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In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the artificial sweetener stevia, deeming as safe to use as a zero-calorie sweetener for food and beverages, according to the Mayo Clinic 4. This sweetener is, as of 2010, used in beverages such as soda, protein drinks and teas. It is also used in energy bars, and at home as a table sweetener. There are four types of protein drinks commonly available: whey, egg, soy and rice. Some drinks can have a mixture of two types, the Truestar Health website explains — egg and whey, for example, or rice and soy.
Whey protein boosts the immune system, supplies the body with the optimum source of amino acids and helps muscles recover after workouts, Truestar Health reports. Soy protein is more suitable for vegans, and it lowers the risk of heart disease and helps to increase the nutritional value of foods. Egg protein, meanwhile, is fat-free and is the richest source of amino acids alanine, glycine, methine and arginine. Rice protein is also suitable for vegans, is hypoallergenic and has complete protein sources.
- Whey protein boosts the immune system, supplies the body with the optimum source of amino acids and helps muscles recover after workouts, Truestar Health reports.
- Soy protein is more suitable for vegans, and it lowers the risk of heart disease and helps to increase the nutritional value of foods.
Stevia has a low glycemic effect on the body, making it safe to consume for those with diabetes. It is an all-natural herb and has zero calories and 0 grams of carbohydrates — facts that manufacturers of protein drinks containing stevia don't hesitate to point out.
Two products made from the stevia plant are commonly used in beverages and foods, the "Wall Street Journal" reports: Truvia and PureVia. Manufacturers of these products take the leaves of the stevia plant and extract a compound known as rebiana; it is further processed with other natural ingredients to form rebaudioside A, according to the PureVia For Health website 1.
Stevia & Testosterone
As of 2010, a variety of available protein drinks are sweetened with stevia leaf extract. EnergyFirst's ProEnergy, for example, is made with whey isolate and contains stevia; the protein drink is good for dieting, and, according to the manufacturer promotes a stable blood sugar level and is ideal for diabetics 2. Another example drink, Jay Robb's Flavored Whey Protein, uses stevia and is made from grass-fed cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone, the manufacturer notes on its website 5. According to the Bodybuilding website, Optimum Nutrition makes a 100-percent natural whey protein drink mix suitable for low-calorie, low-carb diets; it contains 70 milligrams of stevia leaf extract 3.
Stevia is safe in moderation, though the Mayo Clinic cautions that those who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using it until further research is conducted 4. Those who are taking diabetic or blood pressure medication should use stevia with caution; they may risk developing hypoglycemia by combining it with drugs used to treat those conditions. Protein drinks are an ample healthy source of protein, with most containing more than 20 grams of protein per serving. Because stevia is a natural, low-calorie sweetener, protein drinks containing stevia can be a healthy diet addition. Consult your doctor before using protein drinks to supplement your diet.
- Stevia is safe in moderation, though the Mayo Clinic cautions that those who are pregnant or breast-feeding should avoid using it until further research is conducted 4.
- Because stevia is a natural, low-calorie sweetener, protein drinks containing stevia can be a healthy diet addition.
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- PureVia For Health: Introduction
- EnergyFirst: Ultimate Vanilla Protein Powder
- Bodybuilding: Optimum 100% NATURAL Whey
- Mayo Clinic: Stevia: Is it Available in the United States?
- Jay Robb: Whey Protein Powder by Jay Robb
- Giuffre L, Romaniuk R, Ciarlo E. Stevia, ka'a he'e, wild sweet herb from South America - An overview. Emir J. Food Agric. 2013;25(10):746-750. doi:10.9755/ejfa.v25i10.16405
- USDA. Stevia. Updated April 2019.
- Tandel KR. Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011;2(4):236–243. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.85936
- Regnat K, Mach RL, Mach-Aigner AR. Erythritol as sweetener-wherefrom and whereto?. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018;102(2):587–595. doi:10.1007/s00253-017-8654-1
- Samakkarnthani P, Payanundana M, Sathavarodom N, Siriwan C, Boonyavarakul A. Effect of stevia on glycemic and insulin responses in obese patients - A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Diabetes. 2018;67(Suppl 1). doi:10.2337/db18-790-P
- Dyrskog SE, Jeppesen PB, Chen J, Christensen LP, Hermansen K. The diterpene glycoside, rebaudioside A, does not improve glycemic control or affect blood pressure after eight weeks treatment in the Goto-Kakizaki rat. Rev Diabet Stud. 2005;2(2):84–91. doi:10.1900/RDS.2005.2.84
- Ashwell M. Stevia, Nature's zero-calorie sustainable sweetener: A new player in the fight against obesity. Nutr Today. 2015;50(3):129–134. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000094
- USDA. Has Stevia been approved by FDA to be used as a sweetener?. Updated March 2018.
- Nunes AP, Ferreira-Machado SC, Nunes RM, Dantas FJ, De Mattos JC, Caldeira-de-Araújo A. Analysis of genotoxic potentiality of stevioside by comet assay. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45(4):662–666. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2006.10.015
- American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Allergic reactions to stevia, sucralose. Updated April 29, 2019.
- Kimata H. Anaphylaxis by stevioside in infants with atopic eczema. Allergy. 2007;62(5):565–566. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2007.01317.x
Dustin Bogle is an experienced personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutritionist and fitness article writer. His articles have been featured in "Daily Press" newspaper and "Fresh Ink" newspaper.