What is the best protein powder for runners?

If you are looking for the best protein powder for runners, 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 & Brittany Adelman, RDN.

What is the best protein powder for runners?

The type of protein powder that you use is not particularly important. Any type (whey, pea, egg, etc.) can help you recover, prevent injuries, and stay healthy.

What runners need to consider instead is how their protein powder makes them feel. A protein powder that makes you bloated or run to the bathroom, for example, is not going to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

Digestibility is a particularly important consideration for runners because long or intense bouts of exercise can lead to a range of digestive issues like stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. This is why the best protein powder for runners is made with a short list of simple ingredients.

The fewer and the simpler the ingredients, the less likely it is that your protein powder will upset your stomach. By the way, gastrointestinal (GI) side effects are the top reason why runners stop using protein supplements.

Here are the top protein powder ingredients runners should look to avoid to ensure that their protein powder does not upset their stomach:

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, or an imbalance in your gut microbiota, which is not something you want to deal with as a runner. Your gut microbiome regulates energy metabolism by supplying muscles with oxygen and nutrients during intense exercise. It also reduces inflammation and expedites tissue repair, helping to improve performance and expedite recovery.

A healthy gut microbiome also contributes to a healthy brain, which is essential for helping runners handle the mental challenges of training and racing. The connection between the gut and the brain is facilitated by the enteric nervous system, a complex neural network that communicates with your brain via the trillions of bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract.

Taking care of your gut health can contribute to better concentration, emotional stability, and resilience, all of which are crucial for runners who rely on mental toughness.

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 people 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 a good protein powder for runners.


drink wholesome is the best protein powder for runners

We make the best protein powder for runners 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 protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement. Order samples to see for yourself.

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


Is protein powder good for runners? 

Protein is just as important for runners as it is for weightlifters as it helps with exercise recovery, injury prevention, and immune system health. Moreover, many runners, especially distance runners, do not consume nearly enough protein, which can have a serious negative impact on their performance.

If you do not get enough protein when training hard, your body will break down muscle for use as fuel. This will eventually make you slower in the long run, no matter who you are.

As a runner, building and maintaining muscle mass is beneficial for several reasons. Here are a few: 

– Improved running efficiency: Strong muscles can better absorb impact and propel you forward with each stride, leading to more efficient running technique.

– Reduced risk of injury: Strong muscles provide better support and stability to joints, decreasing the risk of common running injuries, such as shin splints.

– Enhanced performance: Increased muscle mass can contribute to greater power output, enabling you to run faster and with more endurance.

It is recommended that runners eat 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per meal across a minimum of four meals in order to reach a minimum of 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. This means a 150-pound runner should consume approximately 110 grams of protein per day while training.

Eating this much protein can be challenging for some runners, especially those with dietary restrictions, which is where protein powder can help. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your diet is an easy and convenient way to reach your protein goals and fill the gaps in your fueling regimen. 


Tips from a registered dietitian

Here is some expert advice from a registered dietitian on fueling strategies for runners for optimal performance: 


Staying properly hydrated before, during, and after runs is essential. Keep a water bottle with you during runs to ensure a steady intake of fluids. Electrolyte-rich beverages can be beneficial during longer runs to replenish essential minerals.

Pre-run carbohydrate intake

Incorporating carbohydrates into your pre-run meals and snacks is vital for providing the energy needed to fuel your runs. It is recommended to consume easily digestible carbohydrates, such as whole wheat toast or banana, about 30 minutes before your run. This ensures the carbohydrates are readily available as fuel during your run.

Post-run protein consumption

Protein plays a crucial role in repairing and rebuilding muscles after intense workouts. Be sure to consume a protein-rich snack or meal within 30-60 minutes after completing your run to help optimize muscle recovery. This can be a protein shake, but protein powder can also be added to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, and other recipes.

Note that before incorporating protein powder into your diet, it is essential to know your personal protein requirements. Consider factors such as your training intensity, duration, and goals, as well as your body weight and composition. 

Fueling for exercise is an all-day affair

Your overall nutrition, including meals and snacks consumed throughout the day, plays an important role in supporting your training. Regularly nourishing your body with balanced meals rich in complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals ensures sustained energy levels, enhances recovery, and optimizes performance during training sessions.

As a registered dietitian, I encourage my client athletes to prioritize consistent, well-balanced meals that provide nourishment throughout the day. Being on top of your nutrition is one of the best tools you can use to help achieve your running goals.” – Brittany Adelman, RDN



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

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.

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.

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.



Protein Rice Krispies 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.