When it comes to protein powder, some consumers may prefer to avoid artificial ingredients. However, the question of whether it is worth paying extra for a protein powder without artificial ingredients is a matter of personal preference and depends on individual priorities and values.
Firstly, it's important to define what is meant by "artificial ingredients." Generally, this refers to any synthetic substance or chemical that is added to a product, including flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives. These ingredients may have potential health risks, particularly when consumed in high quantities or over long periods of time. For example, some artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been linked to increased risk of cancer and other health issues, although more research is needed to confirm these findings (1). Additionally, certain artificial colors and preservatives have been linked to negative effects on behavior and cognitive function in children (2).
When it comes to protein powders, some manufacturers may add artificial ingredients to improve taste, texture, and shelf life. However, there are also many high-quality protein powders available that use natural ingredients and flavors, such as stevia or monk fruit extract. These products may be more expensive than those with artificial ingredients, but they may also offer additional benefits.
For example, protein powders made with natural ingredients may be easier to digest for some people, particularly those with food sensitivities or allergies. They may also contain additional nutrients and antioxidants that can support overall health and well-being. Additionally, some studies have suggested that natural sweeteners like stevia may have potential health benefits, such as improving blood sugar control and reducing inflammation (3).
Overall, whether it's worth paying extra for a protein powder without artificial ingredients depends on individual priorities and values. If avoiding artificial ingredients is a top priority for you, then it may be worth investing in a higher-quality product that uses natural ingredients. However, if cost is a major concern or you don't have any issues with consuming artificial ingredients in moderation, then a more affordable protein powder may be a better option.
- Magnuson BA, Roberts A, Nestmann ER. Critical review of the current literature on the safety of sucralose. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017;106(Pt A):324-355.
- McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al. Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2007;370(9598):1560-1567.
- Carakostas MC, Curry LL, Boileau AC, Brusick DJ. Overview: the history, technical function and safety of rebaudioside A, a naturally occurring steviol glycoside, for use in food and beverages. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008;46 Suppl 7:S1-S10.