It has been a while since I have talked about supplement so I thought that today I would focus on probably the most used supplement on the market, protein powder.
We all know that protein powder is the staple of any gym goers diet, but as someone with numerous food allergies, I wanted to take a look at what protein powders have been created for sufferers of lactose intolerance.
As protein powders go, more often than not, you think of whey protein. This easily digested form of protein is often the first choice of athletes and fitness fanatics throughout the world. However, as a milk byproduct, this can be a serious issue for sufferers of lactose intolerance.
So what options are out there if you want help meeting your fitness goals but are hindered by lactose intolerance? Well, let’s take a look.
What is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose is a type of sugar you find in milk products. Lactose intolerance is a condition where your body cannot digest lactose, so, you develop an allergy to any product which contains it.
Many people experience uncomfortable symptoms as soon as an hour after eating something with lactose in. These symptoms can including bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Like many food allergies and sensitivities, there are a number of levels of lactose intolerance. One person may be able to drink 3 glasses of milk before they would have any symptoms, where another may not even be able to stomach one mouthful.
Lactose intolerance is similar to many food allergies. Like nut or gluten allergies, the only treatment is to stop consuming lactose entirely.
Lactose Free Protein Powder Options
Whey protein is hands down the most popular form of protein powder. Unfortunately, as whey is comes from milk, it can often have a high lactose content. Anyone who cannot consume lactose may experience serious symptoms after consuming protein powder.
After doing my research, I have found that there are a now a number of protein powder options which are suitable for sufferers of lactose intolerance. Obviously manufacturers have seen a gap in the market and a new lactose free range has arisen.
I want to share those options with you, so that anyone with a lactose sensitivity can try these products and not miss out on the muscle building goodness protein powder has to offer.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey is a very high-quality protein source, it contains all of the essential amino acids and is absorbed as quickly as 15 minutes after you drink it. This makes it an ideal supplement after a brutal workout, to hit that 30 minute post workout window and reap all the muscle building and repairing benefits.
As mentioned, you find whey protein in milk. When milk is acidified, you are left with a hard substance called curd and a liquid called whey. Once you remove the water from whey you are left with powder that can be sold to the muscle building masses.
But there are a number of forms of whey protein. One of which is whey protein isolate. This is processed to such a high level that it contains very little lactose. The National Strength and Conditioning Association states that whey protein isolate is safe for people with lactose intolerance.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, soy protein is both a great source of protein and a key component in heart and bone health.
As soy protein (or soy protein isolate) does not contain any milk products (as it comes from soybeans) it is safe for anyone who is lactose intolerant to enjoy.
Pea protein is made from yellow split peas (think ‘peas pudding hot, peas pudding cold, peas pudding in the pot five days old’)
Pea protein is completely lactose free as it is a plant based protein.
Hemp seeds, the health building superfood every nutritionist is raving about can also be made into a protein powder. As it is totally milk free, it is great for lactose intolerance sufferers and vegans too!
Brown Rice Protein
Believe it or not, whole grain brown rice offers a huge protein source and excellent amino acid profile which is the closest to mother’s milk.
Brown rice protein is a particular favorite among vegans and is of course, lactose free naturally.
Wheat protein powder is made by using the gluten found in wheat. Another popular plant based protein great for anyone looking for a lactose free option, this would not be suitable though for those with a gluten or wheat sensitivity.
Beef protein is derived from the lean beef of grass-fed cows rather than milk. Beef protein is just that, pure beef. Although not for anyone who follows a vegan diet, it’s a great lactose free option.
Egg protein has been touted as the ‘gold standard’ source of protein due to its incredible bioavailability. Although, be prepared for an eggy aftertaste!