Protein shakes can be your favourite gym partner and a great meal for when you’re on the go. However, just like that one friend that signs up to a gym with you only to never turn up, protein shakes can also let you down. If you don’t find the best protein powder fit for your body or simply don’t drink it the correct way, you may be left feeling bloated and no closer to fitting back into your favourite jeans.
Now, before you break up with your protein powder altogether, here are a few simple steps to ensure your protein powder doesn’t make you bloat.
Ask yourself, have you found the one?
According to studies, 3 out of 4 Australians experience a food intolerance of some kind, with lactose and gluten sensitivity presenting as the most common problems. Moreover, many of us simply don’t know that we are sensitive to certain kinds of foods, with intolerances presenting themselves in a multitude of ways. For some it may come in the form of skin conditions while for others it may manifest in more serious cases such as celiac and Crohn's disease.
If you are going through a love-hate relationship with your current protein powder, it may be time to ask yourself have you really found the one? If your protein powder is giving you stomach cramps instead of butterflies, it may be time to swap out to a vegan option. The Happy Way vegan range uses both pea and rice protein to offer a complete amino acids profile. This means that you will still receive all the same benefits as a whey protein shake.
Check for hidden culprits
Before you break up with your whey protein powder, read your ingredients list and look for hidden culprits. Ask yourself if you have invested in a quality brand. Consuming protein powders filled with unnecessary additives, fillers and sweeteners such as sucralose can also lead to digestive distress. Once you have invested in a quality protein powder free from fillers, try mixing it with water or an alternative to animal milk. If you are still experiencing digestive issues after swapping out to a quality whey protein powder brand, then it may be time to try vegan protein.
Pace yourselfNow we know this one may be hard when there is a delicious banana protein shake waiting for you after your favourite workout but slowing down to prevent bloating is key. This means waiting 30 minutes after your workout before having your protein shake and drinking it slowly to prevent your stomach from filling up with air bubbles.
Ditch the straw
Watch the sneaky ways in which unnecessary air may be making its way into your stomach such as using a straw to drink your smoothie. Your stomach and the environment will thank you for it. If you are on the run and ordering a protein smoothie from a café, say ‘no thank you’ to the plastic straw and drink your smoothie straight from the cup.
If you are making your smoothie at home, avoid over blending it. The more you blend it, the more air that will enter your drink and in turn your stomach.
Watch your serving size
Protein powders play an integral role in helping your muscles recover post-exercise; however, if you are new to taking this supplement, stick to the recommended serving size. If this is 30grams, don’t add an extra scoop into your smoothie for good measure. Slowly work your way up. The more you exercise, the more protein your body will naturally need. However, gradually building up your protein powder intake will allow your stomach to learn to digest it properly. The same goes for introducing any new supplements into your repertoire.
Watch your overall calorie intake
While protein powder shakes are not recommended as a meal replacement unless you are using them as a weight management tool, one should take into consideration the need to adjust your calorie intake. This is especially true if you are mixing your protein powder with added fruits, vegetables and nut butters. Before you know it, you could be drinking your way through an entire meal on top of your regular food intake. Overeating can cause our digestive system to slow down leaving us feeling slow and bloated.
Mix up your liquids repertoire
Even if you are not lactose intolerant, drinking too much milk can leave many of us feeling bloated from time to time. This is especially true if you are drinking more than one protein shake a day. Why not swap out your animal dairy for a nut milk or suitable alternative. The Happy Way powder range is that delicious, that even if you mix it with water, you will still be left feeling like your drinking a delicious thick shake.
Don’t be afraid to play around with your liquids until you find what works best for you.