Sick of acesulfame potassium in protein powder?

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

Sick of acesulfame potassium in protein powder? drink wholesome makes protein powder without artificial sweeteners. It is also additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

“If you have a sensitive gut, you need simple ingredients.”

-Brittany Carpenter, MS, RDN/LDN


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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without acesulfame potassium.

What is acesulfame potassium? 

Is acesulfame potassium bad for you?

If not acesulfame potassium, then what do you use? 

Why drink wholesome?

What is acesulfame potassium? 

Acesulfame potassium, also known as Ace-K, is an artificial sweetener. It was first discovered in 1967, and has been approved for a variety of uses in more than 90 countries. In conventional acesulfame potassium production processes, sulfamic acid and an amine are reacted to form an amidosulfamic acid salt. The amidosulfamic acid salt is then reacted with diketene to form an acetoacetamide salt, which may be cyclized, hydrolyzed, and neutralized to form acesulfame potassium. Now you know why it is called an ‘artificial sweetener.’

Ace-K is added to foods and beverages to make them sweet, and is popular because of its intense sweetness. A pinch can be used to achieve the same amount of sweetness as several tablespoons of sugar. This allows food manufacturers to reduce both the caloric and sugar content of their products, which makes it a popular choice for health conscious protein powder companies.

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Is acesulfame potassium bad for you?

Despite their obvious benefits, artificial sweeteners like acesulfame potassium may not be good for you. First of all, several studies have shown that artificial sweeteners may increase cravings toward sugary and sweet foods, which can lead to binging and feelings of withdrawal. Other studies have associated artificial sweeteners with a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Research also suggests that artificial sweeteners may be bad for the gut because they are poorly digested. Poorly digested food sits in your gut for longer than it should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat), and as they eat, these bacteria produce gas. Gas causes bloating, cramps, and nausea. Some artificial sweeteners can also cause diarrhea because they draw water into your gut. One recent study suggests that because artificial sweeteners impair the glycemic response (the effect that food has on blood sugar levels), they can damage the gut microbiome. In the long term, this can alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food) and lead to serious GI problems and widespread inflammation. 

If not acesulfame potassium, then what do you use? 

If you are struggling to find a protein supplement without acesulfame potassium, try drink wholesome. Our protein powders are sweetened with monk fruit. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Its intense sweetness, which is about 200 times that of sugar, is provided by non-caloric compounds called mogrosides.

We use monk fruit for a number of reasons. First of all, monk fruit is the most natural sugar substitute on the market. Monk fruit sweetener is made by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a powder. What ends up in your protein powder is basically concentrated fruit juice. Monk fruit is certainly more natural than artificial sweeteners, and arguably more natural than stevia too. Stevia, although celebrated as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners, may not be as natural as you think. Stevia is extracted from the stevia rebaudiana plant using chemicals like ethanol and methyl alcohol. This, some argue, makes it no more natural than the artificial sweeteners that it seeks to replace. In fact, a recent class action lawsuit filed in California reached a $6.1 million settlement because it was ruled that the company in question falsely labeled and advertised its stevia sweeteners as “natural.” 

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Another reason why we use monk fruit is that it is sweet like sugar. Artificial sweeteners and stevia, on the other hand, have a bitter aftertaste because they activate bitter taste receptors. This bitterness can linger in your mouth for hours and completely ruin your protein shake. 

Given that monk fruit sweetener has only been commercially available for about a decade, its impact on, and association with, chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes has not been well documented. That said, it has been safely used in Asian cuisine for centuries and has no known side effects, even when consumed in large quantities. Moreover, small randomized trials have shown that monk fruit sweetener does not negatively impact blood sugar or insulin levels. For this reason, as well as those outlined above, we believe that monk fruit is the best available sweetener for our protein powders. In case you were wondering, most companies do not use monk fruit because it is expensive.

Why drink wholesome

Our protein powders are additive-free, dairy-free, made with real foods (not protein isolates), and sweetened with monk fruit. They are perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk, and people sick of protein powders that are too sweet or have a bitter aftertaste. You can finally say goodbye to acesulfame potassium in protein powder forever!



“Really enjoy this protein powder. I like that it doesn’t have a chalky artificial taste, and I like that it’s not overly sweet.” – Mary

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.