Protein shakes are a great way to reach your protein goals. Instead of having to eat an extra meal, you can just drink a shake.

This can be especially helpful for those who struggle to eat enough to gain muscle.

They also aren’t too expensive. However, if they’re causing you to feel sick, it’s difficult to continue drinking them.

Why Do Protein Shakes Me Nauseous?

There are a few ingredients found in protein powders that can make people feel sick such as dairy and sugar alternatives. You may also be taking in too much protein. Another factor to consider is how much water you’re drinking and if you’re having your shake on an empty stomach. Shaker cups can also cause a lot of air to get trapped in your protein, which then sits in your stomach.

You Are Taking In An Ingredient That Makes You Sick

There are several ingredients found in protein powders that can make people sick. It’s important to look at the ingredients in yours and try to decide which is causing you to feel nauseous.

Let’s take a look at some ingredients that may be causing sickness.

DairyWith many people being lactose intolerant nowadays, dairy is one of the main culprits of sickness after drinking a protein shake.

Whey concentrate is a dairy product that contains a lot of lactose. If it is upsetting your stomach, try switching to a whey isolate, which is stripped of lactose and fat.

And obviously, do not mix your powder with milk. Try almond or oat milk. Or water.

Sugar Alternatives – Our bodies cannot absorb these very well and can cause feelings of sickness. Sorbitol and maltitbol are both sugar alcohols that may cause feelings of sickness. Try to avoid protein powders with these ingredients.

Most artificial sweeteners are fine because they don’t contain sugar alcohols. These include sucralose and aspartame.

Try out protein powders with different ones and see which is best for you.

You’re Ingesting Too Much Protein

Yes, it is possible to have too much protein. Most people only need 0.75-1g of protein per pound of body weight, per day. This is dependent on your muscle building requirements.

Protein is essential as it plays an important role in growth, development, and tissue repair. Your muscles simply can’t grow and repair themselves without it.

Because of this, many people trying to gain muscle think they should take in as much as possible. However, this can be dangerous and lead to kidney issues.

Excess protein will place strain on your kidneys and can lead to dehydration. Spreading out protein throughout the day is a good idea as your body cannot digest a lot in one sitting.

High amounts of protein can also lead to the formation of kidney stones.

It’s probably not a good idea to chug your protein shakes as your body won’t be able to break down all the protein at once. Instead, sip on it over an hour long period.

You Aren’t Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration can cause nausea and dizziness. Your protein shake could be further dehydrating you. Make sure to drink lots of fluids around the time of your protein shake.

Many people will also experience constipation from whey protein. This can be combated by staying hydrated.

Drinking plenty of water will also assist your organs in breaking down proteins in your body. This will make sure that your body is using the protein to build and repair muscle properly.

Water will also allow your kidney to properly break down the protein powder.

You’re Taking It On An Empty Stomach

Many people find that taking protein on an empty stomach makes them feel sick. If you aren’t eating before the gym and the first thing you do after your workout is have your shake, this can be the case.

Consider having a small snack before having your protein shake to see if this is the reason.

Try mixing your protein powder in with other things if protein powder alone is making you sick. Consider adding oats, peanut butter, berries, or yogurt all into a blender with your protein.

This may help combat feelings of nausea.

Shortly after your workout, your body is still going from your fast paced workout. Having a protein shake directly after can cause you to get sick. Or anything other than water for that matter.

Wait about 30 minutes after so that your body is ready to digest the protein.

It’s Filled With Air

I’m sure that you vigorously whip your shaker cup around before you drink it. It is called a shaker cup for a reason, right?

Well all this shaking fills the drink up with air that you ingest and then feel very full afterwards.

After drinking your shake, you may instantly feel full and sick, due to the amount of air inside your stomach.

If you pour your protein shake into a cup, you will notice that it seems lighter and fuller due to the air. If you let it sit out for about 20 minutes you will notice a ring of foam at the top. That is the air escaping.

Make your protein shake and shake it up about 30 minutes prior to drinking. Then place it in the fridge, allowing the air to escape before drinking. Adding water to the shake may also help the air escape quicker.

Using a blender is a great way to remove the air from the protein.

This air in your body may not only make you feel bloated and sick, but can also lead to intestinal gas. If you have gas after consuming protein powder, this is most likely why.

Read more about protein powder causing frequent urination in this article if interested.

So Which Protein Can I Take?

Find a protein powder that is free of insulin, acesulfame potassium, aspartame or saccharin. The fewer ingredients in your protein powder, the better.

There really only needs to be whey protein and some type of flavoring in your powder.

I highly recommend Diesel Protein. I have tried many kinds and this is the one that I take every day. Being lactose intolerant, it is a great choice that never has given me any stomach issues.

Diesel uses whey protein isolate derived from cows that are hormone free and only grass fed. This means that there are pesticides or hormones that can get into the protein.

It is also free of fat, lactose, gluten, and aspartame. It uses stevia for its flavoring, which won’t leave your stomach feeling sick.

Another great protein option is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey.

It also has very few ingredients and uses sucralose as flavoring, which will not upset your stomach.

Cheapest Price Here

Both of these protein powders also come with the added bonus of BCAA’s. BCAA’s will help with the muscle’s recovery process after a difficult workout.

They also aid in process of protein synthesis. You can be sure that you are not only getting the protein your body needs, but also starting the muscle’s recovery process. This means that they can grow bigger and stronger.


Most issues from protein powder come from digestion. If you have a lactose intolerance, make sure you are using a whey protein isolate.

Drink plenty of water and make sure your stomach isn’t empty when you have your protein shake. Leave the protein shake for 20 minutes after shaking or use a blender to prevent filling your stomach with air.

Use a protein powder free of sugar alcohols like the ones mentioned above.

Make sure you are taking in the right amount of protein for you body weight.

Leave any questions or comment below and I will get back to you!

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