This product review article is all about the Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery® Protein Powder I bought & used recently.
We’ll be looking at its ingredients, nutritional value, cost, buyer’s ratings, its Cold Stone Creamery ice cream taste, & more.
I’ll also be comparing it to a few of the other popular protein powders along the way, seeing how it measures up to the competition in terms of protein quality, price, & purity.
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.
Up ahead we’ll get into the meat of the Syntha-6 Cold Stone review.
(The flavor I bought a tub of for this article is called Berry Berry Berry Good, by the way).
Next up I want to do a really quick overview on the company that makes Syntha-6, as well as show you what the other flavors they’ve come up for this Cold Stone Creamery® line are.
Who makes Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery Protein powder?
The line of Syntha-6 protein powders is made by BSN (Bio-Engineered Supplements & Nutrition, Inc.), who’re based in Boca Raton, Florida, and have been around since 2001.
This Stone Cold Creamery® version of Syntha-6 is one of four formulas within the Syntha-6 brand, and here’s a pic of all of them:
Since 2011 BSN has been owned by Glanbia, a big global dairy conglomerate that owns several fitness supplement companies.
Here are a few of them, and I bet there’s at least one you recognize:
- Optimum Nutrition
- BSN (Syntha-6)
- and several more.
What are the available flavors of Syntha-6 Stone Cold Creamery?
Currently, Syntha-6 is offering these six flavors in their Cold Stone product line:
- Apple Pie
- Berry Berry Berry Good
- Birthday Cake Remix
- Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some
- Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip
Buyer ratings & their comments
As you’ll see, the Syntha-6 brand enjoys above average buyers’ ratings from users who’ve chimed in with reviews & ratings across the internet.
Judging from the number of reviews I aggregated from all of the retailers I could find, I’d guess that Syntha-6 is one of the ten most popular protein powder product lines on the market these days.
The ⭐ rating I use is calculated using all online reviews available at the time I wrote this article.
And the % represents the percentage of buyers who gave it a 4- or 5-star rating.
To read more buyer comments, click on the pic or the product name.
4.5⭐ – 86%, 8,000+ reviews online
Note that those numbers are combined from all four Syntha-6 protein powder products, because that’s how the reviews & ratings are curated on Google.
I tallied up the buyer ratings of just the Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery products that are currently featured on Amazon, and here’s their combined score:
4.6⭐ – 88%, 1,400+ reviews
Bottom line on Syntha-6 Cold Stone’s buyer ratings:
Again, these are very good numbers.
They’re not ‘top of the food chain’-type numbers in the protein powder space, but they’re gettin’ there.
Also keep in mind that crappy &/or bad-tasting protein powders that get low ratings can get off the market by their manufacturers, so we often only come across protein products with decent to excellent ratings.
Thus by comparison, the buyer review scores of the available protein powders that you do see tend to be higher than other fitness products, like cheap rowing machines for example.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone Ingredients
Below is a pic of the ingredients used, and as you can see there are over 30 of them.
This is a very clear indication that this protein powder is a highly processed product.
I’ll spare us all the agony of me going over every one of those 34 ingredients, but will hit the key points I think are worth pointing out.
Comprised of seven ingredients – six are different types of proteins (5 milk + egg) and one is made up of peptides.
Giving several ingredients lumped into a formula a name like “Protein Matrix” (or whatever) invokes the FDA’s protection on what are classified as proprietary blends.
This practice allows the manufacturer to withhold the quantities of any ingredient that’s listed in that formula. (2)
In this case that means BSN, Syntha-6’s manufacturer, doesn’t have to tell us the ratio of each of those six protein components in their “Protein Matrix”.
Synthetic fiber, thickeners, emulsifiers (blending agents)
After the protein comes a squadron of 19 artificial ingredients designed to improve the thickness, texture, taste, & mix-ability once the protein powder is combined with a liquid.
If you’re looking for a pure protein powder, this group of factory lab ingredients ought to encourage you to quickly head elsewhere.
I did a detailed search for clean, high-quality protein powders free of artificial crap, and if you’re interested you can read it here:
Only eight ingredients left (thankfully), and six of them are what creates the particular taste of the Berry Berry Berry Good flavor.
Three are natural (salt, blueberries, strawberries) and five are artificial, including the two most common artificial sweeteners used in the fitness biz — sucralose & acesulfame potassium.
The last two ingredients are enzymes that have been included in the protein powder to act as digestive aids; that’s my guess anyway.
That’s because both come from fruit — papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple — and have been used to help break down proteins during our bodies’ digestive process. (3)
Syntha-6 Cold Stone allergen label
Here are the four allergens used in the Syntha-6 Cold Stone recipe:
Ingredients bottom line
The number one ingredient is protein which is nice, but it’s supposed to be: after all, it’s sold as a protein powder.
Unfortunately (for me, anyway) there is a LOT of stuff in this Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery formula that has nothing to do with protein or muscle building.
In the next section that goes over the Nutrition Facts, you’ll see that all this other stuff insures that the Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery powder is not a high-quality or clean protein product.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone Nutrition Facts
Here’s a look at its calories & macronutrients:
One of the ways to get a read on the big picture of what’s the macronutrient story of a food product is to convert those fat, carb, & protein grams to percentages.
That’ll tell you how much of each macronutrient is in a serving.
And with protein powders, you can then compare that to another protein powder, without having to do extra math to account for the different serving/scoop sizes.
I’ll show you how to do both here, and no worries: it ain’t hard…if I can do it, you can do it.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone macros breakdown
Start with what we see on the Nutrition Facts panel:
- calories 200
- fat 6 grams
- carbs 15 grams
- protein 22 grams
A fat gram is approximately 9 calories, carbs & protein are both approximately 4. (4)
The numbers will rarely come out even, hence the word approximately, so don’t sweat it.
This makes sense, considering all the different types of fats there are, different protein types, etc.
*Next, do a little simple math using those Syntha-6 numbers we grabbed:
Fat: 6 (grams) x 9 (calories per gram) = 54 calories
Carbs: 15 g x 4 cal = 60 cal
Protein: 22 g x 4 cal = 88 cal
Total approximate calories: 202
(Cool. See how these are close enough to the 200 on the Nutrition Facts label to use…)
*Now get the percentages:
Fat: 54 ÷ 200 = 27%
Carbs: 60 ÷ 200 = 30%
Protein: 88 ÷ 200 = 44%
If you’re not used to looking at these types of macro numbers, they might not be telling you anything.
They might seem like they’re in a vacuum without context, so let’s compare Syntha-6 Cold Stone macros to two other protein powders.
One is the best-selling protein powder in the world, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey.
(I’ve been drinking this for 15 years or so, I believe.)
The other is my main daily source of supplemented protein these days, Muscle Feast’s Grass-Fed Whey Isolate.
Here’s a chart comparing the macronutrient percentages of these 3 protein powders:
*Look at the huge difference in protein % per serving.
*Syntha-6 Cold Stone’s macro profile looks more like a meal, while the other two are clearly well-designed protein supplements.
*Unfortunately, the fats & carbs in the Syntha-6 Cold Stone “meal” are not comprised of whole, natural foods — they’re made up of artificial ingredients synthesized in a factory lab.
*Just a guess, but I kinda doubt any of those hot physique models endorsing BSN on their website drink this particular Cold Stone product on a daily basis.
Bottom line: I think it’s real important to look at the protein you’re getting in context with whatever else is coming along for the ride in any powder you plan on swallowing.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone protein comparison
The protein percent comparison line in the macronutrient chart above tells me all I need to know.
It’s called a protein powder, but less than half (44%) of this product is made up of protein.
For me & my supplemental protein needs, this Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery formula doesn’t cut it — I’m paying for processed carbs & fat I don’t want.
It’s got some protein in it sure, but so do Big Macs & pepperoni pizzas**.
If the diet side of someone’s fitness plan still includes bags of Doritos, donuts, fast foods, lotsa IPAs per week, etc…
..this Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery protein powder will fit right in with that, no prob.
…and then there’s good protein
But if you’re looking to build muscle, kick some fat to the curb, get stronger, become more attractive, whatever your goal…
…may I humbly suggest taking the highest quality protein supplements your budget will afford you.
(** – There are hundreds of foods I love the taste of that I no longer eat. I have to avoid them in order to stay alive, given my unique set of health circumstances. Plus I feel & look better too, because a lot of them just aren’t good for the human body.)
Protein % by weight comparison
Below, I’ve put together a chart of several protein powders; most of them are shown in the photo above.
This is a ranking of how much protein there is in every serving, not in terms of macronutrient grams, but in terms of weight.
So instead of doing it with the macro percentage math like we just looked at, I simply divided the weight of their protein (per serving) by the weight of their single serving.
In Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery’s case, that’d be:
22 grams (protein/serving) ÷ 47 grams = 47%
It’s a quicker way to get a similar look as the macros, though not as nutritionally exact**.
But it is definitely a good indicator of how prominent protein is in any powder you look at.
This calculation is fast and will do just fine if you’re in a rush.
**not as exact – take Muscle Feast for example: 97% protein using macros, 90% using product weight. The difference is due to a little weight from ingredients that have no macro value, like fiber.
My protein comparison takeaways
*Except for the Opportuniteas Whey Isolate, these protein powders are all very popular & are almost certainly among the Top 10 selling protein powders in the U.S.
*Note how Syntha-6 Cold Stone is the poorest of all of them in terms of protein delivery per serving.
This will affect its true cost as you’ll see below, and its very low price tag hides the fact that it is more expensive than protein powders of much higher quality.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone cost analysis
Before I get going on prices & protein cost…
…prices change often, so you may see something different than what I’m looking at today.
Summarizing, in advance:
* Syntha-6 Cold Stone looks like the cheapest of the three protein powders we’ll be using for comparison.
* But because it has so much less protein in it than the other two, it’s actually the most expensive of the three as far as protein is concerned.
* And I am concerned about protein quality; after all, these are protein supplements.
You better shop around
There’s more than meets the eye when shopping around, comparing protein powders.
The Price you see, and sometimes the Cost per Ounce (like you see on Amazon), do not tell me the whole story.
That’s because I’m shopping for protein, and those two things (price & cost/ounce) don’t tell me a thing about how much the protein inside that powder actually costs.
I’ll show you how to compare protein powders using what I call the true cost of protein.
It clearly cuts through the hyped marketing literature and useless numbers that get thrown at us when we’re shopping for protein supplements.
Syntha-6 vs. Optimum Nutrition & Muscle Feast
A perfect example to illustrate what I’m talking about is to compare the three protein powders we just looked, the two I drink & this particular Syntha-6 formula:
“Those 2 are WAY more expensive!”
Cruise around on Amazon or elsewhere and you’ll see these prices (or something close):
Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery: $43.47 4.5 lb.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard: $58.64 5 lb.
Muscle Feast GrassFed Isolate: $69.99 5 lb.
It looks cheaper by price
At first glance you see all 3 tubs weighing around 5 pounds, so it’s easy to see that the Syntha-6 container is a lot cheaper than ON’s or Muscle Feast’s.
This is true even after adding a buck or two to Syntha-6’s price to make up for the half a pound difference in weight.
OK, so the Syntha-6 powder is cheaper when looking at their prices, that’s a fact.
And cost per ounce looks cheaper too
And we can further verify that the powder is cheaper by simply looking at their respective Cost per Ounce numbers, available on their respective Amazon pages:
Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery: $0.60
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard: $0.73
Muscle Feast GrassFed Isolate: $0.87
This eliminates the issue with different tub weights, so it’s a verification that the Syntha-6 Cold Stone powder is much cheaper than the other two:
*Gold Standard is 22% more expensive (13¢/60¢)
*MF Isolate is 45% more expensive (27¢/60¢)
So the price & the cost per ounce clearly indicate that Syntha-6’s powder is far & away the cheapest product.
(And I haven’t done the math yet…)
…But I’m going to bet you that the protein in Syntha-6’s Cold Stone Creamery powder costs more than those other two protein powders.
So let’s look at how much 22* grams of protein costs us for each of those three powders.
*22 – We use 22 gram servings for all of them because we’re standardizing the other two powders to Syntha-6’s protein per serving, as listed on their Nutrition Facts label.
(It makes it an apples-to-apples kind of thing.)
I promise it’ll be an eye opener.
Well there ya have it.
What appeared to be the cheapest protein powder, back when all we looked at was the price and the cost per ounce, has turned out to be the most expensive protein powder.
Not only that, but Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery’s a lot more expensive:
*25% more than ON’s Gold Standard;
*33% more expensive than Muscle Feast’s whey isolate.
Protein cost analysis summary
If you’re looking to drink a protein powder on a regular basis in order to fuel your workout goals, it’s worth tracking down options that can save you some money.
It’s important to factor in how much protein you’re getting from a protein powder while you’re looking at its cost.
Syntha-6 Cold Stone taste test
I think my opinion of how a supplement tastes doesn’t provide you with much value.
This bugs me a little, since everything I write here on heydayDo is meant to share useful information with you.
Genetic science has proven that there are tens of thousands of variations of taste bud preferences in humans. (5)
Plus…I’ve been eating a very clean, unprocessed diet for many years now, so my taste buds have probably morphed off to somewhere even LESS normal, whatever that means.
Bottom line: You & I could easily have much different flavor preferences and therefore different opinions on how this product tastes.
Okie dokie, lecture over. 😜
How I taste test supplements
For my protein powder taste-testing, I always just mix a scoop of the product with 8 oz. of water in a shaker bottle.
This “bare naked” approach allows me to taste the powder as-is, since fruit, peanut butter, coffee, carrot juice — whatever I toss in the blender — would mask parts of the product’s taste spectrum.
How does Syntha 6 Cold Stone Creamery taste?
(This is the Berry Berry Good flavor, by the way.)
Honestly, I think it sucks.
It mixed easily after a few good shakes, and has a thicker consistency than Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey.
This is because BSN adds a bunch of emulsifiers to this particular Syntha-6 formula in order to thicken it up.
Strong artificial tastes dominate the flavor
But my taste buds think the unique processed & artificial flavor combo in Syntha-6 Cold Stone Creamery is awful.
Its got more weirdness to its taste than just the contributions of sucralose & acesulfame potassium (AKA Ace-K).
Those two artificial sweeteners I’m well-familiar with, since Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard has the Ace-K in it, and other protein powders I’ve drunk like Dymatize & Combat use both of them at the same time too.
As far as Syntha-6 goes, there are a bunch of synthetic candidates who could be contributing to this unpleasant experience my taste buds are dealing with at this moment.
(And I finished drinking it over a half hour ago…that ‘artificial linger’ is always the last flavor to leave the party.)
My guess is that the synthetic taste I’m detecting is coming from Syntha-6’s Natural Flavors and/or Artificial Flavors formulas.
By the way…
In case you didn’t know this already, Natural Flavors are synthetically created in a lab.
They have to have originated from something in nature, but they can then be artificially modified from that point on and still be able to be called a Natural Flavor.
Bottom line on Syntha-6 Cold Stone taste:
Tough for me to drink, strictly from a taste standpoint.
But as we saw earlier, Syntha-6’s Cold Stone Creamery enjoys a solid buyer rating with many people raving about its great taste.
(Remember — all of the different Cold Stone flavors are combined into a single ⭐ rating on places like Amazon, Vitacost, GNC, etc.)
And like I said, no two people’s taste buds are exactly the same. 😉
Related protein powder articles here on heydayDo
I hope that my review article covering Syntha-6’s Cold Stone Creamery protein powder is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.