What is the best bariatric protein powder?

If you are looking for the best bariatric protein powder, you have come to the right place. Learn how to easily and safely supplement your dietary protein intake.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder


Starting at $59.99

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99


This article was written by Jack Schrupp & Brittany Adelman, RDN.

How to choose a bariatric protein powder

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is a surgical procedure that aims to help people who are severely obese lose weight. It involves changing the digestive tract to limit the amount of food one can eat. There are different types of bariatric surgery. The three most common procedures are:

Gastric bypass surgery: This involves creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach and rerouting the small intestine to this pouch.

Sleeve gastrectomy: This involves removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving behind a small sleeve-shaped section. 

Adjustable gastric banding: This involves placing an inflatable band around the upper part of the stomach, which can be adjusted to control the amount of food that can be eaten.

Bariatric surgery is typically recommended for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with other obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. It is usually considered a last resort after other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise, have been exhausted.


Are protein powders good for bariatric surgery?

Pre-op diet

A liquid diet is required for bariatric patients 7-14 days before surgery. It helps reduce the amount of fat around the liver, which is important because your liver sits on top of your stomach. This is where the surgeon will be performing the surgery, and a large liver can make it difficult to see your stomach during the procedure.

During the pre-op period, protein shakes are a must-have. Protein is the most satiating (filling) nutrient, and helps curb cravings and hunger pangs, making the pre-op period more comfortable.

Post-op diet

A liquid diet is also required for most bariatric patients about 7 days after surgery. For the first day or so after surgery, you will only be allowed to drink clear liquids. Once you can stomach clear liquids, you can start adding thick liquids to your diet. This includes protein shakes. The “thick liquid” phrase also lasts for about 7 days, and getting lots of protein at this time is important for several reasons.

First of all, protein helps with recovery. Not eating enough protein after surgery can compromise your ability to heal and prolong the stages of wound healing. Moreover, research shows that postoperative protein consumption is linked to weight loss. In other words, eating lots of protein after your surgery can help you reach your long-term weight loss goals.

Finally, in the months following surgery, bariatric patients should aim to eat 60 to 80 grams of protein per day. For some, this is a lot of protein, and may necessitate the use of a protein powder. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your diet is an easy way to boost your protein intake and fill in any nutritional gaps you might have. 

Meal replacement powders can be another helpful option while navigating post-surgery recovery. Unlike protein powders, meal replacement powders provide a balance of fats, carbs, and protein to help you meet your nutritional needs and keep you full while healing from surgery.


What is the best protein powder for bariatric patients?

Unfortunately, not all protein powders are created equal. Most protein powders are made with ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long term health problems. Among these ingredients are food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates. 

Avoid food additives

Most protein powders contain emulsifiers, thickeners, and other additives, which can not only upset your stomach (more about this later), but also alter the composition and function of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. This can lead to gut dysbiosis, or an imbalance in your gut microbiota. Gut dysbiosis is not only a leading driver of inflammation, but also contributes to wide range of chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity, type 1 diabetes, and colorectal cancer.

It is worth mentioning that bariatric patients with healthy gut microbiomes have better outcomes because a healthy gut plays an important role in weight loss and reduces the likelihood of complications post-bariatric surgery. Moreover, an overview of existing literature also shows that bariatric surgery itself can damage the gut microbiome, meaning that bariatric patients are at increased risk of developing gut-related conditions.

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

Avoid dairy-based proteins

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

Avoid 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. As a result, they can cause digestive issues and possibly even disruptions to 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 the best bariatric surgery protein powder.

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 is the best bariatric protein powder

We make the best protein powder for bariatric patients 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 bariatric protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself.

Tips for bariatric patients from a registered dietitian

When it comes to choosing a protein powder that meets your specific needs post-surgery, several factors should be considered:

  1. High protein content: Opt for protein powders that contain at least 15 grams of protein per serving. This will help you meet your increased protein requirements after weight loss surgery.
  2. Low sugar: Look for protein powders that have less than 5g of sugar per serving or are sugar-free. This is important to prevent blood sugar spikes and to support weight management.
  3. No artificial sweeteners: Opt for natural sources of sweetness in your protein powder whenever possible as artificial sweeteners like sucralose can irritate the gut during recovery.
  4. Good taste: Taste is an important factor to consider post weight loss surgery. If your protein supplement does not taste good, you will be less likely to use it, so find one you like!
  5. Easy to digest: Bariatric patients may have reduced stomach capacity or altered digestion after surgery. Choose protein powders that are easily digestible, such as those made with simple, whole-food ingredients.
  6. Quality ingredients: Check the ingredient list to make sure there are no additives or ingredients that you may be sensitive to. Protein powders full of added junk will not support your recovery.

In summary, by considering the factors listed above, you will choose a protein powder that is not only enjoyable, but also supports your long-term health and weight management goals.

After undergoing bariatric surgery, it is essential to prioritize not only your protein intake, but also your overall diet to support your recovery. Here are a few tips for optimizing your post-surgery diet.

1. Stay hydrated! Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospital stays after surgery. Adequate hydration is particularly important for bariatric patients as it supports digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination. Be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Drink at least 64 to 96 ounces of non-carbonated water/liquid per day.
  • Do not consume more than 8 to 16 ounces of caffeinated beverages per day.
  • Stop drinking fluids 15 minutes before a meal.
  • Do not drink fluids with your meal as this quickly flushes food through your stomach.
  • Resume drinking liquids 30 to 60 minutes after your meal.
  • Look at your pee – if you are properly hydrated, it should be light yellow.

2. Supplement with micronutrients. Bariatric surgery can impact your body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, making supplementation essential for preventing nutrient deficiencies. Common supplements for bariatric patients may include vitamin D, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. Some bariatric patients may require liquid supplements during the first 3-6 months after surgery, which can be added to water or protein shakes. 

3. Eat enough fiber. Adequate fiber intake is important for digestive health and regularity, but it can be challenging for bariatric patients, especially during the early stages of recovery when the diet is restricted to liquids or soft foods. Incorporate fiber-rich foods such as cooked vegetables, fruits without skin, and whole grains into your diet as tolerated. You may also consider adding a soluble fiber supplement to help meet your fiber needs.

4. Try mindful eating. Practicing mindful eating techniques can help you develop a healthy relationship with food, promote satiety, and prevent overeating. Take your time to chew your food thoroughly, savoring each bite and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues. Avoid distractions such as watching TV or using electronic devices while eating to stay present and mindful of your meal.

5. Balance your macronutrient intake. While eating enough protein is the primary focus post-bariatric surgery, it is essential to maintain a balanced intake of carbohydrates and fats as well. Choose nutrient-dense carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and opt for healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Balancing your macronutrient intake can support energy levels, mood, and recovery.

Finally, it is important to take things one day at a time, as recovering from bariatric surgery can often feel overwhelming and stressful. It may even be helpful to set reminders for meal times and supplements so you can maintain consistency with your nutrition habits. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider or registered dietitian for personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs and goals.



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!

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2 weeks ago

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3 weeks ago

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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.