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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Taurine/Glycine - The Discussion Ends. WARNING! Science Content Inside.

    Since I've been active on these forums, I've seen discussion after discussion on Taurine/Glycine padding. I decided to do some research on Kjeldahl Method for protein analysis, and after crunching some numbers have come up with what I believe to be some real world numbers, not just speculation. In this thread, I am going to reveal just how badly taurine/glycine can pad the protein content.

    *Real Numbers Below*

    First off, the Kjeldahl Method simply measures nitrogen content in a sample. That's all. Food typically consists of fat, carbohydrates, and protein, and since protein is the only one of those three that contain any nitrogen, the amount of nitrogen found in the sample is a good indicator of the protein content in a food sample.

    The test measures total nitrogen content by weight and multiplies it by a certain factor. In dairy products, protein is measured by taking the weight of nitrogen found in the sample and multiplying it by a factor of 6.38. This is because in dairy products, the average amount of nitrogen found in protein (by weight) is ~15.67%. For example if a test found that 5g of nitrogen was present in a sample, they would multiply that by 6.38 to determine the protein content to be 31.9g.

    Recall: The multiplying factor of 6.38 is based on the fact that the average amount of nitrogen found in dairy protein (by weight) is ~15.67%. To get 6.38, simply divide 1/0.1567 to get 6.38

    Now for the good stuff:

    To determine how badly taurine and glycine will pad the protein content, we must determine the percent nitrogen of each compound by mass. If you flunked chemistry, you'll just have to trust my calculations.

    Glycine:

    Glycine has a chemical formula of C2H5NO2 and has a molecular weight 75.0666g/mol.

    Number of moles in 1g of glycine is:

    1g / 75.0666g/mol = 0.0133215 mol

    Since there is only 1 nitrogen in the chemical formula of glycine, we know that in 0.0133215 mol of glycine, there is 0.0133215 mol of nitrogen. To calculate the mass of nitrogen, multiply the moles of nitrogen by the molar mass of nitrogen (14.007 g/mol):

    (0.0133215 mol N)(14.007 g/mol) = 0.18659425 g nitrogen.

    To calculate the percent mass, we divide the amount of nitrogen by the total amount of glycine and multiply by 100%

    0.18659425g / 1g x 100% = 18.66%

    Glycine is 18.66% nitrogen by mass.

    To determine how glycine would read on a protein scale, divide 18.66% by the average % of protein:

    18.66% / 15.67% = 1.19

    This means that for every gram of glycine present, 1.19g of protein will register.

    Taurine:

    Chemical formula: C2H7NO3S
    Molecular weight: 125.15 g/mol

    moles of Taurine in a 1g sample = 0.00799041 mol

    0.00799041 mol taurine = 0.00799041 mol of nitrogen

    mass of nitrogen in 1g taurine sample = 0.11192169g

    % nitrogen in taurine by mass = 11.19%

    11.19% / 15.67% = 0.714

    This means for every gram of taurine present, 0.714g of protein will register.

    So What Does This Mean?

    According to the French label of a popular protein that contains taurine/glycine, there contains 1900 mg of glycine, and 2900 mg of taurine. This means that for:

    Glycine: 1900mg x 1.19 = 2261 mg of protein registered
    Taurine: 2900mg x 0.714 = 2070 mg of protein registered

    This particular protein actually contains 4331mg (or 4.331g) of added amino acid protein. To calculate the true protein content, simply subtract 4.331g from the total.

    ***

    Just for fun, I've done the calculations for creatine and betaine as well.

    1 gram of Glycine registers as 1.19g of protein
    1 gram of Taurine registers as 0.714g of protein
    1 gram of Creatine registers as 2.05g of protein
    1 gram of Betaine registers as 0.763g of protein

    ***

    Hopefully we can now put this discussion to bed.
    Last edited by mentalist72; 02-25-2014 at 11:07 AM.

  2. #2
    up the dosage eatyourspinach's Avatar
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    Science! But it doesn't change the fact that it still "pads" it to some extent which will always be a heated topic as some companies obviously are guilty of it.
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    Very interesting post, reps on recharge!
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    You mean companies aren't trying to give customers more bang for their buck by including creatine?!?!?!?

    Seriously, if all of your data is valid, this is very informative.

    You used "how" instead of "now" on at least two occasions though.
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    INB4 supp companies quote this as reasoning to pad the **** out of protein. Interesting read though.
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    Originally Posted by BogusForLife View Post
    You mean companies aren't trying to give customers more bang for their buck by including creatine?!?!?!?

    Seriously, if all of your data is valid, this is very informative.

    You used "how" instead of "now" on at least two occasions though.
    Haha, thanks for the heads up. Fixed it

    My data is based on a conversion factor of 6.38 which is normally used on milk products. Since protein powder (whey, casein) is made from milk, that's the conversion factor I assume they use. A smaller conversion factor would lower the overall protein content.
    Last edited by mentalist72; 02-25-2014 at 11:35 AM.

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    You should run the numbers on Melamine, then realize how much scarier spiking could get.

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    Originally Posted by BogusForLife View Post
    You mean companies aren't trying to give customers more bang for their buck by including creatine?!?!?!?

    Seriously, if all of your data is valid, this is very informative.

    You used "how" instead of "now" on at least two occasions though.
    lol yes he did. Good stuff though, let the discussion begin.

  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Valhallabound86 View Post
    You should run the numbers on Melamine, then realize how much scarier spiking could get.
    67% nitrogen by mass. Yikes!

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    Originally Posted by mentalist72 View Post
    67% nitrogen by mass. Yikes!
    Gets worse.

    Complemented with Cyanuric Acid, it forms a plasticy compound. Which is fine when it's outside the body. But when you're an infant consuming melamine spiked formula, or a dog/cat consuming melamine spiked pet food, those compounds can form inside your kidneys to cause kidney stones.

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    Crunch dem numbers OP
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    Nice work OP

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    Originally Posted by Valhallabound86 View Post
    Gets worse.

    Complemented with Cyanuric Acid, it forms a plasticy compound. Which is fine when it's outside the body. But when you're an infant consuming melamine spiked formula, or a dog/cat consuming melamine spiked pet food, those compounds can form inside your kidneys to cause kidney stones.
    Now was the cyanuric acid a by product of the melamine mixture or was it added individually?
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    Originally Posted by xavengedx23 View Post
    Now was the cyanuric acid a by product of the melamine mixture or was it added individually?
    Had to look it up, it's been a while since I've worked with it.

    Byproduct of urine.

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    So basically Taurine and Glycine isn't as bad as people make it out to be but Creatine is worse? And yes I did flunk out on chemistry

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    Don't buy french protein

    or did I miss something?

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    Good information, OP. Thanks for putting all of that together...I think.

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    Thanks for the great post OP, Very informative Repped!
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    Originally Posted by Trigger543 View Post
    Cliffs:

    Don't buy french protein

    or did I miss something?
    Yeah you did. Seems that a french label of a popular protein powder includes the specific amount of taurine and glycine included per serving. The USA label does not provide the consumer with this information. When you extrapolate the amount of these added aminos from the per serving label claims of "protein" you see that the actual "protein" is lower. We can now get a much better idea as to how much lower.

    Sadly, the labeling regs seem to permit this due to using nitrogen as a determiner of protein content, but we don't have to sit back. We can demand transparency. Many people seemingly won't care, but shouldn't the consumer have the info to be able to make the decision?

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    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post
    Yeah you did. Seems that a french label of a popular protein powder includes the specific amount of taurine and glycine included per serving. The USA label does not provide the consumer with this information. When you extrapolate the amount of these added aminos from the per serving label claims of "protein" you see that the actual "protein" is lower. We can now get a much better idea as to how much lower.

    Sadly, the labeling regs seem to permit this due to using nitrogen as a determiner of protein content, but we don't have to sit back. We can demand transparency. Many people seemingly won't care, but shouldn't the consumer have the info to be able to make the decision?
    What do you think about, let's say, companies that list on the ingredient panel "Servings size: 1 scoop (30g)" when there is no possible way to get 30g of powder into a scoop that size provided. Rather, 30g would be one giant heaping scoop? Even after settling and shaking the scoop when it's full - there is no physcial way to get 30g into 1 scooper.

    Do you think this is label dishonesty?
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    Originally Posted by BenBlue View Post
    Gotta agree with you even though I do enjoy Phase 8. The thing is,if it was advertised at 21G of protein, I would still buy it, and I think a lot of other consumers would as well.
    Bingo. I don't think that 99% of the consumers would select another product if they said 21g. Sure there are a couple of people making spreadsheets calculating the per gram cost and buying the cheapest, but most people wouldn't.

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    Originally Posted by sloop View Post
    What do you think about, let's say, companies that list on the ingredient panel "Servings size: 1 scoop (30g)" when there is no possible way to get 30g of powder into a scoop that size provided. Rather, 30g would be one giant heaping scoop? Even after settling and shaking the scoop when it's full - there is no physcial way to get 30g into 1 scooper.

    Do you think this is label dishonesty?
    Good question, but if they said 30 grams, then it wouldn't be dishonest. Everyone should use a digital scale at least once when they start a supplement IMO. That is how I saw issues with a specific flavor of a popular BCAA product. And I took a pic and posted it on this forum, and a rep even made a video response (using a different flavor). I am an equal opportunity kind of guy. Any brand is fair game. I grabbed one that everyone is talking about and one where we have a good idea of the numbers. If someone offered data on another brand, those images would be generated as well.

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    Originally Posted by snorkelman View Post
    Bingo. I don't think that 99% of the consumers would select another product if they said 21g. Sure there are a couple of people making spreadsheets calculating the per gram cost and buying the cheapest, but most people wouldn't.
    That comes down to fancy marketing tools at the end of the day. Bumping up the count allows them to put up comparison charts going "look, we give you 5-9 grams more protein than competitor XYZ!"
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    Originally Posted by BenBlue View Post
    Gotta agree with you even though I do enjoy Phase 8. The thing is, if it was advertised at 21G of protein, I would still buy it, and I think a lot of other consumers would as well. It's just BS that there is no transparency throughout the process. I mean, taurine and glycine are not bad ingredients to ingest, and many other PWO's do advertise at around the 21g mark for total protein count. I'll be the first to admit that I try to be savvy with my supp purchases, and at a BOGO, I still buy knowing that I am getting around 20-21G of protein per serving. Don't see the logic in skewing the label and presenting BS protein counts to add 5-6G to the total protein count, especially knowing that supp consumers are generally intelligent people and will find this **** out in due time on their own accord. Pretty disappointed with this.
    I'm with you on everything but the bolded part. Uninformed/uneducated consumers are the primary reason the supplement industry is thriving.
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    Originally Posted by BenBlue View Post
    Gotta agree with you even though I do enjoy Phase 8. The thing is, if it was advertised at 21G of protein, I would still buy it, and I think a lot of other consumers would as well. It's just BS that there is no transparency throughout the process. I mean, taurine and glycine are not bad ingredients to ingest, and many other PWO's do advertise at around the 21g mark for total protein count. I'll be the first to admit that I try to be savvy with my supp purchases, and at a BOGO, I still buy knowing that I am getting around 20-21G of protein per serving. Don't see the logic in skewing the label and presenting BS protein counts to add 5-6G to the total protein count, especially knowing that supp consumers are generally intelligent people and will find this **** out in due time on their own accord. Pretty disappointed with this.
    I agree with you except for the fact that "supp consumers are generally intelligent people...". I'm not saying that aren't intelligent but rather that many people who buy protein powder probably don't know about protein padding. When I first starting lifting, the only thing I looked at on the label was the amount of protein. I can't be the only one.

    Originally Posted by sloop View Post
    What do you think about, let's say, companies that list on the ingredient panel "Servings size: 1 scoop (30g)" when there is no possible way to get 30g of powder into a scoop that size provided. Rather, 30g would be one giant heaping scoop? Even after settling and shaking the scoop when it's full - there is no physcial way to get 30g into 1 scooper.

    Do you think this is label dishonesty?
    In a way, yes, but in the end, you're still getting the full amount. Let say the label advertises 75 servings at a 30g scoop. If that scoop was only 25g you'd end up getting 90 scoops. It might mess up your macros but at least you're getting the full advertised weight.

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