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Stevia has become a popular, no-calorie sweetener that’s derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Because stevia is naturally sweet and has zero calories, it’s now a common sweetening agent in protein powders and other nutritional supplements.
Not only does stevia have zero calories, but it has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. So, it’s no wonder why stevia has become the go-to alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose.
But for many consumers, stevia is simply a no-go. In turn, this has sparked a growing demand for protein powder without stevia.
Heightened Demand for Protein Powder without Stevia
Despite it being a nutritionally sound alternative to conventional sweeteners, some people find stevia to have an unpleasant and oftentimes overwhelming taste, which can be very off-putting. Stevia is far sweeter than sugar (studies show that it’s 250–300 times sweeter than regular sugar), so it seems like a finicky ingredient to get right.
Unfortunately, stevia is found in all types of protein powder. So, the challenge for those who dislike it is finding a delicious-tasting, stevia-free protein powder that uses something like monk fruit sweetener or just natural cane sugar.
As someone who’s been highly sensitive to stevia, I have reviewed a wide range of protein powder products, with and without stevia. Here I recap my top five best-tasting protein powders without stevia.
1. Orgain Simple Protein Powder
Orgain Simple Protein is a minimal-ingredient blend that’s properly branded as a “clean” protein powder. It contains organic coconut sugar as the main sweetener, which contains 6 grams of sugar per serving.
Orgain Simple Protein is an organic product that contains the following protein sources: golden peas, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and chia seeds (in that order). It’s also grain-free and contains no questionable ingredients.
It’s available in three delicious flavors. Peanut butter is my favorite, followed by vanilla and chocolate. Check out this Orgain Simple Protein Powder review for the full scoop on this fantastic product.
2. Sunwarrior Classic Plus Unflavored Protein
One of the most highly rated “unflavored” protein powders is Sunwarrior Classic Plus Natural. It’s a delicious stevia-free protein powder that has a very smooth and transparent taste. It blends well with just about anything without being too overpowering or sweet. It’s also great for athletic recovery and building muscle, as it contains a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Sunwarrior Classic Plus is a raw vegan and organic protein blend that’s comprised of pea protein, brown rice protein, quinoa protein, chia seed protein, and amaranth protein. The legume (pea) and grain (brown rice) combination create a complete protein with a strong serving of essential amino acids.
3. Garden of Life Organic Whey Protein
The only non-vegan option on this list is Garden of Life Organic Whey Protein, an easy-to-digest, stevia-free protein powder that’s made from organic, grass-fed whey (cow’s milk.) It is naturally sweetened with organic cane sugar and does not contain any other artificial sweeteners.
Branded as the cleanest whey protein available, this product from Garden of Life is antibiotic-, hormone-, and pesticide-free. It’s also rich in collagen proteins and repairing properties with immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, and cysteine.
Because this is a simple protein source that offers a natural, single source of protein, whey protein is abundant in essential amino acids. For a top-quality option without stevia, Garden of Life Organic Whey Protein is a great go-to.
4. PlantFusion Complete Protein Natural No-Stevia
PlantFusion Complete Protein offers a widely-popular “Natural” or stevia-free option and is one of the best-tasting vegan protein powder products of its kind. With a very balanced, neutral taste that doesn’t contain any added flavoring or sweetening agent, PlantFusion offers welcomed transparency in addition to smoothies or even baked goods.
The ingredients in PlantFusion Complete Protein include pea isolate, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth protein, and sprouted quinoa protein. It’s also a stripped-back, minimalist option that appropriately falls into the “clean” category.
5. Garden of Life Raw Protein Unflavored
Garden of Life’s flagship “Raw Protein” powder product comes in an unflavored option that stevia-ree. It’s a great choice for those looking for a natural-tasting vegan protein powder that’s transparent and neutral tasting.
Garden of Life Raw Protein Unflavored is not sweet whatsoever. In fact, there isn’t much taste to it all. In turn, this stevia-free protein powder is virtually undetectable when added to any concoction, whether it be a smoothie, baked goods, or a bowl of oatmeal. It’s one of the most popular protein powders in this category and its nutritional ingredients speak for themselves.
Packed with entirely certified organic ingredients, Garden of Life Raw Protein contains: pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, chlorella, quinoa, chia seed, garbanzo bean, lentil, adzuki bean, flax seed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and sesame seed. Almost all of these protein ingredients are raw/sprouted, so they’ve gone through very little processing and retain the highest nutritional value possible.
And the Winner Is…
Orgain Simple Protein is my all-time favorite stevia-free protein powder. Not only am I a big fan of the ingredients being clean and simple, but it’s by far the best-tasting option. It’s moderately sweet and mixes well with all sorts of smoothies, oatmeal bowls, or just by itself with water or milk.
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Endurance athlete, professional off-road cyclist, and avid blogger, Tyler Tafelsky participates in long-course multisport and cycling events. Today, Tyler competes in ultra-distance cycling races at the professional level. Since starting Better Triathlete in 2014, he has been the head of content for the site's editorial team. Learn more about Tyler