What is the best protein powder for intermittent fasting?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for intermittent fasting. 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 intermittent fasting.

What is intermittent fasting?

Is protein important for intermittent fasting?

Can you drink protein shakes while intermittent fasting?

What is the best protein powder for intermittent fasting?

Why drink wholesome?

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not focus on what you eat, but rather when you eat. Instead of restricting specific food groups or counting calories, intermittent fasting primarily focuses on when you consume your meals. There are several popular methods of intermittent fasting, the most popular of which is the 16/8 method: This involves fasting for 16 hours a day and restricting your eating window to 8 hours. Typically, this means skipping breakfast and consuming all your daily meals within an 8-hour period, such as from noon to 8 p.m.

The main idea behind intermittent fasting is to extend the amount of time between your last meal of the day and your first meal the following day. Doing so causes your insulin levels to drop, and your body to start burning stored fat for energy. This pattern of eating has gained popularity due to its potential health benefits, which include weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation.

Is protein important for intermittent fasting?

Yes, protein is important when practicing intermittent fasting. Including an adequate amount of protein in your meals during your eating window can be beneficial for two reasons:

1. Satiety: Protein is known to be more satiating than carbohydrates or fats. It can help you feel fuller for longer, reducing hunger pangs and the temptation to snack during fasting periods.

2. Muscle preservation: When you’re in a calorie deficit during intermittent fasting, there is a risk of muscle loss. Consuming enough protein can help preserve muscle mass.

When it comes to protein sources, whole food options like fish, eggs, and legumes, are recommended. Some people, like those with dietary restrictions, can struggle to get enough protein this way, however, which is where protein supplements can help.

making a protein shake with protein powder

Can you drink protein shakes while intermittent fasting?

Protein shakes and powders can be a great addition to your intermittent fasting routine. They are first and foremost a convenient source of protein, especially for individuals who struggle to meet their protein needs through whole foods alone. Moreover, replacing a meal, or part of a meal with a protein shake can help you create a calorie deficit, which is key if you are trying to lose weight

When you consume a protein shake during intermittent fasting will depend on your personal preferences and the specific fasting protocol you are following. Here are a few considerations to help you decide:

1. During eating window: If you’re following a fasting protocol such as the 16/8 method, where you have an 8-hour eating window, you can consume your protein shake as a part of your meal or snack during that time.

2. At the beginning of the eating window: If you exercise during your fasting period, you may consider exercising at the end of the fasting window and drinking a protein shake immediately thereafter. This can provide your body with the necessary amino acids to support muscle recovery and growth without breaking your fast.

3. At the end of the eating window: Drinking a protein shake near the end of your eating window can help curb cravings during the fasting period.

Ultimately, the decision of when to drink a protein shake during intermittent fasting depends on your specific goals, preferences, and the guidelines of your chosen fasting protocol.

woman drinking a protein shake

What is the best protein shake for intermittent fasting?

There are two main categories of protein supplements: ready-to-drink protein shakes and homemade protein shakes made using protein powder. To prepare an intermittent fasting protein shake with powder, you must use a blender or shaker bottle to mix the powder with milk or water. Some individuals therefore opt for ready-to-drink shakes, but they must be unaware or indifferent to the ingredients they are consuming.

Ready-to-drink protein shakes are typically full of emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors, all of which can cause unpleasant side effects and long-term harm to the digestive system. This latter is concerning as emerging research indicates that disturbances to the composition and function of the gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food) can contribute to the development of various chronic diseases.

Hence, I strongly recommend making homemade intermittent fasting protein shakes with protein powder, despite the extra effort required. That said, not all protein powders are created equal.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the protein powder for intermittent fasting is that we do not use food additives. In contrast, most protein powders fill their formulations with these ingredients.

While food additives may improve qualities like taste, texture, and shelf stability, they also cause adverse side effects and pose long-term risks to the gastrointestinal system. Additives, unlike real foods, are not easily broken down during digestion. As a result, they linger within the digestive tract for an extended period, providing extra time for gut bacteria to feast. As they eat, gut bacteria produce gas, leading to bloating and discomfort. Furthermore, gas can hinder colonic transit, slowing down the normal movement of food through the colon and potentially causing constipation.

The cumulative effect of food additives (especially if you drink a daily protein shake) can disrupt regulatory pathways within the gut. This, in turn, can contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders.

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

When it comes to protein powder, it is crucial to avoid ones made with artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners can damage the gut over time, and significantly disturb the composition of the gut microbiota. This has the potential to lead to severe and chronic gastrointestinal issues, as well as widespread inflammation and enduring damage to the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.

Certain sweeteners, such as sugar alcohols like xylitol, are especially poorly absorbed by the digestive system. They consequently feed your hungry gut bacteria and draw water into the intestines, causing 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 intermittent fasting is that we avoid dairy-based proteins. Unlike the many protein powders that use whey and casein protein derived from the production of cheese and yogurt, our protein powders are free from dairy. Whey and casein protein are both known to provoke digestive issues, particularly for individuals with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Individuals with lactose intolerance and IBS have difficulties fully digesting lactose, the sugar in dairy products. As previously mentioned, when food is partially digested, it becomes a feast for the bacteria residing in the gut. These bacteria then release gas and cause uncomfortable side effects.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for intermittent fasting is our use of real food protein sources, not protein concentrates and isolates. Concentrates and isolates are essentially stripped-down versions of whole foods, appearing on ingredient lists as “pea protein” or “whey protein” instead of “peas” or “whey.” They contain protein and virtually nothing else.

Protein concentrates and isolates undergo extensive mechanical and chemical processing to become protein powder. In some cases, manufacturers sue chemical solvents, such as hexane, to extract and isolate the protein from the original food source. What remains looks nothing like real food.

Your digestive system has evolved to handle real foods, not artificially engineered imitations. Introducing anything other than real food to your gut can therefore lead to undesirable consequences. Although the long-term effects of consuming processed foods like protein isolates are not yet fully comprehended, emerging research indicates that they can disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiota and potentially inflict irreversible harm on your gut microbiome.

Your gut serves a multitude of functions beyond food digestion. It acts as a defensive barrier against pathogens, contributes to educating your immune system, and profoundly impacts numerous physiological processes. Thus, an imbalanced gut microbiome has been linked to the development of various chronic diseases. As a precautionary measure, it is prudent to steer clear of protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates. 

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

Instead of relying on protein concentrates or isolates, we take immense pride in making our intermittent fasting protein powder with simple ingredients like egg whites and almonds. The processing involved in their preparation is minimal: egg whites are pasteurized and dried, while almonds are roasted, pressed to reduce oil content, and finely ground. These real foods serve as easily digestible and gut-friendly substitutes for protein concentrates and isolates.

Real foods inherently contain enzymes and other digestive aids that facilitate the breakdown of nutrients, enabling the body to absorb them with greater efficiency. Conversely, protein isolates and concentrates lack these digestive aids, making them more challenging for the body to digest and assimilate. Additionally, minimally-processed plant-based foods like almonds offer the added advantage 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 choice for fostering gut health. Notably, egg whites are low in fiber, low in FODMAPs, naturally alkaline, and boast the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Feedback from our valued customers indicates a reduction in digestive issues when consuming egg white protein powder compared to other protein varieties.

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


easy to digest

“I like drink wholesome because of how filling it is. 1 serving is enough to keep me full until lunch. If you’re trying to cut back on snacking, I recommend adding some protein to your breakfast. It has made a huge difference for me.” – Monica

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for intermittent fasting.


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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.