Protein Powders

Will Protein Powder Make You Poop? Top 6 Reasons!

protein powder

While protein powders have ingredients suitable for most people, some of them can be troublesome. Most people notice slight side effects after using protein powders for some time.

But will protein powder make you poop? If you’re lactose-intolerant or your protein powder contains artificial sweeteners, it can make you poop more. Several other factors can also cause digestive problems, like bloating and constipation.

Although pooping more after consuming protein powder isn’t a big issue, using the washroom again and again can be a bit irritating.

So, let’s find out the main reasons why your protein powder is making you poop more and see how we can tackle them.

Why is your protein powder making you poop more?

Here are all the reasons for why your protein powder is causing stomach issues and making you poop.

1. You’re lactose-intolerant

lactose intolerant

Pooping after having protein shakes because you’re lactose intolerant is a common issue. Also, being lactose-intolerant isn’t a huge surprise. Almost 65-70% of the adult population is lactose-intolerant.

If you don’t know whether you have this issue, you can easily find out by consulting your doctor. People who regularly get stomach problems like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating after consuming milk-based products are lactose-intolerant. It is because these products become hard to digest for the body.

Does this mean you cannot have protein powder at all?

Well, no.

Whey and casein are dairy-based proteins, and consuming them while being lactose-intolerant will cause you problems. So, you can switch to plant-based or vegan protein powders because they do not contain milk or milk products. 

However, whey isolate is less in lactose, and most people are fine with consuming it. If you want to stick to whey protein due to its benefits, whey isolate will be worth a try.

2. You have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

irritable bowel syndrome

In IBS, your gastrointestinal tract gets stimulated by whatever food you eat. Due to this, you would want to go to the washroom immediately after consuming something.

It is because you initiate the gastrocolic reflex after eating, which can have a strong colonic response as well.

So, if you poop immediately after having protein shakes and notice symptoms like stomach pain, you might be suffering from IBS.

It’s better to consult your doctor for the diagnosis and further treatment in this case.

3. Your protein powder contains insoluble fiber

protein powder

Although dietary fiber is good for people with IBS, too much of it can have its own side effects on the stomach. 

The thing is, most of the population isn’t used to consuming fiber in their diet. When the body is deprived of fiber, and you consume an excess of it suddenly, it will definitely cause problems.

Most plant-based protein powders, like hemp protein, contain high amounts of insoluble fiber. If you’re consuming protein powder specifically aimed at weight loss, you’re also consuming insoluble fiber with it.

Because the body isn’t used to digesting fiber, what will happen to the insoluble fiber that comes with the protein powder?

Of course, it will add bulk to the stool and eventually make you poop more.

If insoluble fiber is the culprit for your poop, you need to switch to another protein powder. Other protein powders like whey protein contain less fiber, and using them can prevent stomach issues.

You should also check the label of the product and see how much fiber it contains.

4. You’re not consuming enough fiber in your diet

fiber in diet

Well, the fiber content in the protein powder isn’t the only thing to blame if you’re pooping too much.

In some cases, people aren’t consuming enough fiber in their diet themselves. So, when they consume protein powders with the appropriate amount of fiber, they face stomach issues.

According to The American Heart Association Eating Plan, an average adult in the United States consumes around 15 grams of fiber a day. 

However, the required intake is between 25 and 30 grams of fiber from food.

If you’re consuming more protein powder and cutting fiber in your diet, you might have constipation. Reducing fiber intake to increase carbohydrates in the diet will also cause stomach problems.

So, you need to monitor your fiber intake and keep a record of the other required macronutrients as well in order to get the most out of your protein powder intake. The best sources of fiber are vegetables, berries, and nuts, etc.

5. Your protein powder contains sweeteners or sugar alcohols

artificial sweetener

While some companies claim they don’t add additives or emulsifiers in their protein powders, some of them still come with sweeteners and sugar alcohols.

According to a study, these sweeteners can lead to digestive problems, and the long-term use of such sweeteners can cause IBS.

It is because these artificial sweeteners are nothing like real food, and digesting them can be difficult for the body. The laxative effect of these sweeteners and additives eventually leads to loose stools, making you poop more often after consuming the protein powder.

So, make sure you choose the right protein powder to stay away from such problems.

6. You have low stomach acid

Having low stomach acid has become a common situation these days.

Our body contains an enzyme called pepsin to digest protein, and low stomach acid does not provide the right acidic environment for this enzyme to perform this job.

Thus, the protein isn’t digested properly, which leads to digestive problems.

But luckily, this condition is easier to test and treat. You can check for the common symptoms and consult your doctor. 

Mostly, introducing foods into your diet, like apple cider vinegar, may help manage the situation and control your stomach acid.

Take-away message

Pooping after consuming protein shakes is common. While this condition is nothing to worry about, you can still take measures to prevent it in the long term.

If you’re pooping too much, you might be facing one of the reasons mentioned above. The good thing is, there are several measures you can take to overcome this, whether it’s about changing your diet or changing the protein powder itself.

So, make sure you take the right steps and enjoy your protein shakes without pooping too much!

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