Whey Protein Stomach Ache?

Whey protein stomach ache?

Whey protein stomach ache? Switch to Drink Wholesome. It is made by hand in the USA with 100% real foods – no chalky protein concentrates or isolates, no food additives, just real foods.

Sick of whey protein stomach ache? Switch to Drink Wholesome.

Can whey protein cause stomach pain? Yes. 

Does whey protein powder upset your stomach? If so, you are not alone. Whey protein and stomach pain are synonymous with each other. 

Whey and casein protein powder often cause stomach pain because they contain dairy. Lactose, the sugar in dairy, can cause bloating, diarrhea, etc. People who experience these symptoms are lactose intolerant, meaning that they cannot fully digest lactose. If your whey protein powder causes stomach pain, you may be lactose intolerant. 

Whey and casein protein contain lactose because they are byproducts of cheese or yogurt production. The amount of lactose that they contain varies from product to product, but unless a product says “lactose-free,” it contains lactose. Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate whey protein isolate because it contains a very small amount of lactose.

If you think dairy is the issue, switch to a dairy-free protein powder. My recommendation is egg white protein. Unless you have an egg allergy, it will not cause stomach pain.

Another reason why whey protein powders cause stomach pain is food additives. Most whey protein powders are full of them. 

Although food additives are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, they can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause nasty side effects.

Because food additives look nothing like real foods, we have trouble digesting them. As a result, the trillions of bacteria in our guts have more time to eat and more time to release gas. This gas can cause bloating and stomach pain.

Accumulating evidence suggests that food additives also disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. This is a good reason to avoid food additives if you have a sensitive stomach. 

As a rule of thumb, food additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce or find in your kitchen. Not sure what to look for? Here is a list of the most common 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

*Natural flavors are NOT natural. Learn more.

protein powder supplement

You may have noticed that this list includes several artificial sweeteners. Recent research suggests that artificial sweeteners are particularly bad for the stomach because they alter the composition of our gut microbiota. 

Finding an additive-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free protein powder that actually tastes good is next to impossible.

One of the biggest issues people have with protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, is the chalky aftertaste. Protein powders tend to have a chalky aftertaste because they are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically and/or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. Unlike real foods, protein concentrates and isolates are missing the nutrients (healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, etc.) that make food taste good. 

Protein isolates and concentrates are listed on the ingredient list as “whey protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “whey” and “soy.”

Protein powder should taste good. Remember, it is just food. If you find yourself choking down your protein shake, you are missing out. Life is too short for protein powders with a chalky aftertaste. Moreover, if consuming protein powder is a chore, it is not sustainable in the long term. A diet is not a six-week affair, it is for life.

Looking for a new protein powder?

Drink Wholesome is the ONLY protein powder made with 100% real foods. Our chocolate protein powder, for example, is made with egg whites, coconut, cocoa, and monk fruit. Ingredients like these are better for you and better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself. 


You are reading a post by Drink Wholesome, a small business from New Hampshire. Drink Wholesome has taken a fundamentally better approach to protein powder by using 100% real food ingredients. Unlike the highly processed ingredients (artificial sweeteners, food additives, etc.) used in most protein supplements, real foods do not cause stomach pain. Moreover, unlike the protein concentrates and isolates used in most protein supplements, real foods do not have a chalky aftertaste. Order samples to see for yourself.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

Sick of whey protein stomach ache? Switch to Drink Wholesome.