Reading time: 18 minutes
What is sugar?
This may take you back to your high school chemistry class, however, here we go.
Sugar is the smallest type of carbohydrate which is absorbed rapidly by the body, and easily digested.
Further, sugars are found in most foods, and come in two different forms.
The first are called monosaccharides which are a single molecule sugar and are easily and quickly absorbed into the blood stream.
The second are called disaccharides which consist of two molecules of sugar, which when entered into the body are broken down into single sugars.
- Sucrose which combines glucose and fructose, and is commonly referred to as table sugar
- Lactose which combines glucose and galactose, and is commonly referred to as milk sugar
- Maltose which is 2 molecules of glucose, and is commonly referred to as malt sugar
Taking it one step further, sugars are then categorized into naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.
Naturally occurring sugars are those which are found in more nutrient rich type foods and as the name implies, are formed directly from the foods they are associated with.
A few examples of foods containing naturally occurring sugars include:
- Dairy products
- 100% Fruit juice
- 100%Vegetable juice
Added sugars, on the other hand, are generally processed and found in foods which are void of nutrients and are generally very high in calories.
A few examples of foods containing added sugars include:
- Sugar sweetened beveridges such as soda pop, non 100% fruit drinks, and sweetened tea & coffee
- Sweets like candy, jams, and syrups
- Baking such as cookies, cakes, and muffins
- Cereals sweetened with sugar
Article at a glance
- 1 What is sugar?
- 1.1 Are Naturally Occurring Sugars Better For You Than Added Sugars?
- 1.2 What does sugar free mean?
- 1.3 5 Best Sugar Free Protein Powders in 2018
- 1.4 Summing It Up
Are Naturally Occurring Sugars Better For You Than Added Sugars?
This is a debate which has been going on for many years, and the answer is “Yes, with some qualification”.
This may sound a bit vague, however, there is no, one right answer.
Like anything ingested into the body, any sugar should be taken in moderation.
Although disputed by many in the health and nutrition field, the US Dietary Guidelines state that no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugars.
Many feel it should be far less.
Fructose is the naturally occurring sugar derived from most fruits and vegetables, which provides sweetness.
In its natural form, it is housed in fiber, which slows the absorption and release process by the liver, meaning that energy will be delivered over a long period of time.
Alternatively, when the fructose is removed, processed, and added back as a sweetener, the fiber component is gone meaning that it is absorbed very quickly by the liver, giving rise to an energy burst.
For this reason, eating a piece of fruit in the morning will provide sustained energy until lunch time, while a muffin or Danish pastry will provide a quick energy spike followed by a period of sluggishness.
Most foods high in naturally occurring sugars also include other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients which are beneficial to the body.
While foods high in added sugars generally are void of nutrients and have a high level of empty calories which are stored as fat.
At the end of the day, sugars are important to the body as a source of energy.
Unless you are on a highly restricted medical diet such as those who are diabetics, it is virtually impossible to avoid foods without added sugars.
That being said, the general rule of thumb is to limit the amount of foods which contain added sugars and replace with foods which contain naturally occurring sugars.
A simple starting point is to satisfy cravings for sweets with a piece of fruit, be it in the morning, or as a snack in the afternoon or before bedtime.
What does sugar free mean?
Under the US Food And Drug Administration Guidelines, a food product must contain less that 0.5 grams of sugar in order for it to be labelled “sugar free”.
Protein powders fall into this category.
When you read some of the comments below, made by customers who have used the sugar free protein powders on our list, you will see that some found the taste to be too sweet.
This is because many protein powder manufacturers use sweetening agents or sugar substitutes which are often sweeter than sugar.
The Food And Drug Administration has approved six of these agents which include aspartame, neotame, acesulfame potassium, stevia, saccharin and sucralose.
These do not add any calories and as a result, many people consume products containing these additives as a means of reducing calories.
The drawback is that many of these sugar substitutes alter the sugar receptors and can make nutritious foods taste less sweet and bland.
The net result can be a loss in interest of good food and in turn a craving for the less nutritious food flavored with artificial sweeteners.
Below is our list of 5 Best Sugar Free Protein Powders in 2018, which was a very challenging task to complete.
There are a multitude of quality sugar free protein powders on the market, however, we chose products which had absolutely no sugar as opposed to following the US FDA guidelines of less that .5 grams.
Further, we chose a cross section of both animal and plant based protein powders to appeal to both groups.
5 Best Sugar Free Protein Powders in 2018
Each serving contains 24 grams of 100% Whey Protein Isolate, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and delivers only 110 calories.
It is distributed in 3 pound containers and is available in 14 delicious and unique flavors such as Pineapple Orange Banana, Alpine Punch, and Mint Chocolate Chip.
Who is it for?
Isopure Zero Carb appeals to a number of groups of individuals including:
- Diabetics due to its sugar free, lactose free, and no carb combination
- Keto dieters due to its high protein, no carbohydrate formulation
- Those on a weight loss diet due to its zero sugar content, no carbohydrates, and low calorie per serving
- Individuals with celiac disease or gluten allergy
- People suffering from lactose intolerance
- Those looking to add muscle mass
Added vitamins and minerals
This sugar free protein powder is pack with added vitamins and minerals which provide an impressive nutrient profile.
Some of the vitamins are Vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, B12 and more.
Some of the added minerals include Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium to name a few.
What are customers saying?
A number of customers were impressed with the amount of weight they lost as a result of being sugar free with zero carbohydrates.
Others mentioned that the Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder made them feel full and reduced their cravings for snacks an unhealthy foods between meals.
Most were pleased with the taste with Dutch Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla being the favorites.
A few users were unhappy with the cholesterol level and salt content being higher that most of the Isopure competitive products.
In addition, there were some concerns about lumping and overall mixability.
- Low carbs, fat, calories, and sugar free making it a perfect protein for weight loss and diets
- Added minerals and vitamins giving it a fantastic nutrient profile
- Loaded with high quality protein to build muscle
- Many found flavor to be great
- Higher sodium and cholesterol content
- Poor mixability
Each serving contains 22 grams of protein, has only 110 calories, no sugar, and is loaded with vitamins A, D, E and K.
Garden of Life Protein Powders are USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project verified.
It comes in a few different sizes, and is available in Vanilla, Vanilla Spiced Chai, Chocolate Cacao, and Unflavored.
Complete Amino Acid Profile
Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder qualifies as a complete protein, meaning that it contains the 9 essential amino acids, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine, which cannot be produced by the human body, and must be obtained through diet.
Probiotics And Enzymes Added
To protect the gut against any bad bacteria, this sugar free protein powder contains 3 billion colony forming units of probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, plantarum, and bulgaricus.
Further, in order to enhance the digestive process, Garden of life has added a complement of enzymes which include Lipase, Protease and more.
What Are Customers Saying?
Quite a number of users said that it made an excellent breakfast replacement and made them feel full until lunchtime.
Others mentioned that they carried it with them to have as a snack to tie them over until the next meal.
Many others were pleased that Garden of Life did not use Stevia leaves to sweeten the powder as the found it repulsive in competitive products.
A common criticism referred to a formula change in 2016 which increased the pea protein level which has made the taste much more unpleasant.
In addition, a few were displeased with the mixability of this protein powder.
- Contains 22 grams of protein, no sugar, derived from numerous raw vegetable sources
- 3 billion CFU probiotics and enzymes for easy digestion
- Vegan friendly containing no gluten, dairy, soy free, or GMO’s
- Only 110 calories per serving
- Many unhappy with new and improved formulation
- Poor mixability
Price: Click here to check the price of the Garden of Life Organic Vegan Protein Powder with Vitamins and Probiotics – Raw Organic Plant Based Protein Shake on Amazon’s website
This is truly a sugar free, plant-based, vegan friendly protein powder, which delivers 24 grams of protein per serving.
It includes Digest-All, a proprietary blend of enzymes which alleviate stomach pains, cramps, gas, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.
It is shipped in your choice of 1 pound, 10 pack, or 2 pound quantities, and is available in Chocolate Mocha, Cinnamon Bun, and Vanilla Bean flavors.
Great Alternative To Whey
The Veggie Elite Performance Protein is comparable to its whey counterpart in that it contains all the essential amino acids which support the proper functioning of the body.
Within those essentials, are the three branch chain amino acids, Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which are not only the building blocks of protein, but also support protein absorption which increases lean muscle mass and enhances muscle recovery.
MRM are sensitive to the needs of those who are susceptible to allergies.
Their mandate is to control and monitor the ingredients starting from the source to the end of production.
All of their products are Non GMO Project Verified, and contain milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, or yeast, making Veggie Elite as allergy free as possible.
What Are Customers Saying?
Many customers said that Veggie Elite was the best plant protein powder for digestion and said it did not create the same stomach issues such as cramping, bloating, and gas, as some of the other protein powders they have used.
One individual mentioned that she has Crohn’s disease and has always had a difficult time digesting whey protein powder.
Veggie Elite solved this problem for her.
In fat her final comment was “Best for price, macros, and taste”.
On the contrary, the primary reason people did not like Veggie Elite related to the chalky, gritty texture.
A few others said that it had a chemical like odour and synthetic taste.
- Great plant-based alternative to whey protein powder
- Sugar free protein powder with only 130 calories
- Hypoallergenic formula
- Complete protein containing the 9 essential amino acids
- Texture is somewhat chalky and gritty
- Strange odour and taste
Origin uses a cost intensive process called cross flow micro filtration to produce the purest whey protein isolate available.
Each serving contains 24 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fat, and only 100 calories making it ideal for anyone looking to lose weight or on a calorie restricted diet.
It is soy free, lactose free, contains no GMO’s or fillers.
It is sold in 2 pound containers and is available in chocolate and vanilla flavors.
Supports Muscle Growth
ORIGIN Whey Protein Isolate has an impressive amino acid profile which supports efficient muscle building and fat burning, which increases protein synthesis leading to faster muscle building.
It can be taken pre-workout to provide energy for the workout, or post workout to provide nutrients during recovery.
Improves Recovery Rate
Further, this sugar free protein is specially formulated to speed up muscle recovery between workouts.
In fact Pure Label Nutrition make the claim that ORIGIN Whey Protein Isolate can increase recovery rate time by up to 50%, meaning muscle soreness and stiffness will dissipate faster allowing you to train with less pain and discomfort.
What are customers saying?
A number of customers said that they loved the taste of this sugar free protein powder and said that it made them feel full for hours after drinking a glass.
There seemed to be no preference of flavor as Chocolate and Vanilla were commented on equally.
Others stated tat they used it in the morning on their oatmeal or cereal to give them a boost for the day ahead.
On the contrary, a few customers were not satisfied with the higher salt content and felt the cholesterol levels were high.
Contrary to the many positive reviews, there were some concerns about taste and texture.
- Cross Flow Micro Filtered to produce the purest whey protein isolate available
- Sugar free with 1 gram of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fat, and only 100 calories
- Ideal for those looking to increase muscle mass
- Recovery rate reduced by 50%
- Higher salt and cholesterol content
- Some concerns about taste and texture
In addition, this process ensures that molecular structure of the protein is not compromised in any way.
Each serving delivers 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, o grams of fat, and only 100 calories making it ideal for those looking to lose a few pounds and seeking a protein powder for weight loss.
Milk From The Healthiest Cows
The cows used to provide the milk for whey, are located on dairy farms in Ireland which are hand picked and highly regulated ensuring that the cows are hormone and antibiotic free, and producer the purest and cleanest milk in the world.
Legion look for cows which have a lower somatic cell count, which indicates a healthier cow and in turn, healthier milk.
Nothing Artificial Added
Legion Whey+ Isolate Protein Powder is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and contains no GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, artificial food dyes, fillers, or other unnecessary additives or fillers.
This ensures that you are intaking one of the purest, cleanest, and safest product in the protein powder market.
What are customers saying?
Many customers were impressed that the cows are raised on small dairy farms in Ireland as Ireland has the reputation of having the highest standards in the world.
Others found that its high protein, low carb blend enhanced their muscle building efficiency, while burning fat at the same time.
On the downside, a number of users found that the use of stevia as a natural sweetener, was too sweet.
A few others mentioned that it caused stomach cramps leading to diarrhea.
- Sugar free, lactose free, low in carbohydrates, or fat
- Whey protein isolate comes from the high-quality milk from small dairy farms in Ireland
- Naturally sweetened and contains no GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, artificial food dyes, fillers, or other unnecessary fillers
- One of the cleanest and purest lactose free protein powders on the market
- Some issues regarding being a bit harsh on the stomach causing diarrhea
- Stevia sweetener was too sweet and too powerful for some
Price: Click here to check the price of the Legion Whey+ Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein Powder from Grass Fed Cows – Low Carb on Amazon’s website
Summing It Up
In this article, we felt it important to review what sugar is, highlight the difference between naturally occurring and added sugars, and define the tern sugar free.
We hope it shed some light on these topics and provided a better understanding of these concepts.
The winner of our 5 Best Sugar Free Protein Powders in 2018, is Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder .
Isopure tops our list as it is a 100% sugar protein powder packing a whopping 24 grams of whey protein, derived from the highest quality cow’s milk.
In addition, it is lactose and carbohydrate free, and contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, B12 and more, as well as Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.
Our congratulations go out to Isopure Zero Carb Protein Powder and the other 4 protein powders which made our list.