drink wholesome is the best protein shake without artificial sweeteners.
What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are chemicals added to foods and beverages to impart a sweet taste. They are a staple in nearly every brand of protein supplement, and their widespread popularity can be attributed to their remarkable sweetness. Just a small amount of artificial sweetener can provide the same level of sweetness as several tablespoons of sugar. This enables food manufacturers to reduce both the calorie and sugar content of their products.
The most common artificial sweeteners used in protein shakes and powders are sucralose and acesulfame potassium. You might also have come across xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol, and mannitol, which are sugar alcohols. While not technically artificial sweeteners, these sugar substitutes raise many of the same concerns. Keep reading to learn more.
Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?
Despite their tempting advantages, artificial sweeteners are not the best choice for your health. To begin, multiple studies have shown that they increase cravings for sugary and sweet foods, leading overeating and feelings of withdrawal. If you looking to shed a few pounds, you might be better off opting for real sugar. Research has also linked artificial sweeteners to an increased risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor to conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes.
Another compelling reason to steer clear of artificial sweeteners is their detrimental impact on the gut microbiome – the diverse community of microorganisms living in your digestive tract. A compromised gut microbiome is a major driver of inflammation in the body, and linked to the development of numerous chronic illnesses. Essentially, regularly consuming artificial sweeteners not only impairs your digestion, but also poses a threat to your overall well-being.
Lastly, artificial sweeteners can bring about unpleasant side effects such as bloating and diarrhea. Since they look nothing like real food, artificial sweeteners can be hard to break down. They consequently linger in your gut, feeding your hungry gut bacteria. Bacteria release gas as they eat, so giving them more time to eat causes bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation. For individuals with pre-existing gastrointestinal issues, artificial sweeteners can also trigger diarrhea, as they cause the colon to absorb excess water.
What about stevia?
If a company makes protein shakes without artificial sweeteners, it is very likely that they use stevia. While stevia is often hailed as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners, it may not be as natural as you think. Stevia is derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant through a process involving chemicals like ethanol and methyl alcohol.
Some argue that this extraction process makes it no more natural than the artificial sweeteners it aims to replace. In fact, a recent lawsuit in California resulted in a $6.1 million settlement because the company in question was found to have falsely labeled and advertised its stevia sweeteners as “natural.”
Why maple sugar?
If you are on the hunt for a protein shake without artificial sweetener, you have come to the right place. We are among the few companies that sweeten protein supplements with real sugar. Specifically, we use Vermont maple sugar, sourced from the sap of sugar maple trees. It is one of the most natural sweeteners, and offers a range of health benefits.
To kick things off, maple sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to refined sugar, meaning it has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels. This can be particularly advantageous for diabetics and people trying to lose weight. Furthermore, unlike refined sugar, maple sugar contains minerals and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a leading cause of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Maple sugar does not just deliver on the health front; it also tastes absolutely fantastic. It has a robust maple flavor and aroma akin to maple syrup, without any aftertaste. In contrast, artificial sweeteners and stevia often leave a bitter aftertaste because they activate bitter taste receptors. Trust me, your protein shake will never taste better.
Why monk fruit?
We also use monk fruit as a sweetener in some of our protein shakes, primarily to cater to customers with sensitive stomachs who may have difficulty tolerating added sugar. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Its intense sweetness, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, is attributed to non-caloric compounds known as mogrosides.
We use monk fruit for several reasons. Firstly, it stands out as one of the most natural sugar substitutes available. It is made by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a powder. Basically, what shows up in your protein shake is concentrated fruit juice. Another thing we love about monk fruit is its sweetness, which closely resembles that of sugar. Of all the sugar substitutes, it has the least aftertaste.
Its worth noting that because monk fruit sweetener has only been commercially available for approximately a decade, its potential effects on chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes have not been extensively documented. Nevertheless, it has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries, with no known side effects even when consumed in large quantities. Furthermore, small randomized trials have indicated that monk fruit sweetener does not appear to have adverse impacts on blood sugar or insulin levels.
What are the best protein shakes without artificial sweetener?
We make the best protein shakes without artificial sweetener with a short list of simple ingredients like maple sugar and monk fruit. You will not find a more natural, or naturally sweetened protein shake. 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
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.
Savoring Natural Sweetness: The Best Protein Shakes Without Artificial Sweeteners
Protein shakes have become a dietary mainstay for those seeking to enhance their fitness, refuel after workouts, or simply maintain a balanced diet. While the market is flooded with protein shake options, many contain artificial sweeteners that may raise concerns about health and taste preferences. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of protein shakes without artificial sweeteners, with a particular focus on the benefits of natural sweeteners like maple sugar and monk fruit. Discover how these natural alternatives can elevate your protein shake experience while promoting overall well-being.
The Pitfalls of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners have been used in various food products, including protein shakes, as sugar substitutes. While they provide sweetness without added calories, some individuals have reservations about their consumption for several reasons:
1. Health Concerns: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin have raised health concerns, with some studies linking them to potential negative effects on metabolism and gut health.
2. Taste Preferences: Artificial sweeteners may have an aftertaste or differ in flavor from natural sweeteners, which can affect the taste and overall enjoyment of protein shakes.
3. Allergies and Sensitivities: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions or sensitivities to certain artificial sweeteners.
4. Natural Alternatives: Many people prefer natural sweeteners like maple sugar and monk fruit as they offer sweetness without the artificial additives.
Benefits of Maple Sugar in Protein Shakes
Maple sugar, derived from the sap of sugar maple trees, is a natural sweetener with several advantages for protein shakes:
1. Natural Sweetness: Maple sugar provides a delicious and natural sweetness to your shakes without the need for artificial sweeteners.
2. Rich Flavor: It imparts a rich and complex flavor profile with subtle caramel notes, enhancing the overall taste of your shakes.
3. Nutrient-Rich: Maple sugar contains small amounts of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, contributing to overall nutrition.
4. Low Glycemic Index: Maple sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, making it a suitable choice for those seeking to manage blood sugar levels.
5. Versatility: Maple sugar can be seamlessly incorporated into a variety of protein shake recipes, adding depth and character to your drinks.
Benefits of Monk Fruit in Protein Shakes
Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a natural sweetener with numerous advantages for protein shakes:
1. Intense Sweetness: Monk fruit extract is incredibly sweet, allowing you to achieve the desired level of sweetness with a minimal amount of the sweetener.
2. Zero Calories: Monk fruit is calorie-free, making it an ideal choice for those looking to reduce calorie intake without sacrificing sweetness.
3. No Aftertaste: Monk fruit sweetener is known for its lack of aftertaste, ensuring that your protein shakes taste naturally sweet and enjoyable.
4. Antioxidant Properties: Monk fruit contains antioxidants known as mogrosides, which may have health benefits, including potential anti-inflammatory effects.
5. Suitable for Low-Carb Diets: Monk fruit is compatible with low-carb and ketogenic diets, as it doesn’t significantly impact blood sugar levels.
Creating the Perfect Protein Shake Without Artificial Sweeteners
Making a protein shake without artificial sweeteners is simple and can be customized to your taste preferences. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (choose one sweetened with maple sugar or monk fruit)
- 1 cup of water, milk, or milk alternative
- 1/2 to 1 cup of ice
- 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite fruits (e.g., berries, banana, mango)
- Optional additions: a tablespoon of maple syrup or monk fruit sweetener for extra sweetness.
- Add the protein powder and liquid (water, milk, or milk alternative) to a blender.
- Add the ice and your choice of fruits.
- Include optional natural sweeteners like maple syrup or monk fruit sweetener if desired.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding more natural sweetener or ingredients as needed.
- Pour into a glass, and your delicious protein shake without artificial sweeteners is ready to enjoy!
Variations of Protein Shakes Without Artificial Sweeteners
Protein shakes without artificial sweeteners offer endless possibilities for flavor variations. Here are some exciting options to try:
1. Chocolate Bliss:
- Use a chocolate-flavored protein powder sweetened with monk fruit or maple sugar.
- Add unsweetened cocoa powder for an extra chocolatey experience.
2. Vanilla Dream:
- Choose a vanilla-flavored protein powder sweetened with natural sweeteners.
- Enhance the vanilla flavor with a dash of vanilla extract.
3. Berry Burst:
- Incorporate a mix of berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for a burst of natural sweetness and antioxidants.
4. Tropical Paradise:
- Use coconut milk or coconut water as your liquid base for a tropical twist.
- Add pineapple, mango, and a handful of spinach for added flavor and nutrients.
Protein shakes without artificial sweeteners, featuring the natural sweetness of maple sugar and monk fruit, offer a delicious and health-conscious alternative to traditional shakes. These natural sweeteners provide a genuine, satisfying sweetness while eliminating the concerns associated with artificial additives. By incorporating maple sugar and monk fruit into your protein shakes, you can savor the sweetness of nature while nourishing your body with high-quality protein and essential nutrients. Embrace the goodness of protein shakes without artificial sweeteners as you strive for a healthier and more enjoyable approach to your dietary and fitness goals.