This article is a small guide that will teach you how to remove artificial sweeteners from your nutrition, especially if your diet relies on protein shakes.
Our appearance, performance (physical and cognitive), social status and our mental and spiritual state all depend on our nutrition. And since we tend to live in a fast paced society bombarded by information, we often find ourselves unable to distinguish between good and bad choices and we also tend to rely on supplementation in order to meet our daily nutritional needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Protein shakes are awesome!
- 2 Step 1: Get some flavorless protein
- 3 Step 2: Look for different types of protein
- 4 Step 3: Doing this without breaking the bank
- 5 Step 4: Putting everything together
- 6 What to do next?
- 7 Closing notes
Protein shakes are awesome!
For many busy people who work out, protein shakes are a very fast and convenient way to get some good nutrition without having to resort to unhealthy options.
I myself used to carry around small single use containers with protein powder so that if I happen to find myself without any proper nutritional resources with the only choices being snacks in a vending machine, I just pour some water over my powder and presto… I have “food”.
The only problem with protein powders however, (other than the fact that it is dried food without any enzymes, fiber or other micronutrients, minerals and vitamins) is that they are full of unhealthy additives such as artificial sweeteners. This stuff is dangerous and can be found literally everywhere as I have explained in an earlier article.
In the past year, I managed to completely remove them from my nutrition and I strongly advise you to do the same if you want to get or stay healthy. The path was not easy, mostly because it is not easy to find good quality, flavorless protein especially in Europe where I live. (While it is easier to order unflavored protein when you live in the States or Canada.)
Here are the steps I took in order to remove aspartame and all other artificial ingredients from my diet:
Step 1: Get some flavorless protein
This is obvious but there is a huge problem. Have you ever tried protein powder without taste? It tastes like dirt.
Now you know why they have to put all those nasty and artificial stuff in your protein.
Protein by nature does taste like dirt. Take meat for example. Have you eaten 0% fat meat? Well it tastes like nothing. It is the fat that gives meat (and other foods) its lovely flavor.
Taste is one of the most important senses in our lives for a variety of reasons, the most important ones being preparing your system for food intake and raising dopamine and serotonin levels. So you need to be mentally prepared for the tasteless protein challenge because believe me, a tasteless shake will be like drinking liquid chalk. This is where your mental power kicks in. How badly do you want it?
This also helps you keep protein powders at a minimum as it is always best to get your nutrients from real foods like meat, fish, eggs and chicken.
Step 2: Look for different types of protein
One of the biggest challenges I faced was the lack of variety in my protein powders. And when I did find something different, the price tag was really high and out of my budget.
The most famous type is the whey protein. I was happy and lucky enough to have found a whey isolate.
The other types of flavorless proteins included egg, pea, rice and hemp.
Egg is one of the strongest proteins with high biological value. Unfortunately, when mixed with water, this had the consistency of sperm (no joke). So having my egg protein shake was not fun at all.
Pea and rice proteins have one thing in common: They are planted-based which means they will be incomplete. So I had to combine them to get a complete amino acid profile. The other bad thing about them is that they have really strong flavors (even worse than dirt-tasting whey).
Hemp is a really good protein if you find one with low fat content. In the beginning, I came across several brands of hemp protein that were too high in fat and I could not use them. Which brings me to the next point: When you change your protein type, you also need to be careful not to alter your macronutrient ratios!
So make sure that you always check the labels for fat and carb content when you buy protein powders.
I was also lucky enough to find meat protein flavored with stevia. However, there were 2 problems with this protein:
- Meat protein is usually collagen that has been dried. This means you will be eating nails, toes, bones and other meat byproducts that have been grinded down to powder.
- This specific protein had stevia which turned out to be too sweet for my taste.
This combination made my stomach upset and it became difficult for me to drink this stuff.
PROTEIN POWDER WITH STEVIA
If you can buy protein powder with stevia make sure to check the label to see if they contain any other sweeteners or even sugar! If so, I would advise you to stay away from them. A protein powder with stevia is a good choice but I personally do not use this type as I prefer to use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
Step 3: Doing this without breaking the bank
At this point I have to mention (even though it should be common sense) that any type of supplementation is expensive. This holds true especially when it comes to quality protein powders.
However, making this switch to protein powders without artificial sweeteners was a must for me so while I was prepared to pay for it, I had to also stay within budget.
In order to do that, I had to stay away from top brands and look for cheaper options that were still healthy and of high quality. This might take a lot of investigation so be prepared to do your research online so that you can find a good brand.
Step 4: Putting everything together
If you already took heed of my warning about the shitty taste (or lack thereof), after finding your flavorless protein, all you need to do is just replace your regular protein with your new stuff.
HOW TO IMPROVE THE TASTE
If you are still not happy with the taste, you can use spices such as ginger, cinnamon or even turmeric to improve the taste of your shakes.
If you want to make it sweet, you can add some raw honey or maple syrup. This means extra carbs and calories so make sure to stick to your macronutrients ratio.
Other good, natural and sweet options are fruit like bananas or berries.
You can even add a bit of peanut butter for fiber and healthy fats.
Alternatively, you can use stevia to add the sweet taste to your protein powders.
What to do next?
At this point it is more about creativity. And this where people usually get frustrated about the time factor, since protein powders are used because of its easiness and convenience.
But do not give up just yet. If you invest some time in this project, you will reap the health benefits and part of the convenience that protein powders have to offer. As most things that are worth something, this requires some work. It will take some commitment and time at first but eventually you will be glad you went down this path just like I did.
You can also take it a step further and create a rotation diet with your supplements. I believe that rotating your food sources eliminate the probability of allergies and other digestive problems or autoimmune diseases. But this is something I will share with you in another article.
So there you have it. First get some flavorless version of your current protein. Then you may want to consider different types of proteins. Third, do that without breaking the bank and fourth invest some time, experiment and create a program that meets your needs.
Have you ever tried a flavorless protein powder? How did it taste? What did you do to improve its taste? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. Putting together this article took a bit of time but it will only take you a second to click on the Share buttons below and show your support to this blog.
Also if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!
by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200