What is the best protein powder for leaky gut?

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

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for leaky gut. 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 have a leaky gut, 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


vanilla protein powder

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for leaky gut.

What is leaky gut? 

Is protein powder good for leaky gut? 

What is the best protein powder for leaky gut?

Why drink wholesome?

What is leaky gut? 

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the gaps in your intestinal walls start to loosen, making it easier for bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to pass into your bloodstream. Common symptoms include chronic diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Several studies have associated leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, with chronic and autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. 

What causes someone to have a leaky gut is a mystery, and there is no recommended treatment. There are several ways to improve symptoms, however, one of which is making changes to your diet. Many people find success avoiding certain foods, like refined carbohydrates, dairy, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners. They also recommend eating a diet rich in foods that aid the growth of healthy gut bacteria. The following foods are great options for improving your digestive health: vegetables, fruit, seeds, grains, healthy fats, eggs, and nuts.

Is protein powder good for leaky gut? 

Leaky gut can impair your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Malnutrition in turn, can impair GI (gastrointestinal) healing, which can lead to increased intestinal permeability.

It is therefore important that you eat lots of protein, at least 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. I recommend that you get as much protein as you can from foods like eggs, fish, and meat, but I also understand that getting enough protein this way can be challenging for some people. People with dietary restrictions and sensitive stomachs, for example, are limited as to what types of dietary protein they can eat. This is where protein powder can help.

Protein powder has many uses, but it is most commonly used to make protein shakes. Shakes are easy to make, easy to drink, and can be an important nutritional intervention for someone with a leaky gut. Adding a protein shake to your diet can not only help you eat enough protein, but also provide your gut with the nutrients it needs to repair itself. That said, not all protein powders are created equal.

making a protein shake with protein powder

What is the best protein powder for leaky gut?

Most protein powders are not safe for someone with a leaky gut. Do not be fooled by clever marketing.

Do your own research by reading the ingredient list. The average protein powder is full of emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors, all of which are known to cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term damage to the gut. This is bad news for someone who has poor gut health to begin with, so it is imperative that you find a protein powder with no additives whatsoever. 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 leaky gut is that we do not use food additives. Even in small amounts, additives can cause a range of undesirable effects including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain.

Why these symptoms occur lies in the fact that additives look nothing like real, natural food. Your gut therefore has a hard time digesting them. This either pulls water into your gut, resulting in diarrhea, or feeds your gut bacteria, which produce gas. Excessive gas can cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain, and even slow the smooth passage of food through the colon, leading to constipation.

The ramifications of consuming food additives over an extended period are even more concerning. Additives can gradually disrupt vital regulatory pathways within the intestines, thus contributing to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Ongoing research indicates that food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners, also have the potential to disturb the delicate balance of the gut microbiomethe collection of microorganisms that help you digest food. This can, as you might imagine, profoundly impact gut health in the long-term.

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 leaky gut protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are notorious for causing digestive distress. This is particularly true for individuals with lactose intolerance, who are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food can cause a host of uncomfortable side effects. 

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for leaky gut is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of protein powders use either one or both of these protein sources, which are essentially foods stripped of everything but the protein. Concentrates and isolates are labeled as “pea protein” or “whey protein,” as opposed to “peas” or “whey.”

Intensive mechanical and chemical processing is needed to make protein concentrates and isolates. In certain instances, chemical solvents like hexane are used to extract the protein from its natural source. What is left over therefore looks nothing like real food.

Your digestive system is naturally designed to handle minimally or unprocessed real foods, not artificial imitations. Consuming anything other than real food can thus cause adverse side effects. While the long-term consequences of consuming processed food products such as protein isolates are still under investigation, emerging studies indicate that these substances can significantly disrupt the composition of the gut microbiota, leading to permanent damage to the gut.

Beyond its role in food digestion, the gut serves as a protective barrier against harmful pathogens, plays a crucial role in educating the immune system, and exerts direct and indirect influence on a wide range of physiological processes. it follows that disturbances to the intricate balance of the gut microbiome have been strongly linked to the development of various chronic diseases. Given this association, I strongly advise that you avoid protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.

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

Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best leaky gut protein powder with egg whites and almonds. The egg whites undergo a simple process of pasteurization and drying. Similarly, the almonds are roasted, lightly pressed to reduce oil content, and then ground. These minimally-processed provide an easily digestible and gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.

If you do not have any allergies or sensitivities to eggs, egg white protein stands as an exceptional option for promoting gut health. Egg whites have low fiber content and minimal FODMAPs, making them gentle on the digestive system. Moreover, they boast the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) among all whole foods. Our customers have consistently shared highly positive feedback, experiencing fewer digestive issues when consuming egg white protein powder compared to other protein sources.

For those who cannot consume eggs, our vegan almond protein powder presents an appealing alternative. Almonds, unlike protein concentrates or isolates, are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds over other minimally-processed plant protein sources due to their exceptional gut-friendly properties. Research indicates that almonds exhibit prebiotic characteristics, supporting the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome and ultimately promoting improved gut health.

In summary, our protein powders, whether derived from egg whites or almonds, are produced with minimal processing, prioritizing the well-being of your gut. Whichever option you choose, you can expect a high-quality product that nurtures your digestive health.


easy to digest

“Finally a protein shake that I can eat! I have leaky gut, MCAS, histamine intolerance, and IBS. This is the only protein shake that works for me.” – Antoine

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drink wholesome is the best leaky gut protein powder.


vegan chocolate protein powder

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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.