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Do whey protein powders cause gas and constipation?

The simple answer is yes, although to what extent depends on the individuals drinking whey protein shakes.

If you have excessive gas and painful constipation from drinking whey protein, you should seek a professional medical opinion as to how you can combat the side effects.

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What are the pros of a whey protein shake?

Most weightlifters and athletes who take whey protein shakes drink them for several reasons.

First of all, the whey protein shakes taste a lot like a traditional milkshake, depending on the flavor.

Secondly, whey protein helps muscles heal and rebuild after a strenuous workout or athletic event, as it helps boost your daily intake of protein. Whey protein shakes also help build muscle and reduce unwanted fat.

Are there any cons to drinking whey protein shakes?

Unfortunately, despite all the positives associated with drinking whey protein shakes, there are also some negatives. Despite being relatively minor, there are some side effects that can cause a lot of discomfort.

These problems are digestive, and they can wreak havoc on your stomach and insides. However, it is important to determine the cause of the digestive issues. The cause may be how you are preparing your shake or what types of ingredients you are using rather than the type or brand of whey protein shake.

What role does lactose play in causing gas or constipation?

Since whey is considered a milk protein, and is made from the liquid left over as a byproduct of making cheese, it does contain lactose. If you are lactose intolerant than you will most likely have some digestive issues when drinking a whey protein shake.

However, it is important to remember that there are two different types of whey protein, and the primary difference is how they are processed. The two types are isolate and concentrate. Lactose intolerant people should consume a whey protein isolate, as it contains far less lactose.

If you find that the whey protein isolate is not as flavorful as another brand of concentrate, you can always take a lactase supplement prior to taking the shake. This will help your body digest the lactose easily, and help prevent unwanted gas and constipation.

What role does fiber play in relieving gas or constipation?

You can still develop gas and constipation issues even if you don’t have any problems with lactose. In this case, it is important to try to implement fiber into your whey protein shake consumption.

Whey protein shakes that are high in fiber can help minimize or even completely prevent constipation. The only problem with high fiber protein shakes is that they will also contain large amounts of carbohydrates.

Most people who are taking whey protein shakes do not want to consume carbs because of the potential for weight gain. However, the relief in gas and constipation may offset any negatives from the fiber. Again, it all depends on the individuals and what he or she prefers.

The best course of action is to look at the nutritional labels before your purchase a product. There are some choices available that will have high fiber content but not a lot of calories. This is most likely the best option for someone who needs fiber but has added whey protein to their diet.

Does milk cause any digestive issues when combined with a whey protein shake?

Many of the whey protein powders that are on the market today are made to be mixed with milk rather than water or juice. Having milk in a whey protein shake will cause digestive issues for someone who is lactose intolerant.

The difference with milk is that even if you are not lactose intolerant, you may still experience constipation. Too much protein and fat, a result of adding milk to whey protein powder, can cause problems because both are difficult to digest and take a long time to digest.

If you find you need the milk to make the whey protein shake taste good but are hoping to decrease the chance of constipation, try using lowfat milk or a soy or lactose free milk.

All in all, there are many factors that come into play when mixing a whey protein shake. Although it may seem simple, there are many issues that can arise and in turn cause digestive problems such as gas and constipation.

By looking into the many different stages of mixing a shake, from the type of shake to the type of milk, you can perhaps find a combination that works best for you. To get an overall idea of your current physical fitness, use the free fitness report card now!  

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