What is the best protein powder without sugar alcohols?

drink wholesome makes the best protein powder without sugar alcohols. It is sweetened with maple sugar or monk fruit, depending on the flavor. Order samples to see if our protein powders are right for you. 


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drink wholesome is the best protein powder without sugar alcohols.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What are sugar alcohols?

Sugar alcohols, also known as polyols, are a type of carbohydrate commonly used as sweeteners in processed foods. Despite their name, sugar alcohols are neither sugar nor alcohol in the traditional sense. They are naturally occurring compounds chemically derived from sugars. Common sugar alcohols include: xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol, and isomalt.

Sugar alcohols have a sweet taste, but are not fully absorbed by the body, meaning they contribute fewer calories to your diet than sugar. They are therefore commonly used as alternatives to sugar in sugar-free or reduced-sugar products. Sugar alcohols also do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels like sugar.

The sweetness of sugar alcohols varies from 25% to 100% as sweet as sugar. For this reason, large amounts of sugar alcohols are sometimes needed to achieve the desired sweetness. It is also worth noting that sugar levels in processed foods are typically more than 1,000-times greater than levels found in nature. It is therefore not surprising that many people experience side effects, such as bloating or diarrhea, when consuming foods with sugar alcohols.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), listing sugar alcohols on the ingredient list is voluntary for food manufacturers, as long as they do not make a claim about sugar alcohols or make a claim about sugar (like “sugar free” or “no added sugar”). This means that your protein powder could contain sugar alcohols and you would never know it.

Are sugar alcohols bad for you?

There are many advantages to replacing added sugars with sugar alcohols. For starters, eating too many added sugars can raise your risk for chronic disease such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugar alcohols are also less likely to contribute to tooth decay compared to regular sugar. That said, sugar alcohols are also known to cause a number of unfortunate side effects.

Most sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues when consumed in large amounts. For people with sensitive stomachs, even small amounts of sugar alcohols can trigger side effects. The most common symptoms are bloating and gas, but some sugar alcohols like sorbitol can also cause diarrhea

Regularly consuming sugar alcohols has been shown to disrupt the composition and function of the gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This can not only impair your ability to digest and absorb food, but can also trigger the development of a number of chronic diseases

Erythritol in particular has been linked to an increased risk for heart attacks and stroke. An NIH-funded study recently found that elevated levels of erythritol were associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events. In fact, people with the highest erythritol levels (top 25%) were about twice as likely to have cardiovascular events as those with the lowest (bottom 25%).

In trying to better understand how erythritol might increase these health risks, the researchers determined that consuming erythritol may increase blood clot formation, which, in turn, could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. If this is not a good reason to avoid sugar alcohols, then I do not know what is.


What about stevia? 

If a company makes protein powders without artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, it probably uses stevia. While stevia is often lauded as a natural alternative to other sugar substitutes, it may not be as natural as you think.

Stevia is derived from a plant, but the extraction process requires the use of chemicals such as ethanol and methyl alcohol. Critics argue that this makes stevia no more natural than the artificial sweeteners it aims to replace. In fact, a recent lawsuit in California led to a $6.1 million settlement because the company in question was found to have 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 free from sugar alcohols, you have come to the right place. We sweeten our protein powder with real sugar, specifically maple sugar from the sap of sugar maple trees. Maple sugar not only adds a natural sweetness, but also a number of health benefits.

First and foremost, maple sugar boasts a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, meaning it has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels. This is particularly advantageous for individuals with diabetes and those trying to lose weight. Moreover, unlike refined sugar, maple sugar contains minerals and antioxidants that contribute to reducing inflammation—a key factor in the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Maple sugar is not just a health-conscious choice; it also takes the taste of your protein shake to a whole new level. Its rich maple flavor and inviting aroma closely resemble that of maple syrup, without any lingering aftertaste. In contrast, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and stevia leave a bitter aftertaste because they activate bitter taste receptors. Rest assured, your protein shake will never be more delicious than with the addition of maple sugar.

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Why monk fruit? 

We also use monk fruit as a sweetener in some of our protein powders for our customers who have difficulty tolerating added sugar. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, comes from Southeast Asia and looks like a melon. Its intense sweetness, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, can be attributed to non-caloric compounds called mogrosides.

There are several reasons why we opt for monk fruit as a sweetener. Firstly, it stands out as the most natural sugar substitute available. It is made by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a powder. Essentially, what you find in your protein powder is concentrated fruit juice. Another aspect that makes monk fruit appealing is its sweetness, which closely mirrors that of sugar. Among all sugar substitutes, it leaves the least aftertaste.

Monk fruit sweetener has only been commercially available for approximately a decade, so its effects on chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes have not been well documented. Nevertheless, it has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries, with no known side effects even when consumed in substantial quantities. Furthermore, small randomized trials have also shown that monk fruit sweetener does not appear to have adverse impacts on blood sugar or insulin levels.

During the production of other monk fruit sweeteners, the fruit is blended with sugar alcohols to make it look more like table sugar. This is especially the case for monk fruit sweeteners intended to replace white sugar. The monk fruit sweetener we use, however, is made with 100% monk fruit. There are no added ingredients, so you can rest assured that your protein powder is sugar alcohol-free.

What is the best protein powder without sugar alcohols? 

drink wholesome is the best protein powder without sugar alcohols. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients, and sweetened with maple sugar or monk fruit, depending on the flavor. You will not find a more natural, or naturally-sweetened protein powder. Order samples to taste the difference.



“This stuff is amazing…I use it as a meal replacement…will continue to buy…the company needs to market this product more. I found it on Google by trying to find a protein powder with monk fruit. So here I am…buy it, you won’t be sorry!” – Lisa

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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.


Protein Powder Without Sugar Alcohols: The Sweet Magic of Maple Sugar and Monk Fruit

In the world of fitness and nutrition, protein powder has become a go-to staple for many individuals looking to support their health and fitness goals. Whether you’re an athlete striving to build muscle or someone seeking to increase your daily protein intake, protein powders have you covered. However, not all protein powders are created equal, and some contain sugar alcohols, which can lead to digestive discomfort for some people. If you’re searching for a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste, look no further. In this article, we’ll explore the world of sugar alcohol-free protein powders sweetened with the natural goodness of maple sugar and monk fruit.

The Downside of Sugar Alcohols

Before we dive into the virtues of maple sugar and monk fruit, let’s first understand why you might want to avoid sugar alcohols in your protein powder. Sugar alcohols, such as erythritol, xylitol, and maltitol, are commonly used as sugar substitutes in various processed foods, including protein powders. While they provide sweetness without the added calories of regular sugar, they can come with a set of potential drawbacks for certain individuals.

One of the most common issues associated with sugar alcohols is digestive discomfort. Overconsumption of sugar alcohols can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea, making it an unpleasant experience for those with sensitive digestive systems. Additionally, some people find the taste of sugar alcohols to be less satisfying or even artificial, which can take away from the enjoyment of their protein shakes.

The Marvelous Maple Sugar

Maple sugar is a natural sweetener derived from the sap of sugar maple trees. Unlike highly processed refined sugar, maple sugar retains some of the essential nutrients found in the sap, including manganese, riboflavin, and zinc. Here are some of the benefits of using maple sugar as a sweetener in protein powders:

1. Natural Sweetness: Maple sugar provides a delightful, earthy sweetness without the need for artificial or chemical sweeteners. It can satisfy your sweet tooth without causing sugar spikes or crashes.

2. Nutrient-Rich: While the nutrient content in maple sugar may not be as abundant as in whole foods, it’s worth noting that it contains small amounts of essential nutrients that can contribute to your overall well-being.

3. Lower Glycemic Index: Maple sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to regular table sugar. This means it has a milder impact on blood sugar levels, making it a better choice for those concerned about glycemic control.

4. Distinct Flavor Profile: Maple sugar imparts a unique and natural maple flavor to protein powders, creating a more interesting and enjoyable taste experience compared to bland sweeteners.

The Wonders of Monk Fruit

Monk fruit, scientifically known as luo han guo, is a small green gourd native to southern China. The sweetness of monk fruit comes from natural compounds called mogrosides, which are significantly sweeter than sugar but contain zero calories. Monk fruit extract has gained popularity among those seeking a sugar-free or low-sugar lifestyle. Here are some of the benefits of using monk fruit as a sweetener in protein powders:

1. Zero Calories: Monk fruit extract is calorie-free, making it an excellent choice for individuals looking to reduce their calorie intake without sacrificing sweetness.

2. Minimal Impact on Blood Sugar: Monk fruit has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels, making it suitable for people with diabetes or those watching their carbohydrate intake.

3. High Sweetness: Monk fruit extract is incredibly sweet, so only a small amount is needed to achieve the desired level of sweetness in protein powders. This allows you to enjoy a sweet taste without excessive sugar consumption.

4. Antioxidant Properties: Monk fruit contains mogrosides, natural compounds with antioxidant properties that may help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Discovering Sugar Alcohol-Free Protein Powders with Maple Sugar and Monk Fruit

Now that you’re acquainted with the benefits of maple sugar and monk fruit, let’s explore some sugar alcohol-free protein powders that incorporate these natural sweeteners:

Plant-Based Protein Powders: Plant-based protein powders, which often include sources like pea protein, brown rice protein, and chia seeds, frequently use maple sugar and monk fruit for a touch of sweetness. These powders come in various flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, catering to diverse taste preferences.

Whey Protein Powders: For those who prefer whey protein, there are options that sweeten their products with maple sugar and monk fruit. These protein powders deliver high-quality whey protein while avoiding the use of sugar alcohols.

Collagen Protein Powders: Collagen protein powders have gained popularity due to their potential benefits for skin, hair, and joint health. Some of these powders use monk fruit extract as a natural sweetener, providing both flavor and health-conscious benefits.

Meal Replacement Shakes: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive nutritional experience, consider meal replacement shakes that blend protein from various sources and are sweetened with monk fruit or maple sugar. These shakes often incorporate superfoods, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a well-rounded meal alternative.


In your journey toward a healthier lifestyle, protein powders can be valuable allies. However, it’s crucial to make informed choices and opt for sugar alcohol-free options if you’re sensitive to their potential digestive effects. Maple sugar and monk fruit offer natural sweetness with a host of benefits, from their origins to their minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Whether you lean towards plant-based or whey protein, there’s a wide array of choices available in the market. When selecting a protein powder, always examine the ingredient list and nutrition label to ensure it aligns with your dietary goals and preferences. By making the switch to protein powders sweetened with maple sugar and monk fruit, you can enjoy your daily protein intake without the potential digestive discomfort associated with sugar alcohols, all while savoring the delightful flavors these natural sweeteners bring to your shakes and smoothies.