Are you a regular consumer of protein powder but have been experiencing some discomfort in your digestive system lately? 

You’re not alone…

In fact, many people ask themselves: “Why do protein shakes make you poop?”.

As a CPT who has been using a bunch of different protein powders since I can remember, I will share with you the answers that you seek.

So… Do Protein Shakes Make You Poop?

Purple infographic with an image of a unicorn farting a rainbow. The text displays: So Do Protein Shakes Make You Poop

The simple answer is, yes, protein shakes and other protein supplements can make you poop, but it’s not the same for everyone. 

There are a few factors that can contribute to this phenomenon, and we’re going to break them down for you. 

Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the world of protein digestion and poop! 

Why Do Protein Shakes Make You Poop: The Real Reason

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After doing some research and talking to nutrition experts, I’ve learned that there are a few different reasons why protein shakes might make you poop.

#1 Lactose Intolerance? Watch Out!

I remember when I first started drinking my protein shake, I wondered, “Why do protein shakes make you poop?” Then I realized, I’m lactose intolerant! 

Many protein powders, especially those made from whey protein concentrate, contain lactose – a natural sugar found in milk. 

If you’re lactose intolerant like me, consuming these products can lead to digestive issues, including increased bowel movements.

Thankfully, there are alternatives like whey protein isolate, which has most of the lactose removed, or vegan protein powders made from plant sources. 

These options can be gentler on your digestive system while still providing the protein intake you need.

And if you don’t like the taste, there are plenty of options to spice up your protein shake.

#2 Protein Overload: Too Much of a Good Thing

As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad – and this applies to protein too!

Consuming too much protein can be hard on your digestive tract, leading to uncomfortable and frequent trips to the bathroom. 

When your body digests protein, it produces waste byproducts, which need to be eliminated from your system. 

Overloading protein shakes might lead to an overworked digestive system, making you poop more frequently.

Remember, a balanced diet and protein intake is key – ensure you’re getting protein from a variety of sources and not relying solely on protein supplements.

#3 Low Fiber, High Discomfort

Here’s a fun fact: Many protein powders are low in fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and promoting regular bowel movements. 

If your diet is primarily focused on protein intake, you might not be getting enough fiber, leading to irregularity or constipation.

Ironically, this could also make you fart or poop more when your body finally decides it’s time to, uh, let loose.

Make sure you’re including fiber-rich foods in your diet alongside your protein shakes, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

#4 Sweet, But Not So Sweet for Your Stomach

Let’s talk a bit about artificial sweeteners. Many protein powders contain these sneaky little devils to make them taste better without adding calories. 

However, some people their stomachs can get pretty upset from these sweeteners, causing gas, bloating, and, you guessed it, poop!

If you think artificial sweeteners may be the culprit, try switching to a protein powder without them, or consider using natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit instead.

#5 Brand Matters: Does Your Protein Shake Pass the Test?

Not all protein shakes are created equal. Different brands use varying ingredients and formulations, which can affect how your body reacts to them. 

Some (whey) protein powders may contain ingredients that don’t agree with your digestive system, making you poop more than usual.

It’s essential to find a protein powder that works well for you and your body. 

Don’t be afraid to try different brands of types of protein (such as whey protein isolate, milk protein, or vegan protein powders) until you find the perfect fit!

Wrapping It Up Like a Bowel Movement

And there you have it—the answer to the age-old question, “Do protein shakes make you poop?” 

The short answer is yes, they can, but it depends on a few factors like lactose intolerance, excessive protein intake, low fiber, artificial sweeteners, and the brand you choose.

As someone who’s been drinking protein shakes for a while, I can attest to the fact that it’s not always an easy ride…


Yes, protein shakes can affect your poop. They may cause more frequent bowel movements or changes in stool consistency, depending on several factors, including the type of protein powder, individual protein digestion, and overall diet.

In some cases, yes, protein shakes can give you diarrhea, especially if you’re consuming too much protein or have lactose intolerance. Additionally, some people may be sensitive to artificial sweeteners or other ingredients commonly found in protein powders.

Try reducing your protein intake or switching to a different type of protein powder. Plant-based protein powders may be easier on your digestive system than milk-based ones, and choosing a product with added fiber can also help regulate bowel movements.

Protein shakes can make you gassy, especially if you’re consuming too much protein or are sensitive to certain ingredients. Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, such as xylitol or sorbitol, are known to cause gas and bloating in some people.