What are the best protein shakes without sucralose?

drink wholesome makes the protein shakes without sucralose using either maple sugar or monk fruit. Order samples to see if our sucralose-free protein shakes are right for you. 


vanilla protein powder

(65) $39.99$59.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


3 protein powder samples


drink wholesome makes the best protein shakes without sucralose.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What is sucralose?

Sucralose, a zero-calorie artificial sweetener, has found its way into many protein shakes. It was accidentally discovered in 1976, and rose to fame in the early 2000s thanks to Splenda, the sweetener in the little yellow packet.

Sucralose is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, without any of the calories. Although this might make it seem like a magic bullet, the reality is quite different.


Why should you avoid sucralose?

Despite its appealing advantages, sucralose is not a healthy sweetener choice. Here is why:

  1. Limited weight loss benefits: Studies have shown little to no relationship between low-calorie sweeteners like sucralose and significant changes in body weight. People who switch from sugar to low-calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose, tend to lose less than two pounds on average.
  2. Potential weight gain: Surprisingly, some studies suggest that people who consume low-calorie sweeteners might end up gaining weight. This occurs because people tend indulge themselves after having “saved calories” with their diet soda, sugar-free ice cream, etc
  3. Sugar cravings: Artificial sweeteners, including sucralose, can actually lead to sugar cravings. This can result in a counterproductive cycle where individuals consume more sugar to satisfy their cravings.
  4. Gut health concerns: Researchers have shown that artificial sweeteners can disrupt the balance of your gut microbiome, potentially leading to glucose intolerance. Glucose intolerance is a broad term for metabolic conditions like type 2 diabetes, characterized by higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels. An imbalanced gut microbiome is also a significant contributor to inflammation and is associated with the development of various chronic diseases.

In summary, while sucralose may seem like a healthy alternative to sugar, it comes with potential downsides related to weight management, sugar cravings, and the health of your gut microbiome. These factors should be taken very seriously when making choices about sweeteners in your diet.


What is are best sucralose-free protein shakes?

Instead of using artificial sweeteners like sucralose, we sweeten our protein shakes with either maple sugar or monk fruit. Both are delicious, natural sweeteners, each with its own unique benefits.

Maple sugar comes from the sap of maple trees, and stands out as one of the least processed sugars. It also has distinct health advantages, including:

  1. Lower glycemic index: Maple sugar boasts a lower glycemic index than refined sugar, meaning it has less of an impact on your blood sugar levels. This can help with weight management and decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Maple sugar contains minerals and antioxidants that play a role in reducing inflammation, the silent killer link to conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
vanilla protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 28 servings lifestyle image 2

Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a melon-like fruit from Southeast Asia, It is 200 times sweeter than sugar thanks to non-caloric compounds called mogrosides. There are several reasons why we use for monk fruit as a sweetener:

  1. Natural sweetness: Monk fruit sweetener is one of the most natural sugar substitutes. It’s made by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is dried into a concentrated powder. Compared to what it takes to make other sugar substitutes like stevia, this is hardly processing.
  2. Mild aftertaste: Monk fruit’s sweetness closely resembles that of sugar. Artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and stevia all have an unpleasant bitter aftertaste because they activate bitter taste receptors in addition to sweet taste receptors.

In case you were wondering, monk fruit has been used safely in Asian cuisine for centuries, with no known side effects, even when used in large amounts. Moreover, small randomized trials have indicated that monk fruit sweetener does not have adverse effects on blood sugar or insulin levels.

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

In summary, by using simple, natural sweeteners like maple sugar and monk fruit, we have made sucralose-free protein powders that are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Our monk fruit-sweetened protein powders have 0 grams of added sugar, making them a great option for people looking to manage their blood sugar. Our maple sugar-sweetened protein powders are a great option for people with gut issues who cannot tolerate sugar substitutes.


simple and delicious

“After trying several other vegan protein powders, I asked my trainer if she could recommend one that didn’t have the nasty after-taste that powders sweetened with stevia or other artificial sweeteners have. She recommended Drink Wholesome, and I love it! No after-taste! It’s my go-to now.” – Monique

Read more reviews or take the quiz.


vegan chocolate protein powder

(36) $39.99 - 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.


The Hidden Pitfalls of Sucralose in Protein Shakes: Embracing Maple Sugar and Monk Fruit

Protein shakes have gained immense popularity as a convenient and effective way to supplement one’s diet with essential nutrients and promote muscle growth. However, not all protein shakes are created equal, and some contain ingredients that may be less than ideal for your health. One such ingredient is sucralose, an artificial sweetener commonly used in protein shakes. In this blog post, we will uncover the drawbacks of protein shakes containing sucralose and shed light on the benefits of natural alternatives like maple sugar and monk fruit sweetener.

The Downside of Sucralose in Protein Shakes

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that has become a prevalent ingredient in many protein shakes. While it is generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies like the FDA, there are several significant drawbacks associated with the use of sucralose in protein shakes that you should be aware of.

  1. Unnatural Sweetness:

Sucralose provides an intense and unnatural sweetness to protein shakes. This level of sweetness can overwhelm your taste buds and make it challenging to appreciate the natural flavors of the shake. Many individuals find the sweetness of sucralose to be overpowering, leading to a less enjoyable drinking experience.

  1. Aftertaste:

One of the most common complaints about sucralose is the lingering aftertaste it leaves in your mouth. This aftertaste can be described as metallic, bitter, or chemical-like, which can significantly diminish the overall enjoyment of your protein shake.

  1. Potential Health Concerns:

While sucralose is deemed safe for consumption by regulatory agencies, there have been ongoing debates and concerns regarding its long-term health effects. Some studies have suggested potential adverse impacts on gut health and metabolism, although more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions.

  1. Artificial Ingredients:

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener, and many health-conscious individuals prefer to steer clear of artificial additives in their diet. Consuming natural ingredients often aligns better with a clean eating approach, emphasizing whole foods and minimal processing.

  1. Limited Nutritional Benefits:

Sucralose does not offer any nutritional benefits. When you choose a protein shake sweetened with sucralose, you are essentially adding empty calories to your diet without any accompanying vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants.

The Benefits of Maple Sugar

As an alternative to sucralose, maple sugar has gained popularity for its natural sweetness and various potential health benefits. Here are some of the advantages of using maple sugar as a sweetener in your protein shakes:

  1. Natural Sweetness:

Maple sugar provides a genuine and pleasing sweetness without the need for artificial additives. Its rich, earthy sweetness enhances the flavor profile of your protein shake, creating a more enjoyable taste experience.

  1. Nutrient-Rich:

While not a significant source of nutrients, maple sugar does contain trace amounts of essential minerals, including calcium, potassium, and zinc. These minerals contribute to the overall nutritional value of your protein shake.

  1. Lower Glycemic Index:

Maple sugar has a lower glycemic index compared to table sugar, meaning it can help stabilize blood sugar levels more effectively. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals looking to manage their sugar intake.

  1. Antioxidants:

Maple sugar contains antioxidants in the form of phenolic compounds. These antioxidants have been associated with various health benefits, including potential anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Clean Label:

For those who prioritize clean eating, maple sugar is a natural and minimally processed sweetener that aligns well with a whole foods approach to nutrition. It lacks the artificial additives found in sucralose, making it a more natural choice.

The Advantages of Monk Fruit Sweetener

Another compelling natural alternative to sucralose is monk fruit sweetener, derived from the monk fruit, a fruit native to Southeast Asia. Here are some of the benefits of using monk fruit sweetener in your protein shakes:

  1. Intense Sweetness:

Monk fruit extract is incredibly sweet, often described as being 100 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar. This means you can achieve the desired level of sweetness in your protein shake with only a small amount of monk fruit sweetener.

  1. Calorie-Free:

Monk fruit sweetener is calorie-free, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking to reduce their calorie intake while still enjoying sweetness in their protein shakes.

  1. No Impact on Blood Sugar:

Monk fruit sweetener does not raise blood sugar levels, making it suitable for individuals with diabetes or those following a low-carbohydrate diet.

  1. Minimal Aftertaste:

Unlike some artificial sweeteners, monk fruit sweetener typically does not leave an unpleasant aftertaste, allowing the natural flavors of your protein shake to shine.

  1. Antioxidant Properties:

Monk fruit contains natural antioxidants known as mogrosides. These antioxidants have been studied for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects.

Choosing the Right Protein Shake for You

When it comes to selecting the best protein shake for your needs, it’s essential to read product labels carefully. Look for shakes that are sweetened with natural alternatives like maple sugar or monk fruit sweetener, rather than sucralose or other artificial sweeteners. Here are some tips for making an informed choice:

  1. Read Ingredients: Check the ingredient list for the presence of sucralose or other artificial sweeteners. Opt for products that use natural sweeteners like maple sugar or monk fruit.
  2. Evaluate Nutrition: Assess the overall nutritional content of the protein shake, considering factors such as protein content, carbohydrates, fiber, and the absence of excessive added sugars.
  3. Research Brands: Look into different brands that offer protein shakes sweetened with natural alternatives. Read reviews and gather information about their sourcing and production practices.
  4. Personal Taste: Ultimately, choose a protein shake that aligns with your personal taste preferences. Everyone’s palate is different, so finding a flavor and sweetener combination that you enjoy is crucial.


While protein shakes can be a valuable addition to your diet, it’s essential to be mindful of the ingredients they contain, particularly when it comes to sweeteners like sucralose. The drawbacks of sucralose, including its intense sweetness, aftertaste, and potential health concerns, have led many individuals to seek healthier alternatives. Maple sugar and monk fruit sweetener provide natural sweetness without compromising on taste or health benefits. By opting for protein shakes sweetened with these natural alternatives, you can enjoy a more wholesome and satisfying beverage that supports your wellness goals while avoiding the pitfalls of artificial sweeteners. Making informed choices about the products you consume empowers you to prioritize your health and overall well-being.