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Can protein powder cause bloating?

Protein powder can indeed cause bloating in some individuals, a phenomenon primarily associated with the digestive process. This bloating is often a result of the body's reaction to specific types of protein or added ingredients in the powder. For example, whey and casein protein powders, derived from dairy, can cause bloating and discomfort in people with lactose intolerance. Plant-based proteins, like pea or soy, can also lead to bloating due to their high fiber content, which may be difficult for some individuals to digest (Jäger et al., 2017).

Furthermore, certain additives and sweeteners found in protein powders, such as sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners, may contribute to gastrointestinal distress, including bloating and gas (Mäkinen, 2016). It's important for individuals to pay attention to how their bodies react to different types of protein powders and to consider trying different types or brands if bloating occurs. Also, gradually introducing protein powder into the diet and staying hydrated can help minimize potential digestive issues. If bloating persists, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable to rule out any underlying conditions.


  1. Jäger, R., Kerksick, C. M., Campbell, B. I., Cribb, P. J., Wells, S. D., Skwiat, T. M., ... & Antonio, J. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), 20.
  2. Mäkinen, K. K. (2016). Gastrointestinal disturbances associated with the consumption of sugar alcohols with special consideration of xylitol: scientific review and instructions for dentists and other health-care professionals. International Journal of Dentistry, 2016.
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