Why You Should Choose Pre Workouts Without Artificial Sweeteners

Why You Should Choose Pre Workouts Without Artificial Sweeteners

In the wake of sugar gaining an increasingly bad reputation, artificial sweeteners have become known as the “better” option. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see the small sachet’s of these sweeteners in restaurants or coffee shops – but they’re not as beneficial as they seem.

In fact, further studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are capable of causing side effects; such as headaches, sickness [1] and birth defects [2].

In this article, you’ll learn :

  • What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
  • Why They’re Used
  • Side Effects
  • Natural Alternatives
  • Conclusion

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

You’ve probably heard of them before, but this is for those that aren’t aware. Simply put, artificial sweeteners are chemical substances that are being used to replace sugar in many products – including pre-workouts and other gym supplements.

Artificial sweeteners experienced a rise in popularity after many became worried about the health risks of consuming too much sugar. In fact, they were actually created to combat obesity levels by reducing sugar consumption [3].

From first glance, these products seem very beneficial – we’ll explain the different reasons why they’re seen as the perfect replacement for sugar below.

Why They’re Used 

The quick explanation for why artificial sweeteners are being used by increasing numbers is this: due to them being up to 600 times sweeter than sugar (depending on the type of sweetener).

Not only that, they’re also marketed as being zero or low-calorie; this makes it very appealing to those on a diet, and is even recommended by numerous diet programs.

Here’s a list of the most common artificial sweeteners used in products:

  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose

So at the moment, you might be thinking that artificial sweeteners are indeed a great replacement for sugar. However, what isn’t often advertised, it the potential risks you face when consuming these chemical substances.

We’ll take you through the reported side effects of each sweetener in the next section.


Side Effects

At the start of this article, we mentioned that artificial sweeteners can cause side effects such as headaches, sickness and birth defects. However, we didn’t mention any specific types of sweeteners.

Well, now you now that there are numerous different types, we’ll take you through each one; as well as the side effects they pose individually.

Take a look:


Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that’s up to 200 times sweeter than sugar; ultimately, this is why it’s added into numerous products including foods, drinks, cereals and sugar-free items such as sugar-free chewing gum.

However, Aspartame has been publicly criticized recently – even being accused of causing cancer. Although studies found that this sweetener was unlikely to be the cause of this life-threatening disease, Aspartame has been reported to cause numerous side effects [4].

Not only that, Aspartame is required to come with a warning to people suffering from phenylketonuria [5].

Side Effects: 

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Birth Defects
  • Paresthesia
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame K (also known as Ace-K or Acesulfame Potassium) is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener; equally as sweet as Aspartame, it’s also up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. For this reason, it’s often seen as the perfect replacement due to not adding any calories to diets.

However, the main concerns about Acesulfame K are that it’s been linked with causing cancer in rats [6] and birth defects in humans [7]. For these reasons, we recommend you to avoid this chemical substance.

Side Effects:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Potential increase in risk of cancer
  • Birth Defects


This artificial sweetener is the oldest on this list; it’s been around since 1878 and is derived from coal tar. It’s believed to be up to 700 times sweeter than sugar – making it one of the sweetest chemical substances available.

However, in 1978, a study found that Saccharin was carcinogenic for the urinary bladder in rats and mice; this same study concluded that this sweetener is likely to promote cancer in human beings [8].

As a result, Saccharin isn’t the safest alternative to sugar you can consume [9].

Side Effects: 

  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Potential increase in risk of cancer
  • Skin Rash


We’ve saved the most popular artificial sweetener for last here. Sucralose is the most commonly used sweetener, in hot beverages including tea and coffee – due to being up to 600 times sweeter than sugar.

Here’s how it’s made: simply put, cane sugar is put through a long chemical process where hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule are replaced with chlorine atoms – due to this process, your body is unable to absorp Sucralose (making it a zero-calorie chemical compound).

For this reason, Sucralose is used by those dieting. But it’s not all good news for this sweetener; many have reported to have experienced side effects, particularity migraines [10].

Side Effects 

  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Intestinal Cramping
  • Bloating



Natural Alternatives

Now you know that artificial sweeteners come with risks, we won’t just leave you without any solutions. Ultimately, these sweeteners listed in this article were originally created to combat obesity levels and diseases linked to high sugar consumption; we agree that lowering sugar-intake will lead to healthier lifestyles.

So what’s the best alternative to sugar? We believe that 100% natural options are the best sugar substitutes. For this reason, we’ve listed the ones we feel are the most beneficial (and haven’t been reported to cause any side effects).

Take a look:

Monk Fruit Extract

Also known as Siraitia Grosvenorii or Lo Han Guo, as you can see from its name, this is an all-natural sweetener extracted from Monk Fruit.

It’s widely considered to be the best alternative to sugar – due to being around 250 times sweeter than sugar [11] and being an antioxidant (making it beneficial for general health) [12].

Numerous studies have found Monk Fruit Extract to be safe for human consumption; more importantly, it hasn’t been reported to cause any side effects in any products.

For this reason, 4 Gauge contains this 100% natural sweetener – to enhance the taste of our pre workout without putting you at risk of harm.

Benefits Summed Up: 

  • 250 times sweeter than sugar
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Anti-diabetic properties [13]
  • Anti-cancer properties [14]


This is officially known as ‘a naturally occuring five-carbon sugar polyol’; it’s a natural substance found in the fibres of fruit such as plums, strawberries and raspberries (and is even made in your body in small amounts) [15].

Xylitol is also considered to be a great replacement for sugar, due to being equally as sweet and low calorie. Not only that, studies have found that it actively helps lower the risk of obesity among other diseases such as diabetes [15].

Not only that, Xylitol has even shown to help protect your teeth from dental caries [16]. As it hasn’t shown to cause consistent side effects, it’s also one of the safest sugar replacements available [17]; this is why 4 Gauge also contains Xylitol – to help improve the taste of our pre workout without increasing any risks of side effects.

Benefits Summed Up: 

  • Equally as sweet as sugar
  • Low Calorie (around 2.5kcal per gram)
  • Protects teeth from dental issues
  • No side effects



Although artificial sweeteners might seem beneficial at first glance; but once you complete some research, you’ll quickly see that they’re not the perfect sugar replacement.

Ultimately, these chemical substances might be free from calories, but they significantly increase your risk of suffering from side effects – the most common being migraines and headaches.

For this reason, your best option is to choose 100% natural alternatives; both Monk Fruit Extract and Xylitol have proven to be equally as sweet as sugar, while being safe from side effects too. This is why, after extensive research, we decided to use these natural sweeteners to improve the taste of our pre workout.

4 Gauge

4 Gauge has been extensively researched to provide you with key benefits such as: 4 Gauge Pre Workout Supplement

  • Explosive Power – Form stronger mind-muscle-connection to make the most of every rep.
  • Laser Focus – Concentrate of your session without any distractions from the outside world.
  • Extended Stamina – Be more productive in your workouts by performing at your peak for longer.
  • Incredible Muscle Pumps – Experience skin-splitting pumps by looking thicker and tighter.



  1. R. T. Kirtilda.  Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011 Oct-Dec; 2(4): 236–243.
  2. L. Englund-Ögge. Association between intake of artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages and preterm delivery: a large prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;96(3):552-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031567. Epub 2012 Aug 1.
  3. R. K. Johnson. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health a scientific statement from the american heart association. Circulation, 120(11), 1011-1020.
  4. S. K Van Den Eeden. Aspartame ingestion and headaches. Neurology October 1994 vol. 44 no. 10 1787.
  5. J. Clifford. Sugars and sweeteners. Colorado State University food science and human nutrition research associate and extension specialist and K. Maloney, graduate student.
  6. M. L. Karstadt. Testing Needed for Acesulfame Potassium, an Artificial Sweetener. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Sep; 114(9): A516.
  7. E. Pope. Sugar substitutes during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2014 Nov; 60(11): 1003–1005.
  8. M. D. Reuber. Carciogenicty of saccharin. Environ Health Perspect. 1978 Aug; 25: 173–200.
  9. A. Bandyopadhyay. Genotoxicity Testing of Low-Calorie Sweeteners: Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, and Saccharin. Drug and Chemical Toxicology;Volume 31, 2008 – Issue 4.
  10. M. E. Bigal. Migraine Triggered by Sucralose – A Case Report. Volume 46, Issue 3; March 2006; Pages 515–517.
  11. Q. Tang. An efficient approach to finding Siraitia grosvenorii triterpene biosynthetic genes by RNA-seq and digital gene expression analysis. BMC Genomics 201112: 343; Published: 5 July 2011
  12. W. J. Chen. The antioxidant activities of natural sweeteners, mogrosides, from fruits of Siraitia grosvenori. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007 Nov;58(7):548-56.
  13. Q Xiangyang. Effect of a Siraitia grosvenori extract containing mogrosides on the cellular immune system of type 1 diabetes mellitus mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Aug; 50(8): 732-8.
  14. Mizushina. Structural Analysis of Mogrol and its Glycosides as Inhibitors of Animal DNA Polymerase and Human Cancer Cell Growth. Letters in Drug Design & Discovery, Volume 3, Number 4, May 2006, pp. 253-260(8).
  15. G. M. Moldawer. Xylitol, an energy source for intravenous nutrition after trauma. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1985 Mar-Apr; 9(2):199-209.
  16. P. A. Nayak. The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora. Clin Cosmet Investig Dent. 2014; 6: 89–94.
  17. L. Durairaj. Safety assessment of inhaled xylitol in mice and healthy volunteers. Respiratory Research 2004; 5:13; 10.1186/1465-9921-5-13.

Older post Newer post