What is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia. 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. 

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia.

What is fibromyalgia?

Is protein powder good for fibromyalgia?

What is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia? 

Why drink wholesome?

What is fibromyalgia?


Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain disorder that affects the muscles, tendons, and soft tissues of the body. It is characterized by widespread pain and tenderness, and is often accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders. Fibromyalgia is considered a central sensitization syndrome, which means that the central nervous system becomes hypersensitive and amplifies pain signals.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but researchers believe that it may involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic widespread pain, which is typically described as a dull ache that lasts for at least three months. The pain is often accompanied by tender points—specific areas of the body that are highly sensitive to pressure. Other common symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances (such as insomnia or non-restorative sleep), cognitive difficulties (referred to as “fibro fog”), headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia, the condition can be managed through a multidisciplinary approach. Treatment often includes a combination of medications (such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and sleep aids), physical therapy, exercise, stress management techniques, and lifestyle modifications.

making a protein shake with protein powder

Is protein powder good for fibromyalgia?


If you have fibromyalgia, chances are you are willing to try anything that could possibly help, including making changes to your diet. While there is no specific diet that helps manage fibromyalgia, many people find that avoiding certain foods has a major impact on their symptoms. One of the first foods that people with fibromyalgia tend to avoid are those that cause inflammation. Specially, they try to minimize their consumption of processed foods and opt for whole, unprocessed alternatives whenever possible.

Protein powder is a processed food, there is no way around it. The convenience of protein powder is hard to beat, however, and protein shakes are an important source of nutrition for many people with fibromyalgia. 

Up to 70% of patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia have symptoms of IBS, a common gastrointestinal (GI) condition characterized by chronic or recurrent abdominal pain and altered bowel movements. IBS symptoms, as one might imagine, can make it hard to eat, which can lead to malnutrition. This is where protein shakes can help. Adding a protein shake to your diet is an easy way to ensure that you are getting enough calories and protein. Not all protein powders are created equal, however.

woman drinking a protein shake

What is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia?


The average protein powder is not safe for someone with IBS and/or fibromyalgia. The reason why generally has nothing to do with protein, but with added ingredients. Most protein powders contain added emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors, all of which are known to cause uncomfortable GI side effects and long-term damage to the gut microbiome.

The gut microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that helps you digest food, and has become the subject of considerable research in recent years. Disruptions to the composition and function of the bacteria living in your gut have been shown to play a role in the development of GI conditions like IBS. Mounting evidence also suggests that gut microbiome is involved in the pathogenesis of other types of diseases, including chronic pain and fibromyalgia. 

For this reason, it is imperative that you scrutinize the ingredients list before buying a protein powder. As a rule of thumb, look for a short list of simple ingredients, the shorter the better. More ingredients generally means more side effects, especially for someone with IBS.

Why drink wholesome


drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for fibromyalgia is that we do not use food additives. Even in small amounts, additives can provoke a variety of undesirable gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach discomfort. These symptoms arise because additives look nothing like real food, and are therefore hard to digest. When partially digested food sits in your gut, one of two outcomes can occur: either your gut absorbs water, resulting in diarrhea, or the additives feed your gut bacteria, which produce gas. Excessive gas can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and may even hinder the movement of food through the colon, ultimately resulting in constipation.

The true reason why you should avoid food additives, however, lies in their long-term consequences. Consistently consuming food additives gradually disrupts regulatory pathways within the intestines, thereby contributing to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Furthermore, ongoing research indicates that food additives, especially artificial sweeteners, can disturb the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. Basically, food additives are bad news for your long-term gut health.

vegan vanilla protein powder serving suggestion
vanilla protein powder lifestyle image 1

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 fibromyalgia is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein, two byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are notorious for causing digestive distress. This is particularly relevant among individuals who have lactose intolerance since they lack the enzymes needed to completely break down lactose, the sugar in dairy. As previously mentioned, the incomplete digestion of food can result in various uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for fibromyalgia is that we use real food protein sources, not protein concentrates and isolates. The majority of protein powders, on the other hand, rely on these protein sources, which are essentially stripped-down versions of real food. Instead of being referred to as “peas” or “whey,” concentrates and isolates are listed as “pea protein” or “whey protein.”

Making protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical processing. In some cases, chemical solvents like hexane are used to extract the protein from its natural source. Consequently, what makes its way into your protein powder looks nothing like real food.

Your digestive system is specifically designed to handle minimally processed or unprocessed real foods, not synthetic imitations. Consuming anything other than real food can thus result in unfavorable side effects. While the long-term effects of consuming processed food products such as protein isolates are still being investigated, emerging research suggests that they can significantly disrupt the composition of the gut microbiota, leading to lasting harm to the gut.

Beyond its primary role in food digestion, the gut serves as a vital protective barrier against harmful pathogens, plays a crucial role in educating the immune system, and influences numerous physiological processes directly and indirectly. Consequently, imbalances in the delicate equilibrium of the gut microbiome have been associated with the development of chronic diseases like fibromyalgia. Given this connection, I strongly advise against the consumption of protein powders that heavily rely on protein concentrates and isolates.

vegan chocolate protein powder lifestyle image 1
chocolate protein powder 14 servings serving suggestion

We take great pride in making fibromyalgia protein powder with simple ingredients like egg whites and almonds. The process involved in converting egg whites into protein powder is simple: they undergo pasteurization and drying. Almonds, on the other hand, are simply roasted, pressed to remove some oil, and finely ground. These ingredients, with their minimal processing, provide a highly digestible and gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

For individuals who do not have allergies or sensitivities to eggs, egg white protein offers an excellent choice for promoting gut health. With its low fiber content and minimal FODMAPs, egg whites are gentle on the digestive system. Moreover, they have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Our customers consistently provide positive feedback, reporting fewer digestive issues when consuming egg white protein powder compared to other protein sources.

In situations where eggs cannot be consumed, our vegan almond protein powder serves as a great substitute. Almonds, unlike protein concentrates or isolates, are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prioritize almonds over other minimally processed plant protein sources due to their remarkable gut-friendly characteristics. Research indicates that almonds exhibit prebiotic properties, supporting the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome and ultimately promoting improved gut health.

In summary, our protein powders undergo minimal processing to prioritize the well-being of your gut.

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easy to digest

“This new vegan flavor is amazing!!! You have a new monthly subscriber. It’s easy to digest and very tasty. Good for IBS.” – Kolby

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for fibromyalgia.

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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.

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