Obviously a protein supplement is a permanent necessity for any athlete, whether pro or weekend warrior. There are countless options out there for your typical protein shake, and it’s been that way for long time now. Myself, I always like to keep things simple – I want a good quality protein that delivers what I need to keep my body fueled and my muscles growing. Taste is important in that it can’t be hard to get down, but is has to be pleasant enough.
For years now I’ve stuck with Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey. Taste is fine, not amazing, but that’s not why I drink it. It has great stats (24 grams protein per scoop, not much sugar, fat, or anything you don’t need). I have it either right away post-workout or once in a while when I need something quick but don’t have the time to stop and eat a meal. Lately though, I’ve been thinking about adding another protein to the rotation in addition. Not for the workhorse role of after-workout refueling, but more for a meal replacement or late-night snack to hold me over until the morning.
So for this, I wanted something decent in the taste department. I had tried a couple good tasting proteins in the past when I was still shopping around, but I had eliminated them because of extra calories from carbs or fat in most cases. But since I was looking to use this for a meal replacement or late night snack, a couple extra calories are no big deal, especially from fat, since having fat (such as peanut butter) for the last meal of the day always helps me sleep a little better at night.
I had tried a tub of BSN’s Syntha-6 over 10 years ago, and I remembered it for being particularly good tasting. I remembered it mixed easily enough and had a great consistency, almost a creaminess that made it much more satisfying to drink over some of the other, cleaner protein options. The only reason I didn’t go with it for my day-to-day was again the fact that it was not quite as clean carbs and fat wise as I would like. But since that wasn’t a necessity for this case, I decided to give it another look.
First thoughts: the bottle/label design had been updated (not surprisingly) since the last time I tried it, but it still had that distinctive BSN look, so it wasn’t hard to find at my local GNC. From one rounded scoop, Syntha-6 offers 22 grams of protein with 6 grams of fat and 14 grams of carbs. Not the cleanest, but far from bad for you. Especially if you’re not having one of these every day. They had a ton of different flavors on display. That’s not very unique nowadays, since every protein seems to come in dozens of flavors. However, they were doing a promotion with Cold Stone Creamery flavors which I found really interesting. In the end I decided to go with chocolate cake batter as a flavor – hard to pass that up.
My 30 Day Review of Syntha-6
Usually on an athletic supplement I’ll do a 30 day review where I take it for 30 days with normal workouts and see if it helps me pack on muscle, burn fat, or whatever it’s designed to do. With a protein though it’s obviously not for that purpose, these shakes are just designed to help supplement your protein intake to give your body the raw materials it needs to recover and repair your muscles after workouts. With that in mind it’s not about any performance gains over 30 days, more like how it tastes, how easy it is to mix, etc. So that’s what I was on the lookout for with this review.
First off, the taste: yeah, for a protein powder, this stuff is incredible. Seriously, if you’re even just looking for a snack and don’t care about protein at all, this stuff will be worth your while. Most of the time I mix my protein with water, especially post workout where I don’t want any extra calories or fuss. With the Syntha-6 though I tried it with water during the day and 1% milk when I mixed up a shake for my late night snack. Either way, the taste is amazing.
It mixes fine with just a spoon, I had no issues there with the water or the milk (which can sometimes be gloppier). The “creaminess” that I liked from when I tried it 10 years ago was still there, which I was really happy about. After being used to my other protein (which I was still using after workouts), the Syntha-6 seemed like an actual dessert. Again, that’s not a knock against the 100% Whey at all. These two proteins are simply designed for different purposes, which I fully appreciate.
Even though I didn’t do a true 30 Day performance review, I still decided to use it for a month before writing this review. I wanted to see if the novelty of the taste would wear off, especially since I’d been used to the other protein. Not to worry, I was still very happy with the taste a full month afterward. The chocolate cake batter is an amazing choice, and I didn’t feel any need to try any others. Still, if you’re not a fan of chocolate they have literally dozens of flavors you can pick from, and I doubt you’d find many that aren’t great.
My Own Recommendations
So at the end of the day, would I recommend this? Based on taste alone, clearly yes. Beyond that, the question becomes what are your goals or priorities in using a protein supplement? For me, it was completely worth it to have 2 different proteins on rotation for different purposes, and I see myself continuing to buy the Syntha-6 for late night snacks and whatnot for the foreseeable future.
The only reason to not recommend this protein is if you are on a very strict diet and absolutely cannot spare the added fats and carbs this blend provides. In that case, you would be better off with the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey, for sure. One very minor complaint would be that out of a 47 gram scoop, you get only 22 grams of protein, so for putting on weight or for the bigger guys out there looking to maintain, you might need to have 2 scoops of this stuff at a time, and then the added fats and carbs may come into play. For that reason, you might not want this for your go-to daily post-workout protein, but rather as a once in a while treat like I went with.