What is the best low FODMAP protein powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome is the best low FODMAP protein powder. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with low FODMAP real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. If you suffer from Crohn’s, IBS, any other digestive disease, order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you.
“If you have a sensitive gut, you need simple ingredients.”
-Brittany Carpenter, MS, RDN/LDN
drink wholesome is the best low FODMAP protein powder.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) found in certain foods like fruits, grains, and sweeteners.
Some people have trouble digesting FODMAPs, and experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal (GI) side effects when they eat too many. A low-FODMAP diet aims to mitigate these symptoms by reducing the number of FODMAPs in the diet, and is intended for people with medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Why are FODMAPs hard to digest?
FODMAPs are basically sugar molecules linked together in chains. Molecules like these must be broken down before they can be absorbed by the small intestine. The problem with FODMAPs is that they cannot be broken down, so they sit in your gut for longer than they should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat) them. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and flatulence.
FODMAPs also have an osmotic effect, meaning they draw water into the gut. The end result is often diarrhea. These symptoms can affect anyone, even people without IBS. They are more severe in IBS sufferers, however, because people with IBS have slower intestinal motility (the speed at which food moves through the gut). This gives gut bacteria even more time to eat, and causes even more water to be pulled into the intestines. This extra gas and water in the gut can cause severe side effects.
How do I know if a food is low FODMAP?
Reading food labels for low FODMAP eating is tricky. First of all, it is impossible to guess the FODMAP content of a food. It is therefore a good idea to familiarize yourself with high FODMAP foods, and avoid them whenever possible. Moreover, ingredient lists often look unfamiliar, and the exact quantity of each ingredient is not disclosed. Ingredients are listed in order of descending weight, however, so if a high FODMAP ingredient is listed last, the actual amount might be so small that you can tolerate it.
Finally, as a rule of thumb, if you do not recognize it, and cannot figure out what it is, do not eat it. Just because an ingredient is not on any approved low-FODMAP list does not mean that it is safe to eat. It only takes a small amount of FODMAPs to cause symptoms in individuals with IBS, so do your research, and if you cannot find the answer, play it safe and eat something else.
Is protein powder low FODMAP?
One of the key components of the low FODMAP diet is protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass and overall health. Finding low FODMAP protein powder brands can be challenging, however, as many popular protein supplements are made with high FODMAP ingredients. The only way to find a low FODMAP protein powder is to read ingredient lists.
Common high FODMAP protein supplement ingredients include whey and casein, inulin, natural flavors, and sugar polyols like xylitol. Just because your protein supplement does not contain any of these high FODMAP ingredients, however, does not mean that it is good for your gut. Many protein powders and protein shakes are made with seemingly-safe ingredients that are bad news for people with IBS and sensitive stomachs. Keep reading to learn more about what makes the best low FODMAP protein powder.
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best low FODMAP protein powder is that we do not rely on food additives. Most protein powders, on the contrary, are full of additives.
While food additives may enhance qualities such as taste, texture, and shelf stability, they can also trigger unpleasant side effects and long-term harm to the gut. Essentially, because they are a far cry from real foods, food additives are not easily digested. They consequently linger in the gut, granting extra time for gut bacteria to eat. As they eat, bacteria produce gas, resulting in bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows down colonic transit, which can lead to constipation.
Over time, regularly eating food additives via a daily protein shake for example have serious consequences. Additives are known to disrupt regulatory pathways within the intestine, which can eventually contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders.
It is particularly important to steer clear of artificial sweeteners. These additives rank among the most detrimental when considering long-term effects, as they can change the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to severe and chronic gastrointestinal problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.
Furthermore, certain sweeteners, particularly sugar alcohols like xylitol, are not only poorly digested, but also known to draw water into the intestines and cause diarrhea. Now, you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!
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
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 low FODMAP protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Both whey and casein proteins, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are both high in FODMAPs and notorious for triggering digestive issues. This is particularly true for individuals with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affect your ability to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy products.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best low FODMAP protein powder is the fact that there are no protein concentrates or isolates in our recipes. In contrast, most protein powders are made concentrates and/or isolates, which are essentially stripped-down versions of high protein foods. They contain protein and virtually nothing else, and appear as “pea protein” or “whey protein, as opposed to “peas” or “whey.”
Without delving into intricate details, it should be noted that protein concentrates and isolates undergo extensive mechanical and chemical processing before being transformed into protein powder. In certain instances, solvents such as hexane are used to separate the protein from the food. Consequently, the final product looks almost nothing like real food.
Your gastrointestinal system is naturally designed to digest real, naturally occurring foods, not laboratory-engineered imitations. It follows that eating anything but real food can cause side effects. While the long-term implications of consuming processed foods are still not fully understood, research suggests that they have the capacity to alter the composition of the gut microbiota and potentially cause lasting damage to the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. It is therefore strongly recommended to avoid protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates, and instead prioritize eating real foods.
In lieu of using protein concentrates or isolates, our low FODMAP-friendly protein powder is made with egg whites. The process of making egg white protein powder simply requires pasteurization and drying, resulting in an easily digestible and gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. This is in part thanks to the various enzymes and digestive aids found in real foods that aid in the breakdown of nutrients. Protein isolates and concentrates have been stripped of these natural digestive aids, making them more challenging for the body to digest and absorb.
Unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to eggs, egg white protein emerges as the best option for promoting gut health. Egg whites possess several gut-friendly qualities: they are low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all real foods. As a result, our customers have reported experiencing fewer digestive issues when consuming egg white protein compared to other protein sources.
At the end of the day, the best type of protein powder for the low FODMAP diet is one that is made from a single source of protein, and is free from added ingredients. This ensures that the protein powder is easy to digest and does not contain any FODMAPs. For this reason, we make an unflavored egg white protein powder.
“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse
drink wholesome is the best low FODMAP protein powder.