Does Protein Powder Make You Poop?

does protein make you poop
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Some questions or revelations are just too embarrassing to ask even when they are friends or family.

And when it comes to a girlfriend or a boyfriend of the opposite sex – ooouuch!

The thing is, when you buy protein powder, the salesperson is not likely to tell you that as bread is to butter, so are protein powders to pooping.

It’s gross thinking about it and when there’s a really bad smell accompanying the fart, well, that just plain revolting – really, really, bad. 

And it’s not only happening to one particular group of people. It happens to everyone – male or female, young or old.

 You can’t blame protein powders and pooping with the generic cheaper brands, either.

You think it’s impossible for the high-quality stuff to cause so much gas and bloating, right?

But they do – people are complaining about the top-selling brands ending up with the same pooping results as the cheaper generic brands! 

Poops and stinks aside, bloating alone can give you headaches and stomach pains 

Go and look at some of the grotesque things some bodybuilders put on their forums about their poops – yes, it really is there and it really happens.

But in saying that, we can’t just criticize whey protein powders, because other mixes and even protein bars are known to cause flatulence, and sometimes nausea [1].

Even some of the vegan powders do that, but not as much as the animal-based ones.

We have to find out why protein causes people to poop so much – is this the price to pay? Because surely it can cause relationships to break up!

As we said above, whey protein is one of the main protein powders can cause pooping. But it’s the one that contains a lot of sulfur in it [2].

And that’s what makes the fart smell so gross.

Pea protein, which is a plant-based protein, is much better, containing lower levels of sulfur amino acids in it. But then, being a legume, it ferments in the intestines. That creates gas. 

Which is the best option, then, to consider?

That would be brown rice protein [3]. At least it doesn’t ferment in the intestines as pea protein does.

And its amino acid profile is similar to that of whey.

What other things cause protein powder gas, and bloating? 

Because it’s not only protein powders that can cause gas but other foods as well, pooping and farting occur due to certain factors which we are going to show you.

Bet you didn’t know that the average number of farts a person does in a day is up to about 20!

[4] And everyone does it, but no one will admit it.

So without further ado, let’s look at what causes the high frequency of pooping plus the obnoxious odors. 

Can Protein Cause You Diarrhea Or Constipation?

1) Swallowed air

A gassy symptom needs air to occur.

You can’t avoid taking in air when you eat.

But when you take in excess amounts of air, the problem just increases. The air that has been taken in has to get out and it comes out as burping or farting. 

The best advice is to try and not gulp down your protein shakes or other food.

2) When you use a blender for your protein shakes

Sometimes it’s best just to drink your protein powder with water.

For instance, if you add milk, bananas, and peanut butter with your shake, and maybe add some veggies or fruit, you need to blend it thoroughly.

But, unfortunately, blending also increases the amount of air in your drink.

Best advice here is not to use a blender.

Just a scoop or two of powder with some juice and mixing it up with a spoon might be the better choice.

3) Carbonated beverages

Carbonation is all about bubbles.

And the fact is, it gets into your stomach, and then how does it come out?

You might need to cut out carbonated drinks for a while or reduce the amount you drink.

Even if you buy a non-bloating protein powder and carbonize it, it is more than likely to cause gas.

If you can’t go without these types of beverages, you can open them up and let them go flat before you drink them.

But then, of course, they might not taste as good.

Somewhere you might have to compromise though.

In this instance, it will be flavor vs flatulence. That applies to beer too.

4) When you use straws

When you drink through a straw, excess air gets into, and studies confirm it.

Another cause of excess air and gas is drinking through a straw.

This isn’t an old wives’ tale, as there are studies going back decades that confirm this [5]

5) You don’t chew enough

It can be that when we are in a hurry, we wolf down our food without chewing it properly.

But really, food should be chewed thoroughly, almost to a fine pulp in order to be swallowed easily. Plus it will be digested more easily.

If you don’t chew it, just gets fermented in your gut and creates gas.

Michio Kushi, who was the head of the macrobiotic movement, says that people should chew around 50 times for a mouthful of food.

6) Compounds in your protein

 Obnoxious smelling farts also might have to do with the type of protein you are consuming.

When you consume whey protein, your stomach might become bloated within 30 minutes or a couple of hours afterward.

This could be a result of lactose intolerance.

And it could be making you need to poop.

The reason you might not notice this when you eat other foods like pizza or even drink glasses of milk is that the whey protein in protein powder is in such a concentrated form.

Look out for brands of protein powder that are lactose-free.

Research points to the volatile sulfur compounds in proteins that are responsible for people pooping and wretched smells [6].

And the thing is protein farts might be something that can’t be avoided because often protein is high in these volatile sulfur compounds.

In fact, there are 4 common sulfur-containing amino acids [7].

7) You are allergic to protein

Maybe your whey, soy, egg, or casein protein powder mix is triggering inflammation in your digestive tract.

That can cause gas and bloat. These foods account for 90% of all cases of bloating and gas:

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts
  • Gluten – wheat, spelt, barley, kamut, farro, rye
  • Fish
  • Crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimp, lobster, and crayfish

You might have to, under supervision, try to eliminate the suspect ingredients from your diet one at a time to see if your gas and flatulence symptoms improve.

Maybe you can also try and switch your protein powder brand. 

8) Too little fiber

With pure animal forms of protein, there is no fiber present.

Meat takes a long time to digest, causing the gas to get bottled up longer, which can produce putrid-smelling sulfuric compounds.

People who eat lots of dairy and meat in their diet have a lower amount of fiber in their diet. Fiber only comes from plants.

If your diet doesn’t have enough fiber in it, you could experience a diarrhea disaster story.

9) Too much fiber

If you eat a healthy amount of plant-based foods, you are getting in plenty of fiber in the form of polysaccharides.  

These are found in common fruits and veggies. But just as too little fiber is bad for you, so is too much fiber.

Whatever fiber you get in, it needs to be the right amount.

Too little, and the food can move through your digestive tract slower. And this leads to greater fermentation and more pooping.

Actually, fiber can be making your symptoms worse if you consume it in abundance.

10) Probiotics

Probiotics are not always a good thing.

No one doubts the importance of healthy gut bacteria [8].

But what is being disputed is whether taking probiotics helps you achieve just that.

Probiotics certainly do help heaps of people, but for some, probiotics are known to cause bloating and gas.

Can we give you the name of 3 protein powders that don’t cause gas?

You might be very pleased to hear this.

Maybe this will result in no more repulsed looks in your direction at the gym! Maybe your relationship can be restored!

Without further ado, and based on reviews, here are the three best recommendations for you:

1) ‘Nutribiotic Rice Protein, Vanilla

This one is super easy on your stomach.

 2) ‘Nuzest Clean Lean Protein (chocolate)

It is pea-based but it’s also easy on the stomach.

3) ‘Garden Of Life Sport Organic with BCAAs

This is an organic plant-based powder with pea, sprouted lentil, navy bean, sprouted garbanzo, and cranberry seed protein.

Sounds kind of delicious and fresh, doesn’t it? Apparently few report gas problems taking this product.

Conclusion

You are no doubt doing all you can to do the right thing for your body.

You want to give it the protein it needs to support plenty of different body functions – and you even believe you have found reliable help in helping you to build and maintain muscle.

But all of a sudden, now that you have bought a top protein powder that you paid through the roof for, now suddenly, your body’s not doing the right thing by you.

You are trying to eat well, and what you are getting out of it is pooping all day long.

If they were quiet and rose-smelling that might be one thing.

But you are left with nasty sounds, nasty smells, and often a nasty way of feeling.

 There is no doubt that protein farts are an issue; check out fitness blogs – they are a major point of discussion.

There are plenty of lengthy Reddit threads that discuss this topic; the causes and prevention.

For you, it’s been enough to maybe rethink your nutritional needs and strategy.

But the good news is that you don’t have to start cutting down on your protein shakes or your protein powders to curb this flatulence pest.

One gastroenterologist, Sameer Islam, says, “A common myth is that the amount of protein you are taking will make it more likely for you to fart.

There is no evidence for that at all.” You can hear more from Sameer Islam on his YouTube channel.

His Let’s Talk About Poop you can find on his Facebook page.

He says further; “The type of protein you are ingesting (like protein from meats or the ingredients from shakes) plays a more significant role in gas.”

Most animal proteins do contain sulfur, which as we have explained above, can contribute to nasty smells.

And then too, it is not necessarily the protein.

It is usually the ingredients added into the protein powder such as the additive sugars.

These can be mannitol, xylitol, and fructose – all can cause havoc to your gut.

Even plant-based sources of protein like soy, beans, and lentils can cause you to experience digestive problems.

That’s thanks to short-chain carbohydrates called oligosaccharides.

They become fermented by the bacteria in your gut.

If you do notice bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, or constipation on a regular basis, let your doctor know so he can rule out medical issues – colorectal cancer and irritable bowel syndrome are two that come to mind. 

Herbs can help

Ginger and peppermint are two very effective herbs that are excellent at helping to soothe the gut.

Take them before you drink your shake or add them to your protein shake. This will allow the colon to relax.

If you are lactose intolerant, buying a WPI powder which is a low-lactose powder might be a good option.

Or you can try the soy-based protein powders which are another alternative.

Another solution you can try is to stop fretting over experiencing gassiness and bloating with your protein powder.

Rather, try to get your protein in the form of real food.

Tomorrow morning, instead of fixing yourself a protein powder drink that has been blended in with fruits and other things that cause much air to be taken in, settle down at a table, like in the days of old, and eat a delicious poached egg on toast.

Try it – it might just be what the doctor ordered.

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