MuscleTech Nitro-Tech is a whey protein supplement geared for bodybuilders and athletes who wish to gain and maintain muscle mass. Most known for their Hydroxycut weight loss aid and Cell-Tech creatine supplement, MuscleTech has been a popular manufacturer amongst bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts since the company started back in 1998. The company has a wide range of products aimed for better performance in the gym. Nitro-Tech is the premium protein supplement from MuscleTech’s product line, containing whey protein isolate and creatine. Let’s dive in and take a look what’s inside this product.
Ingredients & Effectiveness
As with many premium protein products, Nitro-Tech contains a blend of whey protein processed a number of different ways. More specifically, this product contains a blend of whey protein isolate (and peptides) and whey protein concentrate. The latter of which is a considered a faster digesting protein as many of the other non-protein molecules have been filtered through chemical or mechanical means. On the other hand, whey protein concentrate typically contains more fats and carbohydrates (lactose) in addition to protein compared to its isolate variant. Due to the additional processing required for whey protein isolate, it tends to be much more expensive than concentrate. It’s always a good sign to see whey protein isolate on a package of protein; even better if it’s listed in front of whey protein concentration as it is on a bottle of MuscleTech Nitro-Tech.
The total amount of protein per a 44 gram scoop of Nitro-Tech is 30 grams (68% by mass; 75% based on total calories). This protein content is a bit low compared to other products in the same price range. For reference, unflavored whey protein concentrate tends to be approximately 80% by mass. This ratio of protein to other ingredients provides insight into how much other “stuff” a company can cram into the package to sell you things you’re not necessarily looking for, and Nitro-Tech fails this test based on a quick look at the nutritional label.
BCAAs (6.9 grams)
Whey protein is naturally rich in branched chain amino acids, which are specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Leucine in particular is considered a highly anabolic molecule (muscle building) due to its role in muscle protein synthesis. While most people tend to get enough BCAAs through their diet as it’s typically found in protein sources such as meat and eggs, obtaining optimal amounts for increasing muscle building potential is a different story. The easiest way to make sure you receive adequate amounts of BCAAs is to eat roughly one gram of protein per pound of body weight, but hitting that target is often a difficult habit to start. This is where supplementation comes in handy as you can reach your protein and BCAAs intake pretty easily through whey protein.
Nitro-Tech contains 6.9 grams of BCAAs per serving (16% by mass). This is definitely a good sign as values lower than 15% may show signs of amino-acid spiking where companies will add non-essential protein (i.e. filler) to their product to make their product seem better than it really is. Nitro-Tech easily passes this test and the amounts listed are certainly what I would expect from a quality product.
Creatine (3 grams)
Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and used for providing energy under periods of stress. While your body can make it, it’s also found in many protein rich foods such as meat, eggs, and fish. Creatine supplementation is a widely studied topic and has been shown to provide a number of benefits ranging from cognition to reduced fatigue. Aside from protein, which I really don’t count as a supplement but rather a dietary staple, creatine is the most popular supplement amongst bodybuilders as it’s been shown time and time again that supplementation results in more muscle mass and increased strength.
Nitro-Tech includes three grams of creatine per scoop, which is a nice benefit for a protein powder. While creatine supplementation is highly beneficial, standalone creatine supplements are generally inexpensive. Inclusion into a premium protein blend means you’re definitely paying a high price for your creatine. If you’re not currently taking creatine, the convenience of having it included in your protein supplement is a big benefit and perhaps the convenience is worth it to you. Your miles may vary, but it’s definitely not a bad thing that MuscleTech chose to include this in their product.
As a side note: MuscleTech’s website referenced a paper involving creatine and protein supplementation and is a good read. Check it out here.
Digestive enzymes (Papain & amylase)
The last set of notable ingredients included in Nitro-Tech is Enzyplex, which is a blend of amylases and papain. These are digestive enzymes included to help the digestion of protein and lactose as it makes its way through our system, which is a very welcome addition to this product. Most products in this class tend to include several digestive enzymes as companies have learned that a large number of their customers suffer from digestion issues when it comes to whey supplements (e.g. lactose intolerance). If you’ve suffered from bloating or digestive issues with other protein supplements, you should give Nitro-Tech a try.
Taste & Texture
This stuff tastes good. I tend to stick with either vanilla or chocolate flavors with most protein brands but MuscleTech outdid themselves in this category as each of their flavors were quite pleasant. Keep in mind that sweeteners used in Nitro-Tech are sucralose and acesulfame-potassium. If you’re not overly sensitive to those two artificial sweeteners, Nitro-Tech may be a great product for you if you’re looking for a great testing protein supplement.
Price & Value
The cost of four pounds of Nitro-Tech will run you about $50, which is on the high end amongst its competitors. You can get it on sale by clicking here though. The low concentration of protein by weight is very concerning at this price point, but the ingredients do appear to be very high quality and they’re present in sufficient amounts to be effective. I personally wouldn’t pay this much for a protein supplement as I’m less picky to taste and I get my creatine from a cheap bulk source, but the convenience and the flavor may be worth it to some. For reference, the four pounds will get you roughly 41 servings at 30 grams of protein a piece.
Nitro-Tech by MuscleTech is a well-formulated protein product that contains high quality ingredients at the proper amounts. It tastes great and the company has a great track record amongst the fitness community. The price is a bit on the high end but it’s a small price to pay if this is a product that can help you achieve yours goals. Enjoy!