Protein shakes can be a good on-the-go meal or a reliable protein supplement that helps build lean muscle tissue. Some people find that protein shakes leave them feeling bloated, though. If this happens to you, these tips will help you enjoy your next shake without the bloat:
Go ‘sugar alcohol’ free
Sugar alcohols are neither sugars nor alcohols. They are carbohydrates that the body does not completely absorb and metabolize, and for some people this can cause gas, bloating - even diarrhea. Your best bet is to skip protein shakes that contain ingredients such as: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, maltitol syrup, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.
Adjust to fiber shakes
If you normally don’t get much fiber in your diet, drinking high-fiber protein shakes can initially cause some gas and bloating. That doesn’t mean you should avoid shakes containing fiber since fiber offers all kinds of health benefits and most of us need to get more in our diet. Instead, have a quarter serving of shake on the first day, have a half-serving the next day or so and gradually increase to a full shake serving in 5 to 7 days. By letting your body adjust the added fiber should not cause you any discomfort
Not so frothy
The longer you blend your shake the more air you whip into it and the more air you’ll swallow. Make your shake super-smooth and you won’t walk around afterwards feeling bloated.
Quickly gulping down your shake can leave you uncomfortably gassy and bloated. The solution: Sip more slowly and you won’t swallow as much excess air.
Tanya’s tip: While a protein shake is fine as an occasional meal replacement, keep in mind that shakes are not nutritionally equal to a healthy meal such as grilled chicken breast with a baked potato and a side salad. Protein shakes are helpful as a protein booster, but always turn to food first as your main provider of essential vitamins and minerals.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the bestselling author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber as well as the F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and register for new weekly newsletter by visiting her website Ffactor.com.