Lactose-Free Milk Ok to Digest, But Whey Protein Isn't?

A mod edited “isolate” out of the thread title. I just wanted to point out I’m not drinking regular whey.

It’s hard to pinpoint or figure out what the cause of my overall digestive troubles are, but I notice that whey protein (even isolate) creates thick mucus/saliva and also seems to affect my sinuses/make me short of breath. Would there be any logic as to why this happens with the isolate but not actual lactose-free milk?

I’m about to invest in maybe a beef protein(would that be the best alternative)? If symptoms improve slightly I will also go dairy-free for a while to see if it helps. I’ve gone dairy-free before without success but I was not looking after myself in others ways back then.

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Is there a particular reason you need a protein powder in general?

I avoid shakes as much as I can but as life goes, sometimes convenience is necessary. Also the cost-efficiency.

Ever consider egg whites? No powder necessary

The convenience factor is a pretty big detractor in egg whites.

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I would imagine it’s more convenient than a shake. Fewer ingredients/no mixing

You must not work long days in the heat lol. Nothing like a nice frothy bottle of hot egg whites.

Not saying egg whites are a bad choice at all, just that being able to mix up a protein shake as needed (with no cool/time require ment) is pretty convenient.

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Ah. I like thermos for this situation. I actually have a steel insulated shaker bottle, because I am gucci like that, haha.

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  • Big mug
  • 10 oz coffee
  • 1 to 2 tbsp almond/cashew butter
  • 1 or 2 oz heavy cream/half and half/or milk
  • 1 scoop whey protein/isolate
  • Immersion blend
  • Throw another 10 oz coffee on top
  • Stir

Does not win the convenience award.

@cdep89 try this recipe (or baking recipe) and see if the whey isolate still gives you issues. Perhaps denaturing the WP at 180-190 deg F may help with your presumed immune response?

Not convenient but fun experiment for science.


Was actually talking about it in someone’s log the other day. Last night I stirred up 4 eggs and drank it from the dish. Just need to do some maths on how cost-effective it would be. I know people talk about beef protein tasting bad, but I’m a guy that’s used unflavoured shakes with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in. Shakes are for their function, not flavour.

Yesterday was my first day 100% dairy-free. Coincidently I also got hardly any sleep. Between the hours of 1am-7am I was just led in bed feeling sorry for myself. Coincidence, or was my body shocked from going from 2litres of milk + shakes to no dairy at all?

Ah dude, it sounds lovely but I can’t do it. Caffeine gives me heartburn and I’m still up in the air over nut butters (not to mention almond and cashew butter are well expensive!). I have to eliminate things to figure out what could be upsetting me. When I return to bulking, calories are gonna be a struggle for sure. Hopefully, in this month-long cut I can discover some stuff.

Just use a vegan protein powder. I use pea protein.


I’ve actually just ordered a kg, hoping for the best.

If going dairy-free does indeed help the problem, even if only a little… Gonna have to completely rethink my strategy when I get back to bulking.

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Pea protein powder is great! I like the thick texture. Very good for baking as flour substitute

A possible reason for this could be that you have a moderate whey/dairy protein allergy and while there is whey in milk - it is a much lower concentration (20%) than that of which it is in the full-on whey protein powder.

In terms of a substitute - you’ll get the best bioavailability with an animal-based powder (beef or egg white powders) compared to a plant-based protein like pea, rice or, sweet Jesus help us all - soy powders.


I just tried my first vegan shake, its a blend of pea, brown rice and something else I forget so it’s more complete than just a single one. It wasn’t too bad actually. It’s also got digestive enzymes in it which is cool.

I will try beef protein at some point (probably once i’ve got through this vegan stuff). The whole bioavailability and “complete” protein though… I feel that if 80% of my protein is coming from meat sources anyway, missing out on a few amino acids in a vegan supplement is probably going to have a very minimal effect. It’s something I’d be more concerned about if it was making up a bigger amount of my daily protein, or if I wasn’t still eating meat products.

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Many people need clarification about the difference between lactose-free milk and whey protein, as both products are claimed to be safe for those who have trouble digesting dairy. However, there is a significant difference in how these products are digested.
Whey Protein: Whey protein is high in essential proteins and amino acids that can help build muscle mass and promote athletic performance. It is a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, phosphorus, selenium, and other minerals that support nerve growth and development. It has potent antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by toxins or free radicals.
Lactose-Free Milk: While lactose-free milk does contain some essential nutrients (including calcium), it doesn’t offer the same level of benefits as whey protein when it comes to promoting physical fitness or overall health