How long does protein bloat last?


How long does protein bloat last? Protein bloat is a common side effect that can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. Learn more.

This article was written by Jack Schrupp.

Protein bloat

What is protein bloat?


Bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with gas. People often describe bloating as feeling full, and it can be accompanied by stomach pain, a visibly distended (swollen) abdomen, excessive gas (flatulence), and frequent burping or belching.

The most common cause of bloating is a food intolerance or digestive condition that causes gas to build up in the gut.

Protein bloat, to put it simply, is bloating caused by protein shakes and powders. If you regularly use protein supplements, chances are high that you have experienced protein bloat.

How long does protein bloat last?


Protein bloat is a common and temporary side effect. It occurs shortly after drinking a protein shake, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. The duration of your bloating will depend on several factors, including the ingredients in your protein supplement, your lifestyle, and the makeup of your gut microbiome.

Bloating caused by sugar lasts for only a few hours, whereas bloating caused by fiber can last for days. People who regularly exercise and drink lots of water tend to overcome bloating faster than people who do not. Certain gut conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can prolong bloating.

How to reduce bloating from protein shakes?


Here are 3 tips that may help reduce bloating:

1. Exercise. Physical exercise can help you pass gas and reduce bloating.

2. Drinking peppermint tea. This easy home remedy also has a long history of reducing bloating and gas.

3. Drinking water. Although it might sound counterintuitive, drinking water can actually help reduce bloating as it flushes your gut of things that may be creating gas.

These tips can be helpful, but the best advice is always to prevent bloating from happening in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about what exactly causes protein bloat, and how to avoid it.

Does protein make you bloated?


Believe it or not, protein bloating usually has nothing to do with protein. Instead, side effects like bloating, gas, and stomach pain are caused by added ingredients, most of which fall into one of the following categories: emulsifiers, flavors, sweeteners, and thickeners. By avoiding protein supplements made with ingredients like these, you will likely find that your protein shake no longer makes you bloated.

Emulsifiers, flavors, sweeteners, and thickeners make you bloated because they are hard to digest.

Foods or ingredients that are hard to digest feed the bacteria living in your gut, which produce gas as they eat.

Keep in mind everyone is different, and ingredients that make one person bloated may not have the same effect on someone else. It follows that in order to understand why a protein shake upsets your stomach, you not only have to know what is in it, but also how your personal digestive system works.

In some cases, pre-existing gut issues may be the reason why protein shakes make you bloated.

1 in 5 Americans are living with digestive disease that makes it harder for them to digest the food they eat. Once again, not being able to fully digest food, or not being able to digest it in a timely manner, can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and other side effects.

How to prevent protein boat


As you might have guessed, the only way to prevent protein bloat is to avoid the ingredients that cause it.

By only eating foods that are easy to digest, you are depriving your gut bacteria of things to ferment.

In case you were wondering, the fermentation that happens in your gut is similar to the fermentation used to make Champagne. The only difference is that instead of making delightful bubbles, gut fermentation produces burps, farts, and stomach pain.

In addition to avoiding food additives like emulsifiers, flavors, sweeteners, and thickeners, you should also avoid dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates. Keep reading to learn why. 

Avoid food additives

Emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and other additives look nothing like real food, which makes them hard to break down. As you just learned, foods that are hard to break down feed your gut bacteria, which release gas as they eat. Too much intestinal gas can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation.

Regularly eating certain food additives can also alter the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. This can lead to gut dysbiosis, which is linked to a number of chronic digestive issues known to make you bloated.

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

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

Avoid dairy-based proteins

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

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates

Most protein supplements 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 bloating and possibly even disrupt your gut microbiome

Finding a protein supplement 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.

It is worth noting that if you are making your own protein shakes, you might be using ingredients that could make you bloated.

For instance, if you are adding fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens, to your shake, you might be adding too much fiber for your digestive system to handle.

And if you are using cow’s milk, you might want to try using water instead.

Cow’s milk, like all dairy products, contains lactose, which is notoriously hard to digest.

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drink wholesome will not make you bloat


Our protein powder will not make you bloat because it is made with a short list of simple ingredients free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites

coconut

coconut

vanilla

vanilla

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. 

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Reviews

Patricia

1 week ago

Verified Purchase I'm only filling this out because I haven't found anything else like it. My system is sensitive to everything. I get headaches and stomachaches so easy from anything but regular old sugar for instance, and even that I can't have too much of. I'm using your protein powder (with the maple sugar) every morning, and I'm convinced there isn't a better one out there. I'm a 50 year old trying to lose 50 pounds and feel like your powder is the closest to something natural I can find which is good at my age, lol. I'm very proud of finding you guys and already tell everyone about it.

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Kelynn

4 weeks ago

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1 month 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!

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Frequently asked questions

Who is it for?

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for sensitive stomachs. If you are sick of protein powders that upset your stomach, you have come to the right place. 

Why is it easy to digest?

No dairy 

Drink Wholesome is made without whey and casein. These dairy-based proteins contain lactose, a sugar most adults can’t fully digest. 

No additives

Drink Wholesome is made without food additives. Even in small amounts, emulsifiers, thickeners, and other additives can cause digestive issues and long-term gut health problems. 

Whole food protein

Drink Wholesome is made with whole food protein sources like almonds, collagen, and egg whites. Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, which have been stripped of enzymes, fiber, and other digestive aids, whole foods are easy to break down.

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

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.

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

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 one that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Which protein powder is right for you?

Which protein powder is best for you?

Which protein powder is best for you?

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