What Is Protein Bloat?

I’ve had a high protein diet since I an initial picked up a dumbbell. Regardless of a ‘clean’ diet consist of of only entirety foods, measured and also prepared to exact macronutrient specifications, I had actually been suffering from continuous bloating. I was in ~ my wit’s end, wondering how I could clean up mine diet any type of further. I’d only ever before read good things around protein. For this reason it take it me a while to learn that mine high protein diet was the main culprit. I had actually protein bloat!

I likewise found out ns was no alone. Figure competitor Kalli Youngstrom reports seeing more and more of her fellow competitors complaining the bloating and also constipation. She claims many people resort come laxatives. However sadly this is just putting a bandage over the wound, and not a healthy and balanced or sustainable solution. You’ll be thankful to recognize it’s also not necessary.

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For a while, i tried to neglect what I’d discovered out. I refused to accept that the pay-off for good abs to be a bloated tummy the I had actually to hide under jumpers. However I couldn’t unlearn what I’d discovered. It originally seemed the instance that ns either sacrifice the plenty of benefits that a high protein diet or suffer from a constantly bloated stomach. Thankfully, though, i persevered through some further research and also have found some efficient solutions to beat the protein bloat.

What reasons Protein Bloat?

Before I can fix mine protein bloat, it was essential for me to recognize the reasons behind it.

1. Protein is hard to Digest

Protein has the highest thermic result of all the macronutrients, definition the human body expends a lot of of energy to digest it. This is an excellent news for your metabolism and is why protein keeps girlfriend satiated longer. However, when it concerns the protein bloat, this have the right to be a drawback.

Proteins have actually a facility structure. The body needs a multitude of different enzymes dubbed proteases to an initial break lock down. Digestive enzymes act to “predigest” her food, and failure as lot as 75% of her meal (Barron, 2007). Sadly, the means we live means we usually lack sufficient amounts of cradle enzymes. If nature had actually its way, we’d gain plenty of these from our food. However, cooking and processing food destroys cradle enzymes.

Without this enzymes, protein deserve to sit in the stomach choose a hard lump. A big part the a protein-rich enjoy the meal can get in your intestines undigested. This leader to inflammation and also swelling in your intestines, which results in protein bloat.

2. Other vital Macronutrients room Sacrificed

A high protein diet deserve to mean sacrifice other vital nutrients. If we emphasis only ~ above hitting those high protein macro goals, we have the right to ignore foods that assistance a healthy and balanced digestive system.

Because protein helps develop muscle, and also carbohydrate fuels workout performance, we fitness individual often ignore fats. However, fats aid stimulate bowel activities (Monastyrsky, 2005), and omega 3, in particular, is well-known to reduce inflammation (Simopoulous, 2002). A diet too low in fat can reason an inflamed colon, leading to bloating and constipation.


Many the us acquire our quota of complicated carbohydrates. White rice and sweet potato are some any fitness enthusiast’s staples. However, a lot of ‘good’ carbohydrates lack fibre. Together this, there’s almost no fibre in plenty of protein-based foods, such together eggs, meat, and also smooth peanut butter. This is a real trouble for those enduring from protein bloat. Dissolve fibre prevents constipation, if insoluble fibre helps all that protein rich food pass v the digestive tract. It likewise balances intestinal bacteria, which consequently reduces bloating (Turner, 2013). Bloating frequently stems from an imbalance in this bacteria, or constipation. So, without adequate fibre, we’re left even an ext susceptible to the protein bloat.

3. Protein is very Acidic

Your gut has to maintain a certain pH balance to duty properly. Many protein-rich foods, such together meat and also dairy, room acid-forming. Acid-forming foods items raise the mountain level of your gut’s pH balance, which have the right to impair the body’s ability to digest certain foods. This reasons these foods to ferment in the gut. A diet high in acidic foods irritates the stomach lining, contributing to digestive difficulties (Krevsky). To optimal it off, acid-forming foods can lead to inflammation. Among the chief symptom of all of these things? Bloating.

4. Whey Shakes contain High doses of Lactose

If you’re into your fitness, opportunities are you consume whey shakes. These are one of the most typical culprits because that inducing the protein bloat. This is usually due to the fact that of the high lactose contents of many whey supplements. Whey protein concentrate, the many common type of whey supplement, has actually a greater content the lactose and minerals from milk 보다 other species of whey.


It could surprise you the lactose intolerance is an extremely common. The affects approximately 75% of the populace (Scrimshaw, 1988). Remember what us covered about digestive enzymes? countless of us don’t develop a many lactate, the enzyme compelled to malfunction lactose. This could go unnoticed when drinking tiny amounts of milk in tea and coffee, or adding a bit of cheese and butter to her food. However, whey protein is packed with bigger doses the lactose than you can otherwise be used to. Think of how rapid you deserve to down a protein shake article workout. Now imagine the gut having actually to address this much lactose and artificial sweetener in one struggle – immediate protein bloat.

How to Beat the Protein Bloat

So, I dislike to be the bearer of poor news, however I think it’s settled. The clean, healthy high protein diet is most likely the cause of your constant bloating. Yet don’t despair. Girlfriend don’t have to throw out all her pre-prepped meals, nor do you should sacrifice that macronutrient separation you’ve been getting great results with. I’ve researched and trialed the complying with fixes. For this reason I’m safe in the knowledge that the adhering to things will certainly calm her protein bloat while allowing you to still chow down on chicken.

1. Shot a various ‘Whey’

Excuse the pun, however this is optimal of the list because, because that me, this yielded practically instant results. Transforming this alone could be sufficient to beat your protein bloat. The cheapest source of whey protein is whey concentrate. But other species contain less lactose. For example, whey isolate has less lactose and also is an ext refined. It additionally has a higher protein content – about 90%. Hydrolysed whey is pre-digested, an interpretation the body has to do much less work come absorb it. The price tag can be higher, however your tummy will certainly be flatter.


Another alternative is to think about a different protein source entirely. I have actually recently swapped to a vegetables supplement, blending hemp, rice and also pea proteins. Prior to doing mine due diligence, ns was firmly on the ‘plant proteins aren’t as effective’ bandwagon. And also it’s true that plant proteins contain fewer amino mountain than pet protein, do them much less anabolic (Trommelen, 2017). However, studies have uncovered this deserve to largely be compensated for simply by consuming an ext of it (Gorissen et al., 2016). Pick a good quality blended source to for sure you get a more complete selection of amino acids and also top up v an extra half scoop.

2. Examine You’re no Overdoing It

As fitness folk, we have tendency to base every our meals about protein. And this is no bad thing. Current studies have displayed a high protein diet to have actually no adverse impacts on countless important health and wellness markers (Antonio, 2016, Devies et al., 2018). However, if you’re experiencing from protein bloat, it might do you an excellent to examine your intake.

While i was conscious of overconsuming other macronutrients, ns paid little attention to the amount of protein ns was getting. I took whey shakes before and after functioning out and hit at least 25g that protein every meal. This was an ext than enough for mine goals.

But on more scrutiny, ns realised the all mine high protein meals included up to much more than 3g of protein every kilo i weighed per day. Those right into their fitness tend to i disbanded the idea that we only need 0.8g protein per kilo the our human body weight. Yet top sports scientists such together Dr. Karen Reid Ph.D. recommend that even top athletes require only consume a preferably of 2g per day, through the bulk of united state fitness enthusiasm needing much more like 1.6g (MacDonald, 2014). Simply cutting back on my in its entirety protein intake to nearer these quantities helped relax my protein bloat (and my wallet).

3. Eat more Fibre and Fats

Once I reduced my protein intake down a bit, I essential to to fill the empty part of my plate through something. I began introducing an ext fibre-rich carbohydrates, and also healthy fats. Part diet tweaks ns made consisted of swapping white rice because that wholegrain and including a teaspoon of milled flax seeds to my oats in the morning. Ns topped up mine ‘good’ fat intake v avocado, nuts, and also swapped several of my protein sources for oily fish and also eggs.


This yielded amazing results. Not just did I prevent suffering indigenous constipation, yet I experienced a definite advancement in my bloated tummy. A couple of anti-bloating foods items that complement any kind of fitness based diet include:

Fibre:Sweet potato through skinWholegrainsVegetablesBeans and legumesFruits: bananas, mangoes, strawberries, raspberriesFats:AvocadoNuts and seedsEggsOily fish: mackerel, salmonNut butter

4. Balance Acid v Alkaline

We’ve disputed the influence that acid-forming food can have top top gut health. A usual Western diet is highly acidic, and also even an ext so if girlfriend eat a diet high in pet protein. Balancing this out through alkaline foods items is a great way come reduce many symptoms the protein bloat, and won’t affect your macro goals. Many alkaline foods are an extremely low in calories, such as leafy greens and also broccoli. Piling this onto your plate alongside your protein won’t leave you feeling as well full, or overeating. Right here are some good pH balancers come complement any protein-rich meal:

ApplesUncooked irpari greensBroccoliCarrotsCauliflowerAubergineLime juiceApple cider vinegarMostly every fruit

I now prep as much alkaline food together I do protein. This have end up being some of my ‘staples’, and also I’ll ensure to balance my protein resources with same or higher amounts that alkaline foods. I’ll also include apple cider vinegar and lime juice come water. Mine fridge could be full to the brim with bowls of broccoli and spinach. However my blue jeans aren’t no busting open up under the stress, overload of mine protein bloat.

5. Take it Supplements

The diet tweaks above will go a long means to aid alleviate your protein bloat. However, year of cramming in protein meant I needed a bit much more help. This is wherein supplementation comes in. If an altering your diet alone isn’t relieving her symptoms, these supplements space a certain fire means to remedy the bloated tummy.


Digestive Enzymes

Bodybuilding prepare coach note Palfery claims digestive enzymes are a godsend because that anyone top top a an extremely high protein diet. Together discussed, we normally have less digestive enzymes 보다 we should because of our society. Protein digestion, in particular, deserve to be hard work because that the body. So supplementing v extra enzyme can offer your body the support it needs to digest her meals. Proteolytic enzymes occupational to breakdown the lengthy chain molecules of protein into amino acids, and these space readily available in complement form. Make certain your cradle enzyme supplement includes ‘protease’ come ensure it’ll occupational to aid digest your high protein meals.


Inulin is a source of fibre from chicory root. The acts together a prebiotic – or food because that ‘good’ bacteria, promoting a healthy and balanced gut. The is connected with much more frequent bowel activities (Collado et al., 2014) and better digestive health (Marteau et al., 2011). These services are an excellent for balancing out the ill-effects the protein bloat.

Inulin is short in calories and also is a no-fuss method to increase your fibre intake. It comes in powdered type and is soluble in water, definition I can include it to my vegan protein shake, or take it it alone together apple cider vinegar. I’ve arisen the habit of taking inulin and apple cider vinegar through water top top an empty stomach twice a day. This balances the end my gut pH and also feeds mine friendly bacteria, and also has certainly helped my protein bloat!


We’ve covered just how protein bloat deserve to be the an outcome of one imbalance that bacteria in the gut. Inulin gives a food source for healthy bacteria come encourage them come grow. Yet taking a probiotic supplement proactively introduces an ext of this bacteria. Combine a prebiotic prefer inulin and also probiotic for the ideal gut-balancing effect.

Refrigerated brand of probiotics are stated to be higher in quality. However, if you’re prefer me and resource your supplements online, aim because that a shelf-stable variety. This will certainly ensure every those trusted bacteria aren’t killed off in transit at room temperature.

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It’s essential to note these solutions take time. Protein bloat didn’t struggle me overnight – the crept up on me over a long duration of eating a high protein diet. Healing my protein bloat take it a bit of patience. Yet introducing some balance to her body v the solutions above will assist you. Rest assured that you have the right to be bloat cost-free without compromising her protein goals.

Are you on a high protein diet to maximise muscle growth? friend probably understand that a high protein diet demands to be coupled v a well-informed exercise programme. Review our overview on developing the most effective muscle obtain workout plan here!