What is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real food protein, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for individuals with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people simply looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 


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



vanilla protein powder

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients.

What are artificial ingredients?

What is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients?

Why drink wholesome?

What are artificial ingredients?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), artificial ingredients are substances that are not not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Basically, artificial ingredients are not made from something natural, they are synthesized (made in a lab). The most common artificial ingredients used in protein powders are artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and certain food additives.

Artificial sweeteners: The most artificial sweeteners used in protein powders are sucralose and acesulfame potassium, also known as ace-K. Sucralose is derived from sucrose (table sugar) through a chemical process that substitutes three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups in the sugar molecule. To make ace-K, sulfamic acid and an amine are reacted to form an amidosulfamic acid salt, which is then reacted with diketene to form an acetoacetamide salt.

Artificial flavors: Artificial flavors are simply chemical mixtures that mimic chemical composition of the natural substance.

Food additives: Some food additives are artificial. One common example is colors like Red 40.

The use of artificial ingredients in the United States is regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA evaluates the safety of these ingredients before they are allowed in food products, and they must be listed on product labels so consumers can make informed choices about what they consume. That said, emerging research is starting to find that many artificial ingredients are not actually safe for human consumption. 

Keep in mind that sugar alcohols, natural flavors, and most food additives (gums, lecithin, etc.) are not really natural. Per FDA regulations, they are not technically artificial as they are derived from natural substances, but they are certainly not naturally occurring. If I were you, I would steer clear of ingredients like these too. Keep reading to learn why.

making a protein shake with protein powder

What is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients?

A protein powder without artificial ingredients must be naturally sweetened, naturally flavored, and free from synthetic additives. It is important to note, however, just because a protein powder does not contain artificial ingredients does not mean that it is good for you. As I mentioned earlier, many protein powders contain sweeteners, flavors, and additives that are barely natural. Moreover, ingredients like these can contain synthetic solvents, preservatives, carriers, and still qualify as “natural.” This is due to what many consider to be a loophole in current regulation.

woman drinking a protein shake

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One reason why we make the best protein powder without artificial ingredients is that we do not use sugar alcohols, flavors, or food additives of any kind. Added ingredients like these, even if they are technically natural, and even if they are used in small quantities, are hard to digest. This means they spend extra time in your gut, which can cause your colon to absorb extra water, and lead to diarrhea. This also means that they feed your hungry gut bacteria, which produce extra gas. Extra gas can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

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

The real reason to watch out for food additives is their potential long-term effects. Regularly consuming additives can disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, increasing your risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Moreover, food additives, especially sugar alcohols, can disrupt your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This in turn, can affect your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. 

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.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder without artificial ingredients is that we use real food protein sources, not protein concentrates or isolates. Nearly all other protein powders use one or both of these protein sources, which are essentially foods stripped down to only their protein content. Protein concentrates and isolates are technically natural, but they are labeled as “pea protein” or “whey protein,” not as “peas” or “whey.”

Creating protein concentrates and isolates requires substantial mechanical and chemical manipulation. In specific cases, chemical agents like hexane are utilized to extract protein from the food. Consequently, what ends up in your protein shake bears minimal resemblance to real food.

vegan vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1

Your digestive system is designed to handle minimally altered or unprocessed real foods, not synthetic or extensively modified ingredients. Consuming anything other than real food can lead to complications. Although the long-term consequences of ingesting processed ingredients like protein isolates are still being investigated, emerging studies indicate their potential to disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome.

Beyond its role in digestion, the gut acts as a barrier against harmful pathogens, contributes to educating the immune system, and impacts various bodily functions. Imbalances within the gut microbiome have hence been closely associated with the onset of numerous chronic diseases. Given this link, I strongly discourage the intake of protein powders containing protein concentrates and isolates.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 14 servings serving suggestion

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder without artificial ingredients with egg whites and almonds. Turning egg whites into protein powder only requires pasteurization and drying, while making protein powder from almonds just requires roasting, oil extraction through pressing, and grinding. These minimally-processed ingredients make protein powders that the body can effortlessly digest. Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, real food ingredients like these contain enzymes and natural digestive aids that help with digestion.

For those without egg-related allergies or sensitivities, egg white protein powder is the best choice for your gut. Low in fiber, low FODMAP, and alkaline, egg whites are remarkably easy to digest. Our satisfied clientele reports experiencing fewer digestive issues with our egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement.

For those who cannot eat eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is a superb alternative. Almonds have prebiotic qualities, nurturing the diversity of the gut microbiome. They also promote regular and healthy bowel movements.

In conclusion, our protein powders undergo minimal processing to prioritize your gut and overall health.


easy to digest

“The gums, preservatives, protein isolates, artificial sweeteners, and other junk that’s added to most powders makes them really difficult to digest. Yet I still like to add some protein to my smoothies to help balance my blood sugar and keep me full for longer. Enter drink wholesome. Your simple protein powders have been a godsend. No side effects and they taste great. I’ll be a customer for life.” – Emily

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial ingredients.


vegan chocolate protein powder

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3 protein powder samples


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.