Do Protein Shakes Make You Bloated? - Inflated Stomach
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Do Protein Shakes Make You Bloated? – Inflated Stomach

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Inflated Stomach

Bloating is a reaction by your body that happens to everybody, literally, everybody. You may not know what exactly bloating is, but you’ve sure felt it at some point in your life. It’s a common occurrence that happens after you eat, and depending on what you eat and how your body reacts, the bloating can very. But how about protein shakes, do protein shakes make you bloated? Regular supplement drinkers probably know the answer to this, or maybe they don’t. In today’s article, we’re going over if bloating occurs because of protein powders, and what we should do about it.

What Is Bloating?

Before getting into what protein powders have going on, we have to actually know what bloating is. Basically, bloating is a feeling of abdominal swelling and tightness due to air being pushed into your gastrointestinal tract or GI. You feel this fullness in your stomach after eating big meals, or specific types of meals. When we eat food, and it gets to our gut, it is then beat around by stomach acids to make sure it’s appropriately digested by our bodies. However, foods that are harder to digest can also be broken down, but they are broken down as undigested foods. This is what causes air to be blown into our GI, giving us that full feeling.

Do Protein Shakes Make You Bloated? - Inflated Stomach

That’s one way we can get bloated. There’s also a chance that we may swallow too much air when we eat. Everyone swallows air when we eat, and depending on how you eat, you may swallow more air than others. Eating or chewing too fast gets more air into your stomach, that along with chewing gum. Next time you chew gum, notice if you feel bloated because of how much you’re chewing over and over again. To lose that bloating feeling, your body tries to release the gas buildup through either burping or passing gas.

3 Foods That Cause Bloating

Like mentioned before, some foods do cause more bloating than others. It’s the properties inside the food that cause more gas to buildup in your GI and make you feel like a hot air balloon. So here are three foods that cause bloating.

1. Legumes

A food group that includes the likes of beanspeas, and lentils. These foods have certain nutrients that combined make a perfect recipe for bloating. Lentils are rich in protein, carbs, and fiber, if we’re looking at a prime example, let’s take beans. When we eat beans, most of us experience a deal of flatulence, not to mention a smell that makes our noses cringe. The farting is due to all the gas that builds up since beans contain a specific carbohydrate called FODMAPs.

FODMAPs stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols,” so for that, we’ll stick with FODMAPs. These short-chain carbs easily escape digestion and ferment in the colon. Since they don’t get digested, the gas builds up in the GI is massive, not to be dangerous, but to be uncomfortable. It definitely provides you with beneficial digestive bacteria, along with making you feel like a blimp. Thankfully, the bloating goes away rather quickly.

2. Wheat

Wheat is the most common grain product in the U.S. Foods that we eat commonly that contain wheat include bread, pasta, cereal, pizza, and tortilla. Many baked goods contain wheat, like pancakes, muffins, cakes, and biscuits. There’s always been controversy with wheat due to it having glutenGluten is a protein found in wheat that triggers illness in people that have celiac disease.

The illness consists of targeting the lining of your small intestine, prohibiting our body from absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream properly. Not getting nutrients may lead to a handful of things, like anemia, weight loss, and delayed growth. Celiac disease also results in digestive problems like stomach pain, gas, and of course, bloating. Not to mention, wheat also has FODMAPs, so even if you don’t have celiac disease, the chances of bloating are still there.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables 

Do Protein Shakes Make You Bloated? - Inflated Stomach
You may have never heard of the name of this vegetable family, but you’ve definitely have heard of the foods that are in it. Veggies like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are all in the family. If you eat a lot of broccoli or cauliflower, then you probably already know about the bloating and flatulence that you get from eating them.

They are hard for the stomach to digest because once again, they have FODMAPs. Cooking them makes them a little easier to digest, but they can still bloating in your stomach. However, veggies in the cruciferous family can still be very healthy. They contain nutrients like Vitamins C and K, along with potassium, iron, and fiber. Some alternatives include spinach, cucumber, lettuce, and zucchini.

How About Protein Powder?

I’ve been drinking protein powder for a long time now, I think I can talk about this topic with all my experience. The type of protein that I’ve been drinking most consistently is whey protein, which does have a lot to do with causing bloating. There’s a digestive disorder that over 75% of people around the globe have. Hearing that, you probably think it’s dangerous or scary. In reality, it rarely does any real harm to your body. You may even have this disorder.

Lactose Intolerance

The lactose in whey is a major causer of bloating due to people being lactose intolerant. This is a common disorder that can’t breakdown lactose completely due to an absence of lactase in the body. Lactase is an enzyme that’s job is to break down lactose, and a lot of us don’t produce enough of it to breakdown lactose. Since there is excess lactose in our stomachs, it gets fermented, and it gets digested by the colon.

The effect of lactose fermenting in the colon causes digestive issues like gassiness, stomachaches, upset stomach, and bloating. This doesn’t just go for whey protein, but also dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and butter. Not only does whey cause bloating, but protein in general causes bloating. The macronutrient protein is hard for our bodies to digest, so an influx of gas travels to the GI to cause bloating.

I experience some good bloating after drinking protein shakes. I’m a little bit lactose intolerant, so some of the bloating does come from the whey. Also, the amount of protein I consume does cause bloating since it is a lot. If you have a problem with lactose intolerance, try switching the protein powder type.


So there you have it, in conclusion, does protein powder cause bloating? Yes, it does, especially to those who are lactose intolerant, like me. The amount of protein and lactose makes it hard for your stomach to digest and causes air to flow into your GI. Bloating from protein shakes is almost inevitable. It’s just a natural occurrence of your body. Bloating goes away pretty fast, so it shouldn’t be too much to worry about.

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments!