What is the best protein powder without stevia or sucralose?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without stevia or sucralose. It is sweetened with REAL maple sugar or monk fruit. Order samples to see if our protein powder without sucralose or stevia is right for you. 

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without stevia or sucralose.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is sucralose?

Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that gained popularity thanks to Splenda, the brand in the little yellow packet. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, sucralose is made from real sugar. Through a multi-step chemical process, the chemical structure of sugar is tweaked, making it hundred of times sweeter and virtually calorie-free.

On the surface, sucralose seems like a fantastic alternative to sugar, promising sweetness without the calories. It is also affordable and easily produced. Unfortunately, however, the benefits of sucralose are too good to be true. 

Why should you avoid sucralose? 

To begin, several studies have highlighted that artificial sweeteners like sucralose can actually increase your cravings for sugary and sweet foods, which can lead to binge eating and feeling of withdrawal. Research has also linked artificial sweeteners to a higher risk of glucose intolerance, a precursor to conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes. Basically, artificial sweeteners, despite their perceived benefits, may not be any better for you than sugar.

In fact several studies have found little to no relationship between changes in body weight and the use of artificial sweeteners. That is, people who replace sugar with low-calorie sweeteners like sucralose lose, on average, less than two pounds. One study suggests that people who use artificial sweeteners may actually gain weight because they indulge themselves after having “saved calories” with their diet soda, sugar-free ice cream, etc.

Another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners like sucralose is their ability to alter the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. This can cause widespread inflammation, and has been linked to the development of various chronic diseases.

Lastly, artificial sweeteners like sucralose can trigger uncomfortable side effects such as bloating and diarrhea. Now, you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom.

What is stevia?

If a protein powder does not contain sucralose or another artificial sweetener, it probably contains stevia. Stevia is an inexpensive zero calorie sweetener derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant. It is over 100 times sweeter than table sugar, and is celebrated as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. That said, stevia may not be as natural as you think. 

Why should you avoid stevia? 

Stevia is extracted from the stevia rebaudiana plant using chemicals like ethanol and methyl alcohol. One could argue that this makes it only slightly more natural than the artificial sweeteners it aims to replace. In fact, a recent class action lawsuit in California resulted in a $6.1 million settlement because a company was found to have falsely labeled and advertised its stevia sweeteners as ‘natural.’

If you have gut issues or a sensitive stomach, you might be wondering if stevia is easy to digest. A review of 14 studies revealed that only 4 of them indicated that stevia might have a negative impact on the gut microbiome. It is important to note, however, that stevia can disrupt communication between certain bacteria in your gut. Whether this is a concern or not requires further research.

It is also worth noting that many protein powders that contain stevia also include sugar alcohols like erythritol, which can cause painful gastrointestinal (GI) side effects. Since stevia is more than 100 times sweeter than sugar, it can be challenging to use in its pure form. Sugar alcohols are added to provide volume and texture, making stevia easier to work with.

Why maple sugar? 

We are one of only the few protein powder companies that use real sugar to sweeten our protein powder. Specifically, we use Vermont maple sugar, which comes from the sap of sugar maple trees. It is one of the most natural sugars, and offers several health benefits.

Maple sugar boasts a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, which means it has a smaller effect on blood sugar levels. This can be particularly advantageous for diabetics and people who need to manage their blood sugar levels. Moreover, unlike refined sugar, maple sugar retains several valuable nutrients. For instance, it contains minerals and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation, a key factor in the development of various chronic diseases.

One of the most enticing characteristics of maple sugar is how delicious it is. Maple sugar has a rich maple flavor and aroma, much like maple syrup, and no lingering aftertaste. Sucralose and stevia, on the other hand, often leave a bitter aftertaste because they activate bitter taste receptors.

Why monk fruit? 

We use monk fruit to sweeten some of our protein powder 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 remarkable sweetness, roughly 200 times greater than that of sugar, comes from non-caloric compounds known as mogrosides.

There are several reasons why we favor monk fruit as a sweetener. First and foremost, monk fruit sweetener is among the most natural sugar substitutes. It is made by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a powder. Monk fruit’s sweetness also closely resembles that of sugar, meaning it has the least aftertaste of any sugar substitute.

Because monk fruit sweetener has only been commercially available for about a decade, its impact on chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes remains relatively undocumented. Nonetheless, it has been safely used in Asian cuisine for centuries and has no known side effects, even when consumed in substantial quantities. Additionally, small randomized trials have indicated that monk fruit sweetener does not have adverse effects on 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 sucralose or stevia?

Sucralose and stevia are two of the most common sugar substitutes used in protein powder. They are so popular that It can be hard to find a protein powder without them. Luckily for you, however, you found drink wholesome. We make the best protein powder without stevia or sucralose with 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

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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.