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sugar free protein powder

8 of the best sugar free protein powders

23 Nov 2022 • 4 min read

Not a fan of sugary protein powders? Not to worry – we’ve got you covered! Here are 9 of the best sugar free protein powders we sell here at H&B + reasons why you may want to ditch the sugar in your shake.

Does protein powder contain sugar?

Yes, a lot of protein powders do contain both natural sugars and added sugars to make them taste good or increase their calorie content. However, you can get low-sugar or completely sugar-free protein powder too.

What is sugar-free protein powder?

We’re sure you’ve heard of protein powder by now – it’s become a bit of a household staple over the last few years! People appear to have fallen in love with these sports supplements that make it easier than ever to pack a few more grams of protein into your day.

However, have you ever noticed that some protein powders contain a little too much sugar for your liking? You’re not alone. A lot of protein shakes contain a decent amount of sugar, which of course enhances their flavour and ups the calories, but doesn’t suit everyone. This has led to the emergence of sugar-free protein powders.

Whether a low sugar-diet works best for you or you simply don’t want sugar in your shake, a high-quality sugar-free protein powder could be a better choice for you.

Why should you use sugar-free protein powder?

There are lots of reasons why you may want to choose a sugar-free protein powder, including:

  • You’re following a low-carb / low-sugar diet, but want extra protein
  • You have strict macros to stick to (carbs, fats, protein)
  • You prefer your protein shake to be low-calorie
  • Your goal is to lose/maintain your weight
  • You like to mix your shakes with fruit or other sweeteners
  • You want to make protein pancakes/bakes and don’t want the sweetness to interfere with your recipe
  • You’d rather save your sweets for dessert
  • You simply want to reduce your sugar intake

How to tell if a protein powder is free from sugar

Most sugar-free protein shakes will shout about the fact they’ve ditched the sugar – so, you’ll likely see it on the packaging.

Always check the label and ingredient list to check if a protein powder is truly sugar free, if it contains a teeny bit of sugar, or is completely full of the stuff (hello bulking powders!).

It’s also worth keeping in mind that ‘no added sugar’ or ‘less sugar’ does not necessarily mean sugar-free.

How to choose the best protein powder for you

Been perusing the protein powder isle and not quite sure which type of protein powder is best for you? Check out our handy guide to find out more!

Are protein powders safe for diabetics?

Yes, people with diabetes can consume protein shakes, and low sugar / sugar-free protein shakes could be a good option.

However, diabetics should always check with their GP before adding any sort of supplement into their diet, including protein powders.

What is the healthiest protein powder?

When people think about healthy protein powders, natural ingredients, high-quality protein, and reduced / no sugars naturally spring to mind. But ‘healthy’ will mean different things for anyone.

For vegans or dairy-intolerant people, a soya protein, pea protein or other plant protein will feel the healthiest, whereas others will swear by whey protein.

A good general rule to see if a protein powder is healthy or not is to check the ingredients and look for natural ingredients.

What is the best protein powder with no sugar?

There are lots of great sugar-free protein powders with their own unique benefits. Whether you’re a big whey protein fan, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free there’s a significantly less sugary powder out there waiting for you.

9 of the best sugar-free protein powders

Use this list of 9 of the best sugar-free / very low sugar protein powders to find the perfect one for you and your lifestyle.

Sugar-free protein powders

Let’s start with the protein powders that are sugar-free.

1. USN 100% Plant Protein, Vanilla Maple - 900g

Sugar per serving: 0.1g per 30g
Protein per serving: 26g
Calories per serving: 136kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans, soya- intolerant

This super yummy vanilla maple protein powder is made of 100% plants and (almost!) 0% sugar.

It contains a mix of pea, rice and hemp protein to provide you with all the essential amino acids you need to support your muscles.

This vegan blend contains only 0.1g of sugar per serving (essentially, sugar-free) and is also free from soya and artificial colours / flavourings.

Plant-based sweetener Stevia and other natural flavourings are used to create its gorgeous vanilla maple taste. Protein powders with Stevia are often more popular than those that use artificial sweeteners as it comes from a plant. Also available in strawberry.

2. Optimum Nutrition Lean Whey Sugar-Free, Salted Caramel, 740g

Sugar per serving: 0.1g per 23.1g
Protein per serving: 17g
Calories per serving: 85kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians

If you love whey powder but want to ditch the sugar, Lean Whey protein powder could be the one for you.

One of the first sugar-free whey protein powders, this blend provides you with high-quality protein with less than 1g of carbs and just 0.1g of sugar – pretty impressive, right?

Optimum Nutrition designed this blend to help people achieve and maintain their lean muscle gains while controlling their weight. That’s why it only contains 85kcal per serving.

The salted caramel flavour will go down an absolute treat, while the 17g of whey protein per serving will be easily digested and absorbed by your body.

To top it all off, this protein powder is full of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, biotin, magnesium and iodine.

Also available in Caffe Latte, Chocolate, Strawberries & Cream, and Vanilla.

3. Pulsin Rice Protein Powder, Unflavoured - 250g

Sugar per serving: 0g per 10g
Protein per serving: 8g
Calories per serving: 38kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans, gluten-intolerant, soya- intolerant

Now this is a shake that is truly sugar free! Pulsin’s natural and unflavoured rice protein powder has a whopping 81% protein content from wholegrain brown rice.

This vegan protein source is digested easily by most people, being completely sugar free, sweetener free dairy free, soya free and gluten free. It’s also low in salt and boasts a rich amino acid profile.

Each 10g serving of this sweet protein powder offers up 8g of protein with just 38kcal. It’s unflavoured and unsweetened too, so it’s great for adding into smoothies, porridge, sauces, cereals, meals, etc, without changing the taste – just adding protein!

Also available in chocolate, pea and soya.

What our customers think:

Kathmcg – Protein powder – 5/5 stars

“I have a dessert spoon on cereal, also blueberry and granola Keeps me going longer.”

Jenny Br – Fab rice protein powder – 5/5 stars

“Fab protein powder. Use it daily in my porridge with fruit. It has minimal taste (especially compared to others) that makes it very flexible. I have not experienced any of the nasty side effects often associated with others eg. pea protein, such as bloating.”

4. PHD Smart Protein Plant, Eton Mess - 500g

Sugar per serving: 0g per 25g
Protein per serving: 20g
Calories per serving: 96kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans

Eton mess protein? Who can say no to that? Especially when it’s sugar free!

This vegan-society approved plant protein contains an impressive 20g protein without any sugar.

It’s great for replicating sweet treats without any of the usual sugar or animal products. You can mix it in a shake, make it into a macro-friendly mousse, or add it to recipes like protein pancakes, blondies, cakes or other bakes.

It’s made with a mix of pea protein and soya protein, with added healthy bacteria, iron, zinc, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

Also available in Chocolate Cookie and Salted Caramel

What our customers think:

Evelynaa – Perfect for smoothies – 5/5 stars

“In my opinion, this flavour (opposed to chocolate and caramel) tastes much nicer in smoothies. the others work best for baking.”

Jots73 – Scrumptious Eton Mess – 5/5 stars

"I love this. So delicious. Tend to make a moose desert up from it and eat about 3pm. I eat a much smaller evening meal."

5. Applied Nutrition Vegan Pro Protein Vanilla, 2100g

Sugar per serving: 0.1g per 30g
Protein per serving: 25g
Calories per serving: 108kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans

Vegan-pro – it’s in the name!

This (almost) sugar-free protein powder is sweetened with natural vanilla flavouring, so there is really no need for any extra sugar.

It’s made from a combination of soya, pea, hemp and brown rice protein for a rich amino-acid profile perfect for supporting your hard-working muscles. Not forgetting a high-quality serving of BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine.

Also available in Chocolate and Strawberry.

What our customers think:

Julianah6_0 – Excited to drink shake every time! – 5/5 stars

"Great shake. Taste is not too sweet but tasty. Blends well with a bit of soya milk & water for a creamier shake."

STTS – Amazing!! – 5/5 stars

“Amazing!! Texture, consistency and taste is perfect which is very difficult to find in a lot of vegan protein powders!”

Low sugar protein powders (less than 1g per serving)

Now, here are some protein powders that may contain a teeny bit of sugar (less than 1g per serving)– but much less than the regular fare.

6. Vega Clean Protein, Vanilla – 518g

Sugar per serving: 0.2g per 35g
Protein per serving: 25g
Calories per serving: 140kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians, vegans, gluten-intolerant, soya- intolerant

Vega Clean* Protein is a complete, multisource blend of premium plant-based protein.

This vegan protein shake mix of premium plant-based protein from hemp, pea, pumpkin and alfalfa – which combine to provide you with a high-quality amino acid profile, all with a minimal amount of sugar.

It can be easily mixed with plant milk or water for a Vega protein shake or blended into smoothies. You can also bake it into delicious waffles and muffins – just substitute 1/8 – 1/4 of the flour in your bakes with Vega protein powder.

Each delicious 35g scoop of contains only 140 kcal of plant goodness and a tiny 0.2g of sugar, yet still manages to pack in 25g of protein and 18 different amino acids.

*At Vega, clean means Non-GMO, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free, non-dairy ingredients.

Also available in Chocolate.

What our customers think:

Vega clean protein – 5/5 stars

“Great flavour and blends well into Smoothies! I’ve used this powder with loads of different frozen fruit and it always enhances the taste. A fab way to easily add protein into a vegan diet.”

Sands – Tasty – 5/5 stars

“Good texture, tastes great. Use it in breakfast smoothies every day.”

7. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Powder, White Chocolate & Raspberry – 2270g

Sugar per serving: 0.8g per 31g
Protein per serving: 24g
Calories per serving: 115kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians

Each super-tasty serving of White Chocolate & Raspberry Optimum Nutrition Whey Gold Standard contains 24 g of premium whey protein to support muscle growth and 5.5g of naturally occurring BCAAs.

All of that protein comes with just 1.3g of fat and 0.8g of sugars, with 1.1g of carbs, making it perfect for low-carb and low-sugar diets.

The white chocolate and raspberry flavour takes this no-sugar protein powder to a whole new level of taste, or you can use it bake up some sweet muffins, brownies, cupcakes or pancakes.

It’s also got chewy little real bits of raspberry in it, which takes porridge to a whole new level.

What our customers think:

Adriadna88 – Happy – 5/5 stars

“It’s a great product. Delicious taste. Me and my husband love it.”

I love protein shake – Absolutely love it! – 5/5 stars

“White chocolate and raspberry is by far my favourite taste among the entire collection! It tastes like white chocolate cookies and makes it so tasty!!”

Also available in a range of other flavours, including ChocolateVanilla Ice Cream and Cookies and Cream.

8. PhD Smart Protein, Chocolate Brownie – 900g Chocolate Brownie

Sugar per serving: 0.6g per 30g
Protein per serving: 18g
Calories per serving: 114kcal
Suitable for: vegetarians

Smart Protein is a deliciously versatile low-sugar high-protein powder from PhD Nutrition that can be made into a fantastically indulgent mousse, baked into your favourite, simple recipes, or used as a protein shake between meals.

It contains just 0.6g of sugar per serving, but still tastes gorgeous and packs in 18g of high-quality whey protein.

Unlike traditional protein powders, Smart Protein can be transformed into a great-tasting, dessert-style mousse within just 30 seconds- no need to leave overnight in the fridge to set, just stir up and enjoy immediately – easy!

Also available in Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Drizzle Cake, and Salted Caramel.

What our customers think:

Eloise P – Tastes like a brownie – 5/5 stars

“Tastes good, actually quite like a brownie. Mixes well in a shaker.”

Eddd – Yummy – 5/5 stars

“Very great protein powder. I even put it in my cereal!”

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 11 May 2021


Bhupesh Panchal


Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: April 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
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