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7 Best Protein Powders For Sensitive Stomaches

by Nader Qudimat
Updated July 31, 2023

Protein is a vital nutrient for muscle growth, tissue repair, and various bodily functions.

However, not all protein sources are created equal, especially regarding how our bodies digest them.

Some protein powders can cause discomfort, bloating, and other digestive issues for those with sensitive stomachs.

But don't worry; there are protein powders out there that are designed to be gentle on the stomach.

In this article, we'll explore the best protein powders for sensitive stomachs, what to look for on the label, and how to enhance their digestion.

Understanding Protein Powders And Sensitive Stomachs

Protein powders are a convenient way to increase protein intake, but choosing the right one is crucial for those with sensitive stomachs.

This article will guide you through the best protein powders for sensitive stomachs, backed by research and personal experience.

Choosing The Right Protein Powder For Sensitive Stomachs

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing A Protein Powder

When choosing a protein powder for a sensitive stomach, it's important to consider the type of protein, artificial sweeteners, and additives, and the protein's digestibility.

For instance, research shows that whey protein isolate and plant-based proteins are often easier to digest than other types.

Understanding Labels On Protein Powders

Labels on protein powders can be confusing.

Look for protein powders with minimal ingredients and without artificial sweeteners, which can cause digestive issues.

Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners can alter gut bacteria and lead to digestive discomfort.

Best Types Of Protein Powders For Sensitive Stomachs

Whey Protein Isolate: A Gentle Option

Whey protein isolate is a form of protein that's been further processed to remove most of the fat and lactose, making it a good option for those with sensitive stomachs.

This study shows that whey protein isolate is easily digestible and less likely to cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Plant-Based Protein Powders: A Natural Alternative

Plant-based protein powders, such as pea or rice protein, are great alternatives for sensitive stomachs or lactose intolerance.

Research proves they are easily digestible and less likely to cause digestive issues.

Egg White Protein Powder: A Lactose-Free Choice

Egg white protein powder is a lactose-free protein source that's easy on the stomach.

One study shows it's highly digestible and a good option for sensitive stomachs.

Top Protein Powders For Sensitive Stomachs

Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs

BEST OVERALL
ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs

Made from American Cows, Whey Protein Isolate is a fully transparent grass fed whey from Transparent Labs.

It's a whey isolate and only contains 0.5g fat and 1g carbs per serving.

Pros:
  • Diverse delicious flavors
  • Low carb and low fat
  • Clean label
Ingredients: ​120 Calories, 28g Protein, 2g Carbs, 0mg Cholesterol
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Transparent Labs' Whey Protein Isolate is a top choice for those with sensitive stomachs.

It's made from high-quality whey isolate, a form of whey protein processed to remove most fat and lactose.

This results in a protein powder high in protein but low in potential irritants.

Moreover, it comes in various flavors, from Cinnamon French Toast to Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, offering a range of options to suit different tastes.

In addition to being easy on the stomach, Transparent Labs' Whey Protein Isolate is also packed with essential amino acids.

These are the building blocks of protein your body needs to repair muscle tissue after a workout.

With 28 grams of protein per serving, this protein powder can help you meet your daily protein needs and support muscle growth and recovery.

Furthermore, this protein powder is free from artificial sweeteners and additives, which can cause digestive issues for some people.

Instead, it's sweetened with natural ingredients, making it healthier.

  • Protein Source: Whey Isolate
  • Protein: 28 g
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Calories: 120
  • Lactose: Less than 1%
  • Flavors: Cinnamon French Toast, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry, Mocha, Vanilla Peanut Butter, French Vanilla, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Vegan Protein By Huge Supplements

EXOTIC FLAVORS
Vegan Protein by Huge Supplements

Huge Supplements' Vegan Protein offers a complete protein source that's non-GMO and gluten-free. It's a great choice for those following a plant-based diet.

Pros:
  • Complete protein source
  • Non-GMO And Gluten-Free
  • Delicious with water
Ingredients: 25 Servings, 109 Calories, 20g Protein, 1.5g Fat, 3.5g Carbs. Main Ingredients: Pea Protein, Brown Rice Protein, Quinoa Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Natural Flavors, Stevia.
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Huge Supplements' Vegan Protein is a great option for those who prefer plant-based protein sources.

It's made from a blend of plant proteins, providing a complete amino acid profile.

It contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscle.

Plus, it's non-GMO and gluten-free, making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions.

This protein powder is also low in calories, with just 109 calories per serving.

This makes it a good option for those watching their calorie intake or trying to lose weight.

Despite its low-calorie content, it still packs 20 grams of protein per serving, helping you meet your protein needs without adding too many extra calories.

In addition, Huge Supplements' Vegan Protein is delicious even when mixed with water.

This makes it a convenient option for those needing a quick and easy protein source.

  • Protein Source: Plant-Based
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5 g
  • Calories: 109
  • Flavors: Various

Essential Protein By Ritual

Naturally Sweetened
Essential Protein by Ritual

Ritual's Essential Protein is a pea protein-based supplement that's sweetened with fermented sugarcane and monk fruit. It's a great choice for those looking for a plant-based protein with a touch of sweetness.

Pros:
  • Organic Pea Protein
  • Fermented Sugarcane Sweetener
  • Monk Fruit Sweetened
Ingredients: 15 Servings, 115 Calories, 20g Protein, 2g Fat, 3g Carbs. Main Ingredients: Organic Pea Protein, Natural Flavors, Fermented Sugarcane, Monk Fruit.
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Ritual's Essential Protein stands out for its use of organic pea protein.

Pea protein is a high-quality plant protein that's easy to digest and less likely to cause stomach discomfort.

It's also a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids your body needs.

The vanilla flavor of this protein powder is derived from natural sources, providing a pleasant taste without using artificial sweeteners.

In addition to being easy on the stomach, Ritual's Essential Protein is packed with 20 grams per serving.

This can help support muscle growth and recovery after a workout.

Plus, with just 115 calories per serving, it's a good option for those watching their calorie intake.

Furthermore, this protein powder is sweetened with fermented sugarcane and organic monk fruit, providing a subtle sweetness without artificial sweeteners.

This makes it a healthier choice for those watching their sugar intake.

  • Protein Source: Organic Pea Protein
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Calories: 115
  • Flavors: Vanilla

Organic Vegan By Transparent Labs

100% Organic Vegan Rice & Pea Plant Protein Powder by Transparent Labs

With its impressively low-carb content, organic credentials, all-natural ingredients, and a price tag that won't break the bank, Transparent Labs' Organic Vegan Rice & Pea Protein ticks a lot of boxes. While the taste might not be everyone's cup of tea and it could pack a bit more of a nutritional punch, the benefits certainly tip the scales in its favor.

Pros:
  • All natural flavoring and sweeteners
  • Completely organic and soy-free
  • Low carb
Ingredients: 24g Protein, 3g Carbs, 2g Fat, 130 Calories
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Transparent Labs' Organic Vegan Protein Powder is a versatile option for vegans and those with sensitive stomachs.

It's made from organic rice and pea proteins, providing a balanced amino acid profile.

Plus, it's low in sugar and free from artificial sweeteners, making it a healthier choice.

The French Vanilla and Chocolate flavors offer a pleasant taste, making your protein shake something to look forward to.

In addition to being vegan-friendly, this protein powder is also high in protein, with 24 grams of protein per serving.

This can help support muscle growth and recovery after a workout.

Plus, it's made from organic ingredients, making it a healthier choice for those who prefer organic products.

Furthermore, Transparent Labs' Organic Vegan Protein Powder is also low in fat and carbohydrates, making it a good option for those who are watching their macronutrient intake.

With just 150 calories per serving, it's also a good option for those watching their calorie intake.

  • Protein Source: Organic Rice, Organic Peas
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Calories: 150
  • Flavors: French Vanilla, Chocolate

Promix Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides

Collagen-Based
Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides

Promix's Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides offer a unique protein source derived from grass-fed hydrolyzed collagen peptides. It's a great choice for those looking for a collagen-based protein supplement.

Pros:
  • Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
  • Organic Coconut Sugar Sweetener
Ingredients: 36 Servings, 110 Calories, 21g Protein, 0g Fat, 7g Carbs. Main Ingredients: Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides, Organic Coconut Sugar.
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Promix's Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides is a unique option for sensitive stomachs.

Collagen peptides are known for their gut-healing properties, which can help improve digestive health.

Plus, they're sourced from grass-fed cows, ensuring a high-quality product.

The addition of organic coconut sugar provides a subtle sweetness without the use of artificial sweeteners.

Collagen peptides are known for their benefits on skin, hair, and nail.

They can help improve skin elasticity, strengthen hair and nails, and support joint health.

This makes Promix's Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides a good option for those who want a protein powder with added beauty benefits.

In addition, this protein powder is also free from artificial sweeteners and additives, which can cause digestive issues for some people.

Instead, it's sweetened with organic coconut sugar, providing a subtle sweetness without artificial sweeteners.

  • Protein Source: Grass-Fed Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Calories: 110
  • Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Unflavored, Collagen + BCAA

Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder By Naked Nutrition

Simply Clean
Organic Naked Rice by Naked

Naked Nutrition's Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder is a simple, unflavored protein source derived from organic sprouted whole-grain brown rice. It's a great choice for those looking for a clean, plant-based protein.

Pros:
  • Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • Unflavored
  • High Protein Content
Ingredients: 76 Servings, 120 Calories, 25g Protein, 0g Fat, 4g Carbs. Main Ingredient: Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice.
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Naked Nutrition's Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder is a simple and clean protein source.

It's made from organic sprouted whole-grain brown rice, which is easy to digest and less likely to cause stomach discomfort.

Plus, it's unflavored, making it a versatile option that can be added to any smoothie or shake without altering the taste.

In addition to being easy on the stomach, this protein powder is also high in protein, with 25 grams of protein per serving.

This can help support muscle growth and recovery after a workout.

Plus, it's made from organic ingredients, making it a healthier choice for those who prefer organic products.

Furthermore, this protein powder is also low in fat and carbohydrates, making it a good option for those watching their macronutrient intake.

With just 120 calories per serving, it's also a good option for those watching their calorie intake.

  • Protein Source: Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Calories: 120
  • Flavors: Unflavored

Egg Whey Protein Powder By Naked Nutrition

Lactose-Free
Egg Whey Protein Powder by Naked Nutrition

Naked Nutrition's Egg Whey Protein Powder is a high-quality protein source derived from egg whites. It's a great choice for those looking for a protein supplement free from lactose and low in carbs and fat.

Pros:
  • Egg Whites Protein Source
  • Lactose-Free
  • Low carbs and fat
Ingredients: 44 Servings, 110 Calories, 25g Protein, 0g Fat, 2g Carbs. Egg Whites.
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Naked Nutrition's Egg Whey Protein Powder is a great option for lactose intolerant or sensitive stomachs.

It's made from egg whites, a high-quality protein source that's easy to digest.

Plus, it's unflavored, making it a versatile option that can be added to any smoothie or shake without altering the taste.

In addition to being easy on the stomach, this protein powder is also high in protein, with 25 grams of protein per serving.

This can help support muscle growth and recovery after a workout.

Plus, it's made from non-GMO eggs, making it a healthier choice for those who prefer non-GMO products.

Furthermore, this protein powder is also low in fat and carbohydrates, making it a good option for those watching their macronutrient intake.

With just 110 calories per serving, it's also a good option for those watching their calorie intake.

  • Protein Source: Egg Whites
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Calories: 110
  • Flavors: Unflavored

Understanding Stomach Discomfort From Protein Powder

Common Reasons For Stomach Discomfort

Common reasons for stomach discomfort from protein powder include lactose intolerance, artificial sweeteners and additives, and high protein intake.

Research shows these factors can lead to bloating, gas, and other digestive issues.

How To Mitigate Discomfort From Protein Powder

To mitigate discomfort from protein powder, consider choosing a protein source easy on the stomach, such as whey protein isolate or plant-based proteins.

Also, avoid protein powders with artificial sweeteners and additives, and consider adding digestive enzymes to your protein shake.

What To Look for In A Protein Powder For Sensitive Stomachs

Several factors must be considered when choosing a protein powder for sensitive stomachs.

First and foremost, it's important to understand the root cause of your stomach sensitivity.

Is it due to lactose intolerance, a reaction to artificial sweeteners, or simply an issue with high protein intake?

Once you've identified the cause, you can find a protein powder that suits your needs.

One of the most important things to look for is the label.

The label will tell you everything you need about the product, including its ingredients and nutritional information.

Look for protein powders free from artificial sweeteners and additives, which can often cause stomach discomfort.

Additionally, if you're lactose intolerant, you'll want to avoid protein powders that contain lactose.

Best Types of Protein Powders For Sensitive Stomachs

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey protein isolate is a great option for those with sensitive stomachs.

It is a form of whey protein processed to remove most fat and lactose, making it easier to digest.

It's also high in protein, making it a great choice for those looking to build muscle or lose weight.

Plant-Based Protein Powder

Plant-based protein powders, such as those made from peas, rice, or hemp, are often easier to digest than their animal-based counterparts.

They're also a great option for vegans and vegetarians.

These types of protein powders are typically free from lactose and other common allergens, making them a good choice for those with sensitive stomachs.

Egg White Powder

Egg white powder is another good option for those with sensitive stomachs.

It's protein-rich, easy to digest, and free from lactose and gluten.

However, it's important to note that egg white powder is unsuitable for those with egg allergies.

Reasons For Stomach Discomfort From Protein Powder

There are several reasons why protein powder might cause stomach discomfort.

One of the most common is lactose intolerance.

Many protein powders, especially those made from whey, contain lactose, which can cause digestive issues in intolerant people.

Artificial sweeteners and additives are another common cause of stomach discomfort.

These ingredients can cause digestive issues, from bloating and gas to diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Finally, consuming too much protein can also cause stomach discomfort.

Our bodies can only process so much protein, and consuming more than we can handle can lead to digestive issues.

Digestive Enzymes To Look for Or To Add

Digestive enzymes can help your body break down and absorb nutrients from your food.

They can be particularly helpful for sensitive stomachs, as they can help ease digestion and reduce discomfort.

Enhancing Digestion Of Protein Powders

Digestive Enzymes To Look for Or Add To Your Protein Powder

Adding digestive enzymes to your protein shake can help enhance digestion and reduce discomfort.

Look for enzymes like protease, lactase, bromelain, papain, amylase, and lipase.

This study shows that these enzymes can help break down protein and other nutrients, making them easier to digest.

Here are a few digestive enzymes you might want to look for in your protein powder or consider adding to your diet:

  • Protease: This enzyme helps break down proteins into amino acids, making them easier for your body to absorb.
  • Lactase: If you're lactose intolerant, lactase can help. This enzyme breaks down lactose, the sugar in milk and other dairy products.
  • Bromelain and Papain: These enzymes, found in pineapple and papaya respectively, help break down protein and can also help reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Amylase: This enzyme helps break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.
  • Lipase: Lipase helps break down fats into smaller, more easily digestible molecules.

Further Reading And Resources

If you're interested in diving deeper into the world of protein powders, we have a wealth of resources available for you.

Whether you're looking for more information on grass-fed protein powders, lactose-free options, or simply want to understand the difference between whey and grass-fed protein, we've got you covered.

If you're looking to gain mass but have a sensitive stomach, we've got you covered as well.

Our guides on mass gainers for sensitive stomachs and lactose-free mass gainers offer products designed to help you pack on the pounds without causing digestive discomfort.

These guides will help you find a mass gainer that not only meets your caloric needs but also aligns with your dietary restrictions.

For those who prefer natural and organic options, our comprehensive guide on grass-fed protein powders is a must-read.

It provides an in-depth look at the benefits of grass-fed protein and offers a list of the top products in the market.

If lactose intolerance is a concern, you'll find our roundup of the best lactose-free protein powders particularly useful.

This guide offers a selection of high-quality, lactose-free options to ensure you can supplement your protein intake without any digestive discomfort.

For those curious about the difference between traditional whey protein and grass-fed protein, our article on whey vs. grass-fed protein provides a detailed comparison.

It will help you understand the pros and cons of each type and make an informed decision based on your dietary needs and preferences.

If budget is a concern, don't worry.

We've compiled a list of the cheapest protein powders available in the market without compromising quality.

This guide will help you find a protein supplement that fits your budget and meets your nutritional needs.

Finally, if you're unsure how much protein you should consume daily, our protein calculator is a handy tool.

It will help you determine your daily protein needs based on weight, activity level, and fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of protein powder for a sensitive stomach?

Whey protein isolate and plant-based proteins are often easier to digest and less likely to cause discomfort.

Can protein powder cause stomach discomfort?

Yes, some protein powders can cause stomach discomfort, especially those with artificial sweeteners and additives or those high in lactose.

How can I reduce discomfort from protein powder?

Choose an easy protein source on the stomach, avoid artificial sweeteners and additives, and consider adding digestive enzymes to your protein shake.

Are there any lactose-free protein powders?

Yes, lactose-free protein powders are available, such as egg white protein powder and some plant-based proteins.

Can adding digestive enzymes to my protein shake help with digestion?

Yes, adding digestive enzymes to your protein shake can help enhance digestion and reduce discomfort.

Can protein powder cause stomach discomfort?

Yes, some people may experience stomach discomfort after consuming protein powder. This can be due to various factors, including lactose intolerance, a reaction to artificial sweeteners or additives, or simply consuming too much protein.

What type of protein powder is best for sensitive stomachs?

Whey protein isolate, plant-based protein powders, and egg white powder are all good options for those with sensitive stomachs.

What are digestive enzymes and how can they help?

Digestive enzymes help your body break down and absorb nutrients from your food. They can be particularly helpful for sensitive stomachs, as they can help ease digestion and reduce discomfort.

Can I add digestive enzymes to my protein powder?

Yes, you can add digestive enzymes to your protein powder to help improve digestion and reduce discomfort.

What should I look for on the label of a protein powder?

Look for protein powders that are free from artificial sweeteners and additives, as these can often cause stomach discomfort. If you're lactose intolerant, you'll also want to avoid protein powders that contain lactose.

Why does whey protein upset my stomach?

Whey protein can upset your stomach if you are lactose intolerant, as it contains lactose. It can also cause discomfort if you consume too much at once.

Are plant-based protein powders easier to digest?

Yes, plant-based protein powders are often easier to digest than animal-based ones. They're also typically free from lactose and other common allergens.

Can too much protein cause stomach discomfort?

Yes, consuming too much protein can cause stomach discomfort. Our bodies can only process so much protein at a time, and consuming more than we can handle can lead to digestive issues.

What is lactase and how can it help with protein digestion?

Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant, taking lactase can help you digest lactose and reduce discomfort.

What is bromelain and how can it help with protein digestion?

Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that helps break down protein. It can also help reduce inflammation and swelling.

Bottom Line

Choosing a protein powder for sensitive stomachs requires careful consideration of the ingredients and your individual dietary needs.

Look for products free from artificial sweeteners and additives, and consider options like whey protein isolate, plant-based protein powders, or egg white powder.

If you're lactose intolerant, make sure to choose a lactose-free product.

Adding digestive enzymes like protease, lactase, bromelain, papain, amylase, and lipase can also help improve digestion and reduce discomfort.

Remember, listening to your body and adjusting your diet is always important.

If you continue to experience discomfort after consuming protein powder, it may be worth consulting with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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