Q: Can you use whey protein powder if you’re lactose intolerant?

A lot of people have some intolerance to cow’s milk (a.k.a. dairy). Whether it’s slight gassiness after drinking milk, after eating cheese or loose stools, these hints of digestive disturbances don’t always mean you’re incapable of eating something that comes from a cow, but the states are determined by the individual.

Not everyone understands that whey protein is a dairy food; it’s one of the two important proteins found together with another being casein. After casein and whey are divided in the procedure for earning cheese, whey is highly filtered and cleaned, so the remaining merchandise is a powdered protein food that is pure.

Through the production of whey, lactose is mainly removed, which will usually be the culprit behind most dairy dilemmas. For most of US, lactose (the carbohydrate sugar found naturally in dairy) is indigestible and may lead to gassiness or regular excursions to the restroom. These people find relief when they consume milk products using the enzyme lactose added (like Lactaid milk), or take lactase pills. Often they can nevertheless eat modest amounts of yogurt and a number of cheeses (such as mozzarella) without an excessive amount of difficulty because these products also have a reduced lactose content. Therefore, for a lot of individuals with lactose intolerance, whey protein does not present any issue at all and might be consumed as desirable.

Those that may eat cheese although not whey protein powders with no gastrointestinal problems are sensitive to whey, while those who can have the reverse are sensitive to casein. You may also appreciate whey, but stay far away from cheese if you’re the latter, in place of the former.

In some instances, whey protein powders have added thickeners and gums, such as carrageenan, guar gum, or xanthan gum, which may be problematic. These added thickening agents (which are particular kinds of fibers) may introduce a problem because they’re hard for some people to digest and may also lead to gas or cramping. Because these thickeners are fibers, eating them is similar to eating a very high-fiber food, for example, beans or eggplant, and experiencing bloating after. In the event you eat a food with one of these ingredients added and have such unpleasant unwanted side effects, simply avoid them and you’ll be fine – or it is possible to take a digestive enzyme supplement (featuring cellulases and amylases) that’ll help you break down fiber, and also you won’t experience any humiliation.

On the very end of the spectrum of dairy intolerance is complete intolerance and/or an actual allergy. People who cannot, regardless of what the food is (and regardless of the enzyme added) consume food from a cow should avoid them entirely; it’s the folks around you, or only not worth for you.

For nearly all individuals with milk dairy intolerances, whey protein powders are not going to cause any symptoms and are highly digestible. For all intents and purposes, they may as well be a lactose free whey protein powder.