GNC has been an established retail chain selling health and nutrition related products including vitamins, supplements, minerals, herbs, sports nutrition, diet, and energy products since the 1960’s. They are a combination of corporate-owned and franchised stores all across the world. A local GNC is the most common store that someone new to the fitness world goes to. I know I found myself going to my local GNC and spending hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis building and establishing my supplement stack. What really stuck out to me was the amount of money I found myself spending on a month supply. Are these supplements better than the ones at my local grocery store? Are other supplement companies out there offering quality products for a better price?
Looking at the products offered by GNC, they have a core line of their own supplements they sell. You’ll notice when visiting a store and asking for help, this is where your friendly GNC employee will direct you because they make a commission off these items. Let’s use protein powder as our example to see what GNC offers versus what else is on the market.
GNC Protein Powder
Arguably the most popular GNC supplement is their Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60. That’s quite the catchy name. Without a sale being ran, a three pound tub will run you $54.99 for the original version. $59.99 for the “ripped” version. The three pound tub is the only size available and you get 51 scoops per tub. You do get quite a few flavors to select from such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, and Salted Caramel. It’s been several years since I’ve tried this protein, but I remember the Chocolate flavor being ok.
For each scoop you are consuming 90 calories and have a macro nutrient breakdown of 20 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, and half a gram of fat. The protein sources are made up of Hydrolyzed Whey Protein and Whey Protein Isolate. You also are getting a small dose of L-Carnitine and an Amino Acceleration System which is more of an enzyme matrix for improving digestion of this protein.
Now let’s look at GNC’s mass gainer Pro Performance AMP Amplified Mass XXX. $49.99 for a 13 serving tub that comes in the flavors of Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, and Strawberry. A full serving is four scoops giving you 750 calories, 50 grams protein, 123 grams carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. You also get HMB and Creatine but it’s a prop blend, so you don’t know how much of each you’re getting.
These GNC protein powders do appear to have a solid profile on them but you are paying a hefty amount for each. Easily over a dollar per serving which adds up. What GNC has going for them is a brand name many people know and you are going to pay extra just for that brand name on the tub. To be fair to GNC, they have a rewards program however the high prices mealy come down to barely meeting the competive prices of other high quality proteins available on the market.
What about other retailers and protein powders?
Plenty of other retailers are out there, it’s just a matter of looking. Big grocery stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS offer supplements and protein powders, however looking at the brands and quality, they are marketed towards the general public. These are very basic products, and normally are not high quality. It’s recommended to look at retailers that specialize in sports and nutrition supplements for finding the higher quality and better formulated products. Bodybuilding.com was originally the top place for purchasing supplements online however they have been on a major decline over the last several years of less deals, higher shipping costs, and longer shipping times, and they just dropped a bunch of brands. Variation in product from Bodybuilding.com is the lowest it’s been in several years.
In comparison, Suppz has been on the rise with more and more brands being added and new store locations opening. Suppz began as a gym in the small town of Fennimore, WI. The gym had a small shop which eventually transitioned to an online store that does business in 94 different countries as well as local brick and mortar locations in the state of Wisconsin. High quality products for competitive prices backed by great customer service. A rewards program was recently incorporated to save customers even more. One of the first things that stands out about Suppz is that they will price match any competitor selling the same product for a lower price. Yet one thing you will notice is you won’t find yourself asking them to price match often because the prices are already some of the best on the market. But the big question you may be asking is: what is the quality of the products they sell?
Nutrabio is a company that’s really been changing the supplement industry with the amazing quality and 3rd party testing they use on every batch of product they produce. In the supplement industry, without 3rd party testing verification, you don’t know that what you’re looking at on the supplement label is really in the tub. This 3rd party testing verified every product meets label claims and the customer can feel safe knowing what’s listed on the product is what’s in the tub. Some companies over the past several years have been caught going the cheap route not putting the full dose in the actual product.
Nutrabio offers a whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, micellar casein, and mass gainer protein powders. All of which are produced in a GMP facility and are FDA inspected. Nutrabio’s most popular protein is its Classic Whey which is gluten free, 25 grams a protein per serving of whey protein concentrate and only 130 calories. Available in several delicious tasting flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, Cake Batter, Pina Colada, Cold Brew Cappuccino, and Horchata. In a two pound tub you get 27 servings for $32.99. A five pound tub provides 66 servings for $59.99. Buying in bulk will save you money and you’re paying less than a dollar a serving for one of the highest quality, tested and verified protein powders on the market.
MTS Nutrition another high quality company that has firm belief in 3rd party testing. They offer a wide range of supplements but MTS Machine Whey is arguably the top selling product of the bunch. Formulated with high quality ingredients and produced in a GMP manufactured facility. Machine Whey is packed with 25 grams of protein and moderate carbs and fats to range between 150-170 calories per serving depending on which flavor you purchase. You also get a big dose of leucine, over 5 grams of BCAAs, and immunoglobins and lactoferrins to support immune function.
Two pound tubs come with 23 servings per tub and costs $29.99. Or you can opt for the more cost efficient five pound tub with 67 servings for $54.99. Besides the excellent profile, the biggest draw of customers purchasing Machine Whey are the flavors. Flavors include Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream, Mint Cookies and Cream, Red Velvet Cake, Apple Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana Cream Pie, Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Fluff, Blueberry Muffin, Black Forrest Cake, and Pumpkin Pie. I’ve tried a majority of the flavors and they are all absolutely fantastic!
Other cost efficient and quality options
Besides the two brands and proteins I’ve listed above, you can find plenty of other fantastic quality and tasting protein powders on the market that are very cost effective. I’ve compiled a list of just a few popular proteins and the prices you can find them for at any Suppz location or on the website:
Brand: Dymatize Iso-100
Price: 1.6lbs – $29.99, 3lbs – $49.99, 5lbs – $74.99
Flavors: Gourmet Chocolate, Gourmet Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, Banana, Birthday, Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Fudge Brownie, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Coconut
Description: One of the most popular isolates on the market and for good reason. Only containing 110 calories per serving, 25 grams protein, and no carbs or fats. Backed up by fantastic taste, you are getting exactly what you pay for.
Brand: Nutrakey Whey Optima
Price: 2.4lbs – $28.95, 5lbs – $51.95
Flavors: Chocolate Lava Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream Cookie, Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies and Cream
Description: Quality backed by a quality company, Nutrakey produces a very healthy and clean protein powder with very good flavoring. 120 calories and 23 grams of protein with only 3 grams carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat.
Brand: Purus Labs MyoFeed
Price: 2lbs – $27.95, 4.4lbs – $54.95
Flavors: Chocolate Cookie Crunch, Homemade Vanilla Wafer, Mom’s Strawberry Milkshake, Maple Butter Pancake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla Peanut Butter
Description: Purus Labs prides themselves in releasing products that have been tested, every batch. The first and only brand to incorporate PB2 (a popular powdered peanut butter brand) into the flavoring of their protein. Only 120 calories for 23 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and barely over a gram of fat.
All of these protein powders listed are high quality and clean protein powders backed by fantastic flavoring. Check out the website or any store location and you will find Suppz has plenty of other options that are even more cost effective that may be on a monthly sale. Speak with the employees livechat, or email [email protected], and they can give you information based on personal experience with each one to help you find the protein that fits your diet perfectly and one you will ENJOY the flavor of.
Reviewing everything above, GNC protein compared with all the other proteins considered does have a higher cost to them. All protein powders I’ve mentioned including the GNC protein has an excellent ingredient profile, good taste, and will benefit the user. The biggest difference is the price. When I’m shopping, I do want what’s going to be of most benefit to me. But paying a higher price for the same results as I can get from other protein powders, I’ll opt for a combination of high quality, great taste, and what’s cost efficient so I can use the money saved either on the other supplements I need to re-up on or enjoy some extra money I can spend elsewhere.
The main takeaway I want people to take from this entire article is that paying a higher price for your protein powder does NOT mean it’s better. Paying twice as much for the exact same item does not change the fact the higher priced item is the exact same.