Can You Drink Protein Shakes If You Are Lactose Intolerant?

(Source: Pixabay)

Protein shakes are a popular way to achieve your fitness goals. Whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle, protein shakes help you improve performance and recovery.  

Protein is a macronutrient that helps tone muscles, create important enzymes in the body and aids in weight loss. Protein powder is an essential nutritional supplement in the diets who are conscious of their fitness and food intake.

However, protein shakes can become an issue for those who are lactose intolerant or are vegan since a lot of the protein content comes from the dairy powder used in the shakes.

What Does It Mean To Be Lactose Intolerant?

To be lactose intolerant means your body is unable to digest lactose, the sugar component found in milk and dairy products. This usually happens due to the lack of an enzyme called lactase in your small intestines. This means that it is very difficult for the milk sugars to be converted into absorbable compounds and therefore the lactose remains undigested.

How would you know if you are lactose intolerant or not? Medical practitioners associate these symptoms with lactose intolerance – bloating, gas, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

The severity of lactose intolerance depends from person to person, just as the level of lactose in different dairy products. Any processed and packaged item from the supermarket that has ‘milk solids’ listed in the ingredients most certainly has lactose in it.

‘Can I Drink Protein Shakes If I’m Lactose Intolerant?’

Just because you’re diagnosed as lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you have to let go of the benefits of protein shakes. In terms of protein shakes, there are both dairy as well as non-dairy options that are safe to be consumed by people who are lactose sensitive. If you’re going online to find your suitable supplements, then you can check these protein powders that are lactose-free.

Understanding Whey Protein

The two types of protein in cow’s milk are whey and casein, both have lactose. Some types of whey protein powder contain less lactose than others and may be safe for people with lactose intolerance. Before trying any whey protein shake, you must get an approval from your doctor.

Not all whey powders have lactose in them. The two main types of whey protein are whey isolate and whey concentrate. Whey isolate has more protein and less lactose content than whey concentrate. By running whey liquids through a series of ceramic filters, protein powder manufacturers can remove all of the lactose. This makes whey protein isolate shakes safe for the lactose intolerant.

(source: Pixabay)

Non-Whey Options

There are many dairy-free protein powders in the market which are plant-based in their source. These are made from peas, hemp, brown rice, cranberries, soy, eggs and other foods.

Plant-based proteins are derived only from plants and therefore doesn’t involve any animal by-products or produce. They are also hypoallergenic, which means your gut is very unlikely to have a negative reaction.

Whichever option you choose, it is imperative that you discuss dietary exclusions and portions with your doctor or nutritionist to ensure your intake of protein is adequate.Stay healthy during the challenging times of COVID-19 and protect your near and dear ones.

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