Protein Powder Makes Me Sick

Protein powder makes me sick.

Protein powder makes me sick, which is why I switched to Drink Wholesome. It is made by hand in the USA with 100% real foods – no chalky protein concentrates or isolates, no food additives, just real foods.

Does protein powder make you sick?

Can protein powder make you sick? Yes, some protein powders can cause nasty side effects like bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Casein and whey protein, for example, can make people with lactose intolerance sick because they are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. If you are lactose intolerant, or if casein or whey protein upsets your stomach, switch to a dairy free protein powder

Another reason why protein powders make people sick are food additives. Although food additives are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, they can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause nasty side effects.

Because food additives are heavily processed and look nothing like real foods, we can have trouble digesting them. As a result, they sit in our guts for longer and ferment. Fermentation produces gas, which can cause bloating, cramps, and stomach pain. It can also slow colonic transit and lead to constipation. 

Food additives can also disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and cause the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. This is a good reason to avoid food additives if you have a sensitive stomach. 

As a rule of thumb, food additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce or find in your kitchen. 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.

You may have noticed that this list includes several artificial sweeteners. Some artificial sweeteners may be bad for the stomach because they alter the composition of our gut microbiota, the collection of microorganisms that help us digest food. This can lead to serious stomach pain and widespread inflammation. Some artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can also cause diarrhea because they draw water into the gut. 

protein powder supplement

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, 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 sick?

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.

Does protein powder make you sick? Switch to Drink Wholesome.