What is the best protein powder without artificial flavors?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial flavors. Instead of using artificial or natural flavors, we flavor our protein powders with real foods like Madagascar vanilla beans. Order samples to see if our protein powders are right for you. 


“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”


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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial flavors.

What are artificial flavors?

What is the best protein powder without artificial flavors?

Why drink wholesome?

What are artificial flavors?

Artificial flavors are chemically synthesized compounds designed to mimic the taste of flavors found in nature. Notice that I wrote “flavors found in nature,” not “natural flavors.” Natural flavors, or natural flavorings, are ingredients made or extracting certain chemical compounds from food. Like artificial flavors, they are not naturally occurring. Read my article on natural flavors to learn more.

Artificial flavors are used in a wide range of consumer products, including protein supplements. Food, beverage, and supplement manufacturers like using artificial flavors for several reasons, including:

Consistency: Artificial flavors provide a consistent taste profile, ensuring that every batch tastes the same.

Shelf stability: Artificial flavors do not change over time like natural flavors and ingredients, which can extend shelf life.

Cost-effectiveness: Artificial flavors are often cheaper to produce and use compared to natural flavors and ingredients, making them an economical option.

Despite their benefits, artificial flavors are not something you want to see on the ingredient list. First of all, artificial flavors lack nutritional value. Unlike real foods, artificial flavors do not provide any nutritional benefits. Second, eating artificial flavors can pose health risks.

Because artificial flavors look nothing like real foods, they are hard to break down. For people with sensitive stomachs and gut issues, this can cause side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain. Side effects occur because foods that are hard to digest sit in your gut for longer than food is supposed to. This either causes your gut to absorb water, leading to diarrhea, or feeds your gut bacteria, which release gas. Extra gas can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and can even hinder the movement of food through the colon, resulting in constipation.

Moreover, although eating small amounts of artificial flavors does not bother most people, additives like flavors can add up, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. Over time, eating artificial flavors can disrupt regulatory pathways within the intestines, contributing to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial flavors can also disturb the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This can bring about long term gut health issues.

What is the best protein powder without artificial flavors?

If you are concerned about artificial flavors, you should also be concerned about the many other food additives used in protein powders. Most protein powders contain emulsifiers, thickeners, and artificial sweeteners, none of which look anything like real food, and all of which are bad for your gut. The best protein powder without artificial flavors is thus going to be additive-free (that includes natural flavors). My advice is to look for a short list of simple ingredients, and avoid the following:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, natural flavors, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder without artificial flavors is that we do not use food additives, period. 

our ingredients: 

egg whites, coconut, vanilla, monk fruit

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

As you can see, instead of using vanilla extract, or a vanilla flavoring, we use real vanilla. It is far more expensive, but the only healthy way to achieve a vanilla flavor.

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best protein powder without artificial flavors is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein, which come from the production of cheese and yogurt, have gained a reputation for triggering gastrointestinal (GI) problems. This is particularly evident among individuals with lactose intolerance, as their bodies lack the enzymes required for complete lactose digestion, the sugar found in dairy. As previously mentioned, the consumption of partially digested food can result in various unpleasant digestive symptoms. 

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder without artificial flavors is that we use real food protein sources, not protein concentrates and isolates. On the contrary, nearly every other protein powder uses one or both these protein sources, which are food stripped of everything but the protein. Instead of being labeled as “peas” or “whey,” they are listed as “pea protein” or “whey protein.”

The production of protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical processing. In certain cases, chemical solvents like hexane are utilized to extract the protein from its natural source. Consequently, what you add to your protein shake bears little resemblance to real food.

Your digestive system is naturally designed to process minimally-processed or unprocessed real foods, not synthetic imitations. Deviating from real food can therefore result in unfavorable side effects. While the long-term effects of consuming processed food products like protein isolates are still being researched, emerging studies indicate that they can disrupt the composition of the gut microbiota, leading to lasting damage to the gut.

Beyond its fundamental role in food digestion, the gut acts as a crucial protective barrier against harmful pathogens, plays a vital role in educating the immune system, and influences numerous physiological processes both directly and indirectly. Consequently, imbalances in the delicate equilibrium of the gut microbiome have been associated with the development of several chronic diseases. Given this connection, I strongly advise against the consumption of protein powders containing protein concentrates and isolates.

We are proud to make the best protein powder without artificial flavors with simple ingredients like egg whites and almonds. The egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried. As for the almonds, they are roasted, pressed to extract some oil, and finely ground. These minimally-processed ingredients are a highly digestible and gut-friendly source of protein, unlike protein concentrates and isolates.

For individuals without egg allergies or sensitivities, egg white protein provides an exceptional choice for maintaining gut health. With their low fiber content and minimal FODMAPs, egg whites are gentle on the digestive system. Furthermore, they possess the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Our customers consistently express positive feedback, stating that they experience fewer digestive issues with egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein powder.

If you have dietary restrictions that prevent you from consuming eggs, our vegan almond protein powder serves as an excellent alternative. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and vital nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prioritize almonds over other minimally processed plant protein sources due to their exceptional properties that promote gut health. Research even suggests that almonds exhibit prebiotic characteristics, supporting the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome, ultimately improving gut health.

In conclusion, our protein powders undergo minimal processing to prioritize the well-being of your gut.


easy to digest

“I LOVE your protein drink. I have low blood sugar and cannot take in any sugars, and never any artificial sweeteners. Also, I have lactose intolerance. Thank you. I believe in your product.” – Christine

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial flavors.

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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.