What is the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners?


If you are looking for the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners, you have come to the right place. We sweeten our protein powders with monk fruit and maple sugar.

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Collagen Protein Powder

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This article was written by Jack Schrupp and Brittany Adelman, RDN.

Protein powder and artificial sweeteners

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners


We make the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners because we use a short list of simple ingredients, including real maple sugar or monk fruit.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites

coconut

coconut

vanilla

vanilla

monk fruit

monk fruit

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

You will not find a more natural, or naturally sweetened protein powder. Order samples to taste the difference.

What are artificial sweeteners?


Artificial sweeteners are chemicals added to foods and beverages to make them sweet. They are used in almost every brand of protein powder, and are so popular because of their intense sweetness.

A pinch of artificial sweetener, for example, 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.

The most common artificial sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium. You may have also come across sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol.

Sugar alcohols are compounds chemically derived from sugars. Although not technically artificial sweeteners, they raise many of the same concerns as artificial sweeteners.

protein-powder-without-artificial-sweeteners

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?


Despite their obvious benefits, artificial sweeteners are not good for you. First of all, several studies have shown that they can increase cravings toward sugary and sweet foods, which can lead to binging and feelings of withdrawal. If you are trying to lose weight, you are probably just better off just eating sugar.

Research has also associated artificial sweeteners with a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes and diabetes. Again, if you are diabetic, you are probably better off just eating sugar. 

Another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners is that they destroy the gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. A damaged gut microbiome is a leading driver of inflammation in the body, and linked to the development of many chronic diseases.

Some artificial sweeteners have even been associated with increased intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” which can further contribute to digestive problems. Basically, regularly eating artificial sweeteners can not only impair your ability to digest food, but also put your overall health at risk.

Finally, artificial sweeteners can cause painful side effects like bloating and diarrhea. Because they look nothing like real food, artificial sweeteners are hard to digest. They therefore sit around in your gut, feeding your gut bacteria.

Gut bacteria release gas as they eat, so more time to eat means more gas. This can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation.

If you have pre-existing gut issues, artificial sweeteners can also cause diarrhea. Now, you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

protein-powder-no-artificial-sweeteners

Why monk fruit? 


We sweeten some of our protein powder without artificial sweeteners with monk fruit. We do this to accommodate our customers with sensitive stomachs who cannot tolerate added sugar.

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 like monk fruit for a number of reasons. First of all, monk fruit sweetener is the most natural sugar substitute on the market. It 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.

We also like monk fruit because it is sweet like sugar. Of all the sugar substitutes, it has the least aftertaste.

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.

Why maple sugar? 


We are one of only a few protein powder companies to sweeten our products with real sugar. We use Vermont maple sugar, which comes from the sap of sugar maple trees. It is one of the most natural (least processed) sugars, and boasts a number of health benefits.

For starters, maple sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar, which means it has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for individuals who need to manage their blood sugar levels.

Moreover, maple sugar, unlike refined sugar, has not been stripped of its nutrients. It contains minerals and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation that leads to the development of various chronic diseases.

Maple sugar also tastes good, really good. It has a strong maple flavor and aroma just like maple syrup, and no aftertaste. 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.

What about stevia? 


If a company makes protein powder without artificial sweeteners, chances are high that it uses stevia. 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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Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

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Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

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Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

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The benefits of natural protein powder


Natural protein powders that prioritize whole, minimally processed ingredients have several benefits. Here are a few of them: 

  1. More nutrients – Protein powders made with natural ingredients contain more nutrients than those made with artificial ingredients. These vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to overall well-being and support a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Easy digestion – Protein powders made with natural ingredients are easier to digest than those made with artificial ingredients. They contain more enzymes and other natural digestive aids that help you break them down.
  3. Better flavor and texture – Protein powders made with natural ingredients simply taste better than those made with artificial ingredients. Artificial ingredients taste like chemicals, whereas natural ingredients taste like food. 

Finding a truly natural protein powder can be a challenge, however. With so many options and so many ingredients, shopping can be overwhelming. Continue reading for a few best practices from a registered dietitian. 

Tips from a dietitian

Here are a few tips from a registered dietitian on how to read ingredient lists:

  1. Look for minimally-processed, whole food protein sources. Avoid protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.
  2. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Common artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin.
  3. Look for natural sweeteners. The best natural sweeteners are honey, maple sugar, and monk fruit. The latter has the added advantage of being sugar-free.
  4. Avoid food additives. Steer clear of emulsifiers, flavors, thickeners, and other additives. Here is a list of the most common additives in protein powder:

acacia fiber, acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, aspartame, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, ‘natural’ flavors, rice bran extract, rice dextrin, rice hulls, rosemary extract, silica, silicon dioxide, sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, soluble corn fiber, soy lecithin, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, xylitol, zinc oxide

In short, by incorporating protein powders made with natural ingredients into your diet, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs without filling it with junk. 

“Choosing a protein powder with natural ingredients not only provides a cleaner and healthier option, but it also allows you to fuel your body with wholesome nutrients that support your protein and wellness goals.” – Brittany Adelman, RDN

Reviews

Kelynn

1 week ago

Verified Purchase Hi! Your powder has been life-changing for me! I wear many hats as a military spouse, mom of a toddler, and yoga teacher. However, the hats I wear of being a human, living with endometriosis and IBS, are the ones these simple ingredients have most impacted! Thank you! Thank you for creating a product for stomachs that is sensitive, simple, AND still packs a punch protein wise!

For Egg White Protein Powder

Tom

2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Your protein is seriously a game changer for me. I went from 135 to 170 in a few months due to the shakes I made with your protein powder. I've been drinking 1 each day for the last bit of time. Most protein kills my gut. You guys are seriously making a life support for me. Thank you for all that you do and create!

For Egg White Protein Powder

Mimi

3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

For Egg White Protein Powder

Frequently asked questions

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.

TEST

TEST

Protein Rice Krispies Treats

PREP TIME

15 min

COOK TIME

0 min

SERVES

2+

Ingredients
Instructions

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the heat, and incorporate the protein powder. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until combined. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch greased pan. Let your Protein Rice Krispie Treats sit for 30 minutes before eating.

Disclaimer

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.

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