Are you overwhelmed by the wide variety of protein powders in the sports nutrition aisle and aren’t sure which will best meet your individual needs? This article is part of a series, written by Harmons Dietitian Hannah Langley, to take an extensive look at protein powders and help you make the most informed choice when shopping for your health
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve dietary supplements for safety and efficacy before they are put on the market. Instead, it is up to individual companies to create and enact a plan that ensures their products, facilities, and production methods meet safety standards. After the product becomes commercially available, the FDA may periodically inspect manufacturing facilities, supplement labels, and adverse events reported by consumers. Limited inspections and product testing poses an increased risk for dietary supplements to become contaminated with other substances or cut with lower quality ingredients. Some companies opt to pay a third-party organization to inspect their facilities, certify that Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are being met, and purity test products before they’re commercially available. Look for these certifications:
NSF Certified for Sport: This certification screens for 270+ banned substances, conducts random GMP facility audits, product toxicology assessments, tests raw product materials, and verifies the Supplement Facts label. Every batch of a product is tested before it is released to the market.
Informed Sport: This certification screens for 200+ banned substances, conducts random GMP facility audits, product toxicology assessments, and tests raw product materials. Every batch of a product is tested before it is released to the market.
Informed Choice: This certification screens for 200+ banned substances, conducts random GMP facility audits, product toxicology assessments, and tests raw product materials. Products are purchased for monthly blind testing.
Good Manufacturing Practice: GMP facilities are required to prove the cleanliness and sanitation of their facility, manufacturing, and storage practices. General guidelines are provided, and it is up to the manufacturer to determine how best to meet them.
- Third party certifications ensure the quality and purity of protein powders.
- Third-party certifications are the gold-standard for protein powder.