Is Sugar Required in Protein Powders?

Why Sugar is added to Whey Protein?

During the preparation of whey protein, when whey is split from milk, it is bitter in taste and looks very pale and runny. If whey is overheated or not processed properly, its bitter taste is more pronounced which can make it less acceptable. Other proteins also have the same characteristic bitter taste.

How is this problem fixed?

To remove the bitterness of whey protein, the usage of additives is made. These additives may include dyes and different flavors to enhance the taste of the product. However, many manufacturers depend on various types of sweeteners.

What happens when sugar is added to whey protein?

When you read the labels, you will soon explore that most of the whey proteins are fairly high in calories. If there are is extra sugar added, this will further increase the calorie content of the product. The high calorie content should be able to provide sufficient energy for your workouts needs.
Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and it is quickly absorbed in the bloodstream leading to an expectedly high blood glucose level. In such a situation, the hormone insulin is released which brings down the glucose level to by giving energy to the required cells. This reaction leads to a low blood glucose level and gives you a craving feeling for more fast acting sugar to normalize the blood glucose levels.
Alright, now that you know that too much sugar can be harmful, let us see what sugar free protein powders can do to the body.

Sugar Free Protein Powders- Their effect on the body

Most companies play on the taste factor wanting their whey protein to be sweet without any claim on the sugar content added. Therefore, the safest choice in this scenario, an artificial sweetener is a savior.
There are various chemicals involved in this category. Most artificial sweeteners are associated with health conditions such as obesity and increased blood glucose levels. The mechanism of action of artificial sweeteners is unknown however it can have some negative effects on the digestive tract.
Hormonal levels, immunity and metabolism are affected by excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners.

Then, what is the solution?

It is a best practice to read the labels and find out which is the first ingredient. Is it whey or sugar? Usually, the first ingredient is in largest quantities. If sugar is the first ingredient of a whey protein, never buy it. Always opt for whey proteins having minimum sweeteners and are HACCP certified and give assurance on the quality of whey protein being used. The best protein for muscle gain is 100% Whey Protein.
Other factors important in buying whey protein are:

  • Minimum 10 months expiry from date of manufacture
  • ISO 22000 certified
  • Customer Care number listed
  • Look for any allergens
  • No. of servings and serving size
  • Barcode and QR codes are visible
  • Dope Free Product
  • Directions for use are given.