What is the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners. It is sweetened with REAL maple sugar or monk fruit. Order samples to see if our artificial sweetener-free protein powder is right for you. 


vanilla protein powder

(66) $44.99$64.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


3 protein powder samples


drink wholesome is the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

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 ingredients like xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol. These are sugar alcohols, compounds chemically derived from sugars. Although not technically artificial sweeteners, they raise many of the same concerns as 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. 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, which means you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom.


What about stevia? 

If a company makes protein powder without artificial sweeteners, chances are high that it uses steviaStevia, although celebrated as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners, may not be as natural as you think. It 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.”

vanilla protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 2

Why maple sugar? 

If you are looking for a protein powder without artificial sweeteners, you have come to the right place. 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.

chocolate protein powder 14 servings lifestyle image 1
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 2

Why monk fruit? 

We sweeten some of our no artificial sweetener protein powder 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. 

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

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



“Finally a protein powder made with real sugar. This stuff is excellent. I mean literally the best protein powder I’ve ever had. The taste is good and I feel good after drinking it too. I’ve never had a protein powder that didn’t make me bloat before. 🤜 🤛” – Ron

Read more reviews or take the quiz.


chocolate protein powder

(46) $44.99$64.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


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.