As a fitness enthusiast or an endurance or strength athlete, you probably take some type of protein as part of your diet regimen. Proteins are the building blocks of life as every cell in the human body contains protein – playing a vital role in the formation of hormones, skin, enzymes, tendons, and other molecules.
It doesn’t, therefore, come as a surprise why protein powders have become popular. They help enhance recovery, increase strength, decrease body fat, and gain muscle mass.
Unfortunately, there are protein powders marketed to contain “the best ingredients,” but are not really pure and additive-free. Meaning, they contain artificial sweeteners that are not as healthy as you may think.
These synthetic sugars can neutralize your workout and diet efforts and some may have serious side effects. That is why we looked into some of the best protein powders in the market today without artificial sweeteners for your choosing.
These protein powders were combed through the manufacturing practices and the ingredients, taste-tested, and are those we consider as among the cleanest in the market. But before that, allow us to briefly discuss the truth about this sugar alternative.
What’s the Deal with Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are derived from natural substances, such as herbs or sugar itself. One of its therapeutic uses is to assist in weight loss (slightly, at best) by lowering energy intake.
Next, they limit actual sugar intake (helpful for people with diabetes in regulating their blood sugar levels), and dental care among children (they do not encourage dental decay as they are not fermented by the microflora of the dental plaque), according to a study.
However, artificial sweeteners are the worst type of sweetener. They may increase cravings for sweet and sugary foods in the long run. They are also linked to a higher risk of glucose intolerance, which may lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes.
There were also epidemiological studies that showed a positive correlation between weight gain and artificial sweeteners. Moreover, artificial sweeteners are metabolized differently in people’s bodies due to their different properties.
Clearly, the pros and cons of artificial sweeteners consumption is still a topic of debate within society at large, specifically among the scientific community. Now, let’s proceed with what we think are among the best protein powders out there that are free of artificial junk!
Top 8 Best Protein Powders Without Artificial Sweeteners
Here are our top picks when aspartame and sucralose ain’t your thing.
1. TGS 100% Whey Protein Powder – Unflavored, Keto Friendly
The 2-pound TGS 100% Whey Protein Powder – Unflavored, Keto Friendly contains no added sugars, artificial colors, fillers, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, or additives.
Aside from essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), this whey protein from the TGS Nutrition only contains whey protein concentrate and Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin.
It’s marketed as a kind of nutrition “at its finest.” And why not? Each gram of this whey protein powder already contains undenatured protein as well the full spectrum of 9 essential amino acids, making it an ideal choice for building lean muscle, general fitness, and post-workout muscle recovery.
Made in the USA, the micro-filtration system of TGS Nutrition gently processes whey to avoid denaturing. In short, its structure does not deviate from its native conformation. What you’ll get is a high-quality bioavailable “undenatured” whey protein.
- Whey protein is pure
- Contains essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- No fillers, added sugar, artificial colors, or flavors
- rBGH growth hormone-free
- Gluten-free and soy-free
- No acid or bleach processing
- Unflavored and unsweetened
- Produced by a small company comprising health-conscious individuals
- Mixes well and does not clump together
- Not so great packaging. You cannot reseal the bag so you may have to transfer it to a special container
- A little pricey compared to other protein powders
Interested? Click here to buy it!
2. Muscle Feast 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate
The Muscle Feast 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate is a low-carb, low-calorie protein powder. It’s a post-workout protein for people watching their macros or counting the grams of proteins, fat, or carbs they’re consuming.
The American Vegetarian Association has even certified this product to be Vegetarian. Among the benefits of this protein powder is that it is sourced from grass-fed dairy cows. These cows are also not given artificial hormones, which means that the whey protein is rBGH & rBST-free.
This product is also cold microfiltered, ultrafiltration-processed, and undenatured. It is gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO. The makers themselves claim that they don’t believe in using fillers in their protein powders, as such they simply suggest the use of milk substitutes for better taste.
If you are someone serious about your nutrition and want an additional protein source for your body, then this is the serious whey isolate that you may be looking for!
- Supports muscle growth and recovery
- Digests and absorbs rapidly
- Deliver the purest form of protein available
- Certified by the American Vegetarian to be a “vegetarian” protein powder
- Whey protein isolate
- Soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO
- Good value for money
- Grass-fed whey protein
- Price keeps traveling upwards
- Rated with good blending power, but some find it hard to mix up completely
Like what you see? Buy this product here today!
[You may also like: Best Muscle Milk Flavors]
3. BulkSupplements Clean and Pure Bulk Protein Supplement – Unflavored
Next on our list of the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners is the BulkSupplements Clean and Pure Bulk Protein Supplement. This whey isolate contains 90% protein, can easily be included in any meal, and is rich in BCAAs.
Compared to other protein powders, this one is a high-octane source of protein, making it an ideal choice for bodybuilders in workout recovery and boosting muscle strength. When taken in moderate amounts, it is also suitable for maintaining lean body mass.
This whey protein powder is unflavored, provides great bioavailability, and is easy to digest. You can even add this to your daily smoothie, pancakes, or shake. No unpleasant taste, artificial flavors, or lumps
But because it is a protein powder in its purest form (lactose content has even been removed) it may have a somewhat bland taste. If desired, you can just add a flavor or sweetener of your choice to remedy it.
- Made with high-quality ingredients
- Great for strength training, bodybuilding, or high-intensity workouts
- Help reduce post-workout fatigue
- Increased bioavailability
- Easy to digest
- Good bioavailability
- Comes in a reasonable design, stand-alone pouch
- Because it contains no artificial flavorings, it may have a somewhat bland taste
- Some find it has a bit gritty texture when mixed
- It is not free from rBGH
Don’t miss out! Buy this product here before it’s gone!
4. MRM All Natural Whey Protein Powder
The MRM All Natural Whey Protein Powder may come in a chocolate flavor, but it does not contain artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. It is an all-natural whey protein powder with probiotics for digest support.
This best protein powder helps improve lean body mass, fast training recovery, and increase strength and muscle size. It can be taken post-workout recovery or in between meals.
Whether you pick the MRM vanilla, chocolate, or unflavored protein powder, you can ensure that it is a pre-workout powder that supports your fitness, nutrition, and health goals.
- Good for digestive support
- Very low in fat and lactose
- All-natural whey protein that holds the highest biological value (HBV)
- Three flavors to choose from without artificial sweetener
- Very easy to blend
- Zero after-taste
- Reasonable pricing
Ready to buy it? Check out this link today!
5. Orgain Organic Unflavored Plant-Based Protein Powder
As one of the best protein powders for price and quality, the Orgain Organic Unflavored Plant-Based Protein Powder is natural and unsweetened. It is made from brown rice, chia seeds, and pea.
It is made without added sugar, dairy, soy, GMOs, artificial ingredients, preservatives, carrageenan, gluten, and lactose. This sugar-free protein powder is the ideal on-the-go nutrition for men, women, and even kids!
Although we don’t really suggest making this vegan protein powder as a meal replacement for the long term because proteins from food are still better (as they contain other vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that are unavailable in a protein powder), this Orgain protein powder is marketed to be safe as a meal replacement.
Furthermore, it is great for pre-or post-workout, muscle recovery, and smoothie boosters. When mixed with water, it is creamy in texture and has minimal chalkiness that can be alleviated when you wait for an hour or two from mixing before drinking.
- Certified vegan
- The protein powder is certified USDA organic
- Contains no soy
- Does not leave a chalky feeling in your mouth
- Not in a resealable pouch
Convinced? You can buy the product here!
6. MET-Rx Natural Whey Protein Powder
The MET-Rx Natural Whey Protein Powder comes in a 5-pound container and is chocolate-flavored. But make no mistake, this protein powder has no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.
Its ingredients are not derived from GMOs and are even produced without genetic engineering. Just like other protein supplements, this protein powder is an ideal choice for pre-and post-workout to promote muscle recovery.
MET-Rx uses state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques so that the protein powder they produce is ultra-filtered to support lean muscle and strength. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and D to support immune health.
- Contains Vitamin C and D
- The brand itself is a pioneer in sports nutrition
- Contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors
- Easy to mix
- Supports muscle building
- Good price for a natural whey
- Full amino profile
- It is a chocolate protein smoothie, but some find the flavor just pretty decent
If you want to try it out, here’s where you can buy it!
7. NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate – Complete Amino Acid Profile
Another protein powder without all the unnecessary fluff that other protein powders have is the NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate with Complete Amino Acid Profile.
This product uses high-grade, ultra-filtered, cold-processed WPI 90 – the purest isolate. It contains 5.3 grams of BCAAs per serving plus 11 grams of essential amino acids.
The NutraBio whey isolate contains no fat and is low in carb, making it a good option for people who are on a deity and it is even keto-friendly. It helps any gym-goer lose weight or builds lean muscle mass.
NutraBio even has a good reputation in the supplement market because of its full disclosure labeling. And for their protein blend, contains zero fillers.
- Contains all the essential amino acids
- 100% whey protein isolate
- Low in carbs
- Contains no fat
- Full label disclosure and transparency
- High-quality ingredients – undergo analysis to ensure zero tolerance for impurities
- Mixes well even in a shaker bottle
- Kosher-Halal Certified Whey product
- Zero aftertaste
- Tastes a bit off
- Price is a little bit up
Excited to try this product? Shop Now!
8. KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
The KOS Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder is an organic and plant-based protein that is made from flaxseed, pea, quinoa, pumpkin seed protein, as well as chia seed protein.
It contains a good dose of minerals and essential vitamins. The reason why it’s one of our best choices is because of its award-winning formula: plant-based, USDA organic, all-natural, with a digestive enzyme blend, and contains a 5-protein blend.
Named after a Greek island, which is the birthplace of Hippocrates “The Father of Western Medicine,” the brand has taken the same pure and simplistic approach by creating this environmentally-friendly protein powder.
Although it contains organic stevia (a natural-low-calorie alternative to sugar), it is not an artificial sweetener. Overall, this protein powder tastes fine and blends well.
- No artificial ingredients
- Award-winning formula
- Environmentally friendly
- Gluten- and soy-free
- Digestive enzymes are beneficial for absorbing ingredients
- Contains 190 mg of sodium per serving size of 2 scoops
- Few find it “too sweet” (if you dislike stevia, just skip this)
Don’t miss out! Buy this product here before it’s gone!
What to Look for When Buying a Protein Powder Without Artificial Sweeteners
Since what we’re looking for is a protein powder without artificial sweeteners, it is important to check the ingredients of the product first. Artificial sweeteners may be in the form of sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and any other synthetic sweetener.
If you see any of those in the ingredient list, avoid that protein powder. Keep in mind also that some proprietary artificial flavor formulas are artificial sweeteners. So, if you can avoid those with proprietary blends, the better.
Protein Type and Uses
One of the most commonly used protein powders is whey protein and is ideal for day-to-day use. It is because it is easily digested and contains all the essential amino acids. It also helps reduce stress levels and boost energy.
Here’s a quick comparison between animal protein (whey protein originally starts with cow’s milk) and plant protein:
Whey concentrates and isolates, on the other hand, are protein types that are best-used post-workout. At best, choose a protein powder that matches your needs. Is it for muscle growth? For weight loss? To stay vegetarian? To control your weight? To recover after workouts?
The meat, dairy, and poultry industries have a history of hormone use as beef cattle ranches and dairy farmers are trying to boost meat and milk production efficiency.
However, the use of synthetic growth hormones in beef and dairy cattle can make their way into products that people consume. Meaning, these can be harmful not just to animals but to humans too.
So, if possible, see the “rbGH-free” label when buying a milk product or a protein powder.
Nutritional Efficiency/ Protein Quality
Lastly, consider the nutritional efficiency or the protein quality. There are some scales developed to rate the proteins based on their amino acid profiles and bioavailabilities. A protein is highly bioavailable if it is easy to absorb, easy to digest and make into other proteins.
A protein is considered complete in amino acid profile when it is proportional to its overall amino acid content. Of the animal-based protein powders, whey protein had the highest (43%) essential amino acid content and calcium caseinate (38%) an intermediate amino acid content.
Final Verdict: Which One Should You Buy?
Take control of your flavors today! Choose one from this list that has the natural benefits of protein powder but is not necessarily tasteless (go ahead if you prefer the unflavored version).
We all have different criteria when looking for the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners, but if you ask us what’s our top pick from this list, it would be the NutraBio 100% Whey Protein Isolate with Complete Amino Acid Profile.
In terms of ingredient quality, blending power, and flavor, it’s really a win. Per scoop, it already contains 25g of protein. It is even gluten- and soy-free, contains zero fillers, is non-GMO, and unflavored.
Its unflavored taste may not appeal to all, but it has undergone a third-party test for purity. It’s also low in kosher dairy and cholesterol. All these features make NutraBio 100% (for us) the best overall protein powder without artificial sweeteners.
If you like this article, you might want to read our other reviews at ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.