So you should now know the importance of why to avoid proprietary blends - they don't really share the quantity of the ingredients that are put into the blend. For example, a proprietary blend may say it has L-Citrulline, but did you know that you need 6g of L- Citrulline to feel an effect? That's what we call the Efficacious Dose - the dose needed for your for the ingredient to have any affect whatsoever in the body.
There are two occurrences as to when you must pay attention to the effaciouc dosing.
The first, as we have spoken about before, is when a proprietary blend is present on the label. We would advise to skip the product all together, hwoeevr if you are interested make sure to do your research. By law a brand does not have to share the individual quantities in a proprietary blend, but they must share the total that is contained within the proprietary blend.
For example, see the image below
We do not know which product this is as we just found it online with a quick google search.
Now it may look good - It has a form of Arginine, great for nitric oxide boosting, creatine monohydrate which improves power and helps muscle growth, and caffeine for energy, however with closer inspection, the ingredients do not meet the efficacious dosing needs.
According to examine.com, a third party independent website with research to support dosing needs, the following dose of each ingredient is needed.
L - Argnine: 3-6g For acute studies (taking a single dose of L-Arginine prior to exercise) 3g of arginine (as AAKG) has failed to benefit weight training)
Creatine Monohydrate: 5g
Caffeine: 4-6mg/kg body-weight
Removing the caffeine for simplicity, you would need 8g at the minimum of Arginine and Creatine Monohydrate to feel an affect, and yet the total weight (in grams) for a single serving of this product is 4.145g, nearly half of what you need if we assume that it only had Arginine and Creatine Monohydrate. Let's not get into the 4 ingredients listed.
For products that don't have proprietary blends and are honest enough to let you know what's inside, use examine.com, a great independent source or our cheat sheet to determine whether or not the product you're interested in has the right quantity of ingredients per serving!