In any competitive marketplace, there are going to be companies that are in the game only for money. With supplements, that involves taking shortcuts, using inferior ingredients to cut down on costs, and misleading customers. Keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping for protein and find two powders that claim to provide equal benefits, except one costs a fraction of the price. Like any other commodity, you get what you pay for.
Even worse, because of a lack of regulation, it’s not difficult or illegal to pass off a cheap protein as a muscle-building must-have. You can avoid being duped by knowing what to look for in an elite protein source.
SEE ALSO: The Scoop on Protein
“Spiking” is the most common offense among unscrupulous supp vendors. To game the system, they use second-rate fillers to pass any testing process. Since protein content is measured by the amount of nitrogen present, the company will boost nitrogen levels with amino acids, creatine, and arginine. This can slash the grams per dose by more than 50%.
There’s nothing wrong with aminos and creatine—taking a full dose can help shuttle nutrients to your muscles and aid your quest for gains—but as add-ins they don’t do jack for your muscles. Buy those ingredients separately.
To tell if your protein has been spiked, look for a third-party verification seal that confirms the info printed on the label has been vetted by an independent testing lab.
Another way is to figure out the percentage of protein that is actually in the product. To calculate this, divide the grams of protein by the serving size, and multiply that by 100. If the sum falls below 70, keep shopping.
Lastly, trust your gut. If you see a deal on protein that reeks of BS, it probably is. That’s something you’ll never have to encounter if you choose any of these six brands to make your protein shakes.
DID YOU KNOW?
Protein powders are a $4.7 billion-a-year business, according to Euromonitor.