Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Bill Campbell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marcus Kilpatrick, Ph.D.


Amino Acids, Metabolism, Digestion, Whey, Protein Quality


Protein is essential in one's diet because it is an important component in many organs and tissues throughout the body. Athletes ingest protein in order to stimulate protein synthesis and increase lean muscle mass. In order to assist with obtaining adequate amounts of protein, athletes and bodybuilders purchase supplemental protein in the form of protein powders. Protein metabolism and digestion play key roles in this because if the protein is not metabolized or digested effectively, then those who are wishing to gain fat free mass will not be successful. A high quality protein will be digested, metabolized, and directed towards lean tissue accretion more efficiently than a lower quality protein. In order to be a high quality protein, it must contain the essential amino acids. Fortunately, whey protein is a high quality protein because it contains an abundant supply of the essential amino acids.

Whey protein is a high quality protein; hence, many athletes and physically active individuals purchase whey protein supplements. Some individuals do not care about taste and overcome awful protein powder taste, while others value a good tasting whey protein. After extensive research, it appears that scientific taste tests on protein supplements are lacking. The purpose of this study was to test some of the most popular protein supplements (Muscle Milk, BSN, Nesquik Vanilla Milk and Optimum Nutrition) and discover which one tasted the best.

In this study, there were 94 males and 68 females. The results showed that there was a difference in initial taste and after taste in protein supplements among a male and female population. The difference among the drinks was statistically significant. The findings showed that both genders thought BSN and Muscle Milk were close to "neither good nor bad" while Nesquick Milk was rated as "good" and Optimum was "bad." The initial taste ratings were BSN (mean=4.05; SD=1.7), Muscle Milk (mean=4.6; SD=1.8), Nesquick Milk (mean=5.4; SD=1.2), and Optimum Nutrition (mean=3.1; SD=1.6).

This research study showed that there was a statistically significant difference in taste among protein drinks, but the results do not answer as to why that is. Future research would need to be conducted in order to find the answer as to why there is a difference in initial and after taste.