Protein powder mixes have become increasingly popular with professional and recreational athletes. NITRO-TECH by MuscleTech remains a readily available product in this growing market. Made in different formulas, NITRO-TECH features several nutrients designed to enhance athletic performance and increase muscle size. Yet, some of these nutrients may cause side effects.
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Be Wary of Whey
MuscleTech uses whey protein as the main ingredient in most of its protein powder mixes. This fast-digesting protein comes from milk. The authors of a 2015 report in the Journal of Food Science suggested that whey outperforms casein and soy as a muscle builder. They also noted the many populations that can benefit from using whey.
These beneficial effects may come at a price. Being a milk product, people with lactose intolerance or milk allergy may suffer various side effects. If you are lactose intolerant and supplementing with NITRO-TECH, you may experience stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and gas. If you have a milk allergy, you must meet with your doctor before using NITRO-TECH due to the risks. Depending on the degree of your allergy, supplementing with NITRO-TECH could cause a life-threatening reaction.
Read more: What Is Whey Powder?
Be Careful With Casein
MuscleTech uses different milk protein — casein — in some of its NITRO-TECH products. Scientists consider casein a slow-digesting protein. Casein can also cause milk-related problems. In addition, a 2016 paper in Annals of Biomedical Sciences showed that a high-casein diet damaged the kidneys of laboratory animals.
Read more: Foods That Contain the Protein Casein
The Problem With BCAAs
Branched-chain amino acids, BCAAs, play several roles in your body. MuscleTech has them in their NITRO-TECH products to build muscle, and they are touted to increase athletic performance and promote recovery.
The authors of a 2017 report in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition disputed the muscle-building effects of BCAAs. They claim taking BCAAs creates a competition between all amino acids for cellular access. This competition prevents some amino acids from reaching their target. Given the essential nature of BCAAs, this failure could have serious consequences like triggering the development of insulin resistance.
Read more: What Are BCAA Supplements?
Creatine's Side Effects
MuscleTech also features creatine monohydrate in some of their NITRO-TECH products. Creatine acts as a source of energy for your muscles, and bodybuilders and athletes use it to help improve athletic performance and build muscle. Athletes consider it very effective when combined with protein.
Creatine can, however, cause side effects. A 2017 paper in Neurology noted that 35 percent of subjects given creatine withdrew from testing. Participants often reported stomach discomfort. An animal study from Saint Peter's University showed that daily use of creatine caused kidney damage within a month.
Boron and Bad News
MuscleTech adds boron citrate to NITRO-TECH as a testosterone booster. This essential mineral plays an important role in the development of these hormones, and it can increase testosterone and estrogen in people with low levels.
Yet, having too much boron in your body may lead to toxicity and damage your cells. Boron can also negatively affect the unborn child. The authors of a 2016 paper in Environment International showed that mothers receiving even incidental exposure — through drinking water — had low-birth weight babies.
Allergies and Contamination
MuscleTech also gives customers a standard warning. Protein products may get contaminated by other processing happening at their facility. So, people who have allergic reactions to shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish or eggs should speak with a doctor before using products from the NITRO-TECH line.
- Journal of Food Science: Supplemental Protein in Support of Muscle Mass and Health
- Annals of Biomedical Sciences: Effect of High Plant Protein Cowpeas (Vigna Unguculata) and Animal Protein (Casein) on Renal Function in Rats
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Muscle Protein Synthesis in Humans: Myth or Reality?
- Neurology: The CREST-E Study of Creatine for Huntington Disease
- Saint Peter's University: Effects of Creatine Monohydrate on Renal Function in Wistar Rats
- Environment International: Boron Exposure Through Drinking Water During Pregnancy and Birth Size
- Current Diabetes Reports: Branched Chain Amino Acids in Metabolic Disease
- Enzyme Research: Lactose Hydrolysis in Milk and Dairy Whey
- European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Bodybuilding Protein Supplements and Cow's Milk Allergy in Adult
- Annals of Internal Medicine: The Impact of Protein Intake on Renal Function Decline in Women With Normal Renal Function or Mild Renal Insufficiency
- Hepatology International: Protein Restriction in Hepatic Encephalopathy is Appropriate for Selected Patients
- Kalamazoo College: An Inside Scoop on the Booming Industry of Protein Powders: A Literature Review