What is the best protein powder that doesn’t cause bloating?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder that doesn’t cause bloating. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients, making it perfect for people with sensitive stomachs and gut issues. If you are looking to boost your protein intake without bloating, gas, and other side effects, you have to come to the right place. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

Written by Jack Schrupp & Brittany Adelman, RDN


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How to avoid protein powder bloating

What is bloating?

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

Bloating usually goes away after a few hours, but for some people, it is a recurring problem. Bloating is often linked to a food intolerance or digestive condition, but it can happen to anyone, not just people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs.

Basically, when you eat foods or ingredients that are hard to digest, you give the bacteria that live in your gut more time to eat (ferment) that food. The fermentation that takes place 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 gas that can cause bloating and stomach pain.

Does protein powder make you bloated?

One of the most common side effects of protein powder is bloating. Protein powder bloating usually occurs shortly after using protein powder, and can last for hours.

Does protein powder cause bloating?

In order to avoid protein powders that cause bloating, it is crucial to understand the possible underlying causes. Here are the top reasons why protein powder can make you bloated:

1. Dairy-based proteins (whey and casein)

2. Food additives (gums, lecithin, etc.)

3. Sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, etc.)

4. Leaky gut syndrome: a condition where the intestinal lining becomes permeable

5. Gut dysbiosis: a condition characterized an imbalance in gut bacteria

6. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): a condition characterized by an excess growth of gut bacteria

Understanding why protein powder can make you bloated is essential if you ever want to find one that is easy to digest. It took me years to figure out why every protein powder I tried made me bloated, and when I finally did, I decided to make my own. It turns out that almost all protein powders contain one or more ingredients that disagree with my stomach.


Advice from a Registered Dietitian

If you have underlying gut issues such as leaky gut syndrome or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), it is crucial to consider them when choosing a protein powder. 

“Individuals with leaky gut syndrome may benefit from protein powders with simple ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, as they support gut repair and integrity without triggering negative GI symptoms. For those with SIBO, plant-based protein powders can be easier to digest and less likely to exacerbate symptoms. Choosing the right protein powder can make a significant difference in reducing bloating and promoting digestive wellness. By selecting a protein powder that aligns with your dietary needs and supports gut health, you can improve your overall digestion.” – Brittany Adelman, RDN

Please keep in mind that every individual’s digestive system is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. 

What is the best protein powder that doesn’t make you bloated?

First of all, some protein sources are easier to digest than others, and less likely to cause bloating. The protein sources that tend to cause the fewest digestive issues are egg white protein and almond protein. I will go into more detail later, but the reason why egg whites and almonds are your best option has to do with how they are processed. Other dietary protein sources have to be stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes that help you break them down.

Second, the longer the ingredient list, the more likely it is that a protein powder will make you bloated. Added ingredients like emulsifiers, thickeners, and anti-caking agents are hard to digest and end up feeding your hungry gut bacteria.

In short, to find a protein powder that doesn’t make you bloated, look for a short list of simple ingredients. By prioritizing minimally-processed protein sources, and by avoiding dairy-based proteins and food additives, 9 out of 10 people can beat the bloat. Those who still experience bloating should consult a registered dietitian to identify possible underlying gut issues.


drink wholesome is the best protein powder that doesn’t cause bloating

drink wholesome is additive-free

One of the reasons why we make protein powder that doesn’t cause bloating is that we do not use food additives. Most additives, to put it simply, are hard to digest and fed your hungry gut bacteria.

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

Regularly eating certain food additives can also alter the composition and function of your gut microbiome. An altered gut microbiome has a hard time helping you break down the food you eat, thereby leading to digestive problems like bloating.

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

drink wholesome is dairy-free

Another reason why we make the best protein powder that doesn’t cause bloating is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt making, are known to cause bloating because they contain lactose – a sugar most adults cannot fully digest.

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 that doesn’t cause bloating is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Almost all other protein powders are made using one or both of these protein sources, which have been stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes that help you break them down. This is almost certainly why research shows regularly eating ingredients like these can disrupt you gut microbiome. Once again, a dysbiotic gut microbiome is a common cause of bloating and other digestive issues.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 14 servings serving suggestion

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make protein powder with egg whites and almonds. These minimally-processed ingredients are a gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates,

In addition to retaining their natural digestive aids, egg whites and almonds provide several gut health benefits. Almonds are prebiotic, enhancing the microbial diversity of your gut. Egg whites, on the other hand, are low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, alkaline (supporting healthy gut pH levels), and bioactive (encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria). Our happy customers have always reported fewer digestive issues when using our egg white protein powder than when using any other protein supplement.

In summary, by making our protein powders with simple ingredients, we allow you to boost your protein intake without bloating.

Ways to reduce bloating from protein powder

Here are a few additional strategies you can implement to further reduce bloating and promote digestive health: 

Start with small servings

When introducing a new protein powder into your diet, start with smaller servings and gradually increase the serving size over time. This allows your body to adjust and reduces the risk of bloating. If possible, spread out your protein powder intake throughout the day by incorporating smaller servings into multiple meals or snacks.

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for digestion. Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day, especially when consuming protein powder. Water helps facilitate the digestion process and prevents constipation, a common cause of bloating.

Avoid mixing protein powder with gas-inducing foods

Avoid pairing your protein powder with high-fiber fruits and veggies. 

Use gut-friendly herbs to support your digestion

Carminative herbs such as ginger, fennel, lemon balm, and peppermint leaf are all great options that can help relieve trapped gas and help to soothe bloating. Try adding these herbs to your smoothies.

Listen to your body

Pay attention to how your body responds to different protein powders. Your digestive system is unique, so what works for you may not work for someone else. If a particular protein powder consistently causes bloating or discomfort, try an alternative.

Ways to reduce bloating in general

Beyond protein powders, making certain lifestyle changes can significantly reduce bloating and optimize your digestive health. By prioritizing regular exercise, stress management, and mindful eating, you can create a balanced lifestyle that supports a happy and healthy gut.

Regular exercise

Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in preventing and relieving bloating. Exercise helps stimulate bowel movements, promotes healthy digestion, and reduces gas buildup in the intestines. Regular exercise has been known to strengthen muscles in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which improves intestinal contractions and stimulates the movement of waste throughout the large intestine.

Engaging in activities such as walking, jogging, yoga, or cycling can enhance intestinal motility and alleviate bloating. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week to experience the maximum benefits.

Stress management

Stress can have a significant impact on your digestion and contribute to bloating. When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones that can disrupt normal digestive processes. Incorporating stress management techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels and alleviate bloating. Prioritizing self-care and finding activities that relax you can also have a positive impact on your digestive health.

Mindful eating

Practicing mindful eating habits can help prevent bloating and promote improved digestion. Eating slowly, chewing your food thoroughly, and paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues can prevent overeating and reduce the likelihood of bloating. Additionally, avoiding distractions like television or smartphones during meals and being mindful of portion sizes can support healthy digestion and minimize bloating.

Integrative approaches to gut health

In addition to choosing the right protein powder, incorporating, digestive enzymes, and gut-healing nutrients in your diet can further improve your digestive wellness. This holistic approach works in synergy with a high-protein diet to promote a healthy gut and minimize GI discomfort.

Probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can support a healthy gut microbiome. By promoting the growth of good bacteria, probiotics help maintain a balanced digestive system and alleviate bloating. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi into your diet can help enhance gut health. 

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are specialized fibers that act as nourishment for probiotics, fostering their growth and activity within the gut microbiome. By providing a favorable environment for probiotics to thrive, prebiotics contribute to a balanced digestive system and help alleviate bloating. Incorporating prebiotic-rich foods such as garlic, onions, bananas, dark leafy greens, broccoli sprouts, and asparagus into your diet can effectively support the growth of beneficial bacteria and promote optimal gut health.

Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down food and ensuring efficient nutrient absorption. When your body lacks certain enzymes, it may struggle to digest proteins and other macronutrients, leading to bloating. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can aid in the digestion process, reducing the likelihood of bloating after consuming protein powders. Look for enzyme blends that include protease, amylase, lipase, and lactase enzymes to support optimal digestion.

Gut-Healing nutrients

In conjunction with a high-protein diet, ensuring your body receives well-rounded nutrition is essential for supporting optimal gut health and reducing inflammation in the digestive system. Certain key nutrients have been identified for their role in promoting gut healing and mitigating inflammation, including glutamine, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin A. Incorporating these nutrients into your diet not only complements the benefits of a protein-rich regimen, but also provides vital support for overall digestive wellness, helping to maintain a healthy gut microbiome and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort.

easy to digest

“I love this stuff!! I currently have vanilla, chocolate, and PB, and love all 3😍😍😍. Finally found a protein powder that doesn’t make me bloated.” – Kayla

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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.