Farting, cutting the cheese, gas, wind, or, to be technical, flatulence—you get the idea. Not only can too much gas cause uncomfortable situations, but it will also leave your stomach in a knot—not a muscular one. Depending on the source, protein can be harder on your body to digest. It may be the reason why people are giving you a weird look at the gym. As mentioned before, protein takes a while to break down in your body. This causes a thermic effect due to the difficulties of breaking it down. Thermic effect means that your body uses more calories to digest and uses the calories in protein. When your body breaks down protein, nitrogen is left. The end result of that positive nitrogen balance is you letting one loose. A diet lacking in fiber mixed in with a ton of protein will make for one constipated gym-goer.
We ask nutritionist Alice Mackintosh what causes protein-induced flatulence and how to make it stop There are a multitude of reasons why we can feel gassy or bloated — and a lot of things can come down to digestion not working optimally. There are also many different types of foods that can be the culprits and, to make it even more confusing, these vary from person to person. Though for most, protein from meat, eggs and fish do not tend to normally be at the top of this culprit list, having regular consumption of protein powder can cause problems. This can be because the higher quantity of protein can cause fermentation in the gut that can lead to gassiness or bloating. Meanwhile, other types of protein such as hemp, pea and brown rice may be easier to digest, so try these if whey is causing issues. Some protein shakes can also contain ingredients such as sweeteners, additives, chemicals and caffeine, which do not support healthy digestion either.
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So it took me a while to learn that my high protein diet was the main culprit. I had protein bloat! I also found out I was not alone. Figure competitor Kalli Youngstrom reports seeing more and more of her fellow competitors complaining of bloating and constipation. But sadly this is just putting a bandage over the wound, and not a healthy or sustainable solution. I refused to accept that the pay-off for great abs was a bloated tummy that I had to hide under jumpers. It initially seemed the case that I either sacrifice the many benefits of a high protein diet or suffer from a constantly bloated stomach. Thankfully, though, I persevered with some further research and have found some effective solutions to beat the protein bloat. Before I could fix my protein bloat, it was important for me to understand the reasons behind it. Protein has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients, meaning the body expends a lot of energy to digest it. This is great news for your metabolism and is why protein keeps you satiated longer.