You never know what you’re getting with a protein shake. Some are delicious. Some are gross. Unfortunately, GNC employees don’t like it when you open cartons in the store to sample. So we’ve sampled for you. Made Man conducted a taste test to determine the best-tasting protein shake.
We gathered six Break Media editors (ranging from guys who work out regularly to guys who have never lifted anything heavier than a PS3 controller) and asked them to sample five refrigerated protein shakes. All of the shakes were chocolate-flavored.
Why chocolate? Why not? It was our protein shake competition and we got to pick.
We asked the guys to describe what they were tasting and later rank the protein shakes from best to worst based on taste.
These are the highly scientific results that we uncovered. A first-place vote was worth 5 points and a last-place vote was worth 1. The highest a drink could score was 30 points.
No. 5: Lean Body
Total points: 13
Earnest: It smells and tastes like OhYeah!. (More on OhYeah! in a minute)
Brian W.: It feels like my mouth is chalky. It does not taste like a natural drink. It’s not thick enough to be milk and not smooth enough to be water.
Brian H.: It tastes a lot like OhYeah!.
Ian: It tastes like rubber. There is a rubbery aftertaste.
Evan: Chocolate-flavored water.
Noah: It tastes like BAND-AIDS.
Analysis: This was the least popular drink and the only one that did not receive a first or second-place ranking. Also, we learned that sometimes Noah eats BAND-AIDS.
No. 4: Muscle Milk
Total points: 15
Earnest: It’s kind of medicine-y.
Brian W.: It’s grey and has flakes in it.
Brian H.: It has notes of banana.
Ian: Weird. It’s fruity.
Evan: It’s like sweet banana chocolate. I like it.
Noah: This is the weirdest of them all.
Analysis: Muscle Milk was divisive. Guys either loved it or hated it. It was the only protein shake to receive both first and fifth-place votes. Also, we learned that Brian H. likes to pretend everything he drinks is wine.
No. 3: OhYeah!
Total points: 17
Earnest: It has a coffee aftertaste.
Brian W.: It tastes weird.
Brian H.: It smells like Cocoa Krispies, which I love, but I think this one is horrible. I don’t know what’s happening inside my mouth right now.
Ian: It’s chalky.
Evan: It tastes like watered down chocolate milk.
Noah: It tastes like milk gone bad.
Analysis: A few of the guys thought OhYeah and Lean Body tasted similar, but OhYeah scored better. Also, Brian H. freaked out a little bit and we had to talk him down the rest of the afternoon.
No. 2 Pure Protein
Total points: 19
Earnest: It smells a little like paint.
Brian W.: It tastes like coffee/hot chocolate instant grossness.
Brian H.: It tastes like cold instant hot chocolate.
Ian: It tastes like Carnation Instant Breakfast.
Evan: It tastes like metallic chocolate.
Noah: It tastes like oil paint.
Analysis: This is the only one that came in a can. Also, give it up for Earnest who will drink something even if it smells a little like paint. Spirit Award for Earnest on this one.
No. 1: Rockin’ Refuel
Total points: 28
Earnest: It tastes like chocolate milk.
Brian W.: This one is so much better.
Brian H.: It tastes like chocolate milk.
Ian: It tastes like chocolate milk and it has the consistency of a shake.
Evan: It tastes like chocolate malt. It’s a little too sweet.
Noah: It tastes meaty.
Analysis: Rockin’ Refuel wins. It clearly tasted more like chocolate milk — which is always pleasing — than any of its competitors. Oh, and Noah clearly prefers a meaty chocolate milk.