When you read our ingredient labels, we want you to understand exactly what you’re getting in every bottle of Koia. With low sugar (only 4g!), people often come to us wondering just how it’s possible our drinks are oh so sweet.
We use a blend of two ingredients to get that sweetness: a small amount of organic cane sugar and monk fruit. This helps to achieve a balanced flavor without unnecessary amounts of sugar. Cane sugar is common in western foods and comes from the sugarcane plant, which is grown in tropical and subtropical areas. It is a perennial grass and its stems grow into cane stalk, from which the cane sugar is derived.
Did you know monk fruit also comes from a plant? Since monk fruit has only recently been introduced into the western diet, people hesitate when they see it on an ingredient list because it sounds artificial and unfamiliar (two things the skeptics are directed to steer away from!).
To offer the complete transparency that we advocate, we want to explain everything you need to know about this super neat and all natural sweetener!
What is monk fruit?
Monk fruit or Siraitia grosvenorii (monk fruit’s scientific name) is a small round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. It is yellow-brownish or green-brownish in color and the inside of the fruit contains an edible pulp, which can be eaten fresh, and the bitter rind is used to make tea. The sweetener is extracted by removing the seeds from the fruit, crushing it, and extracting the juice. Monk fruit is 200 times as sweet as sugar, meaning a little goes a long way! Therefore, we only need to use a small amount of it to achieve the delicious flavor that Koia provides.
Is monk fruit safe to consume?
Yes, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reviewed published research and expert opinion and found that monk fruit is safe for the general population to consume.
Dr. Axe also advocates monk fruit, saying it is a “Revolutionary way to sweeten foods and drinks without the harmful effects of traditional sugars and sugar substitutes.” He lays out the top 8 benefits of monk fruit: it combats free radicals, works as anti-inflammatory and coolant, combats infection, treats diabetes, lowers risk of obesity and diabetes, helps treat and possible prevent cancer, fights fatigue, and works as a natural antihistamine. Seems pretty compelling!
Does monk fruit cause weight gain?
No! Monk fruit is a great alternative sweetener for those looking to shed a few pounds because it contains low sugar and low calories (2 calories per teaspoon!). However, since monk fruit is often used as a sweetener in beverages and other foods, it’s important to look out for other added ingredients that might cause weight gain.
Monk fruit vs. Stevia
Monk fruit and stevia are both natural alternatives to sugar. Both contain little-to no calories, however monk fruit is generally less refined than stevia (meaning it contains more nutrients!).
Although monk fruit is difficult to grow and expensive to import, it’s high in antioxidants which metabolize differently than regular sugar, so there are no added calories and won’t contribute to a spike in blood sugar. This helps you maintain steady energy levels and prevents fatigue.
We use monk fruit because in addition to its great taste and health benefits, there is no evidence to date that it has negative side effects. However, stevia has shown side effects such as bloating, gas and nausea. Stevia has a slight licorice flavor and somewhat bitter aftertaste and monk fruit has a somewhat fruity taste. That being said, the choice between stevia or monk fruit can really depend on your flavor preference!
Monk fruit is the perfect addition to our plant based beverages because it gives us a sweet flavor without the excessive sugar. Although there is still much research to be done on monk fruit in humans, it is shown to have positive health benefits due to its high antioxidant properties.
Many protein drinks contain an overwhelming amount of sugar to mask less desirable tastes, but we don’t have to! Our taste is just as important as our nutrition, which is why we include the most high quality and tasty ingredients.