why do protein shakes upset my stomach

Protein drinks can make convenient post-workout snacks or meal replacements when youБre pressed for time, but they have their downsides as well. Although the primary ingredients in most protein shakes are safe for the majority of healthy adults, they donБt agree with everyone, and it is possible to get an upset stomach from a protein supplement. There are dozens of varieties of protein drinks and powders on the market, and many of them consist of whey protein. Whey is a milk-based protein that contains all essential amino acids and is easy and quick to digest. It has a lot of pros, but taking too much can be a concern. In large doses, whey protein can cause upset stomach and related symptoms such as bloating, cramps and more frequent bowel movements. If you have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy, downing shakes made with dairy-based whey or casein proteins can lead to digestive discomfort. Whey and casein protein powders are processed and filtered to remove some lactose before they are packaged and sold, but the amount of lactose in a supplement can vary widely from brand to brand.


If you want a dairy-based protein but suffer from lactose intolerance, itБs best to choose whey protein isolate, which has undergone additional filtering to remove all or nearly all of its lactose. Some commercial protein drinks contain more than whatБs listed on their labels -- and those extra БingredientsБ can cause upset stomach as well as other health problems. According to an article published in 2010 by БConsumer ReportsБ magazine, every single protein supplement in 15 different drink samples tested positive for traces of a harmful heavy metal such as lead, cadmium, mercury or arsenic. If left untreated, heavy metal toxicity can cause nausea, cramping, vomiting or even mania and convulsions. If you try a protein drink and it seems to give you a stomachache, that doesnБt mean all other protein supplements will affect you in the same way. Before writing them off, try a drink made with a different source. If you drank a casein or whey shake, for example, go for a powder made with a plant-based protein like soy, brown rice, hemp or pea. See your doctor before you begin using any protein supplement, especially if you have food allergies.
While protein shakes give you a boost of protein, they aren't for everyone.


Some people who drink these beverages experience side effects, such as gas, bloating and diarrhea, because of ingredients commonly found in the shakes. These include protein, milk-based ingredients, sugar alcohols and fiber. Try a shake made with other ingredients to help you solve this problem. Most people get plenty of protein in their diet and don't really need the additional protein found in shakes. People who drink multiple shakes per day on top of a high-protein diet may end up getting so much protein throughout the day or in one sitting that it causes diarrhea. You can only digest between 5 and 9 grams of protein per hour. Women typically need about 46 grams of protein per day, and men about 56 grams. Protein should make up between 10 and 35 percent of your calories each day. Protein shakes are often based on ingredients from milk, such as whey and casein. If you're allergic to milk or you are lactose-intolerant, these ingredients could cause diarrhea.


In the case of allergies, it might also cause a more severe reaction, including itchiness, swelling, congestion, shortness of breath, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness or fainting. Switch to a non-dairy protein shake to avoid these issues. Certain types of carbohydrates found in some protein shakes could also cause diarrhea. Drastically increasing your fiber intake with a high-fiber protein shake could cause diarrhea, gas or bloating. Some protein shakes also contain sugar alcohols, which many people have difficulty digesting. Testing conducted by "Consumer Reports" found that many protein powders and drinks are contaminated with heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium. Excessive exposure to these heavy metals could increase your risk for health problems, including organ damage. You'd be better off getting your protein from foods that typically contain little or no heavy metals, such as eggs, yogurt, milk, red meat and poultry. Choose low-fat versions of these high-protein foods for the best health results.

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