Does protein powder make you constipated?
Can protein powder cause constipation? Yes, some protein powders can cause constipation. Casein and whey protein, for example, can cause constipation because they are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. If your casein or whey protein causes constipation, you might be lactose intolerant.
People with lactose intolerance cannot fully digest lactose, the sugar in milk, because their small intestines do not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. Because people with lactose intolerance cannot fully digest lactose, lactose stays in their guts for longer and ferments. This fermentation produces gas, which increases the amount of time it takes food to travel through the gut. This can cause constipation.
If you are lactose intolerant, or if you use casein or whey protein and experience constipation, switch to a dairy free protein powder.
Food additives are another reason why protein powder causes constipation. Food additives are heavily processed ingredients that look nothing like real food. Because they look nothing like real food, we often have trouble digesting them. Like lactose, they end up sitting in our guts for longer and fermenting. Fermentation produces gas, which, again, slows colonic transit and can lead to constipation.
Most protein powders are full of food additives. Not sure what to look for? Here is a list of the most common 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
*Natural flavors are NOT natural. Learn more.
Finding an additive-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free protein powder that actually tastes good is next to impossible.
One of the biggest issues people have with protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, is the chalky aftertaste. Protein powders tend to have a chalky aftertaste because they are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically and/or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “whey protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “whey” and “soy.” Unlike real foods, protein concentrates and isolates are missing the nutrients (healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, etc.) that make food taste good.
The main ingredients in our protein powders are egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are simply dried and ground. Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, both egg whites and chickpeas have a neutral flavor with little to no aftertaste. The egg whites that we use are particularly delicious because they were broken, pasteurized, and dried less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. The result is a flavor without the saltiness or sulfur “eggy” notes typical of eggs.
Protein powder should taste good. Remember, it is just food. If you find yourself choking down your protein shake, you are missing out. Life is too short for protein powders with a chalky aftertaste. Moreover, if consuming protein powder is a chore, it is not sustainable in the long term. A diet is not a six-week affair, it is for life. Think twice before spending your hard earned dollars on a supplement that tastes bad.
Looking for a protein powder that will not make you constipated?
Drink Wholesome is the ONLY protein powder made with 100% real foods. Our chocolate protein powder, for example, is made with egg whites, coconut, cocoa, and monk fruit. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself.
You are reading a post by Drink Wholesome, a small business from New Hampshire. Drink Wholesome has taken a fundamentally better approach to protein powder by using 100% real food ingredients. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Sick of protein powders that upset your stomach? Sick of protein powders that have a terrible aftertaste? Order samples to see if Drink Wholesome is right for you.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.