietary protein. There is ample evidence that combining whey concentrate with resistance training enhances muscle building and muscle recovery. The best whey protein concentrate powders contain minimal additives and fillers, are low in added sugar, and free from artificial ingredients.  

Is whey protein concentrate the same as whey?

Whey protein concentrate is made from whey, which is one of two main proteins in dairy milk. Other forms of whey include whey isolate and hydrolyzed whey, which undergo additional processing to filter fat, carbs, and lactose. 

Which whey protein is good, concentrate or isolate?

Both types of whey have a complete amino acid profile, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids. Both are good sources of branched-chain amino acids, which have been linked to increased muscle gains and speedier workout recovery. 

The best whey for you depends on your fitness goals. Concentrate is more affordable and contains more fat, carbs, and lactose than isolate. If you’re very sensitive to lactose or following a special diet, isolate may be better.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):735. Published 2017 Jul 11. doi:10.3390/nu9070735
  1. A Castro LH, S de Araújo FH, M Olimpio MY, et al. Comparative Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Concentrated, Hydrolyzed, and Isolated Whey Protein Supplementation on Body Composition of Physical Activity Practitioners. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2047. Published 2019 Sep 2. doi:10.3390/nu11092047

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