Best Meal Replacement & Protein Shakes Without Artificial Sweeteners (2021)
The fear to the negative effects of sugar gave raise to the era of artificial sweeteners. Ingredients like acesulfame-k, aspartame or sucralose can be found anywhere. This is particularly true for protein powders, which try to provide you with the most amount of protein without too many calories. Therefore, finding the best meal replacements and protein shakes without artificial sweeteners is not easy.
As such, I have compiled a list of what I consider the best meal replacements and protein powders with no sucralose or aspartame or similar. Instead, the shakes listed below use natural sweeteners like monk fruit, stevia extract, honey or just sugar (cane or coconut). Healthier alternatives that can help you improve your gut health and reduce side effects.
Before diving into the list, I want to let you know that it’s divided in two parts:
- In the first, I mention my favourite meal replacements without artificial sweeteners. Ideal to replace your breakfast or lunch with.
- In the second, I discuss protein powders with no artificial sweeteners that I’ve tried and enjoy.
In a Rush?
Best Meal Replacement Without Artificial Sweeteners
- High quality meal replacement.
- Low GI, no artificial additives, soy-free, gluten-free, no-GMO.
- Shakes that excel on taste and texture.
- Available in Whey Based, Ketogenic and Plant Based formulas.
Best Artificial Sweetener Free Protein Shake
- Vegan, organic protein shake.
- 150kcal, 18g of protein and 2g of sugar.
- Includes adaptogens to relieve stress and help you focus.
- No stevia; sweetened with monk fruit.
- Clean, rich cacao taste.
- Available in the US/CAN/EU
Meet the Expert
Hi! My name is Enaut and I’m the owner of Latestfuels. Welcome to the home of meal replacements, protein powders and latest nutritional trends.
I drink meal replacement shakes on a daily basis, and I’ve been consuming protein powders for over 10 years now. I enjoy analyzing them, breaking them down and sharing my thoughts with my readers.
Enjoy your shake!
Top Meal Replacement and Protein Shakes Without Artificial Sweeteners at a Glance
Product NameFormatReasonBuy Now
Complete Plant ProteinPowderBest Vegan Protein
Ample VPowderBest Meal Shake
OWYNRTDBest Stevia Free
Best Protein Powders Without Artificial Sweeteners
1. FourSigmatic Protein
- High quality organic ingredients, vegan and gluten free
- Unique set of ingredients, with adaptogens to help you with focus and stress
- Great natural taste
- Flavoured with monk fruit and only has 3g of sugar
- 30% subscription discount and free shipping
- One of the lowest protein/calorie
- Can be expensive – single buy
FourSigmatic offers the next evolution in protein powders; a plant-based protein shake without artificial sweeteners and added superfoods.
On one side, each 150kcal packs 18g of protein from organic pea, organic hemp, organic chia, organic pumpkin, and organic coconut. This diverse array of proteins ensures you get a balanced amino acid profile.
Besides, it also provides you with 7 adaptogens that will help you relieve stress levels, feel more focused and support your immune system.
All of this, without any unnecessary fillers or unwanted ingredients. Luckily, this means that you get a very pleasant rich dark Cacao flavour (my favourite).
Try it out for $35 and free shipping in th US. However, it is also available in Canada and Europe!
|Added sugars (g)||2.0|
2. Naked Whey Grass Fed
- Premium grass fed whey protein
- No artificial sweeteners or flavours, gluten free
- No stevia
- 25g of protein, 6g BCAAs in 120kcal
- Free of hormones, cold processed, high quality manufacturing
- Flavoured options have more calories
- Not suitable for vegans
Naked Nutrition is a brand that selects their ingredients carefully; aiming to provide clean, gut friendly protein shakes. As such, not only they are free of artificial sweeteners; but also free of soy, gluten, nasty hormones, and are processed without using bleach or acid.
Thus, this is always the brand I recommend when people are looking for clean, healthy protein shakes.
On top of being wholesome, they are nutritious: 25g of whey protein in only 120kcal! Fine sweetener free shakes that have been trusted by Informed Sport and are made in the US.
Pair this with their fine taste and reasonable price – about $1.2 per serving-; you have one of the best artificial sweetener free protein shake in Naked Whey!
|Per Serving||Naked Whey|
|Added sugars (g)||0.0|
3. Complete Plant Protein
- Great taste and texture
- 22g of protein, 4g of BCAAS and only 133kcal
- Made with real berries
- Great discount when buying in bulk
- Available worldwide
- Only one flavour available
- Starting price is not the cheapest
Complete Plant Protein is the optimal diet drink without aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. With only 133kcal per serving, it provides you with 22g of high quality protein, packed with superfoods and digestive enzymes.
The protein blend is a mix of pea, sunflower seed and pumpkin seed protein, in order to deliver a complete amino acid profile and 4g of BCAAs. Plus, it also includes 2.7g of fiber, no sucralose and real food ingredients. In fact, it tastes like berries because it has a blend of real berries: blackberry, bilberry, strawberry and raspberry.
So it is a pity that they only offer one flavour, but you will get an awesome tasting protein shake, nonetheless!
|Per Serving||Complete Plant Protein|
|Added sugars (g)||0.0|
|Other additives||Digestive Enzymes, Flavouring|
4. Optimum Naturally Sweetened
Best Whey Based
- Golden Standard of protein
- Sweetened with stevia
- Ultra-high quality protein blend: 24g/130kcal
- Includes lacatase for easier digestion
- Pricier than cheap protein brands
- Only in the US
I have drank protein powders for over 10 years now. I have two products that I love to buy; Impact Whey, and when I have more cash: Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard. In fact, as the name suggests, it is the golden standard for those who consume protein regularly.
Their Naturally Sweetened formula allows you to enjoy the best whey protein isolate powder without artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame or similar). This powder is sweetened with stevia, instead and it’s available in 5 flavours (I strongly recommend buying chocolate).
|Per Serving||ON Gold Standard|
|Added sugars (g)||3.0|
|Other additives||Digestive Enzymes|
5. Orgain Protein & Superfoods
- Organic artificial sweetener free protein powder
- Superfood blend included
- 0g of added sugars, 6g of fiber
- Plant-based: Organic pea, brown rice and chia seed protein blend
- High in fats
- Lower protein % than others
Orgain is a US based brand that creates organic meal replacements and protein powders. The Proteins & Superfood blend is a plant-based protein powder with no sucralose, but with a custom greens blends that provides you with some extra vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.
This is a great protein powder for those who also want to boost their nutrient intake. The protein blend is organic pea, brown rice and chia seed protein to ensure an optimal amino acid profile. It also includes 6g of fibre and 0g of sugar. So how is it sweetened? They use erythritol and stevia.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a whey protein, they also have an organic grass-fed whey protein powder with no artificial sweeteners.
|Per Serving||Protein & Superfood|
|Added sugars (g)||0.0|
|Other additives||Digestive Enzymes, Greens|
You might also be interested in
Looking for Extra BCAAS?
- Extra boost to your branched chain amino acids without any nasty surprises.
- 1500mg of L-leucine, 750mg of L-isoleucine, and 750mg of L-valine.
- Maintain the energy levels during the workout; extend endurance; and preserve lean mass.
6. Vegan Blend
- Rice and pea protein for improved amino profile
- Naturally sweetened with stevia
- Includes probiotics
- Always have great discounts
- Also available in whey
- High in carbs for a protein powder
- Only 2 flavours
MyProtein is one of the world’s leading supplement and protein powder brands. They have an extensive repertoire that includes vegan and whey based protein with no artificial sweeteners.
In the picture you can see the vegan blend, optimized with pea and rice protein for better amino acid profile. This one is available in Vanilla and Chocolate flavours and it’s the perfect choice for those following a plant-based diet. Each serving includes 150kcal and 21g of protein.
However, MyProtein also has Impact Whey (one of my go-tos) sweetened with stevia (and not acesulfame-k) in Chocolate and Vanilla flavour (also available without sweeteners). They whey based formula packs 100kcal per serving and 20g of protein. It is a great tasting protein shake, slightly smoother than the vegan blend.
|Per Serving||Protein & Superfood|
|Added sugars (g)||0.0|
|Other additives||Digestive Enzymes, Probiotics|
7. Performance Lab Sport
- Vegan, non-gmo, soy free, gluten free
- Free of synthetic additives, and tested against banned substances
- 100% organic 20g of protein from rice in 100kcal
- Only rice protein, might be weak in some amino acids
- More costly than some alternatives
Performance Lab Sport Protein is a premium, naturally flavoured and sweetened protein powder. A vegan shake that will provide you with 20g of rice protein with fast absorbing leucine.
In fact, leucine is one of the key amino acids that promotes muscle growth. Thus, Sport protein will help you with your recovery and enhancing your strength.
Plus, this vegan protein powder is much lower in cholesterol than some of the whey based drinks. It is also lower in fat and calories, which can help you to control your weight.
On top of that, you will get only the highest quality organic rice protein only. One that mixes amazingly well in water.
|Per Serving||Sport Protein|
|Added sugars (g)||0.0|
|Other additives||Monk Fruit|
8. OWYN Protein
- No stevia or artificial sweeteners
- Includes greens blend and probiotics
- Plant-based, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and GMO-free
- High in sodium
- RTD tastes better
So what if you want a protein powder without artificial sweeteners and no stevia? That’s what OWYN provides you. Sweetened with organic cane sugar and monk fruit, OWYN’s shakes are among the most natural protein powders you can buy.
Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, nut-free… 100% vegan and with 20g of protein per 140kcal, OWYN’s is the hypoallergenic shake you have been waiting for. Plus, you will get omega-3, 1B CFU probiotics and superfoods to help your gut health.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, unfortunately they only have 2 flavours available: Chocolate and Vanilla. Furthermore, I personally enjoy the ready-to-drink more, but that’s slightly more expensive.
|Per Serving||OWYN Protein|
|Added sugars (g)||4.0|
|Other additives||Monk Fruit, Probiotics|
Best Meal Replacement Powders Without Artificial Sweeteners
1. Ample V
- Sweetened with honey, stevia and monk fruit
- 3 formulas to choose from: Plant based, whey based and keto
- No artificial sweeteners, no artificial additives, soy-free, GMO free and gluten free
- Contains digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics to help your gut
- Lacks some vitamins and minerals
- Premium pricing
Ample shakes are some of my favourite meal replacement shakes. They have a superb blend of quality and great tasting shakes that I really enjoy.
Another factor that makes me like Ample is the fact that they don’t have any synthetic additives and are free of artificial sweeteners.
They offer real food based shakes, that are usually low on carbs and high in fats. They even have a ketogenic shake for those looking to lose some weight. However, I think that for most the Plant-based and/or Original will be the better choice.
All three of them have active ingredients like probiotics and digestive enzymes that help your gut microbioma.
Plus, because they are powders without sucralose or aspartame, you will find Ample meals really easy to digest.
|per serving||Ample V||DV (%)
2. Ambronite CMS
- 3 great flavours to choose from
- No artificial sweeteners; use coconut sugar instead
- 160 or 400kcal servings
- All the nutrients your body needs per shake
- Best prices only available when you buy in bulk
This is another fabulous brand that offers real food based shakes without any artificial additives or sweeteners. In fact, Ambronite Complete Meal Shake uses real sugar (from coconut) to sweeten their shakes; as well as sugar from fruit (apple, banana).
Therefore, nutritionally this is a fantastic vegan meal replacement drink. It provides you with 24g of protein, tons of fiber, all the essential fats (including omega-3), plus phytonutrients from their super greens blend.
For those who don’t like fruity flavours, they also offer Balanced Meal Shake, which is available in Vanilla and Chocolate. Either way, I recommend you buying Ambronite, and make use of the code LATESTFUELS for 25% off.
|per serving||CMS||RI (%)
- Rare RTD without artificial sweeteners
- Vegan, hypoallergenic
- Best texture and great taste
- Optimal to consume on the go
- Sweetened with coconut sugar
- Only available in the US
- Slightly high in sodium
Only What You Need or OWYN is the ideal dairy free shake to take it with you anywhere. It contains no artificial sweeteners, no gluten, no soy; while providing you with all the nutrients your body needs per bottle.
Each bottle comes with 300kcal, 20g of protein and no stevia, no sucralose nor any aspartame. Unlike most ready-to-drink products out there, OWYN’s won’t upset your stomach after drinking it. Unfortunately, it’s not as rich in fibre as other alternatives, and does not come with probiotics or digestive enzymes.
Nonetheless, you can buy it on Amazon with free shipping and enjoy one of the two lovely flavours that they offer: Chai and Chocolate. While, I do love Chocolate, it is currently more expensive than Chai. Thus, maybe you should buy Chai this time.
|per serving||OWYN RTD||DV (%)
|of which added (g)||5.0||10|
Understanding Artificial Sweeteners
Sweeteners are sugar substitutes that give food a sweet taste without adding as many calories. In fact, many provide with no-calories and do not cause any effect in blood glucose like sugar does. These sweeteners can be natural (derived from plants) or synthetically created. The latter is much more commonly used in the industry, particularly in sweets, low-calorie sodas etc.
Types of Artificial Sweeteners Found on Protein Powders
Another common area where you will find artificial sweeteners is protein powders and other nutritional supplements. Because they can add sweetness without adding calories; they are widely used to create blends with less calories (higher percentage of protein).
These are some of the most common culprits that you can find:
- Acesulfame K or acesulfame potassium. A very common sweetener, 200 times sweeter than sucrose (sugar) that has a slightly bitter taste. Thus, it’s often found in conjunction with other sweeteners (aspartame) with synergistic effects. There are concerns over the possible carcinogenic effects of ace-k; but these have been refuted by the FDA and ESFA.
- Aspartame. Another popular sweetener in protein powders, often paired with ace-k. It is 200 as sweet as sugar, and it’s been approved by the FDA since 1981. There are some health hazards for those with phenylketonuria due to the presence of phenylalanine. Despite being some of the most rigorously studied sweeteners, there is public concern about carcinogenic and neurological effects of aspartame.
- Sucralose. This synthetic sweetener is 3x as sweet as aspartame, and it’s considered safe by most health agencies. It is even safe for diabetics, since it does not cause any alterations in blood glucose. Most of the sucralose ingested is not absorbed and only 2-8% is metabolized. However, there are some increasing concerns of the effect of sucralose, particularly after being heated.
To summarize, most of the artificial sweeteners used in protein powders are considered safe to very safe. However, there’s a popular belief that the adverse effects have not been properly studied in humans and might cause some long term negative effects.
Popular Alternatives to Artificial Sweeteners
Therefore, many have started looking for alternatives and protein powders with no artificial sweeteners. While the industry is still dominated by synthetic options, there are few other ingredients:
- Stevia. This is a tricky one, since it can also be highly processed. However, it is usually the #1 choice for manufacturers. The plant stevia contains steviol glycosides that are 30-150 times as sweet as sugar. There are a few concerns about stevia, but also about how it affects the flavour. That’s why I included some protein powders without artificial sweeteners or stevia (Owyn).
- Monk fruit. Another natural sweetener that is 300 times as sweet as sugar. While in the US is considered generally safe by the FDA, its use is not approved in Europe. Thus, most European powders will include stevia or sugar instead.
- Honey. Honey is a caloric sweetener, unlike the previous two, since it contains fructose and glucose. However, it is usually packed with other nutrients (mostly vitamins and minerals), which might have benefit health effects.
Besides the above mentioned, you might also find coconut sugar, rice sugar, cane sugar or even normal sugar in protein powders and meal replacements that contain no artificial sweeteners.
Sugar or Natural Sweeteners, What is Best in Protein Powders?
There is no simple answer to this question, and it will largely come to what your preferences are. In the United States, for instance, food is blasted with hidden sugars and consuming more than the daily recommended is not unusual. Therefore, for those naturally sweetened protein powders might make sense.
Another factor to look at are calories. If you are looking for diet drinks without aspartame, but don’t want to add calories naturally sweetened drinks (like Complete Protein Powder) will be your best solution. Otherwise, you can still enjoy meal shakes that are low in sugar like Ample O.
If we considered taste, then you might want to avoid stevia (not always but for some might taste too bitter) or look for stevia extract. Honey or coconut sugar can also be good alternatives.
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Artificial Sweetener Free Shakes
So, you are ready to purchase your protein powder free of sucralose. Or so you think. Make sure you take these factors into consideration before buying the best powders without artificial sweeteners:
- Vegan or vegetarian. Are you looking for a fully plant-based shake or you are happy with a whey protein powder with no artificial sweetener?
- Naturally sweetened or sugar. As mentioned in the previous section, it’s your choice to opt for a non-caloric sweetener like stevia, monk fruit or something more traditional like honey or coconut sugar.
- Budget. Most of the best powders without artificial sweeteners mentioned in the list are fairly affordable. However, you will have some at less than $1 per serving, and others that might cost you over $2.
- Protein shake or meal replacement shake. You might have realized that I have not used both terms as synonyms. Meal replacement shakes are better suited to replace meals, as they are more balanced and nutritionally complete. Protein shakes, on the other hand, they are mostly protein and don’t have essential ingredients like omega-3 or micronutrients, often.
Conclusion: The Best Meal Replacement Shakes and Protein Powder without Artificial Sweeteners are
… Ample O and Four Sigmatic Cacao. Two great shakes that will provide you high quality nutrients without artificial additives. They have a lovely taste and texture, on top of that.
However, if you are looking for stevia free alternatives I recommend you looking at OWYN. For a more budget option, Vegan Blend for my protein might be your choice.
Have a good look to my top picks and enjoy!
2. FDA Daily Values.