All Whey Protein in Costa Rica Rated by Laboratory Testing – The Results Will Surprise You

Most sports and fitness experts already know that all evidence points to the fact that whey protein is the most beneficial protein out of all protein classes.  However, as you also may already know, not all whey protein is created equal.  There are several factors to consider when selecting the best protein for your fitness needs.  If you are interested in the best protein in Costa Rica, at the best price, then you need this information.

This is the most important whey protein article you will ever read!

The protein supplement industry is filled with hype, pretty labels, false claims, deceptive and questionable ingredients.  Many of these products are found in Costa Rica.  The next time you purchase protein, be armed with the data and information you need to support your fitness and health goals.

In this article we will reveal the following:

  • How is the quality of whey protein determined?Protein Test
  • How does the brands of whey protein available in Costa Rica rate in quality?
  • Who has the best and worst whey protein in Costa Rica?  We review 22 brands compared to independent laboratory testing.

How is the quality of whey protein determined?

Concentration of Bound Protein -> “Concentration of bound protein” is the percentage of the product that is actually protein (e.g. not free amino acids).   Quality protein contains more bound protein.  You want real bound protein to build and sustain muscle.

Amino Acid Spiking -> Some whey protein brands add amino acids to their whey protein.  This allows them to claim higher protein levels on their label.  However, this practice is deceptive to the consumer.   Adding amino acids will spike protein content in standard laboratory tests but add little nutritional benefit.  Over 52% of whey products products in the United States recorded measurable amounts of free-form amino acids which means that many whey protein products do not actually contain all of the protein they claim on their label.  Only technical laboratory tests can discern the difference.  You do not want amino acid spiking.  You want real bound protein, not deceptive and inflated label claims.

Sodium Levels -> Sodium causes water retention and the fake appearance of muscle gains.  Some brands of whey protein actually contain more sodium than stated on the label.  This is done intentionally, to make it appear as though you are growing muscle quickly with their product, but instead, you are simply retaining water.  Actual sodium content has been found to be 70.4% higher on average vs. Supplement Facts label claims.  You want whey protein containing as little of sodium as possible.

Artificial Chemicals -> Most brands of whey protein contain artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners or artificial coloring.  Many of these man-made chemicals are currently under investigation for causing cancer and other diseases when used over the long term.  Because whey protein drinks are often used daily or even multiple times a day, this should be of high concern.  You want protein with all natural ingredients, not controversial and potentially dangerous chemicals.

Heavy Metals Testing ->  There is always a risk that any supplement could contain harmful heavy metals.  All protein powders tested passed heavy metals screens for arsenic, lead, cadmium, bismuth, antimony, and silver (below 1 part per million).

How does whey protein in Costa Rica Rate in quality?

Protein Powder ScoopThis is what you really want to know, right?  Fortunately the answer is available for all of the world to see.  There exists an independent company that rates the top selling supplements in the United States, and they have published a whole section dedicated to protein. (see Labdoor)

We will take the most common brands of whey protein in Costa Rica and compare them to actual independent lab tests.

  1. We will compare the percentage of bound protein.
  2. We will show which brands artificially spike their protein.
  3. We will show which brands contain more sodium than their label states.
  4. We will show which brands contain controversial chemicals.

This is where it becomes interesting.  Here are the results from the independent laboratory testing for the top 22 whey protein powders in Costa Rica.

BSN True-MassBSN True Mass -> Rank #77: BSN is a horrible whey protein manufacturer.  This product actually takes the title of achieving last place in all protein independently surveyed in the United States by Labdoor.  BSN protein products and other similar poor grade proteins are marketed by companies such as Good Life and Boutique el Gimnasio in Costa Rica.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #77
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 26.5%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 774.5mg/serving, 93.6% over its 400mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.14g of the free amino acid asparagine (per 100g). This value indicates a concern of amino acid spiking.

GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Mass XXXAmplified Mass -> Rank #73:  Also at the bottom of the list is a popular whey protein offered by GNC.  GNC stores are common throughout Costa Rica.  This protein contains extremely high sodium, nearly non-extent bound protein levels, and controversial chemicals.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #73
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 26.6%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 789.9mg/serving, 75.5% over its 450mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.31g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 0.2g of arginine. These values indicate a concern of amino acid spiking.

Optimum Serious MassSerious Mass -> #71: Optimum Nutrition is often understood to offer high quality protein.  In this case, laboratory testing confirms otherwise.  This can be purchased at GNC stores.  The sodium levels of this protein are absurd, and the bound protein levels are nearly non-existent.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #71
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 16.3%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 907.4mg/serving, 111% over its 430mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.06g of the free amino acid glycine (per 100g). This value indicates a concern of amino acid spiking.

4 Dimension Nutrition Whey PhaseWhey Phase -> #68: Another protein that no serious athlete or bodybuilder should ever consume is Whey Phase by 4 Dimension Nutrition.  This poor quality protein can also be found at companies such as Good Life in Costa Rica.  This protein has been caught with amino acid spiking and extremely low bound protein levels.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #68
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 25.9%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Sodium content was measured at 137.2 mg/serving, 96% over its 70mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 34.1g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 16.4g of histidine. These values indicate a high concern of amino acid spiking.

Universal Nutrition Real GainsUniversal Real Gains -> #66:  While there is no evidence of amino acid spiking in this protein, the sodium levels are extremely high and the percentage of actual bound protein is very low.  This low quality protein can be found a stores such as Boutique el Gimnasio.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #66
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 33.5%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 480.4mg/serving, 113.5% over its 225mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> There existed no evidence of amino acid spiking in this product.

MHP Up Your MassMHP -> #63: This protein has one of the highest sodium levels in all proteins in Costa Rica.  The percentage of bound protein is at nearly worthless levels, and the product contains a couple controversial chemicals that are still under investigation for long term safety.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #63
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 32.1%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 1031.8mg/serving, 110.6% over its 490mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.01g of the free amino acid tyrosine (per 100g). This value indicates a low concern of amino acid spiking.

BSN Syntha-6Syntha 6 -> #59:  This is another BSN protein product that does not rate much better than the one found in last place.  This product is promoted by companies such as Good Life and Boutique el Gimnasio.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #63
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 43.3%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 340.9mg/serving, 79.4% over its 190mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> Total protein was measured at 43.3g per 100g of product. A 47g serving will yield 20.4g protein, which is 7.4% below its label claim.

MuscleTech Phase8Phase8 -> #55:  Muscletech products are mostly hype.  This particular protein contains two controversial chemicals and has been caught spiking its ingredients with amino acids to create false value in protein levels.  Goodlife and Boutique el Gimnasio shamelessly promote these products as though they are high quality.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #55
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 59.3%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 276mg/serving, 130% over its 120mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 3.23 of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 3.22g of alanine. These values indicate a high concern of amino acid spiking.

BSN Syntha-6 IsolateSyntha 6 Isolate -> #50:  This protein powder by product by BSN was apparently the best quality this company could accomplish, which is not much.  It still contains two controversial chemicals, and even worse, they again were caught spiking their protein with amino acids.  The bound protein levels are still low compared to higher quality proteins.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #50
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 67%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 253.1mg/serving, 33.2% over its 190mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.2g of the free amino acid asparagine (per 100g). This value indicates a low concern of amino acid spiking.

Twinlab 100% Whey Protein FuelTwinlab Whey Fuel -> #49:  Twinlab products are offered by Boutique el Gimnasio.  This particular protein intentinally spikes its ingredients with amino acids, which cheats the customer.  The bound protein levels are not even close to acceptable.  This product also contains acesulfame potassium, which is a controversial sweetener.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #49
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 58.8%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 136mg/serving, 36% over its 100mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 6.44g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 4.22g of taurine. These values indicate a high concern of amino acid spiking.

MuscleTech NITRO-TECHNitroTech -> #48: NitroTech is rather popular in Costa Rica.  This could only be because of marketing, not because it is a quality protein product.  Companies such as Goodlife and Boutique el Gimnasio offer NitroTech.  The bound protein levels are low.  It contains acesulfame potassium.  Even worse, this product also spikes the protein with amino acids, yielding false protein levels.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #48
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 57.8%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 291.7mg/serving, 82.3% over its 160mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 5.49g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 2.74g of alanine. These values indicate a high concern of amino acid spiking.

Herbalife 24 Rebuild StrengthRebuild Strength -> #41:  We have to praise Herbalife for being one of the very few proteins in Costa Rica that does not contain controversial chemicals.  This product is safer than most for long term use.  Unfortunately, this product is also too expensive.  In addition, it has no right to be expensive as the bound protein levels are one of the lowest for any protein powder, and they also spike their protein with amino acids.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #48
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 49%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> None
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 247.4mg/serving, 30.2% over its 190mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.37g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 0.25g of glutamine. These values indicate a moderate concern of amino acid spiking.

MusclePharm Combat PowderCombat Protein Powder -> #40:  This product has low bound protein levels, which highlights its low quality.  Unfortunately, like many other protein products in Costa Rica, it also contains acesulfame potassium.  The sodium levels are still rather high, and this company has been caught spiking its protein with amino acids.  This product can be found at stores such as Boutique el Gimnasio.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #40
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 66.6%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 253.4mg/serving, 68.9% over its 150mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.28g of the free amino acid alanine (per 100g). This value indicates a moderate concern of amino acid spiking.

MusclePharm Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Whey ProteinArnold Iron Whey -> #39:  You would think that because this product is branded by Arnold Schwarzenegger that it would be a higher quality protein.  Sadly, it is not.  This product has a low bound protein percentage, two controversial chemicals, and has been caught spiking its protein with amino acids.  Boutique el Gimnasio carries this product.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #39
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 63.7%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 128mg/serving, 20% below its 160mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.7g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 0.48g of glycine. These values indicate a moderate concern of amino acid spiking.

GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified 100% Whey ProteinGNC AMP Whey -> #38:  This is one of the better GNC protein products, but it is still rated as mediocre.  It has a higher bound protein than any product we have already reviewed in this article, however it still contains two controversial chemicals and high sodium.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #38
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 78.5%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Titanium Dioxide
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 280.1mg/serving, 21.8% over its 230mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.16g of the free amino acid asparagine (per 100g). This value indicates a low concern of amino acid spiking.

Dymatize Elite Whey Protein IsolateElite Whey -> 37:  While the sodium levels in this product are better than most, the bound protein levels are substandard.  It contains two controversial chemicals.  The most surprising, yet disturbing discovery about the laboratory findings of this protein is that its actual protein is 14.4% lower than its label claims.  That should never be considered acceptable.  Companies such as Goodlife market and promote this mediocre brand.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #37
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 61.8%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 111.8mg/serving, 123.6% over its 50mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> Total protein was measured at 61.8g per 100g of product. A 33.35g serving will yield 20.6g protein, 14.2% below its label claim.

EAS 100% Whey ProteinEAS Whey -> #36:  This this protein did not have such high sodium levels or any controversial chemicals, it would have achieved a higher score.  It is not a horrible protein, as its bound protein levels are very respectable.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #36
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 77.5%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 208.3mg/serving, 38.9% over its 150mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> There existed no evidence of amino acid spiking in this product.

GNC Pro Performance AMP Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60GNC AMP Extreme -> #35:  This protein also contains two controversial chemicals.  While the bound protein levels are reasonable, the sodium content is rather high and the actual protein content is below its label claims.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #35
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 74.1%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 281.7mg/serving, 19.5% below its 350mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> Total protein was measured at 74.1g per 100g of product. A 79g serving will yield 58.5g protein, 2.5% below its label claim.

Vitamin Shoppe BodyTech Whey Tech Pro 24BodyTech -> #34:  This protein product is offered by VitaShoppe, which is a new supplement store in Costa Rica.  The bound protein levels are respectable, however it still contains two controversial chemicals for long term use.  The sodium content is better than most, but still too high by about double the amount.  The most unfortunate discovery about this protein is that the actual protein content is 7.1% below their label claim.

Here is the laboratory data:

  • Protein Rank -> #35
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 73.3%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose
  • Sodium -> Sodium content was measured at 186.0mg/serving, 3.4% over its 180mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> Total protein was measured at 73.3g per 100g of product. A 30.4g serving will yield 22.3g/serving, 7.1% below its label claim.

Optimum Platinum Hydro WheyOptimum Hydro Whey -> #32:  Optimum Nutrition is perhaps one of the more respected brands of protein on the market.  The bound protein levels are reasonably high, but not the highest.  It still does contain acesulfame potassium which most nutritionists would not recommend for long term use, or any chemicals for that matter.  Sadly, this company does spike this protein with amino acids, which gives a false reading of actual protein levels.  A customer should never be cheated with deceptive ingredients.  This product is also often found to be quite expensive for not being the best protein available.

Here is the laboratory data: 

  • Protein Rank -> #32
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 74%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 270mg/serving, 28.6% over its 210mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.38g of free amino acids (per 100g), most notably 0.31g of asparagine. These values indicate a moderate concern of amino acid spiking.

Optimum Gold Standard 100% WheyGold_Standard_Whey_Powder -> #31:  Rated #31 in the United States, Gold Standard whey is the #2 rated protein found in Costa Rica.  The bound protein levels are high, but still not the best.  It does contains the chemical sweetener acesulfame potassium, so it is not all natural.  The sodium levels are low, but still not the lowest.  It is a rather respectable protein, but it is also often found to be the most expensive.

Here is the laboratory data: 

  • Protein Rank -> #31
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 74.1%
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> Acesulfame Potassium
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 97.8mg/serving, 63% over its 60mg label claim.
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> This product recorded 0.01g of free amino acids (per 100g), with both methionine and phenylalanine recording amounts over the limit of detection. These values indicate a low concern of amino acid spiking.

 

Here is the highest rated protein in Costa Rica according to independent laboratory tests.

NOW Whey Isolate

 

NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate -> #5: NOW Foods protein is offered by Super Nutrición in Costa Rica.  It is rated #5 in the United States, and is the #1 rated protein available in Costa Rica.  According to independent laboratory tests, it is the safest and highest quality protein available in all of Costa Rica.  It is shipped for free nationwide, and through Super Nutrición’s Loyalty Program, it is easily the most inexpensive protein you can buy.

Every other protein available in Costa Rica is proven to be of lesser quality and more expensive.

  • First and only top 10 protein in Costa Rica
  • Highest bound protein composition of any protein in Costa Rica
  • Lowest sodium content of any protein in Costa Rica
  • No artificial chemicals such as artificial colors, preservatives, or sweeteners.  This protein is 100% natural and safe
  • No amino acid spiking
  • Lowest price of any protein in Costa Rica (see SN Loyalty Program)
  • Free shipping to anywhere in Costa Rica
  • Tastes fantastic and mixes instantly
  • GMP Certified Quality

If you like buying lesser quality protein at higher prices, then do not buy NOW Foods protein.  However, if you like saving money and want a safer, higher quality protein to support your fitness needs, then you need NOW Foods products.

BUY NOW

Here is the laboratory data: 

  • Protein Rank -> #5 (#1 in Costa Rica)
  • Percentage of Bound Protein -> 78.8% (Highest in Costa Rica)
  • Watchlist Ingredients/Chemicals -> N/A – No artificial chemicals were detected and is 100% natural and safe.
  • Sodium -> Total sodium was measured at 75.3mg/serving, 67.3% over its 45mg label claim. (Lowest in Costa Rica)
  • Amino Acid Spiking -> There existed no evidence of amino acid spiking in this product.

About Super Nutrición

Welcome to Super Nutrición, your new primary source of quality nutritional supplements and educational resources in Costa Rica.

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