The Syntha 6: In-Depth Review
Syntha 6, made by a company called Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition or just BSN, is a highly touted protein powder that includes six sources of protein and a massive array of ingredients and purported benefits.
Syntha 6 is BSN’s flagship product. The company also offers protein bars, premade shakes, and five other protein powders in addition to the Syntha 6. BSN has been in business since 2001, making its products at their facility in Illinois.
BSN offers sponsorships to athletes and fitness promoters who have enough clout and followers on social media. Their roster includes Lizzie Martinez, a bodybuilder, coach, IFBB pro, and highly paid personal trainer. Mr. Olympia hopeful and YouTube strongman Joe Wachs is another sponsorship recipient. Martinez and Wachs are typical of the athletes who help promote BSN products.
Why do so many professional and recreational athletes like Syntha 6? BSN calls it “an ultra premium lean muscle protein powder.” With over 30 ingredients, the product combines fast and slow absorption proteins that mix in your body to provide hours of protein stacking, encouraging your body to grow during recovery after the product fuels your workouts.
Syntha 6 also tastes great. It comes in 6 flavors and sells at a reasonable price for what it is. The powder comes in almost any size/weight imaginable, dissolves well in your favorite drinks, and is available in both plastic cartons and bulk bags for use in gyms or at events. The product currently ranks quite high in Amazon’s best selling protein powder list. A single serving gives you 22 grams of protein, with 15 grams of carbs and just 6 grams of fat. The shakes also deliver fiber, and there are 200 calories per serving. Calcium, iron, and magnesium, all essential nutrients, are also present in helpful amounts.
Let’s do a deep dive into the features, pros and cons, and bottom line value of Syntha 6 and see if the product lives up to all the glowing reviews and endorsements we found online.
Tasty flavors, no matter what you mix with
Reasonable price compared to competing products
22 grams of protein, about 9 calories/gram
Powder is vegetarian (not vegan)
6 sources of protein in each container
High sodium, cholesterol content
Artificial ingredients/higher than average carbs
So, in the absence of meat extracts or the like, where does the protein in this product come from? Like a lot of companies, BSN gets creative in sourcing its muscle building and recovery enhancing elements.
The main protein source is whey. Whey is a common ingredient in commercial protein powders. Whey is a byproduct, the liquid left behind by milk after it curdles or breaks down its molecular bonds to allow its natural casein proteins to clump together in semisolid lumps. Whey is a super concentrated form of protein that delivers a punch when taken as part of a solution, like protein powder. Dissolving the dry powder activates the benefits.
Casein occurs naturally in dairy and human milk. To this natural ingredient, BSN added calcium to enhance the casein effects and purity. BSN also adds micellar casein (which digests more slowly than straight casein), protein isolates (from the milk), egg whites or albumen, and something called glutamine peptide.
Glutamine peptide is an amino acid that aids in muscle building and recovery. You may run across glutamine peptide as a standalone supplement; many bodybuilders and athletes use it to promote healing and muscle growth after intense micro-tearing workouts.
This alphabet soup of proteins and derivatives is what gives Syntha 6 is slow/fast digestion and recovery powers.
That’s it for the six protein sources in Syntha 6. While the marketing isn’t designed to mislead, it’s a bit confusing because at least four of the six sources come from curdled milk.
Other Main Ingredients
15 grams of carbs gives you about 13 calories per gram of carbs. For perspective, there are 15 grams of carbs in a third a cup of cooked pasta--that’s around 5 calories per gram of carbs, assuming your third a cup of spaghetti has 70 calories which is average.
Pasta is one of the carbiest of high carb foods. 70 calories of Syntha 6 would only give you about 5 carbs, as opposed to more than twice that many with pasta. While the Syntha 6 has far lower carb levels, then, you can’t count this as a low carb supplement. If you are doing the keto diet, this is not a suitable product for you.
Syntha 6 also contains 6 grams of fat per serving, including 2 grams of saturated fat. This is to be expected from a product that utilizes so many animal-based products. Mother’s milk, from any species of mother, is high in fat to promote infant growth and wellness. There is actually no science behind the use of low-fat foods, and some healthy fats are essential for your body, so we don’t see the 6 grams as a deal-breaker or reason not to use this product. That’s especially true when you consider the whopping protein content and relatively low caloric content of a single serving.
Disodium phosphate is a thickening agent found in many shake mixes. It and a few others with similar-sounding names help stabilize the finished drinks.
Sodium and cholesterol in Syntha 6 make up 9 and 23 percent of US RDA for both substances, respectively. Those with high blood pressure or heart ailments may want to consider a different supplement. Sodium and salt, in limited doses, do help with electrolyte balance after workouts lasting an hour or more where you lose water via sweat.
Syntha 6 contains Splenda as a sweetener, along with artificial colors and soy lecithin. Soy lecithin helps the powder dissolve in liquid and mix more consistently.
There are also secondary ingredients designed to aid with sore muscles, facilitate digestion, provide healthy fats, and fortify your body with calcium. There’s some synthetic fiber, which may or may not be as effective as natural fiber. Although none of the ingredients have harmful side effects, some of them feel like filler to us and we’re certain most users are after the protein, not the extras.
Syntha 6 does not claim to be an all-natural product, though BSN vouches for its supply chain and manufacturing facility. There are corn syrup ingredients, egg proteins, corn, milk, soy, and wheat ingredients present in the mix.
Why Syntha 6?
We aren’t going to do that--ever--but the idea does raise the question: why pick Syntha 6 over any one of seemingly endless competing products? While we acknowledge that there’s no one supplement that is perfect for everyone, there are some key features about Syntha 6 that we think can tip the scales in its favor.
Those features include the price, variety of protein sizes, versatility with different liquids and other shake elements, fast and slow digestion mix, mixability, and post-workout recovery additives. We don’t think the sodium, fats, carbs, cholesterol, and artificial flavors are enough to detract from this product’s reliability or health benefits.
The Final Word
For their part, BSN supports quite a few spokespeople who make a difference with their social media and YouTube channels but don’t have the visibility of a Tony Horton or Jillian Michaels just yet. In fact, anyone with a fitness-y social media following can apply to be a brand ambassador and receive some enticing sponsorship rewards including apparel and product samples as long as they promote BSN on their social media channels.