Do protein shakes cause constipation?

Do protein shakes cause constipation? In this article, I will cover protein shake constipation, and what to do if your protein shake makes you constipated.

This article was written by Jack Schrupp.

Protein shakes and constipation

Can protein shakes cause constipation? 

Although a common side effect of protein supplements is diarrhea, many people report that protein powders and shakes also cause constipation. Constipation occurs when you have fewer than three bowel movements a week and your poop is hard and difficult to pass. Common symptoms include bloating and stomach pain.

Protein shake constipation relief

If you are constipated and looking for relief, try the following remedies. Just keep in mind that everyone is different, and that what works for you might not work for someone else. Remember to be patient too, as most of these remedies take 12 to 72 hours to work.

  1. Drink water – Drinking lots of water, especially warm or hot water in the morning, softens your stools.
  2. Exercise – Movement can stimulate the muscles in your intestines. 
  3. Eat fiber – Fiber increases the size of your stool, helping it move through your digestive tract. It also softens your stool, making it easier to pass.
  4. Drink coffee – Caffeine can stimulate involuntary muscle contractions in your colon. 
  5. Use a laxative – If all else fails, try a laxative. Most laxatives can be purchased over-the-counter. I put use a laxative last on the list because laxatives have potential side effects, such as allergic reactions and vitamin deficiencies.

Occasional constipation is nothing to worry about. If protein shakes regularly make you constipated, however, it is time to switch brands.

Why do protein shakes cause constipation? 

Protein shake constipation has nothing to do with the type or amount of protein in your protein shake. Instead, protein shakes make you constipated because they are made with ingredients that are hard to digest. Here are some of the top offenders:

Food additives 

Emulsifiers, flavors, sugar substitutes, thickeners and other additives look nothing like real food, making them hard to digest. As a result, they feed your gut bacteria, which produce gas as they eat.

Gas, specifically methane gas, slows colonic transit – the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon. Exactly why this happens is somewhat of a mystery, but researchers believe that intestinal gas may reduce intestinal motility. Regardless, an excess of gas in your intestines can cause constipation. 

Dairy-based proteins

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, although not an issue for everyone, can cause side effects like constipation. This is in part because they contain lactose, a sugar most adults cannot fully digest.

Protein concentrates and isolates 

Most protein powders are made from protein concentrates and isolates, which have been mechanically and or chemically stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes, fiber, and other natural digestive aids that help you break them down. As a result, they can cause digestive issues and possibly even disruptions to your gut microbiome

Finding a protein powder free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates is hard. In fact, 99% of protein supplements contain one or more of these problematic ingredients. This is why we created drink wholesome.

drink wholesome will not cause constipation

Our protein shakes will not make you constipated because we use a short list of simple ingredients free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites





monk fruit

monk fruit

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

Note that instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole food protein sources like collagen, egg whites, and almonds, which are easier to digest and absorb. Whole food protein sources also have unique digestive benefits: collagen can reduce bloating and improve digestive symptoms, egg whites can help restore your mucosal intestinal barrier, and almonds can improve the composition of your gut microbiome.

It is also worth noting that our vegan almond protein powders contain 5-8 grams of fiber per serving. Most protein supplements, on the contrary, do not contain much (if any) fiber.

Fiber rich protein powders can help prevent and relieve constipation. Dietary fiber, also known as roughage, is the indigestible part of plants.

Unlike other nutrients, fiber is not broken down and absorbed by the body. Instead, it passes through the digestive tract relatively intact, speeding up digestion by adding bulk to the stool.

It follows that our customers experience fewer digestive issues with our protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder


Starting at $59.99

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99




5 days ago

Verified Purchase Hi! Your powder has been life-changing for me! I wear many hats as a military spouse, mom of a toddler, and yoga teacher. However, the hats I wear of being a human, living with endometriosis and IBS, are the ones these simple ingredients have most impacted! Thank you! Thank you for creating a product for stomachs that is sensitive, simple, AND still packs a punch protein wise!

For Egg White Protein Powder


2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Your protein is seriously a game changer for me. I went from 135 to 170 in a few months due to the shakes I made with your protein powder. I've been drinking 1 each day for the last bit of time. Most protein kills my gut. You guys are seriously making a life support for me. Thank you for all that you do and create!

For Egg White Protein Powder


3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

For Egg White Protein Powder

Frequently asked questions

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.



Protein Rice Krispies Treats


15 min


0 min




In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the heat, and incorporate the protein powder. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until combined. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch greased pan. Let your Protein Rice Krispie Treats sit for 30 minutes before eating.


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.