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Most of us after a rigorous workout session would like to sip at a glass of whey protein shake. It not only tastes similar to a milk shake, boosts up the daily requirement of protein in the body but also helps in healing or building up of the muscles. But often with all these benefits from the protein shake, some of us end up with digestive issues like constipation or gas. There is no proper reasoning as to why. It may be the brand you use or the milk or even the method of preparation.
Whey is simply the liquid that remains behind after making cheese. Therefore it is a form of milk protein with some lactose content in it and people with lactose intolerance will know signs of digestive problems if they intake too much lactose. It is required for such people to select the isolate-type whey protein that has barely 0.1 gram lactose in one tablespoon. Alternatively, drink the shake only after taking an over the counter lactase supplement. This will help in digesting small quantities of lactose.
In spite of you being lactose tolerant, some whey protein powders that have less fiber content in them still cause constipation. Dr. Ladd McNamara advises that it is best to select a protein shake with high content of fiber, so that the fiber assists in decreasing the chances of constipation. One drawback of choosing high-fiber powders is that these powders are weight gainers due to their high carbohydrate content. Before purchasing any protein powder always check the label and get one which has plenty of fiber content in it, but does not have enormous quantities of calories.
Many times milk is mixed in whey protein powder. Anyone who is lactose intolerant on drinking this shake can get constipated or suffer from gas. Those who are lactose tolerant may also show symptoms especially on consuming whole milk. This may add extra amount of fat to the shake, slowing your metabolic rate as both protein and fat take a long time to get digested. In case you are lactose-tolerant it is recommended to switch to almond, rice or soy milk and if you are not, skim milk is a healthy option. Alternatively, instead of milk you can simply use water or juice.
Avoid using a blender for preparing your shake. Blenders while mixing incorporates plenty of air in the fluid and cause gas problems. It is best to take milk in a shaker or bottle that does not leak, and add required quantity of powder with some ice. Now shake the bottle by hand till all the ingredients are mixed well.
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Livestrong: Do Whey Protein Powders Cause Gas and Constipation?