Stevia has become a popular, no-calorie sweetener that’s derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Because it’s naturally sweet and has zero calories, stevia has become a common ingredient and sweetening agent in various protein powders and other nutritional supplements.
Stevia is a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose. Stevia also has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
High Demand for Protein Powder without Stevia
Despite it being a nutritionally sound alternative to conventional sweeteners, some people find that stevia has a slightly bitter or intense aftertaste, which can be very off-putting to those who are sensitive to it. Stevia is far sweeter than sugar, so it can be difficult to strike a balance when used in certain products. Still, many protein powder manufacturers use stevia and it has become one of the most widely used ingredients.
The challenge for those who dislike stevia is finding a delicious-tasting, stevia-free protein powder. Having reviewed a wide range of vegan protein powders, here are my favorite options that are made without stevia, starting with the product I find to be the best-tasting choice.
1. Orgain Simple Protein
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.
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.
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 creates 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 welcome 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 is 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.
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About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is an experienced endurance athlete and a professional alt-road cyclist who competes in gravel bike races across the US He offers a wide range of experience in sports nutrition, recovery, and rehabilitation. Tyler is the Head of Content for Better Triathlete and leads the site’s editorial team. Learn more about Tyler. Or follow him on Instagram, Twitteror LinkedIn.