Gut health expert warns these high-protein foods are ruining your stomach

Woman preparing protein shake at home.
Gym-goers are being warned that they could be harming their gut health with some supplements -Credit:Getty

Gym-goers are being warned that their favourite high-protein supplements could be wreaking havoc on their gut health.

It can be a challenge to find stomach-friendly fuel for workouts, and popular choices like protein bars, shakes, and pre-workout drinks may not always agree with your digestive system.

Despite their widespread use, these products can cause discomfort or even bloating in some people. Chris Dubberley, a gut health expert from Incontinence Shop, has offered his advice and recommendations.

1. Protein bars

Protein bars might be convenient, but they can be tough on your stomach. They're often loaded with isolated fibres and sugars that don't digest well and instead ferment in your gut, leading to bloating, gas, or diarrhoea.

Ingredients like chicory root fibre and maltitol, which are commonly found in these bars, are known to upset more sensitive stomachs.

Chris said: "Athletes should be particularly mindful of eating protein bars to avoid digestive issues during exercise. I suggest trying protein bars with whole ingredients and minimal added sugars to help your gut health."

2. Whey Protein Powder

Protein powder.
Relying too heavily on supplements could lead to a fibre-deficient diet -Credit:Getty

The expert continued: "A varied diet is key to maintaining healthy gut flora, so overloading on protein powder can throw off your gut's microbial balance. Some protein powders' added sugars and flavourings might also disturb your blood sugar levels and balance, promoting harmful bacteria growing in your gut."

"While protein is needed for muscle repair, relying too heavily on supplements could lead to a fibre-deficient diet and poor gut health."

3. Pre-workout Supplements

The cocktail of ingredients in pre-workout supplements, including artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and caffeine, can vary significantly and may upset some people's stomachs.

It's crucial to pay attention to your body and make adjustments as necessary, as everyone's digestive system is unique.

4. Creatine

On the bright side, creatine acts like a protector for your gut cells. It supplies the energy they require to ward off damage from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), reducing inflammation and strengthening the gut's defences.

This support can result in less discomfort and a healthier gut, maintaining a robust barrier and preventing unwanted substances from entering the bloodstream.