Abuse of amino acids/ Amino Spiking
If you have been researching various topics in the fitness industry for a while, you will come across the terms amino spiking or nitrogen spiking again and again. But what is this amino spiking?
Amino spiking is the enrichment of protein with cheaper amino acids such as glycine and taurine or with glutamine and creatine in order to increase the calculated protein content and thus simulate a better quality of the product. In laboratories (also cGMP certified) these amino acids are recognized as protein due to the nitrogen binding and also referred to as protein. However, these proteins are not food proteins. The usability in the human body differs significantly from a food protein and is not conducive to muscle protein synthesis. Some manufacturers are said to have exaggerated spiking to such an extent that the expected 30g protein was mixed with 15g fillers from the amino acids mentioned.
How is Amino-spiking possible?
On one hand, depending on the infrastructure, salaries and additional costs as well as the size of the company, significantly lower purchase prices of the raw material can be achieved. On the other hand, it is noticeable that various amino acids have higher values than would be expected in a whey protein.
How can I tell if my Protein has been amino-spiked?
The easiest way to recognize an amino spiking is to take a look at the list of ingredients. The first ingredient should of course be the protein (whey concentrate, whey isolate, whey protein etc.).
Next, take a look at the amino acids listed individually. The amino acids glycine and taurine are most commonly used for amino spiking. Since these two amino acids are already naturally contained in protein, it is not easy to tell whether there is an amino spiking. However, as soon as taurine, glycine, glutamine peptides or glutamine are mentioned extra for a protein in the ingredients, one can assume the amino spiking. If these ingredients (amino acids) are not added to the protein, they would simply be listed as “protein”.
For products with the specified amino acids listed separately, you should consider whether the specified amounts are acceptable. In case of doubt, we recommend using a different product.
In order to be able to estimate whether the blended amount of amino acids is acceptable, we have listed the estimated amino acid values for a protein here. These values can be subject to natural fluctuations, but should not have significantly increased values (+/- 200mg):
|Amino Acid||Contained in 100g|
Why are we being fooled?
Very simple, short and sweet. Because the manufacturers want to maximize their profit and at the same time want to bring a competitive product to the market.
Due to the relatively low price of the amino acids in the market, it can be clearly seen why a protein is predominantly stretched with glycine and taurine. These amino acids are significantly cheaper and, above all, they are cheaper than the protein itself.
But arginine and creatine are also used to make the protein content appear higher than it actually is. In our opinion, creatine has no place in a protein. In our opinion, creatine should be taken as a single dose.