Do protein shakes make you poop?

Do protein shakes make you poop? In this article, I will explain why protein shakes can make you poop, and how to avoid this common side effect. 

This article was written by Jack Schrupp.

Protein shakes and poop

Do protein shakes make you poop?

If your protein shake makes you run to the bathroom, you are not alone. The average protein supplement is not easy to digest, and can cause a number of digestive issues, including diarrhea.

why do protein shakes make me poop

Why do protein shakes make you poop?

The reason why your protein shake makes you poop has nothing to do with the type or amount of protein. Instead, protein shakes make you poop because they are made with ingredients that are hard to digest. Here are some of the top offenders:

1) Food additives

Food additives like emulsifiers, thickeners, and flavors tend to draw water into the colon, increasing the liquid content of the stool. This happens because they are hard to digest and create high osmotic load.

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 balance the concentration of solutes on each side of the membrane. 

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

acacia fiber, acacia gum, artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, aspartame, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, ‘natural’ flavors, rice bran extract, rice dextrin, rice hulls, rosemary extract, silica, silicon dioxide, sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, soluble corn fiber, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, zinc oxide

2) Dairy-based proteins

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein can make you poop because they contain lactose, a sugar most adults cannot fully digest.

3) Sugar alcohols

Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols resist digestion and can have a laxative effect. Common artificial sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Common sugar alcohols are erythritol, sorbitol, and xylitol. 

4) Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool. If you eat a lot of it at once, it will make you poop. Most vegan protein powders contain some insoluble fiber. Some protein powders, especially those intended to help with weight loss, contain added insoluble fiber. In many cases, this added fiber is in the form of xanthan or guar gum, which are also used as laxatives

5) 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

Keep in mind that what triggers diarrhea for one person, may not trigger it for someone else. That said, it is safe to say that if your protein supplement makes you run to the bathroom, one (or more) of these ingredients is likely to blame. 

It is also possible that preexisting gut issues are making you poop. When you eat dietary protein, it enters the stomach where stomach acid and enzymes start to break it down into smaller components.

From there, the partially digested proteins move into the small intestine, where enzymes called proteases break them down into amino acids. Amino acids are then absorbed through the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, which transports them throughout the body.

If any part of this complex process is not working properly due to preexisting gut issues, the protein you eat will not be fully broken down and absorbed. Not only will this deprive you of the amino acids you need to stay strong and healthy, but it will also cause painful side effects like diarrhea.

drink wholesome will not make you poop

Our protein shakes will not make you poop 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 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




1 week 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

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For Egg White Protein Powder


3 weeks ago

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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.