Almost every consumable product comes with a nutrition facts label. By understanding how to read the nutrition facts label you can decide whether the product is suitable for your consumption or not.
Three important things in nutrition facts label are:
- Serving size
- Percent daily value
Serving size may not be exactly the same as you see in the nutrition facts label
1 cup measurement is mostly 227 grams (8 oz)
1 bowl measurement is mostly 2 cups
The 5/20 rule:
If a nutrient is 5% or less than 5% of the daily value then product is a poor source of that particular nutrient.
If a nutrient is 20% or more than 20% of the daily value then, the product is a good source of that nutrient.
In case of sodium & saturated fat, less than 5% is good.
How to read the nutrition facts label:
The net weight / quantity per serving is 30.4 grams per rounded scoop. This product gives you a total of 74 servings (74 scoops).
You may want to consider the number of servings required / day in addition to this.
E.g. The serving size in the BSN Nitrix (180 tablets) will say 3 tablets & 60 servings per container. Below the nutrition facts label there is a direction to use column that says 3 tablets 2 times per day i.e. 2 servings per day. If you take the supplement as per direction you may not get 60 servings.
The energy value shows the total number of calories per serving. It also shows the number of calories from fat alone.
The energy value is calculated from the macro nutrients fats, carbohydrates & proteins.
1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
Here is an example to calculate the calorie from protein alone.
If a product provides 24 grams of protein / serving. By multiplying 24 (grams of protein) X 4 (calories) you will get a total of 96 calories from protein alone.
The nutrition info shows the amount of macro & micro nutrition per serving. The amount of nutrition will be mentioned in grams & also in daily value.
E.g. This product provides 3 grams of carbohydrates which includes 1 gram of sugar.
The daily value shows the percentage of that particular nutrition the supplement provides. Less than 5% of the daily value is considered low. Above 20% of the daily value is high. In general the daily value is calculated based on a 2000 calorie diet. It may vary if you consume more or fewer calories.
The daily value may not be mentioned for some nutrients like proteins, sugars etc… as there is no recommended daily value is fixed.
The ingredients used in manufacturing this supplement are mentioned here. The key ingredients may also be mentioned as proprietary blend if there is a particular formula used in making the product by the manufacturer.
Certain supplements contain proprietary blend. In the nutrition facts panel the total weight of all dietary ingredients will be mentioned alongside the term “proprietary blend”. The proprietary blend may also be mentioned in fancy terms.
E.g. BSN no-xplode uses the term “myogenic matrix”, “endure shot” etc.. For their proprietary blend.
The ingredients in the proprietary blend will be listed in the descending order by weight of the ingredient though the individual weight of the ingredient might not be mentioned.