We have all either read or heard the phrase "proprietary blend". While this might sound like the next special sauce, I assure you it is anything but special. The FDA requires ingredients to be listed in order by the amount of each ingredient, from the most used to the least used. Therefore, many supplement companies use the phrase "protein blend" or "proprietary blend" followed by the ingredients they use for this "blend" such as (whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate). Supplement companies label their products as such because by doing so, they do not have to disclose to the consumer the amount of each ingredient in the blend. As a result, there is most likely less than a gram of the highest quality ingredient (in this case whey isolate) in this product. By listing the ingredient as a "protein blend", companies avoid having to put whey protein isolate at the end of the ingredient list which minimizes the chance that consumers will discover the lack of quality protein in the product. Quality ingredients are not cheap, therefore companies use "blends" with sub-par ingredients and a pinch of a quality ingredient to be more profitable.
The "blend" applies to all supplements, for example you may see a pre-workout label that states "proprietary blend" and is made up of creatine, caffeine, arginine, BCAAs and a few other ingredients. Being that the company does not have to list the amounts in this "proprietary blend", it is entirely possible this blend contains 3g of creatine and 500 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 5 cups of coffee), which leaves only 500mg split between all of the other ingredients. With this supplement, your body isn't getting anything it needs for a more intense workout, all you are getting is an expensive caffeine buzz.
It is nearly impossible to evaluate a product's true effectiveness when proprietary blends are used because there is no way of determining what dosage you are receiving. There are hundreds and thousands of studies conducted yearly to determine the adequate dosage of ingredients in supplements. There is absolutely zero point in taking a dietary ingredient if you don't have any clue if you are ingesting an effective dose.
As we always say, read the labels and do research on each ingredient and why your body needs it. Find products that have straight forward ingredient panels. As you see on all of our labels, we will never make a product with a blend or a complicated label. We use only quality ingredients necessary to assist your body in performing and recovering as efficiently and effectively as possible. So next time you see or hear the word "blend" used in any type of supplement, save your money and find a better option.