The Best IBD Protein Powder

What is the best IBD protein powder?

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for IBD because it is 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.

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for IBD.

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe two conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both cause symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain, and can lead to severe weight loss.

Although IBD is not caused by what you eat, doctors and dietitians agree that food plays an important role in managing symptoms. Certain foods can aggravate symptoms, while others can mitigate them and promote healing. Paying attention to what you eat and how your body responds to different foods is therefore an essential part of living with IBD. 

Protein is important.

Curating a diet specific to your condition, whether it is Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is complicated. There is no one Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis diet, and the foods that trigger your symptoms may be different the foods that trigger symptoms for someone else. That said, there are several key ingredients to an inflammatory bowel disease diet, and one of them is protein.

As mentioned above, getting enough protein is important because chronic inflammation can impair your ability to absorb nutrients from food, which can lead to serious problems like malnutrition and weight loss. It is therefore imperative that you get enough protein – 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day – between flares. 

I recommend that you get as much protein as you can from normal food. Getting enough protein from normal food alone can be challenging, however, which is where protein powder comes in. Protein powder is an easy way to boost your intake and ensure that you are meeting your protein goals. It can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and even baking. That said, not all protein powders are good for you. Here are a few things to avoid when choosing a protein powder.  

Avoid dairy.

Dairy-based protein powders can cause side effects like bloating, constipation, cramps, diarrhea, gas, and nausea, especially for people with lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Common dairy-based proteins include casein and whey, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production.

Casein and whey protein can also cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation, especially in your skin. 

If your casein or whey protein powder causes acne or stomach pain, it is time to look for a new protein powder. Fortunately, going dairy-free is easier than ever. Unfortunately, not all dairy-free protein powders are created equal. 

chocolate protein powder supplement
vegan chocolate protein powder supplement

“This egg white protein powder is anti-bloat, anti-blood sugar dips, anti-artificial tasting. Seriously the best protein powder I’ve EVER tried (I’ve tried literally every brand on the US market, all types of protein powder too). The product is amazing, period.” – Elizabeth 

Avoid food additives.

Most dairy-free protein powders are full of food additives. Although they are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, food additives can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects.

First of all, 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. Gas also slows colonic transit and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and cause the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

What exactly are food additives?

As a rule of thumb, food additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Not sure what to look for? Here is a list of the most food 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

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. Other artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can cause diarrhea because they draw water into the gut. Avoid artificial sweeteners whenever possible.

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.

Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder that actually tastes good is next to impossible. Why? 

Most protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. Unlike real foods, protein concentrates and isolates are missing the nutrients that make food taste good. This is why most protein shakes have a chalky aftertaste. 

Protein concentrates and isolates are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.”

Why real foods?

Your protein powder should be made with real foods, foods close to nature. Real foods consist of one ingredient, have undergone little to no processing. and come in eleven varieties: fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dairy, eggs, meat, fish and poultry. A healthy diet should consist primarily, if not entirely, of real foods. 

To be clear, this does not mean that everyone should eat everything on this list. Some people have allergies or dietary restrictions that make eating all eleven varieties of real food impossible. No matter who you are, however, you should aim to eat mostly real foods. Not only are they nutritious, but they also reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eat the real thing, not some imitation made in a laboratory.

The main real food ingredients in our protein powders are egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are just dried and ground. Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, egg whites and chickpeas have a great flavor and 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.

Again, Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for IBD because it is made with 100% real foods. Our vegan vanilla protein powder, for example, is made with chickpeas, coconut, vanilla, and monk fruit. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself.

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for IBD.


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 with 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. 

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