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Scott Welch BASc. (Nutrition)

Known in the industry as "The Supplement Genius" Scott Welch has devoted his career studying performance enhancement and weight loss through dietary intervention. He received a bachelor of applied science degree in Nutrition from Ryerson University and later completed a post-graduate certificate in advertising. He’s had countless interactions with leading scientists, doctors, and hundreds of trainers from around the world, giving him a unique perspective that others lack. Welch founded MUSCLE INSIDER in 2009.

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Protein Spiking

Q. What is protein spiking?

A. 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, and 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. Stick with protein powders made by the top brands.