Amino acids are one of the greatest sports supplements you can ever give to your body.

Whether you’re taking Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) or Essential Amino Acids (EAA), there’s seemingly no limit to the benefits they can give to your body.

  • Improved recovery.
  • More muscle.
  • Burn fat.
  • Low calorie.

They’re a great addition to your training, though it is better to eat whole food protein options or take straight up protein supplements. Sadly, protein has had a rather suspect relationship with these powerful amino acids, which has come in the form of spiking. This is when supplement makers have added amino acids such as arginine or glutamine to your tub of protein, usually to save on costs. It makes your supplement seem as if it’s got more protein, but it’s all false promises, so instead of getting the 30g of complete protein, you just get 20g with the other 10g being made up by amino acids that were added to game the test protocols. Why would they do this? It makes for improved profits, at your expense but it’s also very easy to spot if you use this checklist.


  1.     Is it unusually cheap? 

Deals. Sales. Once off. Profits are still being made so if it raises eyebrows on price then it should be treated as suspect. You will always get precisley what you pay for.

  1.     Do you know the brand’s reputation? 

A pop-up internet store could be some random person in the garage, filling bags with protein and slapping a sticker on it. Just because they’ve got a site that ranks highly in Google and has a few good reviews, doesn’t mean they should be trusted. Go with the brands you’ve heard have good reputations.

  1.     Have you read the label? 

There are some label indicators, which when combined with all the other elements on the list, should be a red flag. If you see big serves of creatine, glycine and taurine, coupled with a cheap price from a weird brand, there’s a chance it’s been spiked.

  1.     Is it third party tested? 

This is the truest metric for protein quality. A company like the Banned Substance Control Group offers third party testing for supplements that can boast their BSCG Certified Quality™  and BSCG Certified GMP™ seals. The former seal verifies that a supplement’s ingredient identity and label claims meet specifications as well as checking for heavy metals, microbiological agents, pesticides, and solvents. The latter onsite audits to verify that manufacturers are in compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). These seals should fill you with a sense of trust.

  1.     Do you understand the ingredient’s list? 

The ingredient description “Proprietary Blend” started out as something brands used so their highly researched ingredient wasn’t copied by their competitors. It hid the truth. Today, it was adopted by supplement makers to shield you from knowing what’s really in your protein tub. It might be okay, but wouldn’t you rather know with certainty what you’re taking.


Don’t take the risk. Ask the right questions and if you aren’t satisfied with even one answer regarding these then, shop elsewhere.