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Supplements and Protein Powders Fail To Meet Label Claims


3 times in the last 2 months we’ve seen news reports of other supplements and protein powders fail to meet label claims after independent tests. From sugar spiking to missing protein, the FDA and other investigatory labs have exposed a nasty truth - things aren't always what they seem.

Unfortunately, the supplement industry has a history of making giant claims and not backing them up. Even worse, the PEOPLE behind some of these other companies are looking to get rich quick and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process. These recent reports and investigations shine a light on the dark side of our industry, one we're not proud of - but proud to distinguish ourselves from.

As USERS of supplements and protein powders, we were fed up with this "industry norm". That’s why Natural Stacks was born. We wanted products we could trust and use ourselves to actually improve our health and enhance our performance - both physically and mentally. That’s why we’re open-sourced, 100% transparent, and never use “proprietary blends”.

You know exactly what you’re getting, where it comes from and what it can do for you. No BS supplements for optimal human performance! Ok enough “commercial” - on to the news… This stuff is appaling and makes us sick. We want the consumer (you and us too) to be informed...

New Dawn Nutrition Protein Has 21% Of Protein and 1814% More Sugar Than Label Claims In FDA Tests

New Dawn Nutrition is a supplement company based in Omaha, Nebraska. Their protein powders came under heavy fire recently for obvious reasons: After complaints from a customer who ran individuals test with unfavorable results, the FDA followed-up and ran tests of their own on several of New Dawn's Super Protein Powders. You won’t believe what they found:
  • The Blueberry Pie had only 21% of the protein promised and 1814% more sugar than the label showed. That’s 6g of protein when the label claimed 24g, and the sugar content might as well have been a cup of powdered sugar!
  • The Cake Batter flavor had only 16% of the protein promised and 846% more sugar.
  • The Vanilla Milkshake had only 11% of the protein promised and 836% more sugar. [1]

Let’s do the math on that Vanilla Milkshake...11% of 24 grams is a paltry 2.64 grams of protein.

And let’s not forget the sugar - my goodness, THE SUGAR! Let just say the label claimed a minimal 1g of sugar. In order to be 1800% above that claim, there would have to be 18g of sugar in that single serving! If the label claim was 2g of sugar, we’re looking at 36g in your "protein shake".

Look, we realize that mistakes can happen. We could forgive a measuring error or one-time mistake that resulted in, say, 20 or 22 grams instead of the promised 24g. But failing 3 separate tests, from 3 different labs, over a 1 ½ year period - and failing them this miserably - is unforgivable. Appalling.

GNC Lean Shake 25 Only Has 50% of Protein Claimed on Label

Canada’s Marketplace conducted an independent investigation and found that GNC’s Lean Shake 25 contained only 12.2 grams of protein when the label claimed 25 grams of protein. [2] The same investigation also found that Emergen-C, sold by Pfizer Canada, contained only 33-66% of the Vitamin C claimed on the label. (Amounts varied by flavor.) In both cases, the parent companies disputed the findings (of course they did), but that doesn’t change what the labs actually found. To GNC's credit, Marketplace also tested their GNC Mass IV ProPerformance product and found that it did meet label claims.

USPLabs Indicted by FDA Again

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the FDA drops a press release indicting USPLabs on a host of evil charges including selling products with ingredients known to be toxic, lying about ingredient sourcing, and continuing to sell certain products even after the FDA banned them. According to the FDA's press release, “the indictment alleges that USPlabs engaged in a conspiracy to import ingredients from China using false certificates of analysis and false labeling and then lied about the source and nature of those ingredients after it put them in its products. According to the indictment, USPlabs told some of its retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in products called Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, when in fact it was using a synthetic stimulant manufactured in a Chinese chemical factory.” [3]

“The indictment also alleges that the defendants sold some of their products without determining whether they would be safe to use. To the contrary, as the indictment notes, the defendants knew of studies that linked the products to liver toxicity.”

This is nothing new for USPLabs. They were in trouble with the FDA in 2013 over their fat loss product OxyElite Pro. The current indictment alleges, that "despite promises to discontinue the product, USPLabs engaged in a surreptitious, all-hands-on-deck effort to sell as much OxyElite Pro as it could as quickly as possible."

They sound like good people. (sarcasm)


Proprietary blends. Each of these 3 supplements and protein powders that failed to meet label claims used some sort of proprietary blend on their label. We've said it before, and we'll say it again - "proprietary blends" allow companies to hide the exact amounts of their ingredients. They hide behind "intellectual property" or "secret concoctions" as if telling consumers the exact amounts of specific ingredients would open the door for their competition to steal their formula. In reality, revealing the exact amounts of specific ingredients would send potential customers running away! Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 8.54.19 AM This loophole allows amoral individuals or companies the opportunity to use sugar, sand, ash or other "fillers" to amass the total for any "proprietary blend". We're not saying every company using a proprietary blend is amoral or lying to you.

But there is an undeniable correlation between those who get caught and the use of proprietary labeling. If you've got nothing to hide, why not show the world exactly who and what you are? 


Notice the first 2 labels say "proprietary blend" while the 3 hides the "proprietary blend" in the "Super Performance System"

We realize that every supplement is going to say, "we're different" and "you can trust us". But how can you really know?

Obviously, we should ignore the label hype about gaining 20 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks or becoming a cover model in 12 weeks with a fat loss secret pill. Turn to the ingredients and nutrition information to get the real story.

And if you see ingredients you don't know or trust - or can't pronounce - you know what to do. If you see "proprietary blends" or "mixes" that don't disclose everything, assume they're hiding something.

Another way to see if you can trust a company is to look into what they're doing to educate the public. Are they buying ad space in bodybuilding magazines or are they constantly interviewing experts, sharing studies, and seeking the truth about their supposed mission?


Transparency. Honesty. Open-sourced. We make products we want to take. Quality of ingredients, quality of life and longevity are paramount to us. We based everything we do in science and we won't put anything out that we don't use ourselves. Better yet, we make products that we want our parents or children to be able to use. So you can trust that your health, happiness, and future are first in our minds as well. #LiveOptimal




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