Do most protein powders leave you feeling bloated? You aren’t alone. Many individuals report issues with digesting protein powder. In fact, whey protein powder, in particular, leaves many individuals with serious bloat, gas, stomach cramps, and even diarrhea. This isn’t exactly ideal as you set out to improve your health and increase your protein intake. And it can be discouraging, to say the least.
Luckily, there are various types of protein powders you can try. We’ve dug into the research and created a list of the best protein powder to avoid bloating. Let’s take a look!
The Best Protein Powder To Avoid Bloating: Reviews
OUR TOP PICK
Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
With 25 grams of protein, Dymatize Hydrolyzed Protein Powder gives other brands a run for their money. Within this protein, there are 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 2.7 grams of leucine, which is an essential amino acid that must be obtained from one’s diet.
Further, the protein contains 1.5 grams of glycine. This amino acid is particularly important for balancing out potentially inflammatory effects of other amino acids, such as tryptophan which is found in muscle meat. This protein powder also has less than 1 gram of fat or sugar, which may be beneficial for those looking to reduce these macronutrients in their diet.
Lastly, Dymatize is a gluten-free option, making it suitable for those with celiac disease or for those following a gluten-free diet. It also contains less than 0.5 grams of lactose per serving, which may make it a great choice for those with lactose issues.
Dymatize is excellent for those on a gluten-free diet and for those with sensitive stomachs. This is potentially due to the low lactose content, which is higher in most other whey proteins. Lactose is known to cause issues in a variety of individuals leading to bloat and digestive upset. Yet, this brand contains less than 0.5 lactose per serving.
Further, this brand may also be appropriate for a wide variety of athletes or individuals who wish to increase their protein intake, along with BCAAs, glycine, and leucine.
Whey Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition offers up one of the most popular protein powders on the market, and for a good reason. It contains 24 grams of protein per serving, along with 4 grams of glutamine and glutamic acid and 5.5 grams of naturally-occurring BCAAs. Glutamine is an amino acid that is associated with increased muscle growth and performance.
BCAAs are a combination of three amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are not created by the body and thus, must be obtained from your diet. Further, 24 grams of protein per serving is considered quite high, especially when compared to other brands – meaning you’re getting more bang for your buck.
This protein powder also doesn’t amp up your total daily caloric intake. Each serving is only 120 calories. It further contains 10% of the recommended daily intake for calcium and 4% of the recommended daily intake for potassium – both of which are important for proper muscular function.
Overall, This protein powder is an excellent choice for getting in a high amount of protein and increasing muscle mass. However, it doesn’t necessarily have any defining characteristics that make it great for those that experience bloating or digestive issues.
On the other hand, combining a good balance of easy-to-digest carbohydrates with this protein powder may make it easier to digest. When it comes down to it, each person’s body is different. This protein powder may be a great option for some individuals, but not for others. The only way to find out is to try it
Grass-Fed Whey Protein
Promix is unique due to its all-natural approach. It is gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, and non-GMO, as well as free of hormones, chemical bleaching, and additives. It’s also created from only grass-fed sources. For the conscious consumer who wishes to avoid chemical additions, this protein powder might fit the bill.
With 25 grams of protein per serving, Promix also contains BCAAs, which are three amino acids that must be obtained through a person’s diet. One container also indicates 76 servings, making it a very affordable option for most.
The packaging further breaks down this protein powder’s amino acid profile, indicating that it contains a wide variety of amino acids. Additional tests further showed next-to-no heavy metals.
Promix is the perfect protein powder for those wanting to take a more natural approach to their health. In turn, this may help avoid the bloat and digestive upset that comes with many other protein powders. The major challenges with this product include a switch in flavors in recent years.
Many consumers reported the flavor to be bland and not as appealing as before. Yet, as with any protein powder, there are always reviews indicating dissatisfaction with the flavor and taste. Usually, this is a personal preference.
Plant-Based Protein Powder
For individuals who are following gluten-free or vegan diets, Orgain Protein provides a plant-based protein powder that contains 21 grams per serving with only 150 calories. For a plant-based protein product, you get an exceptional amount of protein within a low-calorie serving.
Many consumers report that this brand is one of the better tasting plant protein powders. In addition to its protein content, it also has 6% of the daily recommended intake of calcium and potassium, as well as 35% of the daily recommended intake of iron. This particular brand also claims to be useful in the kitchen. You may consider adding it to cakes, muffins, brownies, or cookies for an additional boost of protein throughout your busy day-to-day.
While some protein powders are gritty, Orgain Protein claims to blend smoothly creating a creamy and delicious drink.
Orgain Protein is a viable alternative for those that have issues with whey protein powders. However, it may not be suitable for those that are sensitive to MSG, which was noted in some consumer reviews. Recently, Orgain Protein may have changed its formula resulting in various negative consumer reports. Yet, there are also recent reviews that state how much the individual loved the taste.
Ultimately, taste and flavor are unique to each individual. All in all, this protein is a wonderful option for those who are gluten-free or on a vegan diet and wish to increase their protein intake.
Plant-Based Protein Powder
Vega weighs in with the most amount of protein per serving at 30 grams. The amino acid profile of this protein also contains nine essential amino acids from pea protein powder, pumpkin seed, and organic sunflower seed.
It also has additional ingredients that support muscle recovery, including tart cherry, turmeric extract, and two billion probiotics. This particular protein powder also supports keto diets with only 3 grams of carbs per serving. Each serving also contains 40% of the recommended daily intake for iron, which some individuals may find beneficial.
According to some consumer reviews, this product may contain some heavy metals. However, many consumers also reported this protein powder as one of the few brands that don’t cause them digestive upset or bloating. Another challenge this protein powder presents is that each container is only 20 servings, which is quite low when compared to other brands.
Overall, this protein powder by Vega may be suitable for those with digestive sensitivities and those following gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan diets.
Our Top Pick, And Why!
Our top pick is #1 – Dymatize Hydrolyzed Protein Powder.
Dymatize nails it when it comes to the best protein powder to avoid bloating. Low in lactose, which is one of the main reasons individuals have issues with protein powder digestion, Dymatize delivers high amounts of protein along with low amounts of bloat. It also fits into other diets, including gluten-free. If Dymatize isn’t your vibe, Promix was a close-second and may provide a good amount of protein minus any digestive issues.
Why Do Some Protein Shakes Cause You To Bloat?
The main reason many individuals experience bloat or other digestive issues when consuming whey protein powder is due to the amount of lactose. Generally, lactose is the main type of carbohydrate found in whey protein. In fact, lactose intolerance impacts about 75% of people worldwide.
In addition, some individuals may actually be allergic to whey. This is why low-lactose protein powders or plant-based protein powders are best for those that experience bloat after consumption.
Does The Protein Source Matter?
Generally, animal-based protein sources incorporate a wider amino acid profile when compared to plant-based sources. This means you get the most out of the protein from animal sources. However, the manufacturing of these proteins matters as well, since the quality of the protein can deteriorate through these processes.
How To Choose A Protein Powder That Doesn’t Cause Bloating
So, how can you choose the best protein powder to avoid bloating? What should you watch out for? Check out the following three factors below.
Many individuals experience bloat due to the amount of lactose in many of these protein powders, especially whey. By doing your research and reading the labels, you can determine the amount of lactose content in the product before you buy it. If you are sensitive to milk or other dairy products, a low-lactose option may be more suitable for you.
Chemicals & Additives
Chemicals and additives can also irritate the digestive tract causing bloating. When searching for your protein powder of choice, aim to find more all-natural protein sources. This may also take some research since many brands tend to hide added ingredients or compounds.
Assessing Your Needs
The amount of protein, calories, and flavor may also play a part in your search for the best protein powder to avoid bloating. If you want to gain muscle, you may want a higher protein amount per serving, along with higher calories. If you want to lose weight, you may want to purchase a protein powder with fewer calories.
In addition, you probably want one that tastes good, which may simply come down to trying out protein powders until you find one that works for you.
What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bloating After Drinking Protein?
If you’re still experiencing bloating even after trying different protein powders, try these tips:
- Slow down – When drinking your shake, go slow. When chugging back a protein powder mix quickly, you may feel bloated and gassy afterward due to excess air.
- Make it smooth – Frothy mixtures are more likely to result in trapped air in your digestive tract leading to bloating and gas. Ensure you mix your shake so that it’s nice and smooth – not frothy – to avoid the bloat.
- Add fiber – By adding fruit, like bananas or strawberries, you may suffer from less bloating.
- Consider digestive enzymes – Some individuals find taking lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, to help reduce bloat and aid indigestion.
- Make sure you aren’t eating or drinking too much protein – High amounts of protein when compared to other macronutrients may also result in bloating. The best way to know whether or not you’re overdoing it on the protein front is by tracking it. You shouldn’t be consuming more than 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.