Have you ever wondered why our high quality protein is considerably more expensive than other brands? Well -- it's because not all protein powders are created equal.
In fact, a lot of supplement companies have been doing some pretty shady tactics to make it appear they have more complete protein in their products than what they actually do. (Spiking is just one of them)
High quality protein is expensive... as much as $20 a pound.
Especially for Non-GMO and Natural proteins.
Manufacturers know that they can only pass on the higher costs to the consumer for so long before consumers look for cheaper alternatives. One of the ways they've been able to lower their costs is by "spiking" their powders, ie: making it seem there's more protein in it than there actually is --- and it's a lot more common than you think.
NITROGEN or PROTEIN SPIKING
Nitrogen spiking entails adding low quality and inexpensive non essential amino acids such as Taurine and Glycine into their protein powders. By doing so, they are able claim higher amounts of protein than what is actually inside.
HOW DO THEY GET AWAY WITH IT?
It's simple, protein content is determined by measuring nitrogen, but since all amino acids contain nitrogen, tests are unable to differentiate between complete proteins and amino acids. Thus the FDA's loose definition of protein qualifies the nitrogen-based bond to be classified as a protein to the FDA.
And of course - complete proteins are made up of the 9 essential amino acids that cannot be produced by your body and are needed to build muscle. So what you are effectively purchasing is a bunch of fluff.
HAS ANYTHING BEEN DONE?
Several companies have been hit with class action lawsuits for faulty label claims and according to some reports, the actual protein counts were less than half of what was claimed on the label! But the effectiveness of these lawsuits is not apparent and will take some time. As is the case in a lot of things, money wins, and large supplement companies have been battling it out the in the courts claiming a "misunderstanding" of the laws.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Check your labels and only purchase from brands that you trust. Ensure that there is no Taurine, Glycine or other additives in your protein powder. Unless they specifically state it, it shouldn't be in there, and especially not if they're selling it as a straight protein powder.