You've powered through a great workout and are following up with your post workout protein shake only to find yourself bloated and gassy. Many people experience this after drinking their shake and think that its normal when in reality your body is actually having difficulty or unable to digest the protein. Here are the top 3 reasons your protein powder is making you bloaty and how to identify a protein powder that doesnt cause bloating.
Some people will think that because they have symptoms of sensitivity when consuming whey that that is the allergen their body is dealing with when it can actually be the sweeteners and additives. Sucralose, aspartame and other unnatural sweeteners and flavors can cause the same inflammation symptoms and prevent your body from [properly digesting the nutrients. Try to find a protein powder that is sweetened with stevia, monk fruit, or other natural sweeteners and that uses natural flavors. For example the Nexpharma Whey Isolate uses Dutch Cocoa powder to add the milk chocolate flavor to the protein rather than an artificial flavor formula.
Protein powders come from all over the world and have different purity levels and overall quality. There are two things to consider here: 1) The amount of lactose that remains in the whey and 2) The purity of the whey powder
1) Lactose / Milk allergens are one of the most common sources of inflammation in the human diet. Many people simply do not have the necessary enzymes to break down the molecules properly for digestion. Whey comes from dairy and if you have a sensitivity you should be looking at a more isolated form of whey ( whey protein isolate) which is lactose free after the separation process.
2) Whey protein powder comes in a few different forms; mainly concentrate and isolate. Whey concentrate powder formulas only require that their be 30%-80% whey protein leaving the rest of the blend with room for fillers, additives, other nutrients, and fats and carbs in the form of lactose. That means you could be consuming only 30% whey protein and up to 70% "other stuff". The higher lactose content is especially reactive with sensitive individuals. This is the case with casein protein as well which has an even higher level of lactose. Additionally some countries use hormones and antibiotics on the dairy cows producing the whey as well as pesticides on their food. New Zealand has been considered one of the best whey sources due to their practices which eliminate the use of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides.
If you're consuming a great deal of something it is possible to build up a food allergy . Many athletes have seen this with eggs as well. The continued consumption of whey protein can generate these sensitivities and chronic inflammation. If this is the case try incorporating some alternate protein powders such as a pea protein powder, beef protein powder, or even goat / sheep derived whey.
When you're trying to determine the source of your bloating you should first try your protein powder with just water, as your reaction could be due to other additives to your shake. Try a few different samples of powders until you find one that's high quality & right for you. Discomfort and bloating doesn't have a part in your healthy lifestyle!
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