You’ve bought a protein product. On the label, it says “75 grams of protein per 100 grams of product”. As we’ve seen already, that may not necessarily be the case. But it gets worse…

Not only do many protein supplements FAIL to meet their label claims, the quality of the protein is often spurious to say the least due to a practice that’s known as ‘amino-spiking’.

What is Amino-Spiking?

Amino-spiking is what some companies use to dupe nitrogen tests into giving misleading results.

When you test a protein product, you send it to a lab to perform a Nitrogen Content Test (NCT). Because protein has a nitrogen-based bond, it shows the quantity on a nitrogen test alongside their free form amino acid content. Amino-spiking allows companies to manipulate the content of these tests. Let us explain…

When creating a protein formula, companies will willingly ‘spike’ their protein product with additional CHEAP free form amino acids to inflate the reading. Common amino acids used in this method include glycine, arginine, and taurine, as they’re cheap fillers that can pad out the overall protein content. Sprinkle some of this pixie dust into your formula and volar, you can increase the protein ‘content’ by about 5 grams per scoop if you’re bold enough.

WHY do companies do this?

Simple. They want to fool lab tests while increasing their profit margins.

As a disclaimer: “fortifying” the product with free form BCAAs or Glutamine is different to amino-spiking, which is the manipulation of protein content by using cheaper, filler-based amino acids that don’t contribute as much to muscular development, recovery and protein synthesis.

You can Google many of the products caught following this malpractice. Unfortunately, naming them directly often results in heavy legal implications, so we’re going to avoid that. The big dogs always come after the guys with integrity, seeking to punish them for challenging their status quo…

As always, quality labels of assurances, a history of in-house manufacturing, and a willingness to test their protein formulas at any given time represent the sign of a trustworthy company. We’re happy to say we meet all these criteria, but it’s sad that we could probably name on one hand the others that do too in the industry…