Understanding the role of Monk Fruit in Sugar-Free Protein Powders

Protein Terminology BCAAs EAAs | Roam | NZ AU

Sugar is a ubiquitous ingredient in many of our foods and drinks, including some meal replacement and protein powders.

However, the overconsumption of sugar is linked to a host of health issues, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

In fact, the World Health Organisation recommends that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake.

This has led to a growing demand for sugar-free and low-sugar alternatives, including protein powders.

Roam Protein is a response to this demand.
We've created a protein powder that is not only low in sugar and carbohydrates but also high in quality, bioavailable protein.

Each serving of Roam Protein contains at least 22 grams of protein, making it an excellent supplement for those looking to increase their protein intake without added sugar or carbs. 

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Carbohydrates in Protein Supplements

It's important to note that just because a shake is “low in sugar” it doesn’t mean that it has NO carbohydrates.

For example, many meal replacement shakes contain maltodextrin, which is a complex carbohydrate.

On the nutrition label, the sugar content will be low, but that doesn’t mean there are “no sugars” in the shake - all carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar.

So the key question you should be asking is actually: Is this protein supplement low in carbohydrates?

There can be some benefit to including carbohydrates alongside a protein supplement, for example to replenish muscle glycogen stores after a hard workout.

In our opinion, there are better options than a meal replacement shake to get carbs in.

A banana provides a similar amount of carbohydrates but has a host of other great benefits, such as fibre for gut health and satiety, and other minerals such as potassium that your body will thank you for!

However, if you are looking to use a protein supplement for weight-loss, shakes with carbohydrates are probably not your best bet.

Keep an eye out for tapioca starch, maltodextrin, cornstarch, or syrups on ingredient labels. 

Illustration of Monk Fruit Siraitia grosvenorii

Why we use Monk Fruit in Roam Protein Powder

What is Monk Fruit anyway?

One natural sweetener that's gaining popularity in the health and wellness industry is monk fruit extract, also known as Luo Han Guo. Monk fruit is a small, round fruit grown in Southeast Asia and has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.

The sweetness of monk fruit comes from unique antioxidants called mogrosides, which are separated from the fresh-pressed juice during processing. As a result, monk fruit sweetener does not contain fructose or glucose, making it a great sugar substitute.

At Roam, we chose to use monk fruit extract in our protein powder for several reasons:

  1. Superior Taste: Compared to other natural sweeteners like stevia and xylitol, monk fruit extract has a superior taste. It's sweet but not overly so, making our protein powder palatable without causing you to crave more sweet foods.
  2. Zero-Calorie Sweetness: Monk fruit extract is 100–250 times sweeter than sugar but contains zero calories. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their calorie intake without sacrificing taste.
  3. Potential Health Benefits: Preliminary research suggests that the mogrosides in monk fruit extract have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. While more research is needed, these potential health benefits are a bonus.
Benefits of Monk Fruit in Protein Powder

Monk Fruit vs Stevia vs Xylitol

When it comes to choosing a natural sweetener, three options often stand out: monk fruit extract, stevia, and xylitol.

Each of these sweeteners has its unique characteristics, benefits, and potential drawbacks. Let's dive deeper into each one to understand their differences and why we at Roam Protein chose monk fruit extract as our sweetener of choice.

Monk Fruit

Here are some key points about monk fruit extract:

  • Safety and Usage: Monk fruit extract is safe for a broad range of individuals, including children, people with diabetes, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Health Benefits: Monk fruit contains mogrosides, a group of antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. It has been used for centuries to fight infections and aid digestion [1].
  • Taste: Monk fruit extract has a pleasant, sweet taste without the bitter aftertaste associated with some other natural sweeteners. This makes it an excellent choice for use in Roam Protein powders.
An Overview of Stevia and Xylitol As Sweeteners

Stevia

Stevia is a sweetening agent extracted from the leaf of Stevia rebaudiana, a plant native to parts of South America. It's at least 200 times sweeter than sugar. Here are some key points about stevia:

  • Health Benefits: Stevia has zero calories, making it an effective option for calorie-reduced diets and for those trying to lose weight. Some studies suggest it may help reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease [1].
  • Taste: While stevia is a popular natural sweetener, some people find it has a bitter aftertaste, especially when used in large amounts.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in a variety of plant sources. It is lower in calories than sugar (2.4 calories per gram compared to 4.0 calories per gram for regular sugar). Here are some key points about xylitol:

  • Health Benefits: Xylitol helps prevent tooth decay because it interferes with the cellular processes of oral bacteria. It also has little to no effect on insulin production and blood sugar levels [1].
  • Taste: Xylitol has a sweetness level close to that of sugar, making it a popular choice for those seeking a sugar substitute. However, it can cause digestive discomfort in some people, especially when consumed in large amounts.
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The Roam Difference: Sugar-Free Protein Powder with Monk Fruit Extract

At Roam, we're committed to providing high-quality, health-promoting products. That's why we chose to use monk fruit extract in our protein powder. Not only does it offer a superior taste compared to other natural sweeteners, but it also allows us to provide a truly sugar-free protein powder that supports your health and fitness goals.

Remember, while our protein powder can contribute to your daily protein intake, it's also important to consume a variety of protein sources for a balanced diet. Always consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine.

The Roam Difference

Low in sugar. High in Protein.
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Reference:

[1] BetterLiving