If protein or meal replacement shakes have ever made you feel sick, nauseated, or given you a headache, I’m going to share some possible reasons that could be happening, as well as possible solutions so you’ll be able to enjoy shakes again.
Now, I’d never heard of anyone getting sick from drinking protein shakes until I received a very unnerving phone call from a friend one day about her favorite shake.
I’d like to share what she told me, if you don’t mind. I PROMISE it’ll be brief.
Apparently both she and her daughter began having “mysterious” stomach aches that, at times, had them bowled over in pain. And you can probably guess what the culprit was.
She ruled out other factors and narrowed it down to the shakes and got even more confirmation when she found out they weren’t alone, as she heard story after horrible story of other people who drank the same shakes and had the same symptoms or worse:
- nausea & vomiting
- newly-developed thyroid issues
- gallbladder removals
After hearing this, I immediately “put on my detective hat” and began investigating. What I discovered was that a LOT of folks get sick drinking protein shakes, and not just her brand.
Possible Reasons Your Shake Is Making You Sick
In order to (hopefully) get to the bottom of your protein shake dilemma, here are a few possibilities to consider:
Possible Reason #1 – Allergies/Sensitivities
Anytime I’ve EVER drank a protein or meal replacement powder with whey, it gave me a weird sensation in my head. Not quite a headache, but just… weird.
I can’t really explain but whatever it was, I could never drink more than a sip or two. But something in them is definitely causing this reaction.
Take a look at the ingredients in your protein shake and see if you recognize anything that you have allergies or sensitivities to such as gluten or certain sweeteners. If you’re not sure, you may want to get an allergy test done.
Possible Reason #2 – Lactose Intolerance
Many have indicated they experience gas pains, uncomfortable bloating, and nostril-stinging farts when drinking whey-based shakes.
So, if you’re lactose intolerant and your shake contains whey, you’ll probably want to ditch it for something that’s dairy/whey-free.
Another recommendation is to consider trying a shake with whey isolate, as opposed to whey concentrate, because it has little-to-no lactose; so that could be another option.
Related: Dairy Free Meal Replacement Shakes: The Real Scoop
Possible Reason #3 – Soy
Remember the friend I told you about?
She and many of those she mentioned felt very strongly that soy was the main culprit in their sickness – especially the thyroid and gallbladder issues.
I know, I know… soy has been touted as the “Holy Grail” for health enthusiasts and those who want to lessen or eliminate their meat consumption, right?
Yeah, well you may want to do your homework on it because as with anything else, there are definitely pros and cons to soy. In fact, according to an article on the Dr. Mercola website…
“Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story, points out thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.”
And to be clear, the more dangerous forms of soy are the ones that are NON-FERMENTED – things such as soy milk, fake meat products, soy-based baby formulas, soy nuts, (non-fermented) tofu, etc.
Fermented soy, however, is actually beneficial to the body and these include things such as miso, soy sauce, tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), tempeh, and fermented soy milks and tofu.
So, unless you can find a fermented soy-based shake, you may wanna find one with protein sources other than soy.
Possible Reason #4 – Not Drinking Enough Water
You must, must, MUST drink plenty of water when you’re using meal replacement & protein shakes!
Typically, meal replacement shakes have either fiber or bulking agents and if you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day, that can cause a lot of excess bloating & discomfort.
So, drink a glass of water immediately after your shake (and throughout the day) and see if that helps.
Don’t give up on shakes altogether
It’s obvious you know shakes have many benefits otherwise, you wouldn’t be drinking them. So I felt it important to let you know there are shakes that won’t make you sick, but can actually benefit you & your tummy with:
- A blend of probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes and fiber for digestive support
- 21g of easily-digested protein for healthy muscle growth & repair
- 500 mg of calcium for strong teeth, nails and bones
- 6000 mg of EFA’s for healthy cholesterol levels and improved hair, nails & skin
- Ingredients that may help regulate cholesterol & blood sugar
If you’d like to learn more about it or try it for yourself, click here.
Check Out These Other Shake-Related Articles:
Dairy Free Meal Replacement Shakes: Do They Exist?
Meal Replacement Shakes: Think You Know All The Benefits? Think Again!
How To Use Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss