The amount of protein in a supplement can be verified by adding the quantities of naturally occurring amino acids. These quantities are usually mentioned on the amino acid profile on the brand label. The value of protein can be falsely inflated using a process called Amino Spiking which we shall discuss below.
Why the confusion occurs?
The real trouble starts when these quantities don’t add up to the value of protein mentioned on the label. Let’s understand this abnormality with an example.
Example #1: Dymatize ISO100
The above table is for Dymatize ISO 100 and has been sourced from the official UK website. We have selected the Fudge Brownie flavor for our calculation purpose. You can check the details by visiting here:
Labeling norms in the UK are much more stringent as compared to the US, and they require full amino acid profile disclosure.
Now let’s calculate the actual protein content by adding the quantities of all the naturally occurring amino acids in the list. For the sake of simplicity, we have converted the values present in mg (milligram) to g (gram).
Upon addition, we get a total of 24.826g, which is matching with the value claimed by the brand, i.e., 25g. Also, the sum of BCAA’s, i.e., Leucine (2.6g), Isoleucine (1.5g), and Valine (1.4g) equals 5.5g, which is almost the same as mentioned on the front label, i.e., 5.6g.
Example #2: Unknown Brand
Now let’s consider the following brand. Please note that we do not intend to malign their reputation, which is why we won’t be disclosing the brand name.
Unlike Dymatize can clearly see that the brand has not mentioned whether the Amino Acid profile is naturally occurring or not. Also, the brand has mentioned branched-chain amino acids as a separate ingredient despite Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine being already mentioned on the list.
Regardless, let’s calculate the actual protein content by adding the quantities of all the amino acids in the list.
Upon addition, we are getting a total of 15.54g, excluding the quantity of BCAA’s (5.51g) and Glutamic Acid (4.38g). Now, this doesn’t make sense since the brand has already mentioned 25g on the main label.
Let’s take a look at the front label. It mentions 25g Protein, 5.5g BCAA’s, and 4.38g Glutamic Acid.
Now, if we add the BCAA’s (5.5g) and Glutamic Acid (4.38g) to our previous total (15.54g) we get a new total of 25.42g. This value matches the amount of protein mentioned on the front label.
Technically the label is correct, but quality-wise you are only getting 15.54g of actual protein from the product. The extra BCAA’s and Glutamic Acid are just cheap, low-quality fillers that have been used to falsely increase the nitrogen content. These fillers are not nearly as effective as naturally occurring amino acids when it comes to muscle building.
Most of the Labs use Kjeldahls Test to determine the amount of nitrogen present in the supplement. Using the value of nitrogen the amount of protein present in the product is estimated. This method is outdated and technically anyone can add cheap nitrogen-rich fillers like animal-derived BCAA’s from China or Glutamine to increase the amount of protein and still pass the test.
So, this brand actually contains 15.54g of protein which has been spiked to 25g using free-form BCAA’s and Glutamic Acid. Both these ingredients are available for cheap and have been added to falsely increase the protein content.
This practice is rampant in the supplement industry and is being actively used to keep costs low. Therefore, you should always avoid choosing dirt-cheap local brands since you are more likely to get cheated.
If you are confused about your product’s protein content, then please feel free to contact us via WhatsApp. We will verify it for you.
This article is an eye-0pener.Thanks for this information and I hope this reaches many protein drinkers like me.