I get asked by clients about supplements a lot. I’m of the belief that supplements are mostly gimmicks that provide little benefit in comparison to eating a balanced diet with proper nutrition. The one supplement I do recommend, however, is protein. But not all proteins are created equal. I recently read an article from the July edition of Tactical Strength and Conditioning Report that stated that “31% of selected protein supplements failed quality testing” (Stavinoha). Forbes magazine also released a report that stated many supplements contain far fewer grams of protein than what is stated on the label. One example claimed to contain 27 g of protein when in fact it only had 12 grams when evaluated by a third party. You can read that article here.
I was surprised to read this! But in fact, supplements and protein powders are not regulated by any government agency in the United States. So how are we to know that the label isn’t lying to us? We need to seek out third party organizations that conduct quality control testing. One such organization is the NSF international. You can search their database here to see if your product has been tested. You can also look for the NSF symbol on your label. For example, the Muscle Milk protein powder I use has the NSF label.
(Also, remember that when it comes to drinking protein powder, you should only drink about 30-40 g in a single serving. Servings with over 40 g will not be digested by your body.)
Stravinoha, Trisha. Pick Your Protein. Tactical Strength and Conditioning Report. 38: 2-4, 2015