T Nation

Stomach pH and fruit juice

I like mixing my protein powder with juice, but does anybody got an idea if it’s bad to drink fruit juice with protein powder and other supplements? i know that i can’t mix certain protein powders with juice without getting explosive diarrhea. i think it has something to do with stomach pH interfering with the absorption of nutrients. anyway, anybody got any ideas if fruit juice makes me piss (and poop) my supplements away?

Actually, it probably isn’t the Ph issue that is causing the runs. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, can have an emetic action on the bowels. But you have to take several grams of ascorbic acid at one time, for example, and not tolerate that kind of thing very well to have it give you immediate problems. The sugar content of the fruit juice, in tandem with sweetners/binders/other materials in the PP might make a combination you can’t tolerate. For example, really cheap vitamin C powder/tablets usually is made with a binder that will give me a fine, pin-dot rash all over my chest and stomach if I take enough of it. One doctor told me it looked just like the beginings of small pox, which he thought was funny; I was not amused. EAS Myoplex uses a binder/stabilizer that not only bloats me up, but also makes me really constipated. However, ascorbic acid from other makers goes down fine, and anybody else’s whey powder works great for me.

If you really want to stick with juice, use something that isn’t sweetened or over-processed. I like frozen concentrated orange juice that has no sugar added for this reason, although I usually mix up the PP with milk and water. Or do just plain water/PP for a while and see if this doesn’t help, then try other juice mixes. Or try a different PP with your juice, if you want to stick with that brand. As long as your stools are well formed and you aren’t running to the bathroom shortly after taking your shake, you’re probably retaining much of what you eat or drink. If you’re really worried about an acidic environment in the stomach (probably not the real issuse, but you never know), put some milk in your drink mix. The available calcium will act as a buffer to neutralize some of the acids that may form from the food compounds.

hmm… i never thought that cheap vitamins were screwing around with my insides. thanks for the insight.