Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that helps you cut out sugar from your diet.
While it’s taken a bad rap as a synthetic sweetener, the evidence for any safety concerns is somewhat weak, especially when compared to the well-documented negative health effects of plain sugar.
When it comes to replacing sugar, there are a lot of options out there, but for sucralose specifically, we’ve evaluated and ranked the ten best options on the market, and looked at some of the science behind the benefits and side effects of sucralose. Read on for more.
1. BulkSupplements Sucralose
Do you use sugar in everything and can’t figure out how to replace it? BulkSupplements Sucralose is the way to go.
If you’ve been mixing honey, fruit juice, or brown sugar into your smoothies, coffee, or tea, and are just now realizing how much sugar you’ve been ingesting, try this bulk source of sucralose to wean yourself off sugar without giving up your sweet tooth.
2. JD Liquid Sucralose
Among the liquid sucralose products, JD Liquid Sucralose is the best if you need a bulk source of liquid sucralose.
It’s great for rapid and efficient blending into smoothies, big batches of iced tea, and coffee.
It’s also free of sodium benzoate, a preservative that’s found in many other competitors. If you just use a few drops per day, this might not be the smartest option, but for bulk users, there aren’t any better options that come in liquid form.
3. Purisure Sucralose
Purisure Sucralose is a good option if you want powder form sucralose but aren’t a bulk user.
This sweetener comes in a 50 gram resealable bag, so it’s good for occasional use and it still 100% pure and free of any additives.
4. Hard Rhino Sucralose
Hard Rhino Sucralose is a pretty solid powder-form sucralose product that comes in a hefty 250 gram bag, with an option of even more in larger sizes. The bag reaseals fairly well and the product is 100% pure, making it a good pick for a bulk option.
5. SucraDrops Liquid Sucralose
SucraDrops Liquid Sucralose is extremely convenient for adding sweetness to coffee and tea, since it’s already in liquid form.
There is sucralose dissolved in distilled water, along with some preservatives and stabilizers like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.
These last few ingredients won’t win over more stringent purists, but then again, there are better options for sugar replacements if you want natural options anyways.
6. Splenda Liquid
Splenda Liquid is a tiny travel-sized bottle of liquid sucralose designed for keto dieters that can’t get by without a little sweetness in their coffee or tea.
The tiny travel size is great, though it’d be better if this sucralose solution didn’t rely on sodium benzoate as a preservative.
EZ-Sweetz is a liquid sucralose supplement that comes in a discrete pocket-sized container that makes it well-suited for travel.
If you want to be able to add some sweetness to your morning coffee without adding real sugar, EZ-Sweetz is a good choice. Like many other liquid form sucralose sweeteners, it uses preservatives that some people may dislike, such as sodium benzoate.
8. Sweet Solutions Liquid Sucralose
Sweet Solutions Liquid Sucralose is a liquid form sucralose sweetener that comes in a fairly hefty 16 ounce bottle.
If you don’t need the large volume of bulk products, but also don’t want to go through so many of the travel-sized bottles offered by other competitors, it’s a decent pick.
9. Natural Mate Sweetener
Natural Mate Sweetener is a bit unique in that it uses a blend of sucralose and erythritol. This gives it a sweeter profile, per unit weight, but erythritol does have some disadvantages.
Namely, in larger doses it can cause diarrhea and stomach pain in some people. As such, Natural Mate Sweetener is more apt for use as a coffee and tea sweetener, and not for things like baking.
10. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
Though Splenda No Calorie Sweetener is the original sucralose brand, it hasn’t quite held up over time.
Splenda isn’t 100% sucralose; it also contains maltodextrin, a starchy powder that adds a small but notable amount of carbohydrates to Splenda. For most people, there are better options than Splenda unless the taste is particularly appealing.
Best sucralose overall: BulkSupplements Sucralose
BulkSupplements shines when it comes to producing powder form supplements of impeccable purity. For something like sucralose, that’s precisely what you want—you can’t beat BulkSupplements Sucralose when it comes to all-purpose calorie-free sweetening.
Best sucralose for FODMAP-free diet: Purisure Sucralose
Unlike sweeteners such as fructose and sugar alcohols, sucralose does not tend to ferment in the colon and cause gastrointestinal distress. If all you need is the occasional source of sweetness in a FODMAP-free diet, Purisure Sucralose is the perfect choice.
Best sucralose for keto diet: Hard Rhino Sucralose
Trying to keep your carb intake as low as possible? Hard Rhino has zero additives and comes in bulk-sized resealable bags, so it’s great for adding flavor to keto shakes, keto coffee, and other ketogenic diet-friendly foods and beverages.
Best sucralose for diabetics: Purisure Sucralose
Sucralose is great for diabetics, as it doesn’t affect the body’s insulin or blood glucose levels. Purisure Sucralose is our favorite for adding some sweetness to a diabetic-friendly diet without adding any sugar, thanks to its excellent purity.
Best sucralose for baking: BulkSupplements Sucralose
BulkSupplements Sucralose can replace sugar one-to-one in baking recipes, and handles the heat of the oven just fine. It’s the ideal choice for sugar-free baking.
Best liquid sucralose: JD Liquid Sucralose
Using sucralose to sweeten tea, coffee, or other beverages is a lot easier if it’s already in liquid form. JD Liquid Sucralose is your best option for liquid sucralose—it’s easy to mix into solutions and it’s free of benzoate-based preservatives.
Who should buy sucralose?
Sucralose is a good option for a non-caloric sweetener. If you regularly put sugar in your coffee, in your tea, or on your baked goods, you are not doing your body any favors.
Even small amounts of sugar can negatively impact your body’s metabolic health, and a high consumption of sugar has been connected to weight gain, type two diabetes, and heart disease, to name just a few chronic health conditions.
If you have a sweet tooth and a sugar habit that’s hard to kick, sucralose can be a good way to satiate your desire for sweetness while avoiding the empty calories and unhealthy metabolic effects of sucrose (i.e. normal table sugar). Along with other natural and artificial sweeteners, such as erythritol and stevia, sucralose provides the same sweet taste as real sugar, but provides zero calories.
Though many people snub their nose at non caloric sweeteners, adding sucralose to your favorite drink is a lot better for you than adding sugar.
How we ranked
Our rankings of the top sucralose products on the market were informed by both purity and ease of use. Sucralose can be used either as a liquid (in a dropper bottle), or as a powder, and each of these have their own respective advantages.
As such, we gathered lists of liquid based and powder based sucralose supplements and picked the best from each category.
For liquid sucralose supplements, we checked to see whether the liquid contained undesirable preservatives or stabilizers, and we also rated the container on how easy it was to dispense a measured amount of sucralose.
Nothing is worse than trying to put one or two drops of sucralose into your coffee, but ending up with much more than that because of a poorly designed bottle. We also made sure we included bulk-sized sucralose liquids for easily making coffee or tea at home, plus travel-sized dropper bottles for sweetening drinks on the go.
For powder-based sucralose supplements, we looked at the purity (was it 100% sucralose?) and the quality of the packaging. Poorly designed foil bags can be difficult or impossible to reseal correctly, which makes it far too easy to make a mess, and for air and moisture to get into your sucralose after opening.
This can leave your sucralose powder clumpy and difficult to use. So, we chose products that were both pure and packaged in a high-quality bag.
Finally, we pooled the two categories and sorted the best products according to quality. Powder-based sucralose products had a slight edge, simply because they can be 100% pure and are far more flexible (e.g. for baking). Regardless, whether you want a powder based or liquid based sucralose product, you’ll find the best ones in our rankings.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener with no calories. The sweet flavor of sucralose comes from the sugar molecule; hydrogen oxygen groups are replaced in a 3-part chemical process with chlorine atoms, and as a result, your body is not able to break down the sucralose molecule to burn as calories.
As the disastrous health effects of added sugar in the diet become more widely recognized, many people have turned to artificial sweeteners to satisfy the desire for sweet foods. Sucralose has been around since 1976, when it was discovered by a British researcher who incorrectly heard instructions given in the lab: instead of testing the substance he was working with, he tasted it, finding it very sweet.
Two major companies, Johnson & Johnson and Tate & Lyle, entered into a joint venture to develop the substance into a marketable product, which became available for purchase just before the turn of the century.
Sucralose is among the most popular artificial sweeteners you can buy today; thousands of food products worldwide contain sucralose, and it is claimed to be safe when used as a sugar substitute in both cooking and baking at home.
Sucralose can help with weight loss. Observational studies indicate the use of low-calorie or calorie-free sweeteners likely has little long-term effect on weight or body mass, but a range of different studies have come to different conclusions.
Some studies found no association between reduced body weight and the use of artificial sweeteners; other trials indicated there could even be a slight increase in body mass index (BMI).
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, which is considered the strongest way to aggregate study results, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 and attempted to pool all results on low calorie sweeteners for weight loss (4).
The review found that low calorie sweeteners like sucralose “modestly but significantly” reduced outcomes like body weight, body mass index, fat mass, and waist circumference.
The authors explained the apparent disagreement between observational studies and randomized studies by the effects of confounding.
Observational studies can’t control for all other dietary factors, so people who use low calorie sweeteners like sucralose might, for example, be less likely to take a weight loss supplement, which could obscure the true relationship between
Sucralose does not affect blood sugar or insulin. Insulin and blood sugar levels are believed to be unaffected or minimally altered by sucralose, but experts say this may depend on whether or not you regularly include artificial sweeteners in your diet, as well as the variations of response found between individuals.
One study with 17 obese participants who were not accustomed to using sucralose indicated that insulin response increased by 20%, and blood sugar readings were elevated by 17%. (5)
Sucralose does not cause cancer. When non caloric sweeteners came onto the scene, there were rumors and even some scientific reports suggesting that they could cause cancer.
Something that tastes as sweet as sugar but has zero calories sounded too good to be true. In response to public queries about the safety of sucralose, nutrition researchers looked in detail at reams of research on sucralose. In 2016, a review article analyzed the findings and concluded there was no evidence for carcinogenic effects of sucralose, even when consumed in large amounts (8).
The review, published by researchers across several different universities, looked at animal studies, cellular metabolism studies, and long-term research in humans to see if chronic consumption of sucralose was related to the generation of any compounds that could be potentially carcinogenic.
However, they did not find any, and concluded that sucralose is not carcinogenic, regardless of the dosage or intake. This is good news as it means that carcinogenicity is one less thing you need to worry about with regards to sucralose’s effects inside your body.
In the latest research in humans, sucralose does not appear to negatively affect your glucose metabolism. In a somewhat analogous situation to the research on the carcinogenicity of sucralose, other research in animals or in individual cells under the microscope had suggested that sucralose might negatively affect your body’s ability to process real sugar.
A little background—if you have an unhealthy diet that’s high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar will be negatively affected. As this dysregulation in blood sugar control gets progressively worse, you can develop metabolic syndrome, which can eventually progress to type two diabetes. Since animal research had suggested a similar effect could occur with sucralose, researchers were keen to see if this same effect happens in humans.
A randomized controlled trial published in 2017 in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology directly addressed this question (9).
The study split a group of healthy volunteers into two groups. Both groups took capsules filled with a white powder every day; one group’s capsules were filled with an inert placebo, while the other group was taking capsules filled with sucralose. The researchers followed both groups over the course of 12 weeks and tested to see if there were any changes in blood sugar regulation.
Since there were no differences between the groups, the researchers concluded that, contrary to animal research, sucralose does not negatively affect blood sugar regulation.
One potential criticism of this study might be the fact that the experimental group only took one gram of sucralose per day (equivalent to one packet of Splenda), which might not be enough to dysregulate your blood sugar.
Nevertheless, we can conclude that, at least in small to moderate amounts, daily intake of sucralose is not likely to cause significant dysregulation of blood sugar.
The primary side effects of sucralose have to do with longer-term concerns related to its effect on your gut bacteria and your exposure to chemical created during high heating conditions (like baking products with sucralose).
The importance of gut bacteria and the inner environment of the entire digestive system on overall health has become the focus of more attention as researchers continue to learn about the role of these vital micro-organisms in various physical functions.
Not only are gut bacteria important in the digestive process, but they can also impact immune system function. Studies indicate that establishing and maintaining healthy gut bacteria cuts the risk of developing many chronic diseases as well. (10, 11)
One trial showed that the population of anaerobes, a type of gut bacteria that does not require oxygen to function, was reduced by 47% to 80% in lab animals consuming sucralose. (12)
During the course of this 12-week study, researchers found that other beneficial gut bacteria such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria also decreased, while the harmful types of bacteria appeared to be less affected by sucralose consumption.
But the worst news could be that when tests were run on the animals’ gut environment three months after the experiment was finished, flora had not yet returned to normal.
Whether or not sucralose would impact human gut flora in the same manner has not yet been explored, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind when making a decision about using sucralose.
Splenda has been marketed as safe for high-heat applications like baking, but recent studies cast doubt on this statement.
It appears that separate ingredients in sucralose begin to break down when exposed to heat, leading to undesirable interactions. (13)
Researchers found that when Splenda was heated with glycerol (made up of fat molecules), harmful chloropropanols were formed; these compounds are thought to elevate the risk of developing cancer. (14)
To avoid the potential dangers of inducing decomposition of sucralose, you may want to consider baking at lower temperatures to decrease the chances of dangerous degradation; sticking with less than 350° F (120 C°) could circumvent this issue, but using sucralose to sweeten foods and beverages that don’t require heat may be the best choice until more research has been done. (15)
Despite the mostly theoretical considerations above, the United States Food and Drug Administration considers sucralose “safe for general use,” meaning there aren’t any specific restrictions on how it can be incorporated into foods.
Because regular sugar does have quite a few negative side effects associated with chronically high intake, like fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes, replacing much of your sugar intake with sucralose is a good place to start if you can’t figure out how to reduce your cravings for sweet foods and drinks.
Q: What is sucralose?
A: Sucralose is a molecule that is structurally very similar to sugar, and as a result, generates a very similar taste and sensation of sweetness that real sugar (sucrose) would generate.
However, because of the structural differences in the molecule, sucralose cannot be broken down by your body. This is beneficial, because it means that you derive no calories from sucralose.
On top of that, you don’t get any of the negative metabolic effects from sucralose that you get from sugar, like disruptions in metabolic homeostasis and (over time) the development of insulin resistance and eventually metabolic disease. Sucralose is a popular substitute for sugar for all of these reasons, among populations ranging from type two diabetics to people on ketogenic diets.
Q: How many calories does sucralose have?
A: Sucralose has zero calories, because your body cannot effectively break it down to extract energy. This is in contrast to other sugar substitutes such as erythritol, which has far fewer calories than regular sugar, but still contains some calories. The complete lack of calories in sucralose is one of its primary advantages as an artificial sweetener.
Q: Is sucralose as bad as aspartame?
A: Sucralose has a number of advantages compared to aspartame, which is a much-maligned artificial sweetener used in diet soda and other processed foods.
It’s still controversial whether aspartame can cause cancer in humans when used at realistic dosages, but aspartame does appear to be carcinogenic in lab animals when they are exposed to it as a fetus (16).
Sucralose, in contrast, is not as bad as aspartame because the evidence is conclusive: sucralose is not carcinogenic (17).
Other than this front, sucralose and aspartame are fairly similar in that they are both synthetic non-caloric sweeteners that are generally regarded as safe, but with some hypothetical concerns about long-term effects on your health due to how they affect your reward systems, and their potential for interactions with gut bacteria.
Q: What does sucralose do to your body?
A: In short, not much. The very reason sucralose is useful is that it does not interact very much with your body, aside from stimulating your sweet taste receptors in your mouth.
Once you swallow it, your body cannot digest it, so you extract no energy (i.e. no calories) from sucralose. Then it passes through your system without interacting much.
Some research has indicated that sucralose could alter the activity of certain bacteria in your gut may change in response to sucralose, so some people have expressed concerns over the shift in the gut microbiome that could occur if you consume a lot of sucralose on a regular basis for a long time.
However, these concerns are based mostly from animal research; the work on humans is yet to be done.
Q: Is sucralose keto friendly?
A: Yes, sucralose is keto friendly and is compatible with a ketogenic diet because it does not contain any calories, and thus cannot push your body out of ketosis.
However, it is somewhat unpopular among some keto diet enthusiasts because sucralose is definitely not a natural food. It will not, however, disrupt a state of ketosis like sugar will, so if you are having a hard time kicking a sugar habit or a sweet tooth while on a keto diet, sucralose can be extremely handy.
Q: How is sucralose made?
A: Sucralose is a synthetic (or artificial) sweetener, which means that it’s made at industrial scales via chemical synthesis.
Interestingly, it’s often synthesized from table sugar (sucrose) since the two are quite similar in terms of their chemical structure. So, unlike stevia or monk fruit, when you eat sucralose you aren’t getting a natural plant extract, but a compound synthesized at industrial scale.
Q: Is sucralose good for diabetics?
A: Sucralose is very popular among diabetics because it is very sweet and contains zero calories. This means that it will not negatively influence your blood sugar and insulin levels the way that table sugar will.
Moreover, in the long term, sucralose could help you avoid metabolic disease by preventing the kind of insulin resistance that you would develop if you consumed a lot of sugar on a regular basis.
There are some concerns that sucralose and other non caloric sweeteners may still stimulate some of the reward circuits linked to sugar consumption, which might indirectly affect your sugar consumption, but this biochemical issue is far from resolved right now. What we do know is that sucralose itself does not affect your blood sugar.
Q: Is stevia better than sucralose?
A: Many people like stevia as a non-caloric sweetener because it is all-natural and is derived directly from a plant. Other natural non-caloric sweeteners like monk fruit extract also fall into this category.
People do get turned off by synthetic or artificial sweeteners, but in the case of sucralose, there isn’t a very strong case against it aside from the fact that it’s synthetic instead of natural.
Stevia is better in the sense of offering additional benefits, such as the possibility to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels, but in terms of the short-term effects on your body, both stevia and sucralose taste sweet and don’t contain the calories and the negative metabolic effects that you’d get with table sugar.
Q: Does sucralose cause diarrhea?
A: One nice thing that sucralose has going for it is that it does not cause the kind of gastrointestinal disturbances that can occur with sugar alcohols, which are another category of non-caloric sweeteners.
Perhaps most famous, or infamous, among these is sorbitol, which is often used in sugar-free candy and gum. According to medical research, sorbitol can cause severe diarrhea when consumed in large amounts: doctors often see patients with these symptoms around Halloween, when consumption of large amounts of candy is common (18).
However, short-term diarrhea does not appear to be a side effect of sucralose. The only worries with regards to gastrointestinal tract disturbances in people who use a lot of sucralose would be the potential for disturbances in the probiotic bacteria in the gut.
Disturbances in the levels of your gut microbiome could hypothetically lead to increased gastrointestinal issues, but it should be stressed that this is entirely theoretical, not supported even in medical case studies.
Q: Does sucralose cause cancer?
A: While many people have worried about the potential for many different artificial sweeteners to cause cancer, with regards to sucralose, the evidence is clear: sucralose is not carcinogenic (it does not cause cancer).
This was the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific review published in 2016 that looked at cellular metabolism studies, animal models, and experiments in humans (19).
Put simply, sucralose consumption (even in large amounts) does not cause any biochemical reactions that could be plausibly be linked to the development of cancer.
Sucralose is a good all-around non-caloric sweetener for replacing sugar in your diet. It’s been associated with positive benefits for weight loss, decreasing fat mass, and decreasing waist circumference.
There are some theoretical concerns with using sucralose in high-heat situations (baking at high temperatures), so avoiding sucralose for baking when the oven is hotter than 350 degrees F seems like a good precaution. keep in mind there are other low-calorie alternative sweeteners that are heat stable.
There is no clear evidence indicating that the use of sucralose is harmful, and if you enjoy the taste and feel confident consuming it, it may be a good strategy for reducing overall calorie intake.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 sucralose recommendation, click here.