What is the best protein powder for IBD?

If you are looking for the best protein powder for IBD, you have come to the right place. Learn how to supplement your dietary protein intake without upsetting your stomach.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder


Starting at $59.99

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder


Starting at $39.99


This article was written by Jack Schrupp and Brittany Adelman, RDN.

Protein powder and IBD

What is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe two conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions cause symptoms like diarrhea and stomach pain, and can lead to severe weight loss and malnutrition.

For some people, IBD is only a mild illness. For others, it is a debilitating condition with serious complications. If left untreated, IBD can result in permanent damage to the GI tract. 

Although IBD is not caused by what you eat, doctors and dietitians agree that food plays an important role in managing symptoms, especially during flares and periods of remission. Certain foods can aggravate symptoms, while others can mitigate them and promote healing. Paying attention to what you eat and how your body responds to different foods is therefore an essential part of living with IBD. 

Is protein powder good for IBD?

Curating a diet specific to your condition, whether it is Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is complicated. There is no one IBD diet, and the foods that trigger your symptoms may be different from the foods that trigger symptoms for someone else.

Moreover, specialized IBD diets are controversial because they do not work in every case and are restrictive. The best diet for IBD is thus one that meets your individual nutritional needs and helps you manage your symptoms.

Despite the personalized nature of eating with IBD, there are several universal guidelines that anyone with IBD should follow. Eating enough protein, for instance, is important for someone with IBD.

For starters, the inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis increases your protein needs, sometimes by as much as 25%. It is thus recommended IBD patients eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, which is a lot more than the 0.8 g/kg/day recommended for healthy adults. 

Chronic inflammation can also impair your ability to absorb nutrients from food, which can lead to serious problems like weight loss and malnutrition. It is therefore essential to make eating protein a priority between flares. Adequate dietary protein intake will help prevent weight loss, muscle atrophy, and other complications.

Finally, dietary protein may help repair your mucosal intestinal barrier. Although the protein needs for mucosal healing after a flare are unknown, there is evidence that amino acids derived from dietary proteins play an important role in this process, serving as building blocks for macromolecule synthesis in the wounded mucosal area. 

It is important to note that protein powder should not replace other forms of dietary protein; you should try to get as much of your dietary protein intake as possible from sources like eggs, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, and seeds. Eating enough protein this way can be challenging for some people, however, which is where protein powder can help.

Adding a protein powder to your diet is an easy way to increase your protein intake and fill in nutritional gaps. That said, not all protein powders are created equal.

What is the best protein powder for IBD?

Many protein powders are made with ingredients that can cause painful side effects and long term health problems for someone with IBD. Among these ingredients are food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates. 

Avoid food additives

Regularly eating emulsifiers, thickeners, sugar substitutes, and other additives can not only upset your stomach, but also alter the composition of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. This can lead to gut dysbiosis, which is linked to the development of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Research shows that a healthy gut microbiome modulates the production and secretion of mucins and stratification of the mucus layers that make up the intestinal mucosal barrier. An unhealthy, or dysbiotic, gut microbiome results in the weakening of this barrier, thereby causing inflammatory damage. In case you were wondering, the intestinal mucosal barrier is a semipermeable membrane that allows you to absorb essential nutrients from food and prevents bacteria and other pathogens from entering your bloodstream.

Researchers have also found that a healthy gut microbiome contributes to inducing the expansion of regulatory T cells that reduce intestinal inflammation by mediating repair of the intestinal mucosal barrier. A dysbiotic gut microbiome thus makes you both more susceptible to inflammation, and less able to fight it. Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia fiber, acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, aspartame, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, ‘natural’ flavors, rice bran extract, rice dextrin, rice hulls, rosemary extract, silica, silicon dioxide, sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, soluble corn fiber, soy lecithin, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, xylitol, zinc oxide

Avoid dairy-based proteins

Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, although not an issue for everyone, can cause side effects like bloating and diarrhea. This is in part because they contain lactose, a sugar most adults cannot fully digest.

Avoid protein concentrates and isolates

Most protein powders are made from protein concentrates and isolates, which have been mechanically and or chemically stripped of everything but the protein, including the enzymes, fiber, and other natural digestive aids that help you break them down. As a result, they can cause digestive issues and possibly even disruptions to your gut microbiome

Finding a protein powder free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates is hard. In fact, 99% of protein supplements contain one or more of these problematic ingredients. This is why we created drink wholesome. Keep reading to learn more about why we make the best protein powder for inflammatory bowel disease.

Protein Powders

Collagen Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Egg White Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97

Protein Powders

Vegan Almond Protein Powder Starter Kit

Starting at $94.97


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for IBD

We make the best IBD-friendly protein powder because we use a short list of simple ingredients free from food additives, dairy-based proteins, and protein concentrates and isolates.

Our ingredients

egg whites

egg whites





monk fruit

monk fruit

NOT our ingredients

  • acacia gum

  • acesulfame potassium

  • artificial flavors

  • carrageenan

  • erythritol

  • guar gum

  • inulin

  • maltodextrin

  • 'natural' flavors

  • silica

  • soy lecithin

  • sucralose

  • xanthan gum

  • xylitol

Note that instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole food protein sources like collagen, egg whites, and almonds, which are easier to digest and absorb. Whole food protein sources also have unique digestive benefits: collagen can reduce bloating and improve digestive symptoms, egg whites can help restore your mucosal intestinal barrier, and almonds can improve the composition of your gut microbiome.

It follows that our customers experience fewer digestive issues with our IBD protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself. Or, learn more about the best protein powder for Crohn’s disease and the best protein powder for ulcerative colitis



1 week ago

Verified Purchase Hi! Your powder has been life-changing for me! I wear many hats as a military spouse, mom of a toddler, and yoga teacher. However, the hats I wear of being a human, living with endometriosis and IBS, are the ones these simple ingredients have most impacted! Thank you! Thank you for creating a product for stomachs that is sensitive, simple, AND still packs a punch protein wise!

For Egg White Protein Powder


2 weeks ago

Verified Purchase Your protein is seriously a game changer for me. I went from 135 to 170 in a few months due to the shakes I made with your protein powder. I've been drinking 1 each day for the last bit of time. Most protein kills my gut. You guys are seriously making a life support for me. Thank you for all that you do and create!

For Egg White Protein Powder


3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase I've spent the past decade searching for the perfect protein powder, and I've finally found it!!!! Not only does it make me feel incredible, but it's also transformed my fitness recovery in ways I never thought possible. Thank you drinkwholesome for changing the game and helping me feel my best! <3

For Egg White Protein Powder

Frequently asked questions

Protein powder vs meal replacement powder?

You may have noticed that we make protein powders and meal replacement powders. The difference between protein powders and meal replacement powders is the nutrition content. Protein powders are high in protein and low in everything else, whereas meal replacement powders contain fats, carbs, and protein because they are intended to replace the nutritional value of a healthy meal.

Collagen vs egg white vs almond protein powder?

You may have noticed that we make three types of protein powder: collagen protein powderegg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. As long as you are eating a balanced diet, any type of protein powder can help you boost your protein intake. Just pick the type that best suits your dietary needs and personal preferences.

Learn more

My name is Jack and I created drink wholesome because I was sick of protein powders that upset my stomach. Read my story, check out my short list of simple ingredients, and browse reviews from other customers to learn more.

High Protein Rice Krispie Treats


15 min


0 min




In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove the pot from the heat, and incorporate the protein powder. Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until combined. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch greased pan. Let your Protein Rice Krispie Treats sit for 30 minutes before eating.


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.