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Protein Supplements: Don't Get Fooled

Protein supplements are more popular than ever. However, one of the most important considerations when purchasing a protein supplements is whether you are getting what you think you getting based on the information on the label. For instance, if a product lists 25 grams of protein in the Nutrition Facts but the Ingredient list includes amino acids like taurine and glycine or amino acid-derived nutrients like creatine and betaine, you might want to go deep on understanding why and whether this is impacting the protein claim. That’s because these lower cost ingredients might be intentionally added to raise the product’s nitrogen content, which in turn is used to determine the protein content of the product by way of a conversion factor. Based on this system it is easy to see that an opportunity exists for some products to list more protein on the label than what is actually in the formula by adding less expensive, non-protein ingredients. This practice, which has been referred to as “amino spiking” or “nitrogen spiking”, keeps grams of protein per serving higher and the product pricetag lower. Consumers have to read protein supplement labels closely to ensure they are getting the amount of real protein that is listed in the Nutrition Facts panel. If you are unsure, just use the contact information on the label and reach out to the brand to get your questions answered.

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