Do you use any artificial sweeteners in your products?
Absolutely not! We use xylitol and stevia as sweeteners in our fuels; they are undeniably healthier choices than simple sugars or any of these commonly used artificial sweeteners:
Acesulfame K - Up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar, this artificial sweetener has been FDA-approved since 1988. Like other artificial sweeteners, the debate rages on as to whether or not it is safe to consume. While the FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight per day—for a 165-lb athlete that would translate into a little over a gram per day—we at Hammer Nutrition take a "zero tolerance stand" regarding the consumption of artificial sweeteners.
Acesulfame K (the "K" is the chemical symbol for potassium) contains a carcinogen known as methylene chloride (a.k.a. dichloromethane). This chemical is the propellant used in many aerosol products, and it's also used in the manufacture of paint stripping products, paint removal products, adhesives, and more. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride is believed to be linked to several health disorders including headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, and others. This carcinogen can negatively affect the liver and kidneys, as well as cause cancer.
The few safety tests done on this artificial sweetener were done in the '70s (quite a long time ago) and that many organizations, including The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), consider those studies to be too brief and their quality mediocre. The need for further testing of Acesulfame K seems to be abundantly clear; however, at this time the FDA has not required it.
Sucralose - Don't be fooled by this seemingly benign substance. While sucralose may begin as a sugar molecule, the end product is a synthetic chemical with a chlorinated core. Making sucralose involves a five-step process in which three chlorine molecules are added to a sugar molecule. This chemical process alters and converts the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it ends up being a type of molecule that does not occur in nature.
Dr. Bill Misner makes answering the question "Should I consume sucralose?" quite easy in stating, "This artificial sweetening ingredient is possibly worse than the processed simple sugars it replaces. It is difficult to imagine that a synthetic chlorinated disaccharide is an improvement."
Aspartame - While none of the earlier-listed artificial sweeteners are at all beneficial, arguably the worst of them all is aspartame. . . 80% of all complaints to the FDA are aspartame related! Aspartame breaks down to phenylalanine and aspartic acid in our hot bodies when heated. The methanol in aspartame converts into formaldehyde in our bodies. Formaldehyde is a poison known to damage the immune and nervous system as well as cause genetic damage. Aspartame breaks down the protective coating surrounding neurons in our brain; this causes a break in the blood-brain barrier which allows toxins to move directly into the bloodstream.
Dr. Bill Misner states: "A careful review of the DVD, "Sweet Misery", presents evidence that demands reconsideration of the harm aspartame generates by chronic use or acute dose. I once argued that some subjects could metabolize aspartame without health issues. If you evaluate the information in this DVD, you will not consume aspartame or synthetic sweeteners again."
Additional information about aspartame can be found in The Artificially Sweetened Times, which we strongly recommend reading.