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With so many supplements on the market, finding the right protein powder for you can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure where to start.
Gainful is an innovative service that creates a protein powder blend formulated specifically for your needs.
It’s particularly popular among consumers who are looking to increase their protein intake. It’s simple, convenient, and completely customizable.
This article reviews Gainful, including how it works and who should try it.
Gainful is a subscription service that provides protein powder and other sports-focused supplements specifically tailored to fit your needs. In addition to custom protein powder, it offers personalized electrolyte and pre-workout supplements as well as fiber, collagen, and creatine supplements.
The service is generally targeted toward active people and people trying to lose weight, but anyone can use the products. Vegan and keto options are available, and all the products are gluten-free.
Gainful is a subscription service. When you order, you will be automatically signed up for recurring shipments. The subscription includes access to a registered dietitian for advice on nutrition, fitness, and your Gainful supplements.
Your protein blends and order frequency are based on the information you provide when you sign up. However, you can easily change your blend at any time and pause, cancel, or change the frequency of your subscription directly on the website.
When you sign up, Gainful prompts you to take a short quiz, which asks about your height, weight, age, gender, activity level, diet, lifestyle, and health goals.
Gainful then uses this information to suggest a personalized blend that’s formulated just for you.
Your custom protein powder contains 14–28 servings, depending on how many scoops you use, and ships automatically on a schedule that’s based on how quickly Gainful expects you to finish a bag.
Gainful’s personalized protein powders may be made from a number of protein sources, depending on your dietary needs and quiz answers. The options are whey, whey concentrate, whey isolate, micellar casein, organic brown rice protein, and organic pea protein.
The protein powders are unflavored, but you can use Gainful’s “Flavor Boosts” to customize your protein shake.
When creating your blend, you can select from the following Flavor Boosts:
- Rich Chocolate
- Cookies & Cream
- Caffè Mocha
- Madagascar Vanilla
- Strawberry Cream
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Matcha Green Tea
- Cinnamon Toast
- Sea Salt Caramel
You can also choose whether you would like to purchase any optional add-ons for an extra fee, such as pre-workout powder or the Gainful Blender Bottle.
My protein powder and the quiz
You have to complete Gainful’s quiz to get your custom protein, electrolyte, and pre-workout formulas. It’s very simple and took me only about 5 minutes. The quiz asked questions about my diet, exercise, sleep, and health goals, as well as my height and weight.
The answers to this quiz provide all the information Gainful needs to create your personalized protein blend.
My blend was a keto-friendly protein powder made with whey protein isolate and MCT oil that provided 140 calories and 19 grams of protein per scoop. When I tweaked my quiz answers, I noticed changes in the calorie content, protein content, and ingredients.
From what I can tell, Gainful offers three main types of protein (that may have varying calorie and protein levels and ingredients, depending on quiz answers):
- Standard: made with whey concentrate, whey protein isolate, and/or micellar casein
- Keto: made with whey concentrate, whey protein isolate, and/or micellar casein, with MCT oil
- Plant-based: made with pea protein and/or brown rice protein
Gainful uses only high quality ingredients in its products and sources ingredients from manufacturers that provide a certificate of analysis — a document that contains detailed information about the quality and safety of ingredients.
All Gainful protein powders are unsweetened, unflavored, and made without any artificial colors, fillers, thickening agents, or preservatives.
Gainful’s plant-based protein ingredients are all vegan, organic, and free of GMOs.
The Flavor Boosts are made using natural flavors and sweetened with organic stevia leaf extract or organic monk fruit extract.
They also contain maltodextrin, which can help with muscle building but may affect blood sugar levels (
Gainful protein powders can be customized to fit your needs and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dietary patterns.
For example, plant-based protein powders made from organic rice protein and organic pea protein are available for vegans and vegetarians.
There are also low carb varieties for those following a ketogenic diet. These contain MCT oil for an added dose of healthy fats.
When completing the quiz, you can select other dietary restrictions or allergies, such as:
- lactose intolerance
- gluten allergy
- soy allergy
- dairy/whey allergy
- peanut allergy
Keep in mind that although Gainful protein powder blends are free of allergens like soy, wheat, nuts, shellfish, fish, and eggs, they’re manufactured in a facility that processes these ingredients, so they may be unsuitable for people with severe food allergies.
Some research suggests that increasing your protein intake may aid weight loss (
In fact, a 2021 review that included 37 studies found that higher protein diets were more effective for reducing body weight than lower protein diets (
Protein may also affect levels of several hormones that influence hunger and appetite to enhance feelings of fullness, including ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), and peptide YY (
What’s more, some studies suggest that protein may help maintain lean body mass after weight loss and boost your metabolism to increase the number of calories that your body burns during the day (
These benefits come from protein in general, so eating foods rich in protein is just as beneficial as adding protein powders to your diet.
Gainful protein powder costs $45 for 14 servings and comes with 14 single-serving Flavor Boosts of your choice.
Your subscription also includes unlimited access to a registered dietitian, whom you can contact with questions through the Gainful website.
You can also order add-ons for an extra fee, including:
- Personalized Hydration: $30 for 21 servings
- Personalized Pre-Workout: $26 for 14 servings
- Fiber, Collagen, or Creatine Performance Boosts: $22+ for 14–28 servings
Shipping is free for orders over $60 and costs $5.99 for smaller orders.
Gainful delivers to all 50 U.S. states and to Canada. Although shipment frequency is based on your initial quiz answers, you can contact customer service any time to change how often you receive refill orders.
To cancel or skip a delivery, you’ll need to edit the order before the billing date. You can find this information on the Gainful website when you’re logged into your account.
Gainful’s protein powders arrive in resealable bags, and the Personalized Hydration electrolyte powders and Flavor Boosts come in single-serving packets. These bags and packets are not recyclable, but all the other packaging is recyclable.
Gainful also partners with Pachama, a company that helps address deforestation by funding conservation projects. Gainful’s Sustainability page shares how many metric tons of CO2 the company has compensated for through the Pachama partnership.
As I mentioned above, all Gainful protein powders are unflavored, and you can mix in your choice of Flavor Boost for a custom protein shake tailored to your taste buds.
However, if you prefer, you can sweeten your protein powder at home using your favorite ingredients.
Honey, berries, bananas, maple syrup, cocoa powder, peanut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon are all excellent options to add a boost of flavor to your drink.
The keto protein powder I received smelled a bit like coconut because of the added MCT oil, but I could not taste coconut once it was mixed. Prepared with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor Boost, the shake tasted like chocolate milk.
I was really impressed with Gainful. The custom protein blends make it really easy to shop for a protein powder that suits your needs, which can be very helpful for people who are new to using protein powder.
Gainful also serves as a kind of one-stop shop for high quality sport and wellness supplements, since it also offers electrolytes, pre-workout, fiber, creatine, and collagen.
However, I think the biggest draw of Gainful is that subscribing gives you one-on-one access to a registered dietitian nutritionist who can provide advice about your nutrition and training.
Still, Gainful is very expensive compared with most other protein powders.
I think it’s a great fit for people who are new to fitness, want dietitian advice, or are willing to pay for the convenience of the service. But more budget-friendly alternatives are available if you just need a good protein powder.
Personally, I would probably go back to Gainful if I became more serious about my training. For right now, I’m happy to stick with less expensive, non-personalized protein powders.
Very few services aside from Gainful offer personalized protein powders. Here’s a quick look:
- True Nutrition allows you to create a protein powder blend by selecting from a variety of protein sources, carbs, fats, and flavorings. While this may be more cost-effective, it can be challenging for those who are not sure which ingredients are right for them.
- Optimum Nutrition is a well-known sports supplement brand that offers affordable, highly rated protein powders. It also offers a good assortment of protein types (whey, casein, and plant-based) and several flavors. Optimum Nutrition may be a good fit if you’re on a budget or if you’re new to protein powder. However, the products are made with more processed ingredients (such as artificial sweeteners) than Gainful’s products.
- Naked Nutrition is the closest competitor when it comes to quality and ingredients. Naked Whey contains only grass-fed whey concentrate, and the brand offers single-ingredient vegan proteins as well. Additionally, the products are Informed Sport-certified, which means they’re free of ingredients that are banned for competitive athletes.
Alternatively, once you know what you’re looking for in a protein powder, you can simply purchase similar products online or from your favorite health foods store.
Gainful is a great option for those who are interested in adding protein powder to their routine but are unsure where to start.
With its flexible subscription plan, it’s also ideal for people who prefer to have their protein powder shipped directly to them, without the hassle of reordering every few weeks.
Because Gainful offers so many options, it may be a good choice for people who have specific dietary restrictions and may have difficulty finding a product that fits their needs.
However, because it’s pricier than other protein powders, it may not be the best option for long-term use for those on a tight budget.
What type of protein is Gainful?
Gainful uses several types of protein to create its custom protein blends. Depending on your answers to Gainful’s quiz, your protein powder may contain pea protein, brown rice protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, or micellar casein.
How much is Gainful per month?
The protein powder costs $45 per month, and other supplements from Gainful start at $20 per month.
Is Gainful good for muscle gain?
Yes — research shows that supplementing with protein after strength training can promote muscle growth. However, other protein powders offer this benefit as well.
Is Gainful really worth it?
It depends. If you’re just looking for a protein powder, you can probably find a less expensive option that is suitable for your dietary needs. However, Gainful is unique because it offers customized formulas and one-on-one dietitian consults for subscribers.
Is there creatine in Gainful protein?
No, but Gainful does sell a creatine supplement that you can add to your protein shakes.
Who owns Gainful protein?
Gainful was founded by Eric Wu and Jahaan Ansari.
Gainful is a subscription service that provides personalized protein powder blends based on your specific needs. The brand also offers other supplements, such as electrolytes, creatine, and pre-workout.
After you complete a quick and easy quiz about your diet, lifestyle, and health goals, Gainful takes the guesswork out of shopping for supplements by creating a formula just for you. Additionally, as a subscriber, you have access to advice from a registered dietitian nutritionist.
With many options and ingredients available, Gainful protein powders can fit into nearly any diet and can be an easy and delicious way to ramp up your protein intake.