Many forget that artificial sweeteners are chemicals.
Following the decline in the demand for sugar, Artificial Sweeteners have gained a widespread popularity and high demand. Ultimately, this has encouraged countless companies into marketing products such as sugar-free jelly, among many other 'sugar-free' products.
However, with 'low calorie' on the containers of all of these products, it doesn't seem to be a problem...That is until many began reporting numerous side effects after consuming them (including headaches and sickness, as well as other side effects).
As a result, we're giving you a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of artificial sweeteners. As well as showing you our favorite pre-workout without artificial sweeteners.
By the end of this article, you'll have learned:
- Most Common Artificial Sweeteners
- Side Effects
- Better Alternatives To Artificial Sweeteners
- Best Pre-Workout Without Artificial Sweeteners
Most Common Artificial Sweeteners
Most people don't really look out for artificial sweeteners on the nutrient profiles of products. And in all fairness, this is because no-one really knows the side effects that they can cause.
While people commonly complain about such issues as headaches after consuming 'sugar-free' soda or jelly, no-one associates artificial sweeteners with them. However, it's important to know that numerous scientific studies have shown that these chemicals are able to cause side effects.
But don't worry, we've got your back; we've compiled a detailed analysis of each artificial sweetener, to inform you about the risks of these chemicals.
Why? Because artificial sweeteners have always been categorized together until now. So below is a brief summary of the various kinds of these synthetic compounds.
You're most likely to see Aspartame in products such as low-calorie or sugar-free yogurt, diet soda, candy, sugar-free gum and even fruit juice.
Why? Because Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and only adds around 4 calories per gram to your diet. For this reason, it's regarded as a very good substitute for sugar.
In fact, it seems like there's only benefits to consuming artificial sweeteners, if you listed to the advertising; you’ll only need tiny amounts of aspartame (compared to sugar) to sweeten your food or drink. At the same time, you'l be saving calories too.
Sounds perfect, right? Well, you should know this - Aspartame can cause numerous side effects, most commonly migraines and headaches.
In all fairness, these aren't severe side effects so it won't kill you; everyone's consumed many cans of soda in one day before, and lived to tell the tale.
So it might be worth suffering a few headaches after paying for low cost products such as jelly or yogurt. However, when you're paying for more expensive supplements, you don't want to be suffering from migraines while trying to improve your performance in the gym.
In case you're wondering where this came from, a German chemist made the discovery of Acesulfame K (a.k.a ‘Ace-K) by accident. So, this should reinforce that it's a chemical man-made in a laboratory.
Why is it used? Well, Ace-K is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, which is why it's commonly used as a sugar-substitute by numerous companies in the food industry.
Again, the advertising for Acesulfame K makes it sound perfect; it's as sweet as aspartame but contains no calories whatsoever.
Ultimately, this had made it many people's favorite sugar substitute - and diet programs even encourage their clients to consume it instead of sugar.
But that's not all; Ace-K’s stability under heat makes it ideal for use in cakes and other baked products. But as perfect as this chemical might seem, it still cannot be regarded as the best substitute for sugar.
We'll explain why below...
So up till now, everything about Acesulfame K sounds perfect. But remember, there's no such thing as a perfect product.
So what's the problem? Well, Acesulfame K has been reported to degrade into acetoacetamide even though it’s shelf life is stable (this compound has actually shown to negatively affect your thyroid in numerous studies.
But there's all; Acetoacetamide is also very toxic in large quantities.
Another problem posed by Acesulfame K is that it's been reported to cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. For this reason, we don't believe Ace-K is the best substitute for sugar.
Of all the chemicals mentioned in this article, this is the sweetest by far; it’s about 7000-13000 times sweeter than sugar.
The fact that you need very little quantity to sweeten a product, coupled with its zero-calorie claims, makes Neotame widely used as a sugar replacement - and it's also quite cheap too.
Sounds good so far, right? But Neotame isn't as perfect as it seems.
Why? Well, it's been consistently reported to cause numerous side effects, which we'll explain below...
As much as Neotame is described above as a great substitute for sugar - it is actually the most harmful chemical listed here.
Many products can be sweetened with little quantity of Neotame, and this is often enough for people to not question it's safety (with their minds fixed on losing weight, they don't need other reasons).
However, it's imporatant to know that Neotame toxic when consumed in large amounts. As a result, consuming neotame frequently as a sugar substitute isn't really a good idea.
But that's not all, Neotame is mixed with cattle feed so they can eat more and get fat.
The fact that this is used to help cattle gain weight also means you might eat more; so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many feel increased hunger levels when consuming Neotame too - not what you want when trying to lose body fat.
For this reason, we believe that Neotame is the worst of the artificial sweeteners you can choose from.
Sucralose beats all other chemicals on this list in terms of popularity, especially when it comes to pre workout supplements.
So why is it used? Well, you'll often see this in coffee shops provided as a sugar substitute, due to being around 650 times sweeter than sugar.
Why's it so popular? Well, most of the Sucralose you consume is not absorbed by your body but rather excreted. As a result, Sucralose is classified a ‘zero-calorie' chemical.
So, a sugar substitute that doesn't increase your calorie intake for the day - sounds pretty good, right?
Well, the problem is, long-term usage of Sucralose use can negatively affect the 'good' bacteria in your digestive system; this can lead to other health risks that you'll want to avoid.
Not only that, Sucralose is also known to cause side effects especially migraines.
So the next time you go to a coffee shop where Sucralose is used as a substitute for sugar - you might want to think twice about using it.
This was one of the first sugar substitutes, as you could find this in products as far back as 1897. But since then, modern resaerch as has shown that Saccharin isn't as good as it once seemed.
Why is it used? Well, Saccharin is about 300-400 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calorie.
So it shouldn't be much of a suprise that Saccharin is one of the most frequently used sweetener for several products; such as toothpaste, diet soda, mouthwash, low-calorie fruit juices and sugar-free chewing gum
Again, this sounds like another perfect alternative to sugar. However, Saccharin was banned in Canada when a study carried out in 1977 showed that it could cause bladder cancer in rats.
However, we won't lie to you; the ban was lifted in 2014, after further research showed the risk of cancer wasn't as high as originally believed.
Since then, saccharin has been proven a non-carcinogenic substance, meaning it's not likely to cause cancer. But the problem is, Saccharin has been commonly reported to cause several side effects, including diarrhea and headaches.
So while it's not likely that Saccharin will cause cancer, it's still not a great substitute for sugar due to causing numerous side effects.
You’re probably reading this article, expecting stevia to have been one of our recommendations.
However, it's important to know that this ‘plant-based’ sweetener is made through a chemical process; the sweetenener is extracted in a laboratory through a chemical procedure.
That's probably shocked you, since it's advertised as the 'best' artificial sweetener by countless companies in the food and supplements industry - so don't be fooled by the adverts anymore.
So what side effects can it cause? Well, Stevia is commonly reported to cause headache, nausea, bloating and other problems for the digestive system.
Ultimately, Stevia is made through a chemical process and can cause many side effects. For this reason, we also don't recommend choosing this as your 'go-to' sugar substitute.
After reading the section above, you're probably asking yourself 'why do people not do their research about artifical sweeteners?'.
Well, this is because many people are prepared to consume products that contain artificial sweeteners, due to their desperation to shred weight; they like to believe in the 'perfect' sugar substitute claims by companies, as this helps them feel better about themselves...
Ultimately, they're blinded by the 'low calorie' and 'zero sugar' claims of the products and are willing to suffer side effects to lose unwanted fat. But as we mentioned in the section above, every artificial sweetener has been reported to cause numerous side effects.
Artificial sweeteners can cause the following side effects:
Best Alternative To Artificial Sweeteners & Stevia
Alongside the rise of artificial sweeteners, there's also been an increase in demand for 100% natural products.
Why? Because many are realizing that natural supplements deliver the same benefits and come with lower risks of causing side effects.
You're probably starting to think that we want to completely put-you-off all sugar substitutes. But this definitely isn't the case.
While artificial sweeteners have proven to cause numerous side effects, there is a way to sweeten up your coffee or food, and stay safe at the same time.
For this reason, we personally asked numerous fitness experts and nutritionists about which natural sweeteners are the most beneficial. Ultimately, after trying many for ourselves, we believe we've found the best sugar substitute that doesn't cause any side effects.
Here’s what we believe is the best substitute for sugar (and artificial sweeteners):
Monk Fruit Extract
In case you're unaware, this fruit is native to Asia (precisely in northern Thailand and southern China). It is also known as ‘siraitia grosvenorii' and ‘lo han guo’.
A quick history lesseon about this fruit; Chinese monks were the first to record Monk Fruit Extract in the 13th century (which is why it's called 'Monk' Fruit Extract).
Since then, more people discovered the fruit, and Monk Fruit Extract has since been popular as a very good substitute for sugar - and for good reason.
Reason it's being used
A group of triterpene glycosides (that can be extracted in powder form) are responsible for the sweetness of the monk fruit.
So basically these group of triterpene glycosides is extracted, for use as a sugar subtitute on its own, or in products.
Not only that, you're stil probably thinking that artificial sweeteners are better due to being 'zero calorie'. But don't worry, Monk Fruit Extract is also free from calories.
No side effects
We agree that the ‘zero-calorie' status of artificial sweeteners can be very attractive. But as we mentioned, all of them have been proven to cause several side effects such as headaches and diarrhea.
Here's where Monk Fruit Extract takes the lead; being 100% natural, it is not known to cause any side effects and as a result, it’s never been banned from use in any country.
Ultimately, this makes Monk Fruit Extract a 100% sugar substitute that is calorie-free, and free from side effects - making it our favorite option to sweeten up our coffee in the morning.
Best Pre-Workout Without Artificial Sweeteners or Stevia
We have now established that the monk fruit extract is the best alternative to sugar. However, you might be suprised to hear that it's almost impossible to find a pre-workout containing Monk Fruit Extract, instead of the more common artificial sweeteners.
Why? Because artificial sweeteners are cheaper to add to supplements, which helps to keep the production costs of products low and the profits high.
Ultimately, this led to our search for pre-workouts without artificial sweeteners - with the hope of discovering one that contains 100% natural ingredients.
It might have taken us a long time, but we eventually found a pre-workout without artificial sweeteners or stevia. And we were especially pleased to see that it contained Monk Fruit Extract to help it taste better, while keeping you safe from side effects.
Here's the best pre-workout without artificial sweeteners or stevia:
We won't lie, before trying 4 Gauge, we hadn't heard of it before. But we found out it was only released in mid-2017.
However, seeing Monk Fruit Extract on its nutrient profile instead of artificial sweeteners was enough to convince us to try 4 Gauge pre-workout - and we're glad we did.
In fact, we were so impressed with 4 Gauge, that it's become our favorite pre-workout this year. So we'll give you a short review below, to give you a quick summary of our experience with this supplement.
*We bought the 'Ultimate Ammo Stack' direct from www.4Gauge.com
How It Works:
- Explosive Strength & Endurance - train harder for longer, to make faster progress on your fitness goals
- Crazy Muscle Pumps - feel the blood rushing to your muscles, making you feel like the alpha-male you are
- Clean Energy Boosts - forget about pre-workouts causing jittery side effects, 4 Gauge safely raises your energy to help you peform at your peak throughout
- Intense Focus - with stronger 'mind-muscle-connection, you'll be sure to make the most of every rep & set during your gym session.
- Awesome taste and comes in a shotgun shell bottle
- Improves strength, muscle pumps, energy and endurance
- Contains the perfect alternative to sugar – monk fruit extract
- Contains no artificial sweeteners or colors (only one on the market)
- Didn't cause any jitters or unwanted side effects
As we mentioned, this was the only pre-workout that doesn't contain artificial sweeteners or stevia that we found (that had a good nutrient profile). You'll find that other 'natural' pre-workouts contain ineffective ingredients and have been poorly dosed.
That wasn't the case with 4 Gauge, and this pre-workout actually ended up being the best pre-workout we tried this year!
After reading awesome reviews about 4 Gauge on its website, we ordered it directly from there and it was delivered to us in less than a week.
This was a good indication of their good customer service - and every question we asked them was answered within a couple of hours by their Facebook team too, which is much better service than other companies offer!
With its premium price being $45 per bottle, we figured that the cost of production would be more than that of most pre-workouts (taking into account it’s all-natural ingredient list).
Our favorite things about 4 Gauge were that it tasted great, and helped give us that 'kick' without causing jitters, crashes or itchy skin (most other pre-workouts we've tried caused these side effects).
To Buy, Visit
- www.4Gauge.com -
Read Our Full
- 4 Gauge Review Here -
Conclusion: Natural Beats Artificial Sweeteners Everytime
We first began researching into artificial sweeteners after hearing numerous complaints about the side effects they cause. And we're glad we did.
As a matter of fact, we also felt that these artificial sweeteners could possibly be a great alternative for sugar until we realized the truth.
Not only did we find that artificial sweeteners (including stevia) were reported to consistantly cause side effects (the most common being headaches). But we also found a new favorite pre-workout supplement too!
Bottom Line: We understand why people risk suffering from side effects when taking artificial sweeteners. We've used potentially harmful fat burners in the past, as we were desperate to attain abs.
However, after you becoming more educated in the supplements industry, you learn that it's possible to find 100% natural supplements that don't cause any side effects (and are more effective than synthetic products).
Ultimately, we found a new favorite pre-workout that contained 100% natural ingredients and was better than others that contained chemicals.