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Does Protein Powder Cause Gas? – Sudden Flatulence

Does Protein Powder Cause Gas? - Sudden Flatulence

Sudden Flatulence

We’ve all been there, you chug down a protein shake, an hour later, you get some flatulence. You then think, does protein powder cause gas? This is a genuine question that many protein drinks have, and that may be too embarrassed to ask. You ask your gym bro about it, who may or may not be getting gas from protein powder, and they’ll laugh at you like your some kind of skunk. Here at Protein Power, there’s no shame in “protein farts,” either you get them or you don’t. I’ll answer if protein powder does pose unwanted gas and if it does, how, and how to stop it once in for all!

How Does One Pass Gas?

The proper term for one’s fart is called flatulence, the release of intestinal gas. Gas can be found in all parts of your digestive system. From the small and large intestine, all the way to where it gets released, the rectum. The reason why we fart is due to a build-up of intestinal gas in our bodies, it has to leave somehow. We’ve all felt when too much gas builds up in our stomach. To where it travels to your colon and maybe even your chest. You guessed it, bloating.

That feeling of your stomach and your midsection being stuffed is due to gas build-up. Thankfully, sort of, we have flatulence to take care of bloating. Farting is a pain-free way of releasing the excess gas that your digestive system produces into the world. Your body, on its own, can absorb some of the gas it provides, but it can’t hold on to all of it. Although it may not smell pretty, you feel a whole heck of a lot better after a couple of toots. That brings up a great question, why do farts stink?

There can be a lot of reasons why your passing of gas may have a foul odor. Most of society believes this is normal, a strong smelly odor from your flatulence. In reality, gas is meant to be silent and odorless, as hard as that is to believe. There are many underlying reasons why a stench may come from gas, too many to discuss in this article. Some smells can even indicate dangerous problems in your stomach. To know more about the stink that goes on in flatulence, click here.

Does My Protein Give Me Flatulence?

We get to the question at hand, and it’s a tricky one to answer. To give you an easy answer to take home, does protein powder cause gas? Yes, but not for the reason you’re thinking of. It’s no surprise that something you drink causes sudden gas in about an hour, but why? For those who don’t know, there’s a lot more than just protein that goes in a protein supplement, for most powders, that is. Some protein powders, like my favorite from Bodybuilding.com, are very clear-cut with their ingredients, got nothing to hide.

The protein from a protein powder isn’t what causes gas in your stomach, it’s actually the carbohydrates. This is why whey protein is a significant cause of “protein farts” in many of us. Since whey and casein, of course, comes from milk, it contains the sugar in milk, lactose. Our body needs to break down lactose through enzymes called lactase. Lactose intolerance is when you do not have enough lactase enzymes to completely break down lactose. When there’s not broken down lactose in your stomach, it stays there to be fermented by bacteria.

Once the leftover lactose is fermented by bacteria, consider the people around you in a hazardous situation for their nostrils. The bacteria breaking down the lactose releases a foul stench in your flatulence. The average human passes gas about 10-15 times a day. That all changes once you drink a protein powder that turns into 10-15 minutes an hour. There’s nothing harmful or wrong about persistent gas, it just can get annoying.

How To Stop “Protein Farts”

With something as common as gas from your protein shakes, and considering how many people drink protein, you’d think there’d be a solution for it. Is there a solution to this annoyance? Of course, there is! No need to fear, dairy-free protein is here! If the problem persists in protein powders that contain whey or casein, it’s time to think outside the box. Little to the knowledge of some people, there do exist protein sources that are dairy-free, even vegan.

Protein powder sources that come from hemp and brown rice are sources that give you less chance at increased flatulence. Since they do not contain lactose, there’s no occurrence of fermentation. However, there are some other carbs to look out for when avoiding flatulence. Foods like beans, peas, lentils, and broccoli could do as much damage as lactose. The bottom line, if you look to reduce gas, reduce the lactose in your protein. If you’d like to know about a fine vegan protein powder, click here for a review I did on one of the powders I absolutely love!

Are My Protein Farts Dangerous?

As silly as that title maybe, this is a common concern for anyone, let alone protein drinkers. Flatulence, in general, is more of an inconvenience rather than a danger. It may be a danger to the noses of the people around you, but for your health, it can actually be beneficial. The feeling of passing gas from being bloated can actually feel very relieving. Increased gassiness is a common occurrence from first-time drinkers of whey protein.

Does Protein Powder Cause Gas? - Sudden Flatulence

If you commonly drink whey protein and you see your gassiness as a problem, then you can decide to change that. You may want to see a doctor to diagnose a digestive problem you may have. Me personally, if I do get increased bloating and gas, it usually goes away in no time. My protein powder, click here for it, just tastes so good not to drink. It’s like a treat that has consequences that I can deal with.

Conclusion

In conclusion, does protein powder cause gas? Yes and no. The actual protein does not cause flatulence, but it’s the carbohydrates that do. It’s not a grave problem for most people, it’s more of an inconvenience. But if you see this as a problem you must find a solution for, talk to your doctor about options. What do I think? Switch up your protein powder. Try out this vegan protein powder that’ll quiet your toots.

Vega One All-in-One Shake

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!

8 Comments

  1. Dave Sweney

    This is a question that I have had posed to me several times, so I finally decided it was time to learn if protein powder does cause gas or flatulence unexpectedly (i.e. when working out or just going about daily activities). I am not sure it will change my habits nor change how I use the powder, but at least I will be able to add to the conversation. 

    You have laid it out quite nicely and I can see how the extra helping of gases are created when we consume the protein powder, and I think the best thing to do is try to be aware as much as possible and get to an open area where you will not cause a disruption (i.e. away from the workout or locker room areas in the gym). 

    I do like the alternative protein powders that are not dairy-based and it sounds like they might help with the problem somewhat. I will try one of the vegan-based protein powder options for my next purchase. Thanks for the tip on this one. Are the non-dairy based powders more expensive? 

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Dave:

      I totally should have mentioned the appropriate place to expel your flatulence in the case that you do get some. But yes, as far away from society as possible sounds like a good start. Vegan/non-dairy based protein powders are fortunately around the same price as normal dairy-based protein powders. They are priced the same and thankfully provide around the same amount of protein for each scoop as a whey or a casein powder. Looking forward to seeing how you enjoy your new vegan powder!

  2. Nicolas

    My friend that was a gassy experience. I do not take those protein you mention but that’s sure that I got unexpected farts every time in every single day and sometimes it become a bit embarrassing. Maybe it’s milk(as you say lactose). I will try to reduce milk consumption and see what happens. Thanks for the info.  

  3. Riaz Shah

    no wonder I’ve been passing gas for some time now! It’s getting quite frequent too, from several hours at a time, now it’s multiple times an hour and it’s actually making me uncomfortable when I’m at work as I have to take care of my image. Do you think that holding my fart for a long period of time could be detrimental to the body maybe?

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Riaz,

      Holding in a fart doesn’t cause any major damage to your body that’s worth worrying about. However, if you hold in many farts, chances are, the gas buildup will be too much which can lead to uncontrollable farts, which can get very awkward. 

  4. Perryline

    getting such an implosive and informative article isnt easy to come by this days. i sincerely appreciate your effort  creating time to provide such and helpful and informative article. i learnt protein does not cause flatulence, but it’s the carbohydrates that do. thanks for sharing mate i hope to see more useful topic such as this topic

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