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Protein Powder and Digestion

Thibs or anyone else well-informed,

I’ve used EAS whey protein which I can get a 6-lb bag for $30 at BJ’s. I’ve noticed (well, it’s hard not to) that I get really gassy and fart a lot when I use it.

I’ve been reading across various sites about this, and there’s been claims that stuff like that is from lactose intolerance, or from artificial sweeteners, to claims that if it makes you gassy then it’s low quality protein and isn’t been digested (and hence utilized well).

What’s the deal though? My main concern is whether it’s a sign of poor quality protein.

Probably lactose-intolerance… drink a bunch of non-fat milk on an empty stomach, if you have problems then you might want to start taking lactase enzymes.

Also this should go into the supplements and nutrition forums, not really a question CT needs to answer.

Well, I put it in here bc I’ve read through lots of nutrition forum posts at various sites, and they give conflicting info. I trust Thibs’ answer more than those posters.

It could be a lactose issue, it could be that you don’t digest the protein well. It’s been mentioned in previous articles that if you get gassy from your protein shakes to “chew” them before swallowing to aid in digestion.

Your also asking about a non-Biotest product…

[quote]skohcl wrote:
Your also asking about a non-Biotest product…[/quote]

Oh no…

[quote]mch60360 wrote:
It could be a lactose issue, it could be that you don’t digest the protein well. It’s been mentioned in previous articles that if you get gassy from your protein shakes to “chew” them before swallowing to aid in digestion. [/quote]

I don’t see how it could be lactose - there are only 3g carbs per serving (unless the label is inaccurate).

I took another look at the ingredients, though, and it lists sucralose. I suspect this might be the cause. I’ve had artificial sweeteners in beverages before (those sugar-free “fruit drinks”), and it’s turned me into a gas giant.

[quote]Dark_Knight wrote:

[quote]mch60360 wrote:
It could be a lactose issue, it could be that you don’t digest the protein well. It’s been mentioned in previous articles that if you get gassy from your protein shakes to “chew” them before swallowing to aid in digestion. [/quote]

I don’t see how it could be lactose - there are only 3g carbs per serving (unless the label is inaccurate).

I took another look at the ingredients, though, and it lists sucralose. I suspect this might be the cause. I’ve had artificial sweeteners in beverages before (those sugar-free “fruit drinks”), and it’s turned me into a gas giant.
[/quote]

It’s more likely that the lactose or some other impurity in the protein is causing your digestive issue.

It’s also a big mistake to lump all artificial sweeteners together as they are very different chemically.

I’m not lumping them all together. I’m just saying that I’ve had this happen before, and it seems to come from the artificial sweetener/s. I believe the main (or perhaps only) of the sweeteners in the aforementioned drink was sucralose.

[quote]HK24719 wrote:
It’s more likely that the lactose or some other impurity in the protein is causing your digestive issue.
[/quote]

Why do you say that? And how could it be lactose if there are only 3g carbs?

Is the OP well accustomed to protein shakes or is he someone who just recently started taking them? Alot of people I know have gotten gas and cramping when they first started shakes, or when they increase how many they take.

Besides, is a little gas really suck a big deal?

“Why do you say that? And how could it be lactose if there are only 3g carbs?”

What do carbs have to do with lactose?

[quote]Chi-Towns-Finest wrote:
What do carbs have to do with lactose? [/quote]

Lactose is a sugar. Sugar is carbohydrate.

[quote]bradden wrote:
Is the OP well accustomed to protein shakes or is he someone who just recently started taking them? [/quote]

I haven’t used them in a while, but will be again soon. Last time I used them, the gas noticeably lessened after a few weeks. It was still there, just not as bad.

[quote]bradden wrote:
Besides, is a little gas really suck a big deal?[/quote]

It was more than a little, and I didn’t say that it was a big deal.

Okay well fair enough. Why not just try taking lactase enzymes for a while and see if that takes the problem away for you? Then write back in the thread and it could be a little new info for all of us.

The other thing I thought I would mention is, when I drink my shakes I usually just slam them versus drinking them over a half hour or whatever and it often causes me some gas. But I just ruled it out as indigestion. But you never know, I’d be interested to see.

i agree that a lot of protein BARS have ‘filler proteins’ just so the label can say “32 grams protein” or something like that but do the bags really have fillers as well?

i always figured it was the same as something you would get in a normal tub. i didnt think they would make different batches for different size portions, just package the same product in different parts of the factory or whatever… any thoughts?

For wat its worth u could try taking digestive enzymes with ur shake, I used to do that and I do feel that 500ml of water and whey sit “more comfortably” in my stomach if I do that, or u maybe u could try switching brand for ur next purchase of whey.

Or if time permit, taking small mouthful instead of big gulps may also help

I’ve been using that brand / size (BJs or Sams Club) for almost 2 years now. No gas.

I had the same problem when I used to use the bulk bag proteins. Something to note is that usually higher quality proteins have digestive enzymes incorporated into them in one form or another. I knew someone who was lactose intolerant who could only drink the cheap stuff with an enzyme pill but could handle the higher quality stuff no problem.

Well, could be protein quality, as it has a lot to do with digestibility… or just the toxic shit they put in EAS and Muscle Milk, who knows?

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/july/food/protein-drinks/overview/index.htm

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety/2010/06/consumer-reports-protein-drink-investigation-.html

There is probably more lactose in the the protein than is admitted or it’s just not a very good quality protein. Whenever I eat too much dairy, I get really itchy all over. I remember using EAS and if I had more than a couple scoops of protein per day I would get itchy, despite limiting other sources of lactose. This has not happened at all with other higher quality protein powders.