Looking for protein shake constipation relief? 

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

Looking for protein shake constipation relief? Keep reading to learn more about constipation remedies and ways to prevent constipation in the first place. Protein shake constipation is easily avoidable if you avoid a few problematic ingredients. 

“If you have a sensitive gut, you need simple ingredients.”

-Brittany Carpenter, MS, RDN/LDN


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drink wholesome is the best protein shake for constipation relief.

Can protein shakes cause constipation? 

Constipated? Here are 5 constipation remedies. 

Why do protein shakes cause constipation? 

Why drink wholesome?

Can protein shakes cause constipation? 

Although a common side effect of protein shakes and shakes is diarrhea, many people report that protein shakes also cause constipation. Constipation occurs when you have fewer than three bowel movements a week and your poop is hard and difficult to pass. Common symptoms include bloating and stomach pain. If your protein supplement causes constipation, you have come to the right place. In this article, I will explain what to do if you are constipated, and why many protein shakes cause constipation.

making a protein shake with protein powder

Constipated? Here are 5 constipation remedies. 

If you are constipated, and looking for relief, try the following remedies. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and that what works for you might not work for someone else. Also, remember to be patient; most of these remedies take 12 to 72 hours to work. If I were you, I would start with number 1 and work my way down the list.

1. Drink water – Drinking lots of water, especially warm or hot water in the morning, can help you poop.

2. Exercise – Movement can stimulate the muscles in your digestive system.

3. Eat more fiber – Fiber increases the size of your stool, which helps it move through your digestive tract. It also softens your stool, making it easier to pass.

4. Drink coffee – Caffeine can also stimulate the muscles in your digestive system

5. Use a laxative – If all else fails, try a laxative. Most laxatives can be purchased over-the-counter, and will usually quickly induce a bowel movement. I put use a laxative last on the list because laxatives have potential side effects, such as allergic reactions and vitamin deficiencies.

woman drinking a protein shake

Why do protein shakes cause constipation? 

Typically, protein shake constipation has nothing to do with the type of amount of protein in your protein shake. What makes most people constipated is actually the added ingredients. Even in small amounts, additives like emulsifiers, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, and flavors can lead to unpleasant gastrointestinal (GI) side effects, including constipation. Thus, if you are looking for protein shake constipation relief, your best bet is to avoid it in the first place. Steer clear of protein powders with long ingredient lists, and opt for ingredients you can find in nature. Keep reading to learn more. 

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One reason why we make the best protein powder for constipation relief is that we, unlike most protein powder companies, do not use food additives. Additives look nothing like real food, and are therefore hard to digest. As a result, they sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria extra time to eat. As gut bacteria eat, they release methane gas, which slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon) and causes constipation. Exactly why gas slows colonic transition is not well understood, but it might be because gas reduces motility (spontaneous muscle movement) within the large intestine. 

Here is a list of the most common food 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

Over time, regularly eating food additives can also disturb the delicate balance of your gut microbiome, impacting your ability to digest and absorb food. This can, in turn, lead to more frequent run-ins with constipation and other GI side effects.

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.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best protein powder for constipation relief is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many other protein powders, on the contrary, use whey and/or casein protein, which are byproducts of the production of cheese and yogurt. These dairy-based proteins are notorious for triggering digestive problems, particularly in the one-third of adults with lactose intolerance. Lactose-intolerant individuals lack the enzymes needed to fully break down lactose, the sugar in dairy. As highlighted before, partially digested food can result in unpleasant side effects, including constipation.

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 for constipation relief is that we do not use protein concentrate or isolates. The majority of other protein powders rely on one or both of these protein sources, which are basically food stripped of everything but the protein. Instead of being referred to as “peas” or “whey,” concentrates and isolates are listed as “pea protein” or “whey protein.”

Making protein concentrates and isolates requires heavy mechanical and chemical processing. In certain instances, chemical solvents like hexane are employed to extract the protein. Consequently, what you scoop into your protein shake looks nothing like real, whole food.

The human digestive system is naturally built to handle minimally-processed or unprocessed whole foods, not heavily-processed substitutes. Eating anything apart from real food can lead to side effects. Although the long-term consequences of consuming processed ingredients like protein isolates are still under investigation, emerging research suggests that they have the potential to disrupt the gut microbiome.

Beyond its role in digestion, the gut plays a crucial part as a defensive barrier against harmful pathogens, contributes to educating the immune system, and exerts influence over various physiological processes. Disturbances in the gut microbiome have therefore been strongly linked to the development of various chronic illnesses. Considering this significant association, I strongly advise against the consumption of protein powders that rely on protein concentrates and isolates.

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

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for constipation relief with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried. Almonds are just roasted, pressed to remove some oil, and ground. These thoughtfully chosen, minimally-processed ingredients create protein powders that are easy to digest. Unlike protein isolates and concentrates, real foods contain enzymes and digestive aids that promote efficient digestion.

For individuals who do not have allergies or sensitivities to eggs, egg white protein is an exceptional option for good gut health. Thanks to their low fiber and FODMAP content, as well as their alkalinity, egg whites are gentle on the digestive system. Our happy customers consistently share positive feedback, reporting fewer digestive issues when consuming our egg white protein powder compared to other protein supplements.

If you are unable to eat eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is a great alternative. Almonds have prebiotic effects, fostering the gut microbiome’s diversity and composition. They also contribute to healthy and regular bowel movements.

In conclusion, our protein powders are minimally-processed to prioritize the well-being of your gut, ensuring that you can boost your protein intake without compromising your gut health. 


easy to digest

“This is the first protein powder that has EVER not upset my stomach and it still tastes SO GOOD!!!” – Emily

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drink wholesome is the best protein shake for constipation relief.


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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.