Can Whey Protein Powders Cause Constipation and Gas?

Whey Protein Powder
Whey Protein Powder

Do whey protein powders cause gas and constipation? Like many diet supplements, mixed information about the subject must be sorted through to get the real answer to this question.

Possible Problems

With all these benefits, it's easy to understand why people are interested in adding whey protein powders to their diet regimen. It is an outstanding source of essential amino acids. However, some whey protein powder products add fillers and other ingredients which can lead to digestive upset and lead to gas and constipation.

In its original form, before it is processed, whey protein works within the digestive system in a way similar to yogurt. Because of this, whey in its natural form is considered a remedy for a variety of intestinal problems. In Sweden it is used to help prevent:

  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Bowel problems

However, each person is unique and for some people it can have the opposite effect.

Avoiding Constipation

Another reason some people experience constipation even when using a high quality whey protein powder is that they don't drink enough water. The rule of thumb is to drink 64 ounces of water each day to avoid constipation even when not using whey protein powder. The Institute of Medicine recommends even more than that. They suggest men drink roughly 13 cups and women 9 cups each day.

Another reason people may experience constipation is because they aren't taking in enough essential fats. If you experience constipation, try adding three servings of raw seeds such as sunflower seeds. This adds soluble fiber to your diet, along with omega 3 and 6 fats which promote digestion and thus elimination.

Listen to Your Body

While whey protein powders are a good source of protein, they are not for everyone. Not everyone can tolerate even the high quality whey protein isolate. Be wise and listen to your body. If you react negatively, stop using whey protein and talk with your doctor or nutritionist for suggestions and alternative options.

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Can Whey Protein Powders Cause Constipation and Gas?