Can Protein Powder Make You Nauseous?

Can protein powder make you nauseous?

Can protein powder make you nauseous? Some protein powders can make you nauseous. drink wholesome is not one of them, however, because it is made with stomach-friendly real foods. Order samples to see for yourself.

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Our protein powder will not make you nauseous.

Protein powder can cause a number of gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, including nausea. Nausea is the feeling of discomfort that makes you feel as though you might vomit, and may or may not lead to vomiting. It is a feeling that everyone dreads, and you have almost certainly experienced it at some point – perhaps while reading in a moving vehicle, or after drinking too much coffee.

There are several reasons why protein powder can make you nauseous. Here are a few of the most common.

drink wholesome protein powder

Food additives can cause nausea.

Most protein powders are full of food additives. Although they are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, food additives can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects.

Many food additives are hard to digest and sit in your gut for longer than they should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat), and as they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating, cramps, and nausea.

In the short term, gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and trigger the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

Keep an eye out for artificial sweeteners too. Artificial sweeteners are poorly absorbed by the gut, which means that they feed your hungry gut bacteria. They also alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious GI problems and widespread inflammation.

Finally, artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can cause diarrhea because they draw water into your gut. Now you might finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom. 

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors*, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

our ingredients: 

egg whites, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

Dairy can cause nausea.

Dairy-based proteins like whey can casein are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. They are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas that can make you nauseous. 

Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein. 

If you cannot eat eggs, try our chickpea protein powder. We like chickpeas because, compared to other plant protein sources, they are high in soluble fiber. Unlike insoluble fiber, which can have a laxative effect, soluble fiber increases in size as it moves through your digestive tract. This can help make your bowel movements easier and more regular

vegan vanilla protein powder
drink wholesome protein powder

Protein isolates can cause nausea. 

Most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” Although there is no evidence that protein isolates and concentrates are bad for your gut, it is safe to say that real foods are better. Your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation. 

Moreover, unlike real foods, protein concentrates and isolates are missing the nutrients that make food taste good. They therefore have an unpleasant chalky aftertaste that can trigger the gag reflux (make you feel like you are going to vomit).

drink wholesome protein powder
chocolate protein powder

Our protein powders, on the other hand, are made with egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are just dried and ground. They have a natural, delicious aftertaste. 

Protein powder should taste good. If you find yourself choking down your protein shake, you are missing out. Life is too short for protein powders with a chalky aftertaste, and if consuming protein powder is a chore, it is not sustainable in the long term. A diet is not a six-week affair, it is for life. Think twice before spending your hard-earned dollars on a supplement that makes you gag. 

Stevia can cause nausea. 

Stevia is added to many protein powders to make them sweet. It is popular because of its intense sweetness – a pinch of stevia can be used to achieve the same amount of sweetness as several tablespoons of sugar. This intense sweetness is also why stevia can make people feel sick. It is easy to overdo it, and stevia-sweetened protein powders are often sickly-sweet. Stevia also activates bitter taste receptors, which can give it a nauseating aftertaste. 

Instead of artificial sweeteners or stevia, we use a natural sweetener called monk fruit. Monk fruit – also known as luo han guo – is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Monk fruit sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. As far as low/zero calorie sweeteners go, monk fruit is the most natural and best tasting. It actually tastes like sugar.

★★★★★

“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have IBS and every protein powder hurts my stomach…except drink wholesome!”

-Julio

Again, drink wholesome will not make you nauseous because it is made with stomach-friendly real foods. Order samples to see for yourself.

Our protein powder will not make you nauseous.


Hi, my name is Jack. I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. drink wholesome is handmade in Plymouth, MA. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.