What is the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with 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, or 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


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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease.

What is Crohn’s disease? 

Is protein powder good for Crohn’s?

What is the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease?

Why drink wholesome?

What is Crohn’s disease? 

Crohn’s disease (Crohn’s) is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the gastrointestinal (G) tract, leading to inflammation.

Living with Crohn’s disease is stressful. Certain foods trigger symptoms (called flares) including diarrhea and stomach pain. Over time, flares can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, but various treatment options are available to manage the symptoms and reduce inflammation. They include medications

Is protein powder good for Crohn’s?

You probably already knew that avoiding certain food triggers can help you manage your Crohn’s disease, reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, and promote intestinal healing. You may have not known, however, that the inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease increases your calorie and protein needs, and that a deficiency of either can impair your ability to heal. It is therefore important that you eat lots of calories and protein, which is often easier said than done. This is where protein supplements can help. 

Clinical research shows that dietary protein supplementation can have an impact on the onset and progression of Crohn’s and IBD. Adding a protein supplement to your diet is an easy way to boost your calorie and protein intake, and promote healing. That said, not all protein powders are good for Crohn’s disease. In fact, most are not. Most protein powders contain ingredients that can cause flare-ups and long-term gut damage.

making a protein shake with protein powder

Which protein powder is best for Crohn’s disease?

Every gut is different, and what triggers symptoms for one person may not trigger them for the next. That said, there are a few general guidelines that anyone with Crohn’s disease should follow when buying protein powder. First of all, the fewer the ingredients the better. Fewer ingredients means fewer opportunities for flare-ups. Second, the simpler the ingredients the better. The more your protein powder looks like real food, the less likely it is to upset your stomach. Keep reading to learn more. 

woman drinking a protein shake

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease is that we do not use food additives. Most other protein powder companies, on the other hand, use ingredients like emulsifiers, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, and flavors, all of which can cause inflammation and side effects like bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain for people with Crohn’s.

Additives do not look like real food, and do not fully break down. As a result, they linger in your gut. This can cause intestines to absorb too much water, leading to diarrhea, or feed your gut bacteria, which produce gas. Too much gas in your GI tract can trigger symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even constipation.

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 main reason for avoiding food additives, however, is how they affect you in the long-term. Regularly consuming additives can interfere with regulatory pathways in your intestines, increasing the likelihood of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and various other systemic inflammatory conditions. Food additives, especially artificial sweeteners, can also disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiome, which plays a crucial role in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

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

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best Crohn’s disease protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein powders, on the contrary, rely on whey and/or casein protein, which are byproducts of the production of cheese and yogurt. Although these dairy-based proteins are popular, they have a reputation for causing digestive issues, especially for the one-third of adults who experience lactose intolerance. Individuals with lactose intolerance, many of which also have Crohn’s, lack the enzymes needed to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you are now aware, the incomplete digestion of food can lead to unwanted GI symptoms.

vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1
drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best Crohn’s protein powder is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Practically all other protein powders are made with these protein sources, which are foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed as “pea protein” or “whey protein,” instead of as “peas” or “whey.”

The production of protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical processing. In certain instances, chemical solvents, such as hexane, are utilized to extract the protein. Consequently, what you add to your protein shake bears little resemblance to real, whole food.

Your digestive system is naturally designed to handle minimally-processed or unprocessed whole foods, not artificial substitutes. Consuming anything other than real food can lead to unpleasant side effects. While the long-term effects of consuming processed ingredients, like protein isolates, are still under study, emerging evidence indicates that they may have disruptive effects on the gut microbiome.

The gut performs a critical role in digestion. It also serves as a vital barrier against harmful pathogens, contributes to immune system education, and influences various physiological processes. Disturbances in the gut microbiome, it follows, have been strongly associated with the development of numerous chronic illnesses. I therefore strongly discourage the use of protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.

chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder serving suggestion

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried, and almonds are just roasted, pressed (to remove some oil) and ground. These minimally-processed ingredients result in protein powders that are exceptionally gentle on the digestive system. This is in part because real foods, unlike protein isolates and concentrates, contain natural enzymes and digestive aids that contribute to efficient digestion.

For individuals without egg allergies or sensitivities, egg white protein is an excellent choice for promoting gut health. Egg white are low fiber, low FODMAP, and naturally alkaline, making them an easily digestible source of complete protein. Our happy customers love to highlight the fact that they experience fewer digestive issues when consuming our egg white protein powder compared to other protein supplements.

For those on a vegan diet or unable to consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is an outstanding alternative. Almonds possess prebiotic effects that nourish the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Furthermore, they support healthy and regular bowel movements.

In conclusion, we take great pride in making protein powders that undergo minimal processing so you can enjoy the benefits of protein supplementation without compromising your gut health.

easy to digest

“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

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drink wholesome makes the best vegan protein powder for Crohn’s.


chocolate protein powder

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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.