Nitrogen Spiking: Is Your Protein Powder Giving You What You Paid For
Nitrogen Spiking: Is Your Protein Powder Giving You What You Paid For?
The first thing to know is that it’s not just your protein powder that might be giving you what you paid for. There are other factors involved such as the type of protein powder you’re using, how much of it you use, and even whether or not you’re taking supplements like creatine or BCAAs.
If you’ve ever purchased any kind of food product, you’ll know that there are two main types of ingredients – natural and artificial. Natural ingredients come from nature and have been used since time immemorial. They include things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and so forth.
Artificial ingredients are made up primarily of chemicals and sometimes even petroleum products (like gasoline). These can cause all kinds of health problems if consumed in large quantities over long periods of time.
It’s important to note that the FDA does not regulate these synthetic ingredients. Rather they are regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is part of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA is responsible for regulating foods containing artificial additives.
If you’re concerned about nitrates in your protein powders, then you need to make sure those powders aren’t coming from China where they may contain high levels of nitrate.
The term “natural” gets thrown around a lot by supplement manufacturers. If you look at the ingredients the first one or two are almost always some kind of protein source, either from a animal or plant. Sometimes these ingredients are broken down into their component amino acids and directly incorporated into the protein powder, sometimes they’re left “in whole form” and just added to the powder as is.
There are pros and cons to both. If you leave them in whole form, you’re obviously adding more natural ingredients that retain their inherent properties. The downside is you’re also adding more carbos and fat along with the protein, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing except that it drives up the calorie count.
If you break down those whole ingredients into their constituent parts, you can limit the amount of additional carbs and fat. The downside is that this manufacturing process can destroy some of the amino acids, especially the fragile essential ones.
There are many companies that pride themselves on using only the highest quality ingredients in their products. The Nitro-Tech series from Gaspari is one such brand. They use only high quality proteins that are very pure with no other added ingredients.
Sources & references used in this article:
- The hydroxyl radical in lens nuclear cataractogenesis (S Fu, R Dean, M Southan, R Truscott – Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1998 – ASBMB)
- JYM PRO-Muscle Growth, Strength, Energy, Endurance, Recovery (GL a Pro – supplementscanada.com)
- Top Ten Protein Powders (TTP Powders – muscleandcuts.com)