Best Protein for Sensitive Stomach - Is There Such a Thing? – KOS.com

Best Protein for Sensitive Stomach - Is There Such a Thing?

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If you are sick (literally) of protein powders that upset your stomach, relax, we’re here to help. Keep reading to gain an empowering understanding of your gut!

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Your Guide To The Best Protein Powder For a Sensitive Stomach

Protein powder has become a “Holy Grail” for those looking to build muscle and achieve fitness goals. But what if you have a sensitive stomach or other dietary restrictions? How to choose the best protein powder that suits your needs? This guide will cover the basics of the best protein powders for those with digestion issues. We will also discuss how much protein you should take and provide tips on incorporating protein powder into your routine - without digestive distractions!

Does Protein Make You Gassy?

Before diving deeper into this, let’s start by addressing the odorous elephant in the room. Yes, protein farting (to use an indelicate term) is indeed a thing — and a major topic of discussion in the fitness blogosphere. 

Certain edibles can increase flatulence due to their components, and protein powders are one such edible. For some people, the additives used in protein powder may cause flatulence, and they have to be careful about what they eat to avoid an upset stomach, gas, or bloating.

How to Get Rid of Protein Farts?

Just because certain protein powders may cause foul-smelling exhaust, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with this problem for good. There are a couple of things you can try to ease protein-induce farts. 

First, try switching your protein powder. For instance, if you’re using a protein high in lactose, try opting for a non-milk source, like plant-based proteins such as peas. Protein farts will be a thing of the past! 

Also, you can incorporate more herbs and herb-based relief into your diet, thereby relieving symptoms such as excess gas and bloating. The best ones? Peppermint or ginger tea! 

Lastly, reduce your dietary intake of dried fruit, legumes, certain vegetables, and dairy products.

Why Does My Stomach Bloat After Protein?

Ok, now that we’ve covered protein farting, gas, wind, or (to be technical) flatulence (you get the idea ), we’re moving on to protein and bloating! 

Bloating, a sensation of increased abdominal pressure, is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in the United States (1). If you're someone who gets bloated easily, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Bloating can make your clothes feel tighter, leave you feeling sluggish, and cause tummy pain. And while there are many different causes of bloating, one of the most common is protein powder. 

Protein powder is made from protein concentrates, isolates, or hydrolysates, all highly concentrated protein forms. And while consuming enough protein is essential to maintaining good health, consuming extra may cause uncomfortable bloating. (2

One reason your stomach bloats after taking the protein is that you may be allergic to the protein powder you take. If this is the case, you will want to try a different, allergy-free protein powder

Another reason for stomach bloating could be that you are not digesting the protein properly. This can be due to various factors, including sensitivity to lactose or other ingredients in the protein powder, not drinking enough water, or not chewing your food properly. 

If you constantly experience bloating after consuming protein powder, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist to discover the underlying cause. That way, you can choose the best protein for a sensitive stomach!

How Do You Get Rid of Protein Bloat?

Bloating doesn’t have to be a permanent issue, right? 

If you're sensitive to protein powder or have difficulty digesting it, here are some things to help reduce the risk of protein bloating. 

  1. Choose a protein powder that's easy to digest - If you’re thinking about protein powder that doesn't cause bloating, plant-based protein powder is usually the best option compared to, for example, whey protein. It’s safe for those who are lactose intolerant and folks sticking to a vegan diet. Since it includes a high amount of micronutrients and fiber, it’s also easier to digest. 
  2. Start with a small amount of protein powder - More is not always better. The best thing to do is start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount you take as your body gets used to it. This will help your body adjust to the higher protein concentration and reduce bloating chances. 
  3. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water when you take protein powder - This will help your body flush out any excess protein and reduce the risk of dehydration, which can also lead to bloating.

How to Prevent Gas From Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes are a cost-effective, great-tasting way to increase your protein intake and feel fuller on fewer calories. 

However, if you are sensitive to gas from protein shakes, there are a few things you can do to minimize this side effect. 

Start by using a plant-based protein powder instead of casein or whey-based. Why? Plant-based products are free of most major allergens and are absorbed quickly by the body, meaning they are easier to digest. It’s an all-around better option for those with a sensitive stomach. Drink plenty of water with your shake. This will help your body absorb nutrients better and reduce gas. 

When it comes to drinking your protein shakes, there are also two factors you may want to consider to avoid protein farts: avoid drinking your protein powder directly after a workout, and sip your shake slowly! 

If you drink a shake too soon after a workout, you won’t efficiently absorb and metabolize the necessary nutrients, so the best thing is to wait about thirty minutes after working out to drink your shake. Plus, if you sip your shake slowly, that will give your body time to adjust to the new influx of nutrients and reduce the risk of gas. So drinking your shake too quickly and too soon is a big no-no if you want to prevent protein farting from protein shakes.

What Type of Protein Powder Is Easiest on the Stomach?

If you have a sensitive stomach, choose protein powders that don't cause bloating or gas. This means searching for one that will be low in lactose or other sugar alcohols but also has added fiber. Fiber can help to bulk up the stool and make it easier to pass through the digestive system. 

Enter Plant-based proteins. These protein powders are dairy-free and less inflammatory to the digestive system than their whey counterparts. Plant-based protein sources typically require very little processing and are often naturally equipped with amino acids. Unlike plant-based, whey protein can be particularly problematic for those with dairy or lactose intolerances. Also, gastritis irritation is another common side effect of whey protein, causing nausea, flatulence, diarrhea, pain, and cramping. 

Additionally, plant-based proteins are more environmentally friendly than animal-based proteins since they require less land and water to produce. And you want to be kind to Mother Earth, right? 

To summarize, here are some of the criteria that your want to choose for your non-bloating protein powder: 

  • Low to no sugar 
  • No artificial ingredients 
  • No lactose, as that can irritate the stomach and cause unwanted reactions (search for plant-based options) 
  • If you’re already experiencing digestive issues, try unflavored versions of your favorite protein powder

Final Scoop

One of the most common issues people face with protein supplements is an upset stomach. Cramping, gas, and bloating are just a couple of side effects of protein powders. Understanding how and why certain ingredients cause intestinal distress will help you determine which protein powder suits your needs. 

There are many different types of protein powders on the market, so you may have to experiment before finding the right one for your body. Remember, opting for an easier-to-digest protein powder, like a plant-based one, can make all the difference in the long run if you’re looking for the best protein for a sensitive stomach.

FAQ

Why Does My Stomach Bloat After Protein?

Protein powder is made from protein concentrates, isolates, or hydrolysates, all highly concentrated protein forms. And because they're so concentrated, they can cause bloating in some people. 

How to Prevent Gas From Protein Shakes?

Start by using a plant-based protein powder instead of casein or whey-based. Drink plenty of water with your shake. This will help your body absorb nutrients better and reduce gas. Also, avoid drinking your protein powder directly after a workout, and sip your shake slowly! 

What Type of Protein Powder Is Easiest on the Stomach?

You should consider opting for plant-based ones. They are low in lactose or other sugar alcohols but have added fiber. Fiber can help to bulk up the stool and make it easier to pass through the digestive system.

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