What is a Proprietary Blend? The term “proprietary blend” seems to be cropping up far too frequently on nutritional panels lately. You may have noticed them on a BCAA product but they are cropping up on the back of fat burners, preworkout and even on proteins, no supplement is safe from the “proprietary blend” trend it’s leaving customers mystified and confused.
A proprietary blend is a list of the active ingredients in a product, these blends will state an overall amount of ingredients in the blend but what they don’t state is the dose of each individual ingredient.
There are only two reasons why a manufacture places this term on their labels, reason 1 is to stop competitors stealing their product by copying the ingredients and selling knockoff versions reason 2 is to fool the customer by not allowing us to see how much of the active ingredient is actually in the product. Unfortunately reason 2 is quite a problem but I have ways to get around it so you can make a more informed decision.
How many ingredients?
Have a look at how many ingredients are in the proprietary blend. It may seem to you that more ingredients make a better product but in actual fact less can be more. It is clearly better to have higher doses of active ingredients in a product then a whole heap of products smooshed in at low doses. For example if the total proprietary blend is 500mg and there is 10 products (assuming all ingredients are at equal doses) you will only be getting a 50g dose of each ingredient which probably isn’t going to benefit you at all, on the other hand a product with a 500mg proprietary blend and only 3 ingredients means you will be getting a higher dose of each, 166g (assuming again they are all equal) which will work better.
Order of ingredients
Manufacturers must list their ingredients from highest to lowest so this will give us an idea of what the highest ingredients in the product are and if they are ingredients that are active or ingredients that are basically filer ingredients.
If one of the ingredients is glycine then beware. Glycine is usually added in proprietary blends to falsify test results done on the product. Protein will be shown as a higher amount in test results when glycine is added to the mix. This is another way companies can scam consumers and copycats.
Find reviews on products that you may be interested in, and not the reviews on the company’s website. Seeing how a product has actually worked for other people can also help you when making a choice on whether a product is worth your time and money.
No one except the company itself can tell you the exact dose of ingredients in a proprietary blend but you can get an idea from the above tips as to whether a product is worth you trying.
When in doubt stay clear of proprietary blends until you have done your research!