Whether you follow a low-carb or low-calorie diet but want extra protein, or you want to cut your sugar intake, a sugar-free protein powder will suit your needs.
With tons of options on the market, it can be confusing which one to pick.
So, to help you choose the best sugar-free protein powders for your health or fitness goals, we've teamed up with vegan registered dietitians, reviewed tons of user feedback, and put these products to the test.
Here are our recommendations.
Our Top Product Recommendations (January 2023)
1 - Transparent Labs 100% Grass-fed Whey Protein Isolate (Editor's Choice)
First on our list of the best sugar-free, healthy protein powders are from Transparent Labs, one of the leading premium supplement companies.
Transparent Labs 100% Whey Protein Isolate is a hormone-free, high-quality protein supplement, which provides 28 grams of complete protein to help you gain muscles and improve your gym performance.
And because it's made entirely of whey isolate, it has a significantly low lactose content that won't upset your stomach. It's low in fat and carbs, so it's ideal if you're trying to lose or maintain weight.
I bought the Mocha and French Vanilla flavors and what I like about them is that they taste great even without artificial sweeteners. And since it contains no fillers and additives, it makes a great addition to oats, fruits, and smoothies.
- Calories : 120
- Protein : 28g
- Fat : 0.5g
- Carbs : 1g
- High protein content per serving
- Completely clean, high-quality protein
- Good for lactose-intolerant people
- Full label transparency
- A bit expensive but can save up for bulk orders
2 - Vega One Organic All-In-One Shake
Vega One Organic All-In-One Shake is another 100% plant-sourced protein powder that's gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified USDA organic.
This sugar-free protein powder is a great meal replacement option because it contains many fruits and vegetables.
On top of that, this protein powder provides 50% of your daily multivitamin needs, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It also contains probiotics and fiber for better digestion.
I've tried the vanilla and chocolate flavor and find them delicious and also love their smooth texture.
However, this protein powder is a bit pricey compared to other products, but it can be worth it because of its organic protein content.
- Calories : 150
- Protein : 20g
- Fat : 5g
- Carbs : 10g
- It contains probiotics and fiber for digestion
- Provides 50% of daily vitamin needs
- Nutrient-dense organic supplement, which makes it a perfect meal replacement
- It's not the cheapest option
3 - Sunwarrior Protein Warrior Blend
Here's another excellent option for a sugar-free protein powder that you can drink as a pre-or post-workout.
It's packed with 25g plant-based protein powder made from organic pea protein powder, organic hemp protein, and organic Goji Berry.
I'm impressed with its content, including the 6g of BCAAs, which helps speed up recovery, and the added Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which acts as extra fuel for the brain.
It’s a clean protein powder that’s organic, vegan, and free from dairy, soy, and non-GMO. It's also high in iron; however, one of its drawbacks is it lacks micronutrients.
Its vanilla flavor tastes good and mixes well with water or a protein shake. The best part is the natural taste since it doesn't taste too sweet. This benefit makes it more desirable for people who don't like the sickening artificial aftertaste of some other brands.
- Calories : 100
- Protein : 25g
- Fat : 2g
- Carbs : 2g
- Has 6g BCAAs for muscle recovery and building lean muscle
- Contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) for extra brainpower
- It contains electrolytes to replenish what's lost during workouts
- It doesn’t taste good unless mixed in protein shakes and smoothies
4 - Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Powder is one of the sugar-free protein powders made from hemp.
It’s pretty low in carb and high in fiber. Fiber helps keep our blood sugar and hunger in check and keep our bowels healthy.
Organic hemp protein is also very easy to digest, so it's great for those with a sensitive gut. Nutiva Organic Protein uses a cold-pressed method to provide high-quality hemp protein. In short, you'll get more value for your money.
What's more, it has BCAAs known to help muscle gains and Omega-3 fatty acids for maintaining heart health.
However, Nutiva Organic has an earthy taste, not the best tasting option. But I've tried putting some fruits like bananas and berries to make it more palatable.
- Calories : 90
- Protein : 15g
- Fat : 3g
- Carbs : 9g
- A plant-based protein powder that’s high in fiber for better bowel health
- Complete amino acids profile to supply your protein needs plus fatty acids to promote a healthy heart
- Made from high-quality hemp protein that's easy to digest
- It has a distinct earthy taste like most hemp proteins
5 - Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder
Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder is one of the best sugar-free protein powders made from protein-rich sources, such as pea proteins, organic sprouted brown rice protein, and amaranth sprouts.
With its blend of protein-rich plant sources, you will get all the essential vitamins from a typical meat dish.
The manufacturer also claims that they source their ingredients using the RAW formula; that means they're minimally processed, so more protein is available for your body to absorb.
This sugar-free protein powder can also be a post-workout shake because it has BCAAs, which help repair your muscles after exercise.
To top it all off, it contains probiotics and digestive enzymes to promote a healthy gut.
I think it tastes great with no weird aftertaste when it comes to taste. It has no artificial sweeteners, and you can choose between unflavored and flavored ones, such as vanilla and chocolate.
- Calories : 110
- Protein : 22g
- Fat : 2.5g
- Carbs : 2g
- Helps with muscle recovery
- Certified USDA organic blend
- Vegan protein, gluten-free, non-GMO
- Some users don't prefer the taste
6 - Bob's Red Mill Pea Protein Powder
Bob's Red Mill Pea Protein Powder is a sugar-free protein powder with tons of nutritional value and unique properties its users have loved.
First, Bob's Red Mill protein powder has straightforward ingredients, primarily made of:
- Pea protein isolate
- Chicory root fiber
- Chia seeds
- Natural flavoring
- Monk fruit extract
And here's good news for those who don't like stevia-based powders: Bob's Red Mill is one of the few vegan protein powders that are stevia-free. Instead, this protein powder is naturally sweetened using monk fruit extract, a better alternative than stevia, as it provides a smooth and mildly sweet taste.
Bob's Red Mill protein powder is also high in protein, fiber and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes healthy digestion with its prebiotic and probiotic components. Again, a healthy gut ensures your diet remains consistent and unhindered by various possible digestive problems down the line.
And this protein powder is delicious, though I quite find the pea flavor overpowering. Bob’s Red Mill can be a great addition to your protein pancakes and shakes because it mixes easily, too.
- Calories : 100
- Protein : 21g
- Fat : 1.5g
- Carbs : 2g
- Made from organically grown peas
- Gluten-free, suits vegans, and a good source of Omega-3
- One of the best tasting, sugar-free plant-sourced protein powder
- Some find the pea flavor overpowering
7 - USN 100 Percent Pure Plant Protein
USN 100 Percent Pure Plant Protein powder is another top-quality choice for a sugar-free protein shake made from pea protein isolate, rice, and hemp protein.
This protein powder is vegan, free from soy and artificial flavors and colors. Its clean protein content is also quickly digestible, which means it's easy on your stomach, and your body can absorb it efficiently.
Its packaging is made from paper, which environmentally-conscious people love.
As for the taste, this protein powder is one of the best-tasting sugar-free protein supplements I've tried.
However, one of its downsides is that it lacks information on the vitamins and minerals it contains, and the label doesn't say it's gluten-free. So, it may not be for gluten-sensitive people.
- Calories : 100
- Protein : 23g
- Fat : 2.4g
- Carbs : 2.9g
- Made from 100% plant-based sources
- Easily digestible plant proteins
- Taste is enjoyable
- The label doesn't disclose if it is gluten-free
8 - Optimum Nutrition Lean Whey
Optimum nutrition is one of the famous brands providing quality sports supplements for fueling your workout, and luckily, they have a sugar-free protein powder, too.
This protein powder is made from a whey protein concentrate, so this isn't for those who follow a plant-based diet.
Whey is known to be a complete and fast-absorbing protein. It has been proven effective for increasing muscle strength, bulking up, and reducing body fat .
I also love this protein powder because it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as:
- B vitamins
- Vitamins A and C
What's more, it's one of the low-sugar protein powders with 0.6 sugar, but its taste is a pleasant surprise—I love the vanilla taste.
- Calories : 98
- Protein : 17 g
- Fat : 1.9 g
- Carbs : 1.4 g
- High-quality whey protein concentrate, low fat, and low-sugar
- Has 2.34g Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which can help fat loss
- It contains tons of vitamins and minerals to strengthen immunity
- Not suitable for vegans
9 - Pulsin Natural Unflavoured Plant-Based Vegan Rice Protein Powder
Here's another clean protein made from sprouted whole grain rice.
Sprouted grains are more accessible to digest than regular grains and have generous amounts of essential amino acids the body needs.
This low-carb protein powder suits vegans or lactose-intolerants looking to steer clear away from whey or casein protein. It's free from animal products and it's non-GMO.
You get 81% protein for each 10g serving, that is 8.1g protein.
Bodybuilders or people who require higher protein intake (e.g., 40-50g of protein) for bulking up might find the nutrient amount pretty low.
So, this protein powder is best for those looking to add just a bit of protein to their vegan diet.
There are no added sugars or sweeteners to this protein powder, so you need to add this to your protein shakes or breakfast cereals to make it palatable.
- Calories : 43
- Protein : 8.1g
- Fat : 1g
- Carbs : 0.4g
- 100% whole grain brown rice protein concentrate
- Unsweetened and unflavored protein powder; perfect for smoothies and baked goods
- Ideal for vegetarians and vegans as an alternative to whey
- A bit expensive but at a reasonable price
10 - John's Killer Protein - Lean Blend
John's Killer Protein - Lean Blend is one of the unique products among the best sugar-free protein powders listed here.
It's one of the few companies that uses grass-fed Irish whey. Ireland is famous for producing the highest quality grass-fed dairy because of its favorable pasture conditions.
You'll get 22g of pure protein for every serving, packed with 11g of complete amino acids and 5g of BCAAs. This protein powder is for those who want just clean, top-quality protein for muscle growth and recovery.
It also does not contain fillers or other ingredients that may be unnecessary, which is one of the things that impressed me with this protein powder.
This protein powder is sugar-free and unflavored, so you can flavor and sweeten as you like with fruits and natural sweeteners. I love having this protein powder with my smoothie or shake.
- Calories : 90
- Protein : 22g
- Fat : 0
- Carbs : 0
- One of the few whey proteins that use Irish dairy and milk
- Soy-free, gluten-free, and never treated with any GMO ingredients or additives
- Complete amino acids and has BCAAs
- Quite costly, but you get value for your money
Here are some things to keep in mind, so you can choose the sugar-free protein powder that suits your health or fitness goals.
1. Type of Protein
There are three most common sources of protein powders for vegans and vegetarians.
Pea proteins are complete (contains all essential amino acids), quickly digested proteins that come from yellow split peas. It's prosperous with crucial branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which stimulate the body to create more protein, thus helping you recover from exercise and gain muscle faster .
One study further supports this, saying that pea proteins are just as effective for promoting muscle gains as whey protein .
Hemp seeds are another excellent plant-based protein source.
It contains the complete essential amino acids; however, it's low in lysine, so you may need to eat quinoa or legumes to fill the gap.
Hemp seeds further have the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes a healthy heart .
While soy protein is vegan, it has fallen out of favor recently because some people develop allergic reactions. But, if you aren't sensitive to soy, it can be an excellent source of vegan protein powder for you because it is one of the few plant sources with complete essential amino acids .
It's known to help weight loss, build muscle, and boost energy.
Moreover, soy protein powder contains Omega-3 fatty acids, free from cholesterol, and is low in saturated fat (unhealthy fat).
2. Personal Goals
Here's how to pick your protein powder that aligns with your personal goals.
If you want to lose weight, look for protein powders high in protein, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These types of protein powders have been shown to help curb hunger, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and minimize sugar spikes and crashes.
"Look for protein powders with at least 100-150 calories per serving. Anything lower, and I would question the ingredients and [satiety]. Anything higher, and I would assume there are more fats and carbs than needed in that protein powder."
— Megan Byrd, Registered Dietitian in Oregon
Whey and casein protein are popular sources of protein powder for weight loss. Whey is proven to increase appetite-suppressing hormones GLP-1 and GIP and decrease hunger hormones like ghrelin compared to other protein sources .
Casein is absorbed slowly by the body, therefore keeping you fuller for longer .
Choose a protein powder with high amounts of quality protein in each serving.
Higher protein intake helps stimulate muscle protein synthesis, the process of creating more protein to repair damaged muscle tissues after a strenuous workout.
Also, check if the protein powder is highly digestible because the amount of protein the body can utilize depends on how the body can easily absorb the protein.
It also means more value for your money.
Protein powders with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be a great choice, too, for muscle building.
Though artificial sweeteners are considered safe for people with diabetes and may even reduce calorie and carb consumption, you may want to steer clear of protein shakes overloaded with added sugar, such as cane sugar.
Naturally occurring sugars like stevia and monk fruit remain a better option than traditional sweeteners like cane sugar. One study has shown that monk fruit may prevent further diabetic complications .
Also, people with diabetes should go for protein powders low in carbs (5-15 grams). Studies show that a carb-restriction diet may help control blood sugar levels and manage Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes [14,15].
Read More: 7 Best Protein Powders for Diabetics
Better Gut Health
Many protein powders with probiotics and high fiber help support healthy digestion. Also, people with sensitive stomachs should opt for nutritional protein powders with no gluten, lactose, and artificial sweeteners. That makes plant proteins a better option for you, mainly because the body can easily digest them.
3. Compare the Dosage
Protein needs differ from one person to another, and it also depends on a person's age, fitness level, and goals.
The recommended dietary protein consumption for an average person is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
But, active people or those who want to gain muscle fast may need more.
Ensure that your protein powder contains adequate protein in each serving.
Some studies show a protein consumption of about 20-40 grams per serving is required for muscle protein synthesis .
4. Other Helpful Ingredients
It's a bonus when your protein powder contains other ingredients with extra health benefits, such as more greens, various fruits and vegetables, probiotics, and essential vitamins and minerals. It helps conveniently meet your daily nutrient needs.
Does Whey Protein Contain Sugar?
Yes, most whey proteins contain sugar. Whey protein has a chalky, bitter taste, so many protein powders have added sugar to make it more palatable. However, some are sugar-free or naturally sweetened, giving them a lightly-sweet taste.
Is Protein Powder Safe for People with Diabetes?
Yes, protein powder is safe for people with diabetes, as long as they are taken in recommended amounts. One study shows that whey protein powder can help manage type 2 diabetes .
Our Recommended #1 Product
Overall, our team recommends Transparent Labs 100% Grass-fed Whey Protein Isolate.
You get good value because the label is entirely transparent, ensuring that you get 28 grams of pure protein with no extra fat, carbs, or additives.
Transparent Lab’s whey isolate has the most protein per serving of any product on the list, which can help you improve your stamina and mind-muscle connection.
Its delicious natural flavor and essential amino acids will undoubtedly help you enjoy and level up your workout routine.
The best part about Transparent Labs is that they offer bulk pricing, which means that the more you purchase, the more you save. So, click here to save up to $30 on three tubs today.
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