Yes, protein powder can cause bloating in some individuals. Bloating can occur due to digestive difficulties, intolerance to certain ingredients, or overconsumption of protein powder. Some people may also experience gas and other digestive issues when starting to use protein powder.
Bloating is more commonly found with the use of cheaper whey concentrates that contain higher levels of lactose which can make it harder to digest. This can be the case even with those who are not lactose intolerant. Plant-based proteins can also cause bloating for some people as they can contain more fiber and sodium.
Sometimes switching to a different brand, type, or processed quality can alleviate bloating symptoms. It's also recommended to start with small amounts and gradually increase the amount, drink plenty of water, and consult with a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.