Protein powder is almost certainly a part of your diet if you’re a strength or endurance athlete. Protein is one of the most important components of the human body. It is involved in the creation of skin, tendons, enzymes, hormones, and a variety of other compounds, among other things.
Protein is also the substance that makes up your muscles. Protein powders have become quite popular among athletes since protein plays such an important function in the body. Protein powder has been demonstrated in studies to improve recovery, aid grow muscle mass, boost strength, and reduce body fat.
When it comes to protein powders, there is no disputing that the options are unlimited. Not only do you have a variety of brands to choose from, but you also have a variety of speciality protein powders to choose from, as well as a variety of flavors. The most popular protein powders are made up of just the best components, with an emphasis on quick absorption for recharging your muscles, clean ingredients, and a scientifically designed mix to help you gain muscle and strength.
These protein powders are frequently promoted as pure protein. However, the majority of your favorite protein powders, even those labeled “best,” fall short of supplying you with pure, additive-free powders.
Most, if not all, of the best protein powders contain artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are frequently used to improve the flavor of the powder. Artificial sweeteners in protein powders, on the other hand, aren’t as healthful as you may imagine. In reality, some of the most common artificial sweeteners used to sweeten protein powders may harm your athletic performance and health. Sucralose and acesulfame potassium are the two most often used artificial sweeteners in popular protein powders. The possible dangers of these artificial sweeteners, as well as the popular protein powders that employ them, will be discussed in this article.
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
It’s difficult to find a protein powder that doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners. Most protein powders contain at least one artificial sweetener, with sucralose and acesulfame potassium being the most common. Aspartame, erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol are some more prevalent artificial sweeteners. Although these sweeteners give sweetness without adding sugar or calories, they can have negative side effects. I’ll go into more detail later.
Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that are used to sweeten meals and beverages. They’re on practically every protein powder’s ingredient list, and they’re so popular due of their extreme sweetness. For example, a sprinkle of artificial sweetener can replace many tablespoons of sugar to get the same sweetness. Food producers can cut the caloric and sugar content of their products as a result of this.
Artificial sweeteners appear to be a no-brainer when seen in this light. However, the advantages of artificial sweeteners are just too wonderful to be true.
Why Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You?
Artificial sweeteners are not beneficial for you, despite the fact that they provide sweetness with almost no calories or sugar. To begin with, multiple studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can boost appetites for sugary and sweet meals, leading to bingeing and withdrawal symptoms. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to an increased risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor to pre-diabetes and diabetes, in other research.
Artificial sweeteners may also be harmful to the intestines, according to research. Because most sugar substitutes are poorly digested, they stay in your stomach for longer than they should. This allows the bacteria living there to consume the partly digested meal. These gut bacteria create gas as they consume, which can lead to bloating, cramping, and nausea.
Artificial sweeteners have the potential to change the composition of your gut bacteria in the long run (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can cause major GI issues as well as systemic inflammation. Because they suck water into your stomach, some artificial sweeteners, particularly sugar alcohols like xylitol, can induce diarrhea. Now you know what to blame for those post-protein shake toilet excursions.
What’s The Deal With Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners may be found in practically every form of food. Artificial sweeteners, which are used as a sugar substitute, are manufactured sugar alternatives that are produced from natural ingredients such as herbs and sugar. Many people are drawn to artificial sweeteners because of their extreme sweetness.
To produce the same sweetness as conventional sugar, a fraction of an artificial sweetener can be employed, reducing calorie consumption. Artificial sweeteners have been sold for years as a healthy sugar substitute with zero calories and several health advantages. As a result, artificial sweeteners have crept into our food supply. The concept of eating something sweet and delightful with almost no guilt associated thanks to the zero calorie claim has sparked a widespread adoption of artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweetener health claims, on the other hand, are once again too good to be true. Artificial sweeteners were selected as the worst sort of sweetener by a committee of nutritionists from the Cleveland Clinic. Sugar substitutes, such as artificial sweeteners, have been found in studies to boost appetites for sugary and sweet meals. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to an increased risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor to pre-diabetes and diabetes, according to studies.
A favorable link between artificial sweeteners and weight increase has also been shown in several epidemiological research. Artificial sweeteners have also been shown in trials to increase appetite, leading to increased cravings, overeating, and withdrawal symptoms.
Natural sweeteners engage the food reward circuits in the brain, but artificial sweeteners do not. This results in a lack of total pleasure from meals, as well as an increase in sweet cravings and a need for more energy from food. Artificial sweeteners have also been shown to enhance insulin resistance, which is particularly detrimental for people who are at risk of developing diabetes.
According to Harvard Health, research have found that artificial sweeteners may raise the risk of diseases including metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes, which are the conditions that these artificial sweeteners are promoted to assist with in the first place.
Artificial sweeteners are used in many popular protein powders to keep the calorie count low while also providing flavor. It’s true that no one like the taste of protein powder. However, it is critical to recognize the possible negative effects of artificial sweeteners on your health and athletic performance. The best protein powders contain the artificial sweeteners listed below.
Sucralose is a sugar substitute with no calories. Splenda is the most widely used sucralose product. Sucralose is created by a multi-step chemical process from sucrose. Sucralose has no calories by itself, but Splenda is a mixture of sucralose, maltodextrin, and dextrose, which gives it 3.36 calories per gram. Sucralose has a sweetness of 400-700 times that of sugar.
Sucralose has been proven in studies to raise blood sugar and insulin levels, especially in those who don’t take artificial sweeteners on a regular basis. It’s also worth noting that sucralose can break down and produce toxic compounds at high temperatures, raising your risk of cancer. Animal studies have also demonstrated a relationship between sucralose and deleterious effects on the bacterial community in the gut, however additional research is needed.
Popular Protein Powders That Contain Sucralose
- MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein
- Nitro Tech 100% Whey Gold
- Gold Standard Whey 100% Whey
- PRO JYM
- ISO 100%
- Syntha 6
- Combat Protein Powder
- COR Performance Whey
This calorie-free sweetener, also known as acesulfame K or Ace-K, can be found in a variety of sugar-free goods. It has 200 times the sweetness of conventional table sugar. Sucralose is frequently used with this sweetener. It’s also known as Sunnett or Sweet One, according to the FDA.
More study is needed, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, to determine the safety of this artificial sweetener. A relationship between acesulfame potassium and cancer has been discovered in research. Thyroid damage and negative alterations in brain function have also been related to this artificial sweetener.
Popular Protein Powders That Contain Acesulfame Potassium
- MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein
- NitroTech 100% Whey Gold
- Gold Standard Whey 100% Whey
- PRO JYM
- Syntha 6
- Combat Protein Powder
- COR-Performance Whey
Low Calorie Natural Sweeteners
- Lo Han Fruit Extract
- HIGH CALORIE NATURAL SWEETENERS
- Yacon Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Maple Syrup
Sweetening protein powders and other meals with true natural sweeteners is the finest option. What is the definition of a real natural sweetener? Fruit is the cleanest and healthiest natural sweetener, despite the fact that the exact definition of what a natural sweetener is uncertain. Fresh or frozen fruit is the finest method to sweeten things up.
What is the significance of fruit? Fruit, on the other hand, is a natural sweetener that has no useless calories. Fruit provides nutritional advantages such as phytonutrients, fiber, and antioxidants in addition to sweetness and taste. Fruits have a low glycemic index and are high in nutrients. Bananas, melon, mangos, apples, and berries are the greatest fruits to utilize as sweeteners. These fruits are sweet enough to satisfy your taste buds while yet being nutrient-dense. Spices and other natural tastes like cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla, and almond extract can improve the flavor of your drink or food.
Other natural sweeteners, such as honey, yacon syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, and maple syrup, may be of interest. These sweeteners are excellent, but they break down to the same molecules as normal table sugar when eaten in the body. Unfortunately, your liver is unable to distinguish between conventional table sugar and coconut sugar. Natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and yacon syrup are high in nutrients and have been demonstrated to aid in glucose regulation, weight reduction, and digestive difficulties. However, further research is needed to verify these claims and their long-term health implications. Moderation is the best recommendation for these natural sweeteners.
Finally, natural low-calorie sweeteners like Stevia and Lo Han Fruit Extract combine the best of both worlds, providing sweetness without the extra calories of sugar. These are the natural sweeteners that we utilize in our products to fulfill your macro needs while being all-natural.
Artificial sweeteners have been linked to metabolic dysregulation, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, digestive issues, and changes in gut flora, according to research. Before incorporating these frequently used artificial sweeteners into your daily diet, it’s critical to understand their potential side effects. The long-term health implications of all artificial sweeteners remain unclear.
Fruit is still the finest sweetener if you don’t mind the extra calories. It not only adds nutrition and health advantages to your diet, but it also satisfies your taste senses by employing naturally occurring sugars that your body is meant to assimilate. If fresh fruit isn’t an option, Stevia or Lo Han Fruit Extract are the next best natural sweeteners, especially if you’re seeking for a low-calorie choice.