The Best Protein Powder For Autism

What is the best protein powder for autism? 

Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for autism 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 autism

Protein is important. 

Children with autism often have food aversions and sensitivities. Many also have behavioral issues that make mealtime challenging. In fact, children with autism are five times more likely to experience mealtime challenges like tantrums, extreme food selectivity, and ritualistic eating behaviors than children unaffected by the disorder. For this reason, malnutrition is more common among autisic children. Parents and caregivers therefore need to pay close attention to what children with autism eat. 

Ensuring that autistic children eat nutritious meals is essential for growth, mental development, and overall health. A nutritious meal is one that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), half of the plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, and the other half should be made up of grains and protein. 

Children (and adults) with autism should aim to get as much protein as they can from normal food like eggs, fish, and legumes. Getting enough protein this way can be challenging, however, which is where protein powder comes in handy. Protein powder offers a convenient way to boost protein intake simply because it is easier to swallow food than it is to chew it. For an autistic adult or child with food aversions or sensitivities, a protein shake can be a great option. It is also easier to make a protein shake than it is to cook a meal. As a caregiver, for whom time is precious, an easy, nutritious meal can be a lifesaver.

Any type of protein powder can help us meet our protein goals, but not all protein powders are good for us. 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 stomach pain, especially for people with lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Common dairy-based protein powders include casein and whey protein powder, both of 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 food additives are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, they can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause nasty 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 and/or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. 

Protein concentrates and isolates are listed as “pea protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “peas” and “soy.” Unlike real foods, they are missing the nutrients – healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, etc. – that make food taste good. If you have ever had a protein shake with a chalky aftertaste, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Why real foods?

Real foods are foods close to nature. They consist of a single ingredient and have undergone little to no processing. 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 simply dried and ground. 

Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, egg whites and chickpeas have a neutral flavor with little to no 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.

Getting someone with autism to drink a protein shake is lot easier if it tastes good. Plus, 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. Also remember that protein powder can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, and other recipes too. If your child does not like protein shakes, try sneaking some protein powder into something that she likes. 

Again, Drink Wholesome is the best protein powder for autism 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 autism.


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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