What is the best slow digesting protein powder? 

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

drink wholesome is the best slow digesting protein powder. 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. 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

drink wholesome is the best slow digesting protein powder.

What does slow-digesting mean? 

Why slow-digesting? 

What is the best slow digesting protein powder? 

Why drink wholesome?

What does slow-digesting mean?

Slow-digesting refers to the speed at which food passes through the digestive tract, as well as the speed at which amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are absorbed by the body. Different types of dietary protein are digested at different rates. According to a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are absorbed at the rate of 1.3 grams to 10 grams an hour. 20 grams of a fast digesting protein might therefore only take 2 hours to digest, whereas 20 grams of a slow digesting protein might take 15+ hours to digest.

Why slow-digesting? 

For starters, foods that take longer to digest make you feel full for longer. In the short-term, they can curb your cravings and prevent overeating. In the long-term, they can help with weight loss. Research suggests that the speed of protein digestion and amino acid absorption from the gut affects postprandial metabolic response, which is a fancy term for the complicated physiological process that breaks down food into glucose (sugar), fatty acids (fats), and amino acids (protein) and supplies your muscles with fuel.

Slow-digesting protein is found to inhibit muscle protein breakdown, whereas fast-digesting is found to promote muscle protein synthesis. In other words, slow-digesting dietary protein slows the process of breaking down muscles and fast-digesting dietary protein helps with building muscles. There are therefore possible metabolic advantages to eating both slow and fast-digesting proteins.

making a protein shake with protein powder

What is the best slow digesting protein powder? 

We make two types of protein powder: egg white protein powder, and vegan almond protein powder. Neither egg whites nor almonds are the slowest-digesting protein sources in the world. Nonetheless, they are our top choices for slow-digesting protein.

Compared to peas, soy, and whey, egg whites are digested very slowly. They are not absorbed as slowly as casein, but they are better absorbed and less likely to cause side effects (more about this later). Almonds, on the other hand, are digested more slowly than most plant-based proteins because they are rich in healthy fats and fiber, which slow the absorption of amino acids. 

What makes egg white protein powder and vegan almond protein powder the best slow digesting protein powders, however, does not have much to do with protein. Instead, what makes our protein powders stand out from the crowd is their simplicity. Most protein powders are full of added ingredients like emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, and flavors known to cause side effects and long-term gut damage. If a protein is slow digesting, but causes uncomfortable gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, is it really a good source of protein? 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 slow digesting protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Even in small quantities, the presence of additives can set off an array of unpleasant side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas, and stomach pain.

These symptoms arise because additives look nothing like natural, real foods, which makes them difficult to break down. As this partially digested food sits in your gut, one of two things happens: either water is drawn into the intestines, leading to diarrhea, or the additives feed your hungry gut bacteria, which release gas. The buildup of gas in the abdomen can cause bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, and even slow the passage of food through the colon, ultimately causing constipation.

The long-term implications of consuming food additives are even more troubling. Over time, additives disrupt regulatory pathways within the intestines, contributing to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other systemic inflammatory disorders. Food additives, particularly artificial sweeteners, also disturb the delicate equilibrium of the gut microbiome —the community of microorganisms partially responsible for food digestion. This can significantly impact long-term gut health and your ability to digest food.

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 slow digesting protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins like whey and casein. Whey and casein, which are derived from the manufacturing process of cheese and yogurt, have a bad reputation for triggering digestive distress. This is particularly true for people with lactose intolerance, as they do have the enzymes needed to completely digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. Again, undigested food can lead to a range of side effects. 

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best slow digesting protein powder is that we use real food protein sources, not protein concentrates or isolates. In contrast, the majority of protein powders use one or both of these protein sources, which are essentially stripped-down versions of protein-rich foods. Instead of being referred to as “peas” or “whey,” they are labeled as “pea protein” or “whey protein.”

The production of protein concentrates and isolates involves extensive mechanical and chemical processing. In some instances, chemical solvents like hexane are utilized to extract the protein from its natural source. Consequently, the resulting protein powder bears no resemblance to real food.

Your digestive system is made for handling minimally or unprocessed real foods, not synthetic imitations. Consuming anything other than real food can result in adverse reactions. Although the long-term effects of consuming processed food products such as protein isolates are still being investigated, emerging research indicates that they can significantly disrupt the equilibrium of your gut microbiota, causing enduring harm to the gut.

Apart from its primary function in food digestion, the gut serves as a protective barrier against harmful pathogens, plays a crucial role in educating the immune system, and influences various physiological processes. Consequently, disturbances in the delicate balance of the gut microbiome have been closely linked to the development of chronic diseases. Given this connection, I strongly discourage the use of protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.

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


easy to digest

“Worth every penny. An easily digested protein powder that is so SO delicious.” – Andrew

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drink wholesome is the best slow digesting vegan 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.