Do you get gassy and bloated after a whey shake? We share a few ‘wheys’ to beat the bloat.
Many of us suffer from gas and bloating after having our daily why protein shake. This happens for one of two reasons, the most likely one being that you’re lactose intolerant.
Whey is the by-product of the cheese-making process, which means it is one of two protein sources derived from dairy (the other is casein).
All dairy products, including whey, contain lactose, a large sugar molecule made up of glucose and galactose. To digest lactose, your body requires a sufficient amount of an enzyme called lactase. Those who have a deficiency in this enzyme will generally experience bloating, discomfort and gas.
It generally boils down to ineffective digestion as these partially digested milk sugars move further down your digestive tract, where your gut bacteria will try to break them down through fermentation. This can cause gas to develop. Eventually, your body will need to release the build-up, which is what produces those unwanted smelly protein farts.
Another potential cause is an adverse reaction to some of the artificial sweeteners that certain flavoured whey products contain. Sweeteners like xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol are sugar alcohols that can also contribute to your gas problem.
Managing your intolerance
Before you give up on whey completely, try a few different brands to see if you experience any improvement. You could opt for whey products that don’t contain the sweeteners mentioned above, or you could consider switching from a whey concentrate to an isolate or hydrolysate. These products go through additional processing to filter out more lactose.
You can also buy products that contain added digestive enzymes or take a digestive enzyme supplement. This will help reduce symptoms associated with lactose intolerance and other forms of digestive discomfort.
If all else fails, you could switch to a plant-based protein powder, but make sure that it’s a blend that combines plant-derived protein sources to make sure you benefit from a complete amino acid profile.
Author: Logan Leigh Rix
Logan blends her passion and profession by working as a digital and social media marketer and content creator in the fitness, health and wellness industry. She’s also a personal trainer, former Face of Fitness finalist and Fitness Magazine featured athlete.