The Problem of Amino Spiking


In this day and age you, unfortunately, cannot trust every protein label you read. Over the last five years protein prices have risen quite a bit. With that, somehow companies are keeping the protein costs the same even with the rise in raw materials. For those who are always looking for a great protein deal, do not pull the trigger so fast. Companies are being found of not meeting label claims and "amino spiking" their products. This is an example of using low-grade amino acids (building blocks of protein) to fill their product for a cheaper cost. Doing this means the product you are consuming is not true to its label. Companies have been found to have only 12-13g of protein in their product when the label claims 25-27g per scoop, thus cheating the consumer out of money, and not to mention, flat out lying to them as well.

Adding extra BCAA's helps pad the protein intake at a cheaper cost per serving. Lets also remember BCAA’s have calories per serving just like protein. Each gram of Taurine will equate to 4 calories just like 1g of protein is 4 calories a serving. This is how companies are cutting corners and making their protein retail cheaper than what it should cost if it was meeting label claims. When companies have COA's (certificate of authenticity) ran on their protein powder, it will test the true content of the protein in the product. The FDA does not know because they read the prop blend or long list of ingredients and test for the nitrogen-based bonds in the product. In the FDA's eyes these are still considered protein, so it is not heavily tested.

Spiking has dated back to the early 2010's. Companies such as MuscleTech (Phase 8), Giant Sports, and Inner Armour have all been found guilty of doing so. In the early 2000's protein powder was around 5-7$/pound, now you are lucky to find protein at 10$ a pound if not more. Companies will run promotions for buy one get one free, and the second you see that people usually want to buy. Take a step back, re-evaluate the situation, and first do your research on that product and its label claims. Chances are if you are finding protein at $20 for 2lbs it is either on a very good sale, or there should be a red flag going up in your head. Protein is not a huge moneymaker for companies these days, especially with the current cost of raw materials. Some companies take a loss on producing protein powder due to the net cost on the materials, labels, and tubs to produce it. As a consumer, you need to remember that you get what you pay for!

When looking at a label, what exactly are we looking for? Open labels! A quick way to tell the quality of your protein is by the amino profile. Look for glutamine, taurine, and glycine. There will be some of these Aminos, but the higher the number the lesser the quality is. Looking below at this amino profile found on Key Sports Nutrition's Pro-Iso you can see what a quality profile should look like.

If you are in the market for a quality protein source that is high quality, great in flavor, and versatile, we suggest taking a look at Key Sports Nutrition Pro-ISO. Pro-ISO contains a precise and industry-high 27.8g of Whey Protein Isolate with zero fillers. This equates to an exact 25g of WPI, meeting the 90% threshold to qualify as an actual Isolate. Many protein blends in the industry will only contain 40-50% Isolate.

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