Do protein shakes make you poop?
Do protein shakes make you poop? Protein shakes can certainly make you poop. Keep reading to learn why this is a common side effect.
This is why protein shakes make you poop.
Do protein shakes make you poop?
Protein shakes make me poop, so if they make you run to the bathroom, you are not alone. The average protein supplement is not easy to digest, and can cause a number of gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, including diarrhea. Keep reading to learn why protein shakes make you poop, and how to boost your protein intake without side effects.
Why do protein shakes make you poop?
First of all, there are two types of protein shakes: ready-to-drink (store-bought) protein shakes and (homemade) protein shakes made with protein powder. If protein shakes have made you poop in the past, I highly recommend that you start making your own protein shakes with protein powder. Most ready-to-drink protein shakes are made with ingredients that are not stomach-friendly, and using protein powder gives you much more control over what you put in your body.
Now without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons why protein shakes and powders can make you poop. Keep in mind that what triggers side effects for one person, may not trigger them for the next. That said, it is safe to say that if your protein supplement makes you go to the bathroom, one (or more) of these ingredients is likely to blame.
1) Food additives can make you poop.
Most protein shakes are full of food additives. Even in small quantities, additives can cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like diarrhea.
Basically, because additives do not look like real food, they cannot be fully digested. Partially digested food causes your colon to absorb extra water because it has a high osmotic load.
High osmotic load refers to a situation in which the concentration of solutes (in this case food) in a solution is relatively high. When the osmotic load is high, there is more osmotic pressure. Osmotic pressure is the pressure exerted by a solvent (usually water) as it moves across a semipermeable membrane (in this case the colon) in order to equalize the concentration of solutes on both sides of the membrane.
2) Dairy-based protein can make you poop.
Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein can also make you poop, especially if you have lactose intolerance. Individuals with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy.
3) Sugar alcohols can make you poop.
Sugar alcohols (low-calorie sweeteners) are carbohydrates that are partially resistant to digestion. They can have a laxative effect for the same reason that food additives can. Common sugar alcohols include erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol.
4) Insoluble fiber can make you poop.
Some plant-based protein supplements are naturally high in fiber. Other protein supplements, like those intended to help with weight loss, contain added fiber. Fiber is a natural laxative and adds bulk to the stool. If you eat a lot of it, it will make you poop.
5) Protein isolates can make you poop.
Most protein shakes and powders are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They appear on the ingredient list as “pea protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “peas” and “whey.”
I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates are heavily-processed. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to extract the protein, which means what you end up eating looks nothing like real food.
Your gut is designed to digest real, natural foods, not laboratory-formulated, heavily-processed imitations. For this reason, protein concentrates and isolates are not easy to digest, meaning your body has a hard time breaking them down and absorbing them. As you now know, foods that are poorly digested can make you run to the bathroom.
Moreover, in the long term, regularly eating processed foods like food additives, sugar alcohols, and protein isolates can alter the composition of your gut microbiota – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This can impair your ability to digest and absorb food, increasing the likelihood that you experience side effects like diarrhea.
Why drink wholesome?
The average protein shake makes me poop, which is why I created drink wholesome. It is additive-free, dairy-free, sugar alcohol-free, and low fiber. Moreover, instead of protein concentrates or isolates, my protein powders are made with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed (to remove some oil), and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.
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.
Protein shakes have become a staple in many people’s diets, especially for those looking to build muscle, lose weight, or simply increase their protein intake. While they offer numerous health benefits, one side effect that some individuals experience is an increased urge to visit the bathroom shortly after consuming a protein shake. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the reasons why protein shakes can make you poop and why alternatives like egg white protein powder and almond protein powder are less likely to have this effect.
Why Do Protein Shakes Make You Poop?
Protein shakes are known for their high protein content, which is a key factor in their digestive effects. When you consume a protein-rich shake, your body needs to digest and absorb the protein. This process begins in the stomach, where gastric acids break down the protein into smaller peptides and amino acids. The presence of a substantial amount of protein in your stomach can stimulate digestive processes, potentially leading to bowel movements.
1. High Protein Content
The high protein content in protein shakes can stimulate your digestive system. As your body works to break down and absorb the protein, it may trigger the release of digestive enzymes and gastric acids, leading to an increased likelihood of bowel movements.
2. Stimulation of Gastric Juices
The high protein content in protein shakes can also stimulate the production of gastric juices, including stomach acid. Increased stomach acid can lead to irritation and a feeling of fullness, which may prompt a bowel movement as your body attempts to alleviate the discomfort.
3. Lactose and Dairy Products
Many protein shakes contain whey or casein protein, both of which are derived from dairy. Some individuals are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy products, and consuming them can result in gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea or loose stools. This lactose intolerance reaction can contribute to the perception that protein shakes make you poop.
4. Artificial Sweeteners and Additives
Some protein shakes contain artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or other additives that can have a laxative effect on certain individuals. These ingredients can draw water into the intestines and result in looser stools or diarrhea.
5. High Fiber Content
Certain protein shakes, especially those designed for weight management or meal replacement, may contain added fiber. While fiber is beneficial for digestive health, excessive consumption of high-fiber shakes can lead to increased bowel movements, as fiber adds bulk to the stool and promotes regularity.
Why Egg White Protein Powder Is Less Likely to Make You Poop
Egg white protein powder, in contrast to some other protein sources, is less likely to have a laxative effect. Here’s why:
1. Low Lactose Content
Egg white protein is naturally lactose-free, making it a suitable choice for individuals who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy products. Unlike some dairy-based protein shakes, egg white protein powder is less likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
2. Minimal Fiber Content
Egg white protein powder typically contains minimal fiber, especially when compared to high-fiber protein shakes. While fiber is essential for digestive health, excessive fiber intake can lead to increased bowel movements. Egg white protein powder provides protein without a significant fiber load.
3. Simplicity in Ingredients
Egg white protein powder is often made from egg whites with minimal additives or artificial ingredients. This simplicity in ingredients reduces the likelihood of experiencing digestive discomfort or a laxative effect.
Why Almond Protein Powder Is Less Likely to Make You Poop
Almond protein powder, like egg white protein powder, is less likely to have a laxative effect compared to some other protein sources. Here’s why:
1. Low Lactose and Dairy Content
Almond protein powder is dairy-free and naturally low in lactose, making it a suitable option for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have dairy sensitivities. You’re less likely to experience digestive discomfort or diarrhea when consuming almond protein powder.
2. Moderate Fiber Content
While almonds themselves are a good source of dietary fiber, almond protein powder typically contains a moderate amount of fiber, which is less likely to lead to excessive bowel movements compared to high-fiber protein shakes.
3. Natural Ingredients
Almond protein powder is often made from ground almonds with minimal additives or artificial ingredients. This natural composition reduces the likelihood of experiencing digestive issues commonly associated with artificial sweeteners or additives.
In summary, the digestive effects of protein shakes can vary depending on their protein source, additives, and individual sensitivities. While some protein shakes can lead to increased bowel movements due to factors such as high protein content, lactose, artificial sweeteners, or excessive fiber, both egg white protein powder and almond protein powder are less likely to cause these effects.
Egg white protein powder is a lactose-free option with minimal fiber content, while almond protein powder is dairy-free and contains a moderate amount of fiber. Both protein powders offer protein without the same potential for digestive discomfort or a laxative effect that can be associated with other protein sources. However, individual responses to foods can vary, so it’s essential to pay attention to your body’s reactions and choose protein powders that align with your dietary preferences and sensitivities.