Understanding Protein Labels

By Mark Glazier, Founder & CEO


This is what you should expect a protein label to look like. This is the supplement facts panel from my NutraBio Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate. The label has full disclosure; listing every single ingredient along with the exact dosage. NO proprietary blends hiding the dosages. You shouldn’t need a PHD in molecular biology to understand what you’re putting in your body.

Notice that in addition to listing the amount of protein on the label, we also list the exact amount of each type of protein we use in the product. This is an example of our Pure Whey Protein Isolate so that’s the only protein you see listed on the label because that’s the only protein we put in the product. If our product has multiple proteins then we list the exact dosage of each and every one. We even list the exact amount of the sweetener and flavoring.

A label that has full disclosure can tell you a lot about the product. Look at this supplement facts panel taken right off my website: our WPI Vanilla flavor has 25 grams of total protein per serving which comes solely from 28.25 grams of whey protein isolate. So you can calculate that our whey protein isolate is 88.5% pure protein. The “total” serving size is 29 grams which is higher because it includes the flavor and sweetener. So dividing 25 grams of protein into the total serving size of 29 grams, the overall product would be 86.2% pure protein.

That is the only way to calculate true protein value, however, this only works if there are no single aminos added. Once you see single aminos in the product, than the protein per serving listed on the label becomes bogus and none of these calculations work any longer. Check my blog on Amino Acid and Protein Spiking to learn more about this scam.

Truth and transparency in labeling is not new to NutraBio. Back in 2001 we took a stand against dishonest and misleading labels. We vowed way back then to never use proprietary blends on our labels, to include the exact dosage of every active ingredient, to remove all fillers and excipients and to never under-dose ingredients. We have stuck to this commitment ever since.

Purity, Quality and Honesty is my commitment.

– Mark Glazier, NutraBio CEO & Founder.

16 thoughts on “Understanding Protein Labels

  1. I have been buying your Whey protein concentrate for years. I wonder if the cows from which the milk/whey come are grass fed.

  2. How can you have 28.25 gm of purified whey protein and only 25 gm of (total?) protein listed above. Different assays or definitions?

    • The 28.25 grams represents the dosage of Whey Protein Isolate (WPI90) that is in each serving. Whey protein isolate is approximately 90% protein value so for this product 28.25 grams of whey protein isolate (WPI90) yields 25 grams of pure protein.

      Whey proteins, whether they are whey isolate, whey concentrate, hydrolyzed whey or sweet whey are not 100% protein value, they also contain permeates such as moisture, lactose, fat, ash, cholesterol and others ingredients. The product you are referring to is Whey Protein Isolate which is approximately 90% protein value compared to Whey Protein Concentrates which range from 34% to 80% protein value and Sweet Whey which is approximately 15% protein value.

      Our label declares not only the amount of protein per serving which is mandatory by the FDA, but we also declare the amount of the source protein we are using which in this case is WPI90. So our labels have full disclosure.

  3. Your Whey Concentrate is NOT labeled honestly. Other ingredients: ABSOLUTELY NONE. Your product has Soy Lecithin. That should be listed as an other ingredient.
    Misrepresentations makes me question your company. I put nothing soy in my body. Sunflower lecithin is a safer choice. If your company uses soy lecithin, that is fine as long as it is a listed in the ingredients. I should not have to read the soy lecithin is used somewhere else in the small print.


    • Thank you for your comments. Coincidently, we have already made the changes you are requesting, which should show up on all of our labels within the next few months as our current stock runs out. We are in the midst of changing all of our whey proteins from being instantized with soy lecithin to sunflower lecithin. Our Whey Protein Isolate, JAVA WHEY, Natural Whey Protein Isolate and Extreme Mass have all been converted to sunflower lecithin so they no longer contain any soy. We are working on converting the Whey Protein Concentrate now and will hopefully have that changed soon as well. All whey isolates are being converted to NON-GMO as well.

      We have also changed our labeling so that if soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin is used during the manufacture process then they are now listed within the ingredients section of the supplement facts panels and not just the allergen section. We do not add either of these 2 ingredients to our protein; they are added in fractional amounts by the dairy manufacturer during the instantization or agglomeration process to make the whey mixable in liquid. We never meant to be deceiving by listing the soy in the allergen section and not the “other ingredients” section; it is just how we have always done it. I can definitely see your point though, so now it will be in both sections. So we have resolved that issue with our next label release.

      Our next label release for our Whey Protein Concentrate will also include the type of whey concentrate we use which is Whey Protein Concentrate 80% (WPC80) (non-denatured). We have never used WPC34 (34% protein) or WPC 60 (60% protein) in any of our products. By listing WPC80 on the label consumers will now know that we do not mix in the cheaper and inferior 34% and 60% crap. We have never used WPC34 or WPC60 since NutraBio launched back in 1996.

  4. Your commitment to honesty and full disclosure is greatly appreciated. There’s nothing worse then buying a bogus product. I learned a while back not to trust labels with proprietary blends, no dosages and unclear labels. Thanks for doing the right thing.

  5. I have used your protein for quite some time and I really like it. Actually it is the first protein powder I have found that not only did I finish the first container but I continue to buy it and use it.

    Too bad the vanilla flavored versions has to have Sucralose in it. That makes it a no go for me. Why add something like that to a product that is so pure to begin with? I’d rather have cane sugar as a sweetener than Splenda!

    • NutraBio does offer a naturally flavored version of our Whey Protein Isolate which is sweetened with stevia instead of sucralose. The naturally flavored version has no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. No soy. It is currently available in vanilla flavor. Chocolate should be coming out within the next 30 days and a couple other flavors after that.

  6. I have purchaed many products from you and have always appreciated the purity of your products. I have questions to your whey protein isolate formula.that has prevented me from ordering this product from you.
    Why is the flavoring added? Natural flavoring says it could be anything? MSG is classified as “natural flavoring” and so are many other products I do not want to consume. Please be more specific, otherwise we can only guess as to what you are putting in your formula. I do not trust “natural”. It is a slang word that is meant to deceive.
    Sucralose (Splenda) has much controversy as to it’s safety. There are studies that connect it with higher risk of leukemia. If your want a no calorie sweetener, use stevia instead. It is an herb that has no controversy for physical determent. Xanthan gum is also know for causing unpleasant gut symptoms.
    Why are you adding these 3 additives? Do you really believe they are necessary for a great product? Other company’s have PURE protein powder (not 3 unnecessary additives). That is why I have not purchased your Whey Protein Isolate and will not until it is PURE protein powder that I can trust.

    • We have always offered an absolutely pure whey isolate without flavoring. We do offer exactly what you are asking for; it is our Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate. This is the first protein powder we ever produced and it is still our bestselling protein. It contains absolutely no flavors, colors, sweeteners or additives of any type whether natural or artificial. It is a total raw whey protein isolate except for the sunflower lecithin that is used during the instantization process to make it mixable in liquid. It is Non-GMO. It is as clean as it comes.

      Many of our customers are looking for flavored protein so for them we do offer our whey protein in flavored versions. Our standard is sweetened with sucralose but we also have a natural vanilla flavored WPI sweetened with stevia. Other all-natural flavors will be coming out soon. All of our whey protein isolates use sunflower for instantizing and not soy. They are also being converted to NON-GMO.

  7. Is putting the amino acid profile on protein products mandatory? I notice some companies do it while others don’t. Thanks

  8. What exactly is the natural flavor in 350 mg. that’s listed on the Whey Protein Isolate Natural? Lynda Byrne on November 22, 2014 addressed this, and an answer was never given. I would like to know EXACTLY what this ingredient is.

    • You didn’t read the response:

      “Natural Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate. This is the first protein powder we ever produced and it is still our bestselling protein. It contains absolutely no flavors, colors, sweeteners or additives of any type whether natural or artificial.”

      “Our standard is sweetened with sucralose but we also have an Natural vanilla flavored WPI sweetened with stevia.”

  9. Stevia or alcohol sugar is better then Splenda period your company should make the switch without upholding on costs to your loyal customers we choose you for a clean healthier version even at the non organic level

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