What is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis. It is additive-free, sweetened with monk fruit, and made with minimally-processed whole foods, not protein isolates. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 


“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”



vanilla protein powder

(59) $39.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


3 protein powder samples


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis.

What is interstitial cystitis?

Is protein powder good for interstitial cystitis?

What is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis?

Why drink wholesome?

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome (BPS), is a chronic condition characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region. It is a complex disorder that primarily affects the urinary system, particularly the bladder, causing a variety of symptoms.

making a protein shake with protein powder

Is protein powder good for interstitial cystitis?

Treatment for interstitial cystitis typically involves a combination of approaches, one of which is dietary modifications. While the specific triggers for interstitial cystitis can vary from person to person, certain foods and beverages, such as caffeine and artificial sweeteners, can trigger symptoms. Identifying and avoiding these foods is therefore an important part of managing symptoms.

If you need a protein boost, adding protein powder to your diet can be a great idea. That said, not all protein powders are created equal, and many protein powders contain ingredients that can worsen interstitial cystitis symptoms. It follows that it is important to choose protein powders carefully, and consider your particular sensitivities when incorporating them into your diet.

First of all, avoid protein powders with added caffeine or naturally caffeinated ingredients like coffee and matcha, as caffeine can irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms. Keep in mind that protein powders marketed as metabolism-boosting or thermogenic products are usually intentionally formulated with caffeine-rich ingredients, such as green tea extract.

Second, avoid protein powders that contain food additives. Most protein powders contain emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors, all of which are known to irritate the bladder and  cause overactive bladder symptoms. Artificial sweeteners are particularly notorious for triggering symptoms.

Another reason to avoid food additives is their impact on gut health. Research has shown that the regular consumption of food additives can disrupt the composition and function of the gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). Because the gut microbiome affects directly or indirectly most of your physiologic functions, researchers have begun to examine a possible link between gut health and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. Although more research is needed, preliminary results suggest that gut dysbiosis may contribute to the pathogenesis of IC and BPS. Keep reading to learn more.

woman drinking a protein shake

What is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis?

The best protein powder for interstitial cystitis is caffeine and additive-free. Finding a protein supplement that meets these criteria is easier said than done. The average protein powder is full of ingredients that can not only irritate the bladder, but can also affect your gut health. As you just learned, gut health may impact the development of IC and BPS, so this is not something to be taken lightly. It follows that when it comes to buying interstitial cystitis protein powder, the shorter the ingredient list, the better.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the protein powder for interstitial cystitis is that we do not use food additives. Moreover, instead of using artificial sweeteners, we sweeten our protein powders with monk fruit. Monk fruit – also known as luo han guo – is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Monk fruit sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. As far as sugar-free sweeteners go, it is by far the most natural.

chocolate protein powder serving suggestion 2

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 made with real foods.

Another reason why we make the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis is that we use real food protein sources, not protein concentrates and isolates. Concentrates and isolates are heavily-processed versions of whole foods, listed as “pea protein” or “whey protein” instead of as “peas” and “whey.” They undergo extensive mechanical and chemical processing, often involving the use of chemical solvents like hexane, to remove their non-protein components. The end result is something that looks nothing like real food.

Your digestive system is designed to process real foods, not artificial imitations. Introducing heavily-processed protein concentrates and isolates to your gut can therefore have unintended consequences. While the long-term effects are not fully understood, emerging research suggests that ingredients like these can disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiota and cause permanent damage to your gut microbiome.

As you now know, the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in many physiological processes, and it is entirely possible that an imbalanced gut microbiome can impact the development of chronic diseases like interstitial cystitis. It is therefore advisable to avoid protein powders made with concentrates and isolates. 

vanilla protein powder serving suggestion 2

Instead of relying on protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best interstitial cystitis protein powder with simple ingredients like egg whites and almonds. The processing involved is minimal. The egg whites are pasteurized and dried, while the almonds are roasted, pressed to reduce oil content, and finely ground. These real foods serve as easily digestible and gut-friendly alternatives to processed protein concentrates and isolates.

Real foods naturally contain enzymes and other digestive aids that aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. In contrast, protein isolates and concentrates lack these digestive aids, making them more challenging for the body to digest and utilize effectively. Additionally, minimally-processed plant-based foods like almonds offer the added benefit 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 is an excellent choice for promoting gut health. Egg whites are low in fiber and FODMAPs, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Feedback from our valued customers indicates that consuming egg white protein powder has caused fewer digestive issues than any other type of protein.

For those who are unable to consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder is an excellent alternative. We have chosen almonds  due to their remarkable gut-friendly properties. Research suggests that almonds exhibit prebiotic characteristics, supporting the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome and contributing to overall improved gut health.


perfect for IC

“I am beyond thrilled that I found your products. I am an IC patient – Interstitial Cystitis – bladder pain. The diet for us is more restrictive than any gluten free diet etc…Your product checks all the boxes for us being able to use it.” – Hollie

Read more reviews or take the quiz.

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for interstitial cystitis.


vegan chocolate protein powder

(30) $39.99 - or subscribe and save up to 15%


3 protein powder samples


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.