There’s more to Nitro-Tech than the range of flavors it comes in (Decadent Brownie Cheesecake, anyone?), as we discovered when we took a closer look.
MuscleTech’s Nitro-Tech is available in thirteen different flavors at last count – from Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough to Vanilla Birthday Cake, stopping off at Snickerdoodle and Toasted S’mores on the way.
However, all’s not so yummy when it comes to the other ingredients – in particular those flavorings (natural and artificial, according to the list) as well as sugars and Acesulfame potassium, which contains methelyne chloride, a known carcinogen.
As for the other, more healthy ingredients, we’re a little puzzled by the proportions in Nitro-Tech’s Nitro-Amino Matrix, AKA 6.9 grams of BCAAs “critical for building muscle”. One of those Branched Chain Amino Acids is L-Valine, which shouldn’t be taken by itself. In fact, it should be in part of a combination as follows: 2 parts L-Valine, plus 2 parts L-Leucine, and 1 part L-Isoleucine. But that’s not how MuscleTech have mixed those three BCAAs up.
And as for the class actions against Nitro-Tech and Iovate, the company ultimately responsible for bringing it into our lives, we’ll be talking about them in more detail shortly.
We’ll look at the side effects of individual ingredients later, but in general there’s the possibility of gas and bloating, elevated blood pressure, kidney damage, liver dysfunction, nausea, potential allergic reaction, and cramps and pain.
You can get Nitro-Tech in one, two, and four-pound containers. Two pounds can set you back anywhere between $32 and $49 from retailers, while four pounds costs around $50.
Here’s a tip: if you’re prepared to be flexible about flavor then you could grab yourself a bargain – flavors that don’t sell well tend to have their price reduced.
Our problem is that we’re too aware of Iovate (the company that produces MuscleTech, which produces Nitro-Tech) being hit with lawsuits again and again. They’re not just about misleading advertising and far too much lead in its products, but also about claiming they contain more protein than there actually was back then – and even now.
Testing company Labdoor states that Nitro-Tech still contains nearly one-third less protein than specified. We’d have thought Iovate would have learned its lesson by now, but apparently they haven’t.
We can’t see ourselves trusting any of those products any further than we can throw them (well, lead can be quite heavy) and so on that basis we do not recommend Nitro-Tech to our readers.
We mentioned the “protein spiking” lawsuits earlier, so it’s time we explained what we were talking about in more detail.
Protein is made up of amino acids, all of which contain nitrogen. And by measuring the nitrogen in a supplement, researchers can tell you how much protein it contains. That’s the theory, anyway.
Mix 1 serving (1 scoop) in 6 oz. or 2 servings (2 scoops) in 12 oz. of cold water or skim milk in a glass or shaker cup. Use between major meals and after exercise. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. For maximum results, consume 4 scoops of NITRO-TECH® daily for a minimum of six weeks.
The trouble is that protein powders are much more expensive than amino acids like the BCAAs and the creatine in Nitro-Tech. And those cheaper BCAAs and that creatine also contain nitrogen, which shows up in testing and gives a false reading to make Nitro-Tech look like it contains much more protein than it does.
And Iovate, Nitro-Tech’s parent company, is no stranger to protein spiking lawsuits – it looks like they’re still using creatine and BCAAs to up the protein content in Nitro-Tech, even though they’ve had enough lawsuits for many retailers to stop selling it. And the most recent, rather expensive, lawsuit might be the reason Iovate had to be sold to a Chinese company not so long ago.
“Builds 70% more lean muscle than regular whey. Amplifies recovery, performance & strength.”
Well, the creatine would have some kind of effect in that kind of quantity, while the BCAAs would have some kind of effect if the user hadn’t eaten for a while.
And we’ve been told it works in this study.
But looking right at the very end of this paper we can’t help thinking there might have been a little bit of a vested interest somewhere, as we read: “This research was supported by a grant from MuscleTech Research and Development Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.”
Before we get to Nitro-Tech’s “Nitro-Amino Matrix”, we’re told it contains:
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Nitro-Tech “Nitro Amino Matrix”
These are all branch-chained amino acids, and we’ve got two points to make here.
Secondly, L-Valine should be combined with L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine for maximum effect, but no necessarily in the proportions here. We’re told the ideal mix is 2 parts L-Valine, 2 parts L-Leucine, and just the one part L-Isoleucine. The mix in Nitro-Tech is a bit too heavy on the L-Leucine and L-Isoleucine.
Next, we have 3 grams of “the most researched form of creatine available”, which, by a strange coincidence, is far less expensive than whey protein but still raises nitrogen levels in tests, to indicate the amount of protein in Nitro-Tech. Which is why a lot of unscrupulous companies mixed creatine into their products to deceive buyers about the amount of protein in their supplements, and why many of them found themselves on the receiving end of some fairly hefty lawsuits.
On a more positive note, Nitro-Tech lets us know it contains milk and soy ingredients, and “is processed in a facility that processes egg, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish ingredients”.
To start with, there was their warning about potential problems such as milk, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, fish, and shellfish, and ours about methylene chloride.
As for the individual ingredients themselves, we’ve got:
Calcium, which can bring on digestion problems, dry mouth, irregular heartbeat, weakness, drowsiness, headache, and pain in the muscles and bones.
Sodium, where the side effects can include serious thirst, high blood pressure, brain fog, swelling in strange places, raised blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and kidney stones.
As for Nitro-Tech’s Nitro-Amino Matrix:
L-Leucine, which can interfere with the body’s ability to create its own Vitamin B3 and B6, and bring on mental and emotional issues, together with digestion problems.
L-Isoleucine, which, in large doses, can bring on digestion problems.
L-Valine which, according to WebMD, can cause fatigue and loss of coordination.
Creatine Monohydrate, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “may cause unwanted weight gain, upset stomach, diarrhea, dizziness, kidney and liver damage.”
As for the other ingredients:
The whey protein in its different forms can, in high doses, bring on digestion problems, thirst, bloating, cramps, fatigue, and headache.
Natural And Artificial Flavors (whatever they may be)
Enzyplex (Papain, Amylase), which can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, urination problems, and joint pain.
Acesulfame-Potassium, which we’ve talked about before. It’s not a nice sweetener.
Not intended for use by persons under 18. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Consult a medical doctor before starting any diet or exercise program or if you have a medical condition. Do not use if packaging has been tampered with. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
Of course there are many, many favorable reviews for Nitro-Tech on sites trying to sell it. What else would you expect? On one online retailer’s website more than a hundred glowing reviews appeared in the four weeks between mid-October and mid-November 2017. It looks and feels like there was a charm offensive going on.
So as usual, we went to Amazon to see if there were and reviews that were, shall we say, a little less biased, but detoured via fakespot.com.
There, Fakespot’s algorithm looked at the reviews on Amazon, gave them a D grade and told us: “Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved. Our engine has detected that this company employs aggressive marketing tactics.”
We decided to go check what Amazon buyers had to say about Nitro-Tech.
The biggest gripe users had was about the taste, which actually isn’t the best way to judge a protein powder.
For example, we found,
Sweet mercy, this stuff is intolerable. We got the ‘milk chocolate’ flavor and it was so unbearable, we sent it back.
It’s not surprising since so many people are so used to highly-flavored, super-sweetened milkshake powders these days.
Other complaints ranged from the changed number of servings in the container,
Only 36 servings per container, and in the supplement facts it said 41
To the difference between the product illustration on Amazon and what actually arrived,
False advertisement. Protein content and scoop size differ than shown in pic. Only 67 % protein
From being very detailed,
This most recent purchase of Nitrotech Is not the same as my previous orders. The scooper include with the product is much larger than it had once been and the taste is completely off. This subtle change has reduced the number of servings per container from 25 to 21. Not a deal breaker, but enough to have me consider swtiching to another product. The taste has definetly changed and that is a deal breaker. It is not the worst tasting protein I have ever drank, but it worse that my prvious order.
I want my money back!
That’s going to depend on where you bought Nitro-Tech from in the first place, because that kind of guarantee is going to differ between retailers, whether they’re online or offline.
Many stores sell Nitro-Tech, as does GNC (and you’re always welcome to become one of their franchisees, they say). The Nitro-Tech website also lists 22 different online and offline retailers, which gives you a pretty wide range of choices.
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Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.