Whey protein shakes were quite expensive en relatively hard to come by in Thailand, in the past. With Thailand experiencing an upcoming fitness craze, the time seems right to re-evaluate. Personally, I have not come across a sports supplement store that carries a wide range of quality mainstream products or stays around for a long time. Two weeks ago Pattaya Pro Nutrition was being cleared out, so I’ve given up on bricks-and-mortar shops. Buying in European or American online stores would take a long time, import taxes could be levied and your product might get tangled-up in red tape. Three local online stores seem to be very popular and ship across Thailand. Let’s compare them, based on one of the internationally best-selling shakes: Optimum Nutrition’s 5-pound Gold Standard Whey. As a reference: in Europe this product sells for € 49.90, in the US for $ 57.99.
- Phuket Health Shop: THB 2,499 (+THB 150 shipping) = THB 2,599 (€ 67.42 / $ 73.195)*
- Muscle Food Shop: THB 2,350 (€ 60.91 / $ 66.18)
- Fit Whey: THB 2,299 (€ 59.35 / $ 64.50)
*: free shipping over THB 2,500
All three shops offer payment by bank transfer. If you don’t have a local bank account this is not an option, as a transfer would add a considerable cost to your purchase. This immediately rules out the Muscle Food Shop, as it is the only available payment option.
Phuket Health Shop and Fit Whey both offer Credit Card payment, which I prefer to rule out as well. These are regional sites and any problem with your credit card might become a pain in the behind, not being at home.
Phuket Health Shop offers Paypal Payment, which is quite secure and a viable option.
Fit Whey offers two safe options as well: payment by ATM (which I am not sure works with foreign credit cards) and Counter Services. At the end of the ordering process, Counter Services gives you a barcode that is to be used to go pay in cash at your nearest 7eleven. An extra 15 baht is added to your bill at the store to pay for rhis service, but that won’t exactly break the bank.
With the lowest prices and the safest payment option FitWhey clearly is the obvious winner.
Will give them a go and keep you posted.
Update: The whey protein arrived in two days, together with a complimentary shaker cup. I would recommend using fitwhey.com.