What is the best protein powder for ALS patients?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for ALS patients. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with minimally-processed whole foods, not protein isolates. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 


“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”


Protein Powder Sample Packs

3 Protein Powder Samples


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for ALS patients.

What is ALS?

Is protein powder good for ALS patients?

What is the best protein powder for ALS patients? 

Why drink wholesome?

What is ALS?

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS.

In ALS, the motor neurons, which are responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the muscles, gradually degenerate and die. As a result, the muscles that are controlled by these neurons begin to weaken and atrophy over time. This leads to difficulties in speaking, swallowing, breathing, and eventually, the ability to move.

The exact cause of ALS is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Moreover, there is no cure for ALS. Treatment mainly focuses on managing the symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Is protein powder good for ALS patients?

Maintaining good nutrition is one of the most important aspects of living with ALS. Eating enough calories, protein, and other nutrients can help:

-to meet increased energy needs (15% higher than someone who does not have ALS)
-to slow muscle breakdown
-to keep the immune system strong and ready to fight infection
-to maximize energy levels

That said, getting adequate nutrition is challenging for many people living with ALS. Weakened muscles and difficulty with hand or limb coordination can make preparing and eating food difficult. Chewing and swallowing food can also become challenging, and fatigue and lack of appetite may contribute to the inability to eat typical meals. This is where protein supplements can help.

What is the best protein powder for ALS patients? 

Although protein powder has many uses, it is most often used in protein shakes, which are easy to make, and easy to swallow. Shakes therefore serve as a convenient source of nutrition, particularly of protein, for ALS patients. Not all protein powders are created equal, however. Most protein powders are full of emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors, which cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term gut damage.

If you are up-to-date on the latest medical research, you have probably heard of the gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food), and the role that it can play in the development of a number of chronic diseases. You may have also come across research linking the gut microbiome to the pathogenesis of ALS. Researchers have reason to believe that what you eat may impact the progression of the disease.

Adding protein powder to your diet can be a great way to ensure that you are eating enough protein and calories, but you have to be careful about which protein powder you choose. When it comes to buying protein powder for ALS patients, look for one with a short list of simple ingredients. Keep reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the protein powder for ALS patients is that we do not use food additives. Unlike real foods, additives are not easily broken down during digestion. Consequently, they sit within the digestive tract for longer than food should, granting extra time for your gut bacteria to eat. As these bacteria eat, they generate gas, resulting in bloating and discomfort. Moreover, the presence of gas can impede the movement of food through the colon, leading to constipation.

Over time, the cumulative impact of food additives (particularly if you consume a daily protein shake) can disrupt regulatory pathways within the gut. This, in turn, can contribute to the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders.

One additive to avoid in particular is artificial sweeteners. Over time, the consumption of artificial sweeteners can profoundly disrupt the composition of the gut microbiota. This can trigger severe and persistent gastrointestinal problems, as well as inducing widespread inflammation and long-lasting harm to the fragile equilibrium of the gut microbiome.

Some sweeteners, namely sugar alcohols like xylitol, are particularly poorly absorbed by the digestive system. They consequently serve as sustenance for your hungry gut bacteria and draw water into the intestines, which can lead to 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

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 ALS patients is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein powders, on the other hand, use whey and casein proteins, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. Whey and casein have a reputation for triggering digestive problems, especially among individuals with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

People with lactose intolerance and IBS cannot fully digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. As mentioned earlier, when food is not fully digested, it feeds your hungry gut bacteria. These bacteria then release gas, leading to unpleasant side effects.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for ALS patients is our use of real food protein sources, not protein concentrates and isolates. Concentrates and isolates are stripped-down versions of whole foods, discreetly listed on ingredient labels as “pea protein” or “whey protein,” rather than as “peas” or “whey.” They contain protein and virtually nothing else.

The process of converting protein concentrates and isolates into protein powder involves extensive mechanical and chemical manipulation. In certain instances, manufacturers employ chemical solvents, such as hexane, to extract the protein from its original source. The resulting product is a far cry from real food.

Your digestive system has evolved to handle real foods, not artificially engineered imitations. Eating anything other than real food to your gut can thus lead to unfavorable outcomes. While the long-term effects of consuming processed foods like protein isolates are still not fully understood, new research suggests that they can disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiota, potentially causing irreversible damage to your gut microbiome.

Beyond food digestion, your gut fulfills a myriad of functions. It acts as a protective barrier against pathogens, contributes to educating your immune system, and profoundly influences numerous physiological processes. Consequently, an imbalanced gut microbiome has been linked to the development of various chronic diseases. As a precautionary measure, it is therefore advisable to avoid protein powders that rely on protein concentrates and isolates.

We take great pride in making protein powder for ALS patients using simple ingredients like egg whites and almonds, not protein concentrates or isolates. The processing involved in turning these ingredients into protein powder is minimal: egg whites are pasteurized and dried, while almonds are roasted, gently pressed to reduce oil content, and finely ground. These real foods serve as easily digestible and gut-friendly alternatives to protein concentrates and isolates.

Real foods possess enzymes and other digestive aids that facilitate the breakdown of nutrients, allowing the body to absorb them more effectively. In contrast, protein isolates and concentrates lack these digestive aids, making them more challenging for the body to digest and utilize. Furthermore, minimally-processed plant-based foods like almonds offer the additional benefit of being rich in fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.

For individuals without specific sensitivities or allergies to eggs, egg white protein emerges as an excellent option for promoting gut health. Egg whites are low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Our happy have reported a reduction in digestive issues when consuming egg white protein powder compared to other protein sources.

For those who are unable to consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder provides a compelling alternative. Almonds have been carefully chosen as the plant protein source due to their remarkable gut-friendly properties. Research suggests that almonds exhibit prebiotic characteristics, enhancing the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome, thereby contributing to improved overall gut health.


easy to digest

“My dietician recommend this, and it is the best non-dairy protein ever!!! The flavor is so good and it is easy to digest. I’ve never had a protein shake like it.” – Britta

Read more reviews or take the quiz.

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for ALS patients.

Protein Powder Sample Packs

3 Protein Powder Samples


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.