Gainful Flips The Script With Personalized Protein

Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the web’s best products. If you purchase through our links, we may receive a commission. Our editorial team is independent and only endorses products we believe in.

Have you ever done something so patently wrong that you look back on it and can’t help but laugh? My older brother and I were dead set on getting bigger muscles throughout high school and college — because what else were we supposed to focus on? — and we thought the answer was simple: Protein. We’d guzzle Muscle Milk after leaving the gym. We’d blend chalky protein powder with milk and frozen fruit at home. Sometimes we’d even buy Starbucks Iced Mochas (from our local 7/11) to get amped before the gym, and then follow the workout with Lenny and Larry protein bars. 

Not only did none of this have a substantive impact on our body goals (shocking, right?), it was simply ill-informed and expensive. 

I quit the protein + workout game for many years, jaded by a lack of results and intimidated by a complex industry. But recently, a trusted friend suggested a solution that’s restored my confidence because I’m finally seeing results. Enter Gainful. 

Experimenting With Personalization In Protein

Gainful offers personalized subscriptions to protein powders and hydration products. I wasn’t really clear how you bring ‘personalization’ to protein, but Gainful has developed a short quiz — think Stitch Fix, but for fitness, not fashion — that develops a profile for you, and ultimately a custom product too. You’re prompted to share your height, weight, age, gender, activity level, diet, lifestyle, and health goals. For me, I work out consistently (3-5 times a week), I’m a mostly healthy eater (although I am a sucker for big portions) and am seeking more muscle definition than weight loss.

Gainful protein powder costs $39 for 14–28 servings and also includes 14 single-serve Flavor Boosts of your choice. It ships automatically every 3 weeks with a subscription.

When the Gainful products arrived, I was immediately surprised by the quality of the experience. From the packaging, which was adorned with subtle, illustrated icons designed on the box to a helpful, brief pamphlet walking me through the product details — it was all impressive.  This didn’t seem like a start-up that’s only been around since 2018, although they recently announced $7.5M in Series A funding

Most of all, I resonated with this Gainful brand pillar:

The array of products included pre-workout powder, a couple of large bags of unflavored protein powder, and a variety of Flavor Boosts, including rich cocoa, cookies & cream, caffè mocha, madagascar vanilla (easily the best IMO), strawberry cream, and chocolate peanut butter.  (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 BlenderBottle, which I opted for and is super sleek).

Seeing Tangible Results

I started integrating Gainful protein powder into a smoothie right after every workout, whether weight-lifting, pilates or cardio. Prepare yourself for a boujie smoothie: spinach, a medley of frozen berries, a banana, chia and flax seeds, almond milk, and a spoonful of Gainful protein powder. This recipe was my go-to smoothie before Gainful, and it remains my smoothie today. I love how the protein powder is neither heavy nor chalky, seamlessly blending with the other ingredients.  

But what I’m most happy with is that after a few weeks of consistency — a balanced diet + exercise + Gainful — I see my body changing and going in the direction I want.  

All of this made me realize that for so many years I felt hampered by the guesswork of protein solutions. But Gainful has given me clarity. 

But what I’m most happy with is that after a few weeks of consistency — a balanced diet + exercise + Gainful — I see my body changing and going in the direction I want.

The Deets

Despite the subscription rate ($39/month) being slightly higher than other brands, the quality and impact is also higher to justify the premium price point. 

There are various other add-ons that you can order for an extra fee, including the Gainful Pre-Workout powder, which costs $19 for 14 servings. 

The Gainful subscription also includes unlimited access to a registered dietitian, available through Gainful’s website. I haven’t tapped into this resource yet, but plan to. This is yet  another testament to Gainful’s holistic approach to serving their customer; it’s not about immediate impact, rather it’s about long term health and understanding one’s body. That’s a mantra I can stand behind. 

5 More Reasons To Love The Brand: 

  1. The brief quiz that starts the Gainful process isn’t just about attaining basic info -- rather, it makes you be deliberate and intentional about your workout goals, which is the first step to real change.
  2. Gainful has partnered with Pachama, an organization dedicated to restoring nature to solve climate change. By personalizing supplements, Gainful is empowering individuals to attain their goals while supporting forest projects that offset the emissions associated with e-commerce shipping.
  3. The nutritional experts who ensure the quality and impact of Gainful’s products are beyond legit, with experience ranging from supporting the Golden State Warriors to the USA Hockey Team and the Olympics. 
  4. Different bodies, different blends. So many proteins — let alone products in general today — live within a one size fits all scope. But Gainful flips the script and acknowledges that personalized nutrition is impactful because what and how we eat is highly personal, individual, and complicated. Every body is different and responds differently to different combinations of nutrients. 
  5. The founders, Eric Wu and Jahaan Ansari, have been best friends since high school, where they met playing for the school’s soccer team. They never touched supplements until college when they started taking their health and nutrition more seamlessly, and Gainful was born.

Personalize your health and try Gainful for yourself.

No items found.

Shop The Edit

No items found.

Additional Reading

No items found.