In this review article we’ll be looking at one of the more popular protein powders around, Dymatize Elite 100% Whey.
I’ll be discussing its ingredients, macronutrient & amino acids profiles, cost, taste and mix-ability, among other things.
I’ll also be comparing its protein quality per serving up against several of the other top-selling protein powders, like:
- Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey
- Combat Protein Powder
- Body Fortress
- MyProtein Impact
- Muscletech Whey
Dymatize Elite Whey summary
* One of the top selling protein powders
* Above average buyer ratings
* Solid amount of protein & BCAAs per serving
* Protein source is a whey blend
* 12 available flavors
* Not a pure whey product, it’s processed
* Sweetened artificially, no sugar
* Protein % by weight per serving isn’t great
* But actual protein cost per serving is EXCELLENT
Dymatize Elite’s a very good protein powder source if you’re cool with artificial sweeteners and a higher-than-average sodium level (for a whey powder).
Its excellent cost of protein per serving is the lowest I’ve come across, having done analysis of over 25 of the most popular protein powders available to us these days.
Up ahead we’ll get into all that’s in this protein powder, and size it up against its competition.
As far as my opinion on its taste that I discuss later, I bought two tubs — one my typical generic chocolate (Dymatize’s Chocolate Fudge) — and their Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor.
Hopefully the peanut butter tastes normal, though that flavor’s always touch & go when it comes to protein powders. 😜
Next I want to go over the rest of Dymatize’s Elite product line, and also take a peek at what else Dymatize is all about.
(I think it’s good to get to know what’s up with the company making something that you’re choosing to swallow every day.)
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.
Dymatize Elite product line
Dymatize has three protein powders that have the Elite name:
- this 100% Whey we’re looking at
- Elite Casein
- Elite XT
The Casein powder is self-explanatory, since many of the big protein powder manufacturers have a companion casein product that bears the same branding as their whey powder.
From analyzing the numbers on its Nutrition Facts panel, I can pass along that this casein powder has a very similar protein & macronutrient profile as the 100% Whey product we’re reviewing.
The main difference is of course simply casein vs. whey, casein being a slower-digested milk protein that also has a somewhat lower branched-chain amino acid profile. (1)
From the info I see on the Elite XT ingredients list, I can tell you that this powder is just a mixture of their 100% Whey product with some of their casein added to it.
That’s it, aside from the fact that they’ve also added the stevia flavoring and other thickeners & blenders.
XT comes in last place with the Elites
The extra non-protein processed stuff they’ve put in Elite XT makes this the poorest protein product of the three Elite powders.
Its per serving protein % by weight (58%) is definitely on the low side when it comes to the big name protein powders.
Dymatize was privately held until they were purchased in 2013 by consumer food giant, Post Holdings. (4)
You may recognize the name Post if you ever ate breakfast cereal: I ate their Grape Nuts & Raisin Bran when I was a kid while my sister chomped down their Fruity Pebbles or their Cocoa Pebbles.
Post makes a lot of sugary, crappy food — no getting around it — and I ate a ton of it…must’ve been those Saturday morning cartoons. 😄
BellRing Brands Inc.
Like most of the Big Food conglomerates, Post Holdings has a separate division (BellRing Brands, Inc.) for what they call their “global active nutrition category”.
(I don’t think I’ve ever said those 4 words together out loud in my life; maybe I should give it a try now…)
…ooo, gnarly. I’ll never do that again.
You may recognize most of the brands they own:
- Premier Protein
- Supreme Protein (bars)
- Joint Juice (drink spiked with glucosamine & chondroitin)
Here are a few of the main marketing talking points Dymatize emphasizes to us consumers in their branding material.
Banned substance tested
Dymatize has their products verified by Informed Choice.org to be free of anything that would show up on a competitive athlete’s doping test.
This is a good thing, since trace elements of all sorts of nasties have shown up in fitness supplements. (2)
This is due to many products from many companies all being processed in the same facility, and cross-contamination can result. (3)
Emphasis on transparency & quality
Take a look at this snapshot of a page off of Dymatize’s site.
You can see that they want you to know they’re fully upfront with their products, and show you how transparent they are with what they’re producing.
Also note that on their website they come out & say “WE DO NOT AMINO SPIKE”, a reference to several of their competitors who do.
*amino spiking – the practice where a manufacturer stuffs a bunch of low-grade amino acids into the protein product during processing.
This is done so that it artificially boosts the protein & amino acid numbers you see on their Nutrition Facts panel.
And the unsavvy consumer thinks they’re getting something better than they actually are. (5)
Certified for GMP
GMP stands for good manufacturing practices (6).
To be GMP-certified means that the company has been verified to be following all of the production regulations that pertain to whatever they’re making & selling. (7)
In Dymatize’s case, it’s fitness supplements, and the GMP badge signifies that we the consumer can be assured that those products of theirs we consume are of a high quality.
Endorsed by Chip Smith
Here Dymatize is letting you know that their products are worthy of use by elite competitive athletes.
Chip Smith is one of the world’s foremost trainers in the field of sports performance.
Dymatize points out that their products are used at Smith’s elite training facility in Georgia.
Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Review
Okie dokie, onto the meat & potatoes part of Elite’s review.
Below’s an outline of the categories we’ll be covering.
Nutrition first: it’s what really matters
I’m going to start with what I believe are the most important elements to scrutinize when it comes to any protein supplement:
- Protein source(s)
- Nutrition facts
- Amino acid profile
- Protein %s, by weight & by macros
Here we’ll skip the price and cost per ounce numbers, and instead figure out how much just the protein inside Dymatize Elite really costs.
The we’ll compare it to several of its biggest competitors in the whey blend protein powder space.
And of course I’ll chime in with my 2 cents’ worth (or less 😄) on how I think Dymatize’s Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter taste.
Sneak reveal: I think I like the one with the peanut butter a little more.
Then I’ll probably compare it to Optimum Nutrition’s Double Rich Chocolate since they’re very similar protein powders.
What Dymatize Elite users think
Before we jump into the Ingredients & Nutrition info, here are the product satisfaction ratings I gathered from across the internet submitted by buyers of Dymatize Elite.
Dymatize Elite buyer ratings
4.6⭐ 90% – 4,000+ online reviews
The ⭐ rating I calculated using all online reviews available at the time I wrote this article.
And the % is the percentage of buyers leaving 4- & 5-star ratings.
These are solid numbers as far as protein powders go, typical** of what you see with other big sellers.
** Side note / Buyer tip:
You’ll rarely come across a crappy rating for a protein powder sold online.
Try it sometime and you’ll see it for yourself.
This is because the manufacturer will yank the product — along with its negative reviews — off the online market.
They can then sell it in retail stores only or ship it out to a foreign country, and thus avoid getting any negative online reviews here in the U.S.
To read more buyer comments, click on the pic.
Dymantize Elite Ingredients
Here’s the list of what’s in the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor:
*Fifteen ingredients, several of them cooked up in a lab, so it’s certainly not the purest protein powder out there…but it’s also not the worst among the big sellers.
*The majority of Dymatize Elite powder is made up of the protein you want and its main flavors (cocoa & peanut butter), which come from something that actually grew out of the ground.
The last percent or so is the processed stuff that someone grew in a test tube or factory reactor.
Soy lecithin – helps it blend
Potassium chloride – salt substitute
And the 2 artificial sweeteners most used in supplements:
A couple of thickener / blender additives:
Gum blend – another blend assistant
Carrageenan – has a couple of health risk issues
Chocolate Fudge’s extra ingredients
Later on in the Taste Testing section you’ll read how I didn’t care for the Chocolate Fudge at all, but am A-OK with the Chocolate Peanut Butter…if not in love with it.
Interestingly, they have nearly identical ingredients except for:
- the peanut flour that’s in the Chocolate Peanut Butter
- the addition of my dreaded stevia to the Chocolate Fudge
- polydextrose added to the Chocolate Fudge
Polydextrose is an artificial sweetener that’s used to add fiber to foods.
I’m certain that the stevia, and to a lesser extent the polydextrose, are responsible for the off flavors my taste buds pick up on in the Chocolate Fudge powder.
Dymatize Elite protein sources
As noted earlier, this powder is a blend of the three main kinds of whey powders:
Under the generic Blend name, Dymatize doesn’t have to reveal how much of each one is used.
Since this Elite powder is inexpensive, it’s pretty obvious to me that most of what type of protein is being used here is the WPC (whey protein concentrate), since it’s the cheapest to produce. (8)
Dymatize Elite Nutrition Facts
This is from the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor.
* Both the fat & sugar numbers are naturally-occurring in the #1 ingredient of this powder, the whey protein concentrate (WPC), and both are low and of no concern.
*The 75mg cholesterol is also from the WPC.
*The sodium in the Chocolate Peanut Butter is 170mg, which is higher than many whey products; the Chocolate Fudge has 150mg.
Macronutrient comparison: Dymatize Elite vs. O.N.
Notes: You see Dymatize’s has the highest percentage of fat and the lowest amount of its calories coming from its protein.
The fat is from the WPC (whey protein concentrate), the #1 ingredient, and three grams per serving’s no big deal.
Dymatize Elite amino acid profile
EAA & BCAA notes:
The main things I’m going for with these numbers is:
- amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- amount of essential amino acids (EAAs)
Almost 5.7 grams of BCAAs per serving is very good.
Around 12 grams of EAAs per serving, also very good.
Dymatize Elite protein comparisons
The first chart I want to show lists the percent of protein (by weight) that’s in the powder you’re drinking.
As I said earlier, comparing just the price or the cost per ounce of protein powders is useless, unless you know how much of that powder is actually made up of protein.
That’s what this percentage shows.
To get it, divide the per serving grams of protein by the total grams in a serving.
In Dymatize Elite’s case that’s 25g ÷ 36g = 69%
How Dymatize compares
As you can see, Dymatize Elite is definitely not one of the top performing protein powders using this stat.
This stat alone is not a dealbreaker, so don’t write it off just yet.
Dymatize Elite could still make up some ground with a much lower protein price (not the sticker price), and in the next section we’ll be checking that part out.
Dymatize Elite Whey Cost
“In the shifty world of fitness supplements, you need to dig a little deeper to get to the truth.” – (somebody smart, somewhere)
Now that we really know what’s in it, let’s check its cost and see how it compares to its closest competitors.
MY OPINION: I don’t think that price and cost per ounce like you see listed on Amazon & elsewhere is of any value at all when you’re comparing protein powders.
That’s simply because those two dollar amounts don’t take into account any of the other NON-protein stuff that’s been added to the powder.
Going by those retailer-supplied numbers, a crappy protein powder that is 90% junk but has the lowest price & cost per ounce would look like the best of the bunch.
What I described above is in fact a not-too-uncommon reality…
…especially if Crappo Protein Powder had a high ⭐ rating + lots of reviews, thanks to their “write a nice review & we’ll send you free product” incentive program.
Happens all the time, y’know…😉
True cost of protein
This next chart shows how I determine what’s the true cost of protein for any protein supplement I’m analyzing.
I need to do this often whenever I’m comparing any two protein powders, since they could have:
- different sizes
- different protein per serving amounts
- & of course different prices
And given that, the prices Amazon (or whoever) shows you won’t help you compare the two at all.
I won’t bore you with my math explanations, but you can see from the description on each line what it is I’ve calculated.
They all lead to the bottom line, literally.
Bottom line (figuratively) 😉:
Dymatize Elite has the lowest protein cost of these 3 whey products, with Gold Standard costing 13% more & Muscle Feast’s Isolate costing 17% more**.
** – which it should, since it’s a MUCH cleaner whey protein powder than Dymatize Elite Whey .
Dymatize Elite Whey’s Taste
Disclaimer about my sense of taste:
Did you know that there are over 40,000 different genes associated with our sense of taste? (9)
Each one of those has many possible variations & mutations, which means there’s no almost NO WAY you & I taste food the same way.
As I mentioned at the outset, the tubs I bought for this review are of the Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter persuasion.
So that’s where my opinion on Dymatize Elite’s taste is coming from here.
And as an additional Dymatize’s Flavors reference, I’ve also been ploughing through 3 small cans of Dymatize ISO 100 over the past couple of months:
Cocoa Pebbles & Fruity Pebbles (I kid you not)
So I have a pretty good handle on how Dymatize formulates their flavors.
By the way…
…Dymatize Elite comes in 12 flavors
And here’s a list of them, if the text in that image is too small:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Rich Chocolate
- Chocolate Cake Batter
- Cookies and Cream
- Gourmet Vanilla
- Cafe Mocha
- Smooth Banana
- Strawberry Blast
- Vanilla Blast
- Raspberry Cheesecake
- Chocolate Fudge
My taste testing mode
For bare naked truth about a protein powder’s real taste, I mix one serving size of it with 8 oz. of water in a shaker bottle without that whisk ball thingamajig.
How’s Dymatize Elite whey mix?
Really easily with no clumping or grit, thanks to the emulsifier Soy Lecithin, which helps the Elite powder blend easily with water.
How’s it taste?
My severely subjective opinion:
*I much prefer the Chocolate Peanut Butter over the Chocolate Fudge, due mainly to the artificial flavors + stevia combo that’s only in the Chocolate Fudge. Glad they skipped the stevia in their Chocolate Peanut Butter recipe.
*My taste buds can tell that they’re processed due to the prominent synthetic taste they detect, but the peanut flour used in the peanut butter-flavored powder really helps knock that synthetic-y taste back a notch or two.
*Artificial flavors come on strong in my mouth with the Chocolate Fudge, no surprise since they’re hyper-aware of stevia, sucralose, & acefulfame potassium sweeteners that show up in any protein product.
*But you may find that both are definitely tolerable as-is in water if you’re in a pinch, though for me only the Chocolate Peanut Butter makes the “OK with just water” grade.
*And they taste a lot better (of course) when I throw the Elite in a blender with one of my protein shake recipes where I’ve added strawberries, greens, etc.
Taste test: Dymatize Elite vs Gold Standard
I did a head-to-head taste comparison between our Dymatize Elite and the #1 selling protein powder in the world, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey.
This makes sense since these two products are very similar in terms of their ingredients & their cost.
The ON flavor I used is my go-to flavored whey powder for any protein powder comparison review here on heydayDo, their Double Rich Chocolate.
I like the flavor of the Gold Standard Whey more, although the Chocolate Peanut Butter hung in there.
I acknowledge that this could be due to 15+ years of familiarity.
Dymatize’s Chocolate Fudge had no chance though; stevia’s a buzz killer for my taste buds.
But all in all I sincerely think it’s because the artificial flavors in Dymatize Elite are a little stronger & more forward than those in the ON Gold Standard.
Plus that dang stevia…
Counting those three other ISO 100 protein powders I’ve been drinking for awhile, that’s now five Dymatize flavors I’ve tried.
Aside from the fact that four of them use cocoa, my taste buds definitely sense a similarity between all of them including the Fruity Pebbles.
I’m pretty sure the similarity I’m tasting is Dymatize’s unique combo of salt & salt substitutes & the two main artificial sweeteners, sucralose & Ace-K.
I bet if Dymatize ever ditched the stevia they throw in their Chocolate Fudge, it’d taste better to me…but mine are just one set of 7 billion sets of taste buds on the planet.
The science of taste buds
A bit of related knowledge for ya…
Remember what I said earlier about the fact that there are thousands of genetic combinations possible with our taste buds.
Here’s the money quote from food experts at Eat This, Not That:
“Sensitivity to taste is as unique as a fingerprint.” (10)
Bottom line on taste testing:
So you see, the odds that your taste buds’ preferences & mine are the same are really really small.
That means you may love a protein powder flavor I’m kind of meh or yuck with…
Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Summary
*Dymatize’s Elite powder delivers 25 grams of protein & 5 ½ grams of BCAAs per serving in a blend of whey concentrate, isolate, & hydrolyzed whey powders.
*It is somewhat processed, containing artificial sweeteners, thickeners, soy, salt, & salt substitutes.
*The sodium content is a little higher than most of the well-known protein powders, which might pose a diet issue for a few people.
*I taste the artificial sweeteners when mixed with just water which I don’t like — but they’re nowhere near as overpowering as some of the cheap, mass-produced protein shakes & powders are.
*Dymatize Elite is very well-liked by its buyers, with a 4.6⭐ rating & over 4,000 reviews.
Lil Boji & I are plenty serious when we taste-test protein powders…or at least he is.
Related protein powder articles here on heydayDo
I hope that my article evaluating Dymatize’s popular Elite 100% whey protein powder is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.