SPIKING SHOULD ONLY HAPPEN IN FOOTBALL AND VOLLEYBALL: HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR PROTEIN IS ACTUALLY PROTEIN AND NOT JUST GARBAGE
If you’ve been living under the impression that all proteins contain what the labels say they do, you’re sorely mistaken. Protein manufacturers are, by and large, less trustworthy than toothless Russians selling handguns in Moscovite back alleys. The problem for them is that there is less margin in protein than there is in gasoline. So they either must cut corners and sell a crappy product, or they must sell an incredible amount of volume. Only large companies with deep pockets can afford to go the volume route.
Which is why companies like Optimum Nutrition can make (generally) affordable proteins that meet their labels claims. Too often, smaller, less-known companies try to compete on price point and must lie on their labels to make a profit. This became even more of an issue when Pepsi bought the rights to sell a crappy knockoff of Muscle Milk in vending machines. Furthermore, the Chinese decided a couple of years later to buy up the majority of the world’s extant protein supply. In some bizarre scheme that is ostensibly intended simply to deny the West the protein we require to continue our domination of the Olympics.
Frankly, I couldn’t give a good goddamn what killed the margins on protein. I have a very deep and personal vendetta against a couple of companies for screwing me by spiking their proteins. I will happily stuff my fist down supplement company owners’ throat for robbing me blind for years. If I ever get the opportunity to meet them face to face it will go down. Are you unaware of the practice of adding nitrogenated amino acids to raise the listed protein content of your favorite protein powder. Here’s the deal- there are a couple of amino acids, namely glycine and taurine, that are used to “spike” protein. According to Scott Welch of Muscle Insider,
“PROTEIN SPIKING IS WHERE A PROTEIN MANUFACTURER ADDS AMINO ACIDS THAT ARE CHEAPER THAN THE BASE PROTEIN POWDER. IT’S ACTUALLY SELLING IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE PRODUCT’S NITROGEN CONTENT. WHEN THIS IS DONE, THE COMPANY IS ABLE TO LOWER THE COST OF GOODS. A BASIC TEST FOR TOTAL NITROGEN IS OFTEN USED TO QUANTIFY THE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN PER SERVING. THIS TEST CAN BE CHEATED BY USING CHEAP AMINO ACIDS TO SPIKE THE NITROGEN CONTENT.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE INCLUSION OF ODD AMINO ACIDS USUALLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH INCREASING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WHOLE PROTEIN ITSELF, AND IT USUALLY MAKES KEY RATIOS SUCH AS BCAA CONTENT GO DOWN, WHICH IS A TOTAL RIP-OFF. IF A PROTEIN POWDER (USUALLY WHEY ISOLATE) IS SO CHEAP AS TO SEEM TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, CHECK TO SEE IF CERTAIN AMINOS SUCH AS TAURINE AND GLYCINE ARE SKY-HIGH. IF THEY ARE, YOU COULD BE USING A PROTEIN THAT’S BEEN SPIKED. ALSO LOOK FOR WHITE SPECKS IN THE PROTEIN POWDER (EASY TO SEE IN CHOCOLATE). THESE SPECKS ARE USUALLY THE AMINO ACIDS THAT WERE ADDED TO THE PROTEIN TO OFFSET THE COST AND RAISE THE PERCEIVED PROTEIN CONTENT”(WELCH).
After news of this sheisty practice broke on the web, one Redditor took it upon himself to use his access to a lab to independently assay proteins to determine how much of their label claims were being met. The results were rather unpleasant, and are available here. Thereafter, a company called Labdoor conducted similar analyses and showed conclusively that there is no direct correlation between quality and price. Crappy, right? One would think that guys who supported lifting would provide products that would do so, but I guess I’m just weird in that I would rather fellate a hot motocycle exhaust pipe with syphilitic blood while letting the rider do a burnout on my groin than have my name associated with a crappy product. Apparently, certain bodybuilding luminaries doesn’t share my opinion because they were quite comfortable with being thieving pieces of garbage… at least until they got caught.
Now, you have a bit more knowledge in your supplement spank bank with which to make your purchases. A good rule of thumb is that if your shaker doesn’t smell like a rotting corpse stuffed with dogcrap and rotten eggs if you leave it unwashed at room temperature for a day, the “protein” you’re using isn’t protein at all.
Go forth and fill thyselves with the protonz. And so, you know, Chaos and Pain have never, and will never pull that sort of nonsense on our fans. We’re her because of you guys, and we will never screw you by selling a bunk product. Cannibal Kraken is 100% drool-inducing delicious, and 100% legit.
Welch, Scott. Protein Spiking. Muscle Insider. Web. 9 Jul 2013. http://muscle-insider.com/content/protein-spiking
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