This post was inspired by the recent class action lawsuit of Body Fortress. In their case Body Fortress allegedly employed ‘nitrogen spiking’ in their Body Fortress’ protein shake supplements where they labelled & charged consumer 30 grams of whey protein but you’re instead getting 21.5 grams of protein and 8.5 grams of cheap unbound non anabolic aminos, which is misleading. Consumer who wish to file a lawsuit can contact Oliver Law Group P.C.
Amino acids are understood as the building blocks of protein. The body can manufacture some of these, while others have to be obtained from the diet. Those that the body cannot produce naturally are considered ‘essential’.
Owing to the increased metabolic needs of a bodybuilder, protein needs to be consumed in amounts greater than what the recommended daily allowances are for the typical man or woman. When this protein need can’t be adequately addressed by the diet, there are supplements. Fortunately, there is an abundance of these in the market. Unfortunately, some of them are spiked.
Amino Acid Spiking
This is basically the addition of low-quality, low-cost non-essential amino acids into a protein supplement to elevate its nitrogen (perceived nitrogen content). Doing this helps the manufacturer offset some of those rising costs of production. It is an underhanded trick and one that the entire fitness community frowns upon.
Manufacturers are required to indicate the total protein gram in their product. Technically, adding fillers- such as Glycine, taurine and alanine- helps the product achieve the desired nitrogen content. Analytical testing often seeks to find the nitrogen content of the product. This is thought to represent the available amount of protein. However, the testing does not look into whether the protein is emanating from the best sources or not.
For the end user of the product, these fillers are not very useful. To put this into perspective, you can get a product that promises 25g of protein in every serving. But in reality, your body will only utilize 10g. To derive any benefits from these products, you often have to use more than the recommended servings. It is a total rip-off. Any argument presented in favor of adding these fillers such as ‘sustaining an anabolic state’ is just a marketing gimmick.
Casein is revered because it is a slow-releasing protein. Despite its role in bodybuilding, it should not be included in a whey supplement unless it is expressly marketed a whey-casein supplement.
Finding the Right Protein Supplement
To know if your protein powder is spiked, check the ingredients used in formulating it. The type of protein used is often listed. Ideally, it should have whey concentrate and whey isolate, either individually listed, or mixed with other proteins like egg albumin or casein. If there are singular amino acids listed, this is the red flag that discredits the product.
It is recommended that the below ingredients, although have its own specific benefits individually, and less-expensive substances should not be counted as protein grams.
The following ingredients could indicate possible protein spiking:
Try sticking with the reputable brands in the market to avoid those low-quality products that can delay your progress.
Check out these quality Amino supplements.
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