Sick of protein powder stomach cramps? 

Sick of protein powder stomach cramps? In this article, you will learn what causes protein powder stomach cramps, and how to supplement your dietary protein intake without upsetting your stomach.

This article was written by Jack Schrupp.

Protein powder and stomach cramps

What is a stomach cramp? 

A stomach cramp is a non-medical term used to describe pain or discomfort in the abdomen. The pain is usually sudden or sharp, and can occur anywhere from the lower chest to the groin. Although you may perceive the pain as coming from your stomach, abdominal pain can come from a number of different organs, including the small intestine and colon. 

Depending on the cause, stomach cramps can last for minutes or hours. Stomach cramps caused by eating too much food, for example, only last a few minutes. Stomach cramps caused by menstruation, on the other hand, can last for hours. Please consult a medical professional if your stomach cramps are unexplained or persistent, as they may be symptoms of a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. 


What causes stomach cramps? 

Stomach cramps are a common symptom and almost everyone experiences them at some point in their life. The most common causes are indigestion, constipation, a stomach virus, and menstruation (if you are a woman). Other causes include digestive diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Can protein powder cause stomach cramps?

Protein powder can cause stomach cramps. In fact, this is a common side effect, but one that can be easily avoided.

Before I explain how to avoid stomach cramps, it is important to note that every stomach is different. What causes stomach cramps for one person might not cause them for the next, so it is important to listen to your body.


Why does protein powder cause stomach cramps?

Several ingredients in protein powder can cause stomach cramps. Here are a few of the most common:

Food additives

Emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and other additives look nothing like real food, which makes them hard to digest. Foods that are hard to break down feed your gut bacteria, which release gas as they eat. Too much intestinal gas can cause bloating, cramps, 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 cause stomach cramps. Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

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, 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, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, xylitol, zinc oxide


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

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. This can cause digestive issues and may even disrupt your gut microbiome

Finding a protein powder 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. Keep reading to learn more about why we make our protein powder will not make your stomach hurt.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97


drink wholesome will not cause stomach cramps

Our protein powder will not cause stomach cramps 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. 

What do you if your protein powder causes cramps

If your protein powder is causing stomach cramps, here are a few steps you can take to resolve the issue:

  1. Switch brands: Not all protein powders are created equal. Different brands are made with different ingredients, so trying a different brand might solve the problem.
  2. Adjust the serving size: It is possible that you are consuming too much protein powder at once, which can overwhelm your digestive system. Try reducing the serving size to see if that reduces or eliminates the pain.
  3. Change the timing: Some people find that consuming protein powder before or after a meal, rather than on an empty stomach, reduces digestive issues. Experiment with different timing to see what works best for you.
  4. Mix it with different liquids: Sometimes, the type of liquid you mix your protein powder with can affect digestion. Try mixing it with different liquids (water, milk, etc.) to see if one works better for you.
  5. Check the ingredients: Many, if not most, protein powders are made with ingredients that are hard to digest. As a rule of thumb, stick to protein powders with a short list of simple ingredients.

By listening to your body and taking the steps above, you will find a protein powder that not only meets your nutritional needs, but also agrees with your digestive system.



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

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!

For Egg White Protein Powder


3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

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.