What is the best easy to digest protein powder?

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

drink wholesome is the best easy to digest protein powder. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. If you suffer from Candidiasis, Crohn’s, diverticulitis, gastritis, gastroparesis, GERD, leaky gut, IBS, IBD, SIBO, ulcerative colitis, or any other digestive disease, order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

“If you have a sensitive gut, you need simple ingredients.”

-Brittany Carpenter, MS, RDN/LDN


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drink wholesome is the best easy to digest protein powder.

What does easy to digest mean? 

What is the best easy to digest protein powder?

Why drink wholesome?

What does easy to digest mean? 

Digestion is the complex process that turns the food you eat into nutrients (fats, carbs, protein, etc.) that can be absorbed and used by the body. The term bioavailability is used to describe how easy a food is to digest, and is often used when talking about dietary protein. Some dietary protein sources are more bioavailable (easier to break down and absorb) than others, which can be quantified using the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS).

In case you forgot what you learned in high school biology, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 of them, 9 of which are essential. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body, and must come from food. Proteins that contain all 9 essential amino acids are called complete proteins,

A PDCAAS compares a protein’s amino acid composition to its bioavailability. Protein sources like egg and whey have a PDCAAS of 100%, meaning they are complete proteins that can be easily broken down and absorbed. This is special; not all proteins are complete, and not all complete proteins are easy to digest.  

Although the bioavailability, amino acid profiles, and PDCAAS of dietary protein is interesting, it is not something the average person has to worry about. As long as you eat a balanced diet, you are getting all of the amino acids that you need. This is why the rest of this article will focus on another interpretation of the term “easy to digest” – less likely to cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating and diarrhea. This is a relevant question when it comes to protein supplements, as the average protein shake and powder can wreak havoc on your digestive system. 

making a protein shake with protein powder

What is the best easy to digest protein powder?

If you are sick and tired of protein supplements that upset your stomach, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will explain why the average protein powder is so hard to digest, and offer some guidance as to how to choose a protein powder that will not make you bloated or run to the bathroom. Please keep in mind that everyone’s stomach is different, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next. These are merely rules of thumb that may help you find an easy to digest protein powder. 

First of all, I have to acknowledge the people who claim that certain types of protein are easier to digest than others. Although there is some truth to this statement, the reason why most protein powders are hard to digest usually has nothing to do with protein. In other words, pea protein is not harder to digest than whey protein.

Your average protein shake causes side effects not because of the protein in it, but because of added ingredients. Ingredients like emulsifiers, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, and flavors are the main reason why protein supplements cause digestive issues. Keep reading to learn more.

woman drinking a protein shake

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best easy to digest protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Most other protein powders take a different approach, adding a cocktail of additives to their recipes. As you just learned, these extra ingredients can cause unpleasant GI side effects like bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence, especially for people who are already struggling with GI issues.

Additives do not resemble real food, and do not fully break down. As a result, they linger in your gut, paving the way for two possible outcomes: either your intestines absorb too much water, leading to diarrhea, or the additives feed the bacteria in your gut, causing a surge in gas production. Having too much gas in your GI tract can trigger symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation.

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

The primary motivation for steering clear of food additives lies in the long-term effects. When you regularly consume additives, you can disrupt regulatory pathways in your intestines, and increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other types of systemic inflammatory disorders. Moreover, food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners, can disturb the delicate balance of your gut microbiome. This, in turn, can impact your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.

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.

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the easiest protein powder to digest is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Conversely, a considerable number of protein powders utilize whey and/or casein protein, both byproducts of the production of cheese and yogurt. While these dairy-based proteins have gained popularity, they have also earned a reputation for triggering digestive problems, particularly in the one-third of adults who suffer from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerant individuals lack the enzymes to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you now know, partially digested food can result in undesirable GI symptoms.

vegan vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1
drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for easy digestion is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Virtually all other protein powders rely on these protein sources, which are essentially stripped-down versions of food. Instead of being labeled as “peas” or “whey,” they appear under names like “pea protein” or “whey protein.”

The production of protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical processing. In some cases, chemical solvents, like hexane, are used to extract the protein from its natural source. Consequently, what you end up adding to your protein shake looks nothing like real, whole food.

Your digestive system is designed to handle minimally-processed or unprocessed whole foods, not artificial substitutes. Consuming anything other than real food can lead to unpleasant side effects. While the long-term effects of consuming processed ingredients, such as protein isolates, are still being studied, emerging evidence suggests that they may disrupt the gut microbiome.

The gut plays a crucial role in digestion and acts as a vital barrier, protecting against harmful pathogens, contributing to immune system education, and influencing various physiological processes. Disturbances in the gut microbiome have been strongly linked to the development of numerous chronic illnesses. Therefore, I strongly advise against using protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates. Opt instead for whole, natural food sources to prioritize safeguarding your gut health and overall well-being.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder serving suggestion

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best easy to digest protein powder with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites undergo a simple process of pasteurization and drying, while almonds are roasted, pressed (to remove some oil), and dried. These minimally-processed ingredients create protein powders that are incredibly gentle on the digestive system. Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, real foods contain natural enzymes and digestive aids, contributing to efficient digestion.

For individuals without egg allergies or sensitivities, egg white protein is an excellent choice for promoting gut health. The low fiber and FODMAP content, along with their alkalinity, make egg whites easy on the digestive system. Our satisfied customers consistently provide positive feedback, emphasizing fewer digestive issues when consuming our egg white protein powder compared to other protein supplements.

For those following a vegan lifestyle or unable to consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder serves as a fantastic alternative. Almonds have prebiotic effects that nourish the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Additionally, they support healthy and regular bowel movements.

In conclusion, we take pride in offering protein powders that undergo minimal processing to ensure optimal digestive health.


easy to digest

“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse

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drink wholesome is the best easy to digest vegan protein powder.


vegan chocolate protein powder

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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.