Anybody who has traveled pretty seriously in the body building and fitness circles has probably heard of erythritol. For those of you that haven’t, all you really need to know is that erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It is basically a food additive that’s been approved for use in most countries, including the United States. It’s almost 100% organic and is used to sweeten food and drink as a substitute for sugar and other, more synthetic sweeteners. Getting back to the body building and fitness circles, erythritol is becoming increasingly more and more popular for people who are following strict diets such as the KETO diet . Anybody who actively seeks out erythritol sees it as a loophole in the diet and is looking to find a way to sweeten food groups without sacrificing whatever diet plan and regimen they’re on.
Reported Erythritol Side Effects
Erythritol doesn’t have too much in the way of side effects if it is taken in extremely small doses. The thing is, if you’re going to be mixing erythritol into your food, you’re going to need more than just a dash for it to actually have an effect that you’ll be able to taste. There are three main erythritol side effects to look for when it comes to using the sweetener:
- Not unlike other sweeteners, too much of erythritol will make you feel sick to your stomach. The difference is, it’s easier to consume too much erythritol than it is other sweeteners since erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar and 50% as sweet as aspartame .
- Stomach rumbling from gas and bloating. All artificial sweeteners are known to cause a certain level of bloating and gas when they reach the intestines. Erythritol is no different but it should be noted that the bacteria coating the inside of your intestines struggle to digest the substance in comparison. This means that the bloating and gassiness caused would be less severe than most alternatives.
- Like anything, there are reported cases of people being allergic to something in the chemical makeup of erythritol. The cases are pretty rare, but allergens are not to be taken lightly. If you start to discover some sort of unpleasant reaction, cease and desist consumption immediately and go seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Should I Try Erythritol?
If you’re looking for a sweetener that will abide by the rules of the most strict diet plans out there, erythritol is worth a shot. You can buy it online or in the grocery store and in this scenario, the more you pay, the better the quality. That’s not always the case but when it comes to erythritol, don’t try to save a buck. It isn’t overly expensive as it is and if you decide to cheap out and buy a deal, be aware of the different “blends” that manufacturers have been known to put into the sweetener. These “blends” can include other ingredients that you don’t know about or fully understand. Read reviews and spend the extra couple dollars to get something that you know won’t be harmful.
- K. Regnat, R. L. Mach, and A. R. Mach-Aignercorresponding
Erythritol as sweetener—wherefrom and whereto?
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018; 102(2): 587–595. Published online 2017 Dec 1. doi: 10.1007/s00253-017-8654-1
- Kauko K. Mäkinen *
Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals
Int J Dent. 2016; 2016: 5967907.
Published online 2016 Oct 20. doi: 10.1155/2016/5967907