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Nausea & Fatigue After Protein Shake

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I've been trying to follow the advice I received on the forum to up my protein intake so that I'm meeting (ok, more like approaching) the 1 g / lb of bodyweight and have implemented an afternoon protein shake to help bring me closer to my daily requirement. It's a whey protein isolate and 2 scoops mixed with water gives me 48g protein, 4g carbs and only 234 calories - not bad!

I've been drinking 1 shake per day for about a week and a half, with a couple of 2 shake days when I had workouts (circuit weight training + HIIT).

The problem is that 20-30 minutes after I drink a shake, I feel "off" in the guts - nausea's probably too strong a word - and feel drained all of a sudden, no energy.

My question is whether this is a common reaction to a heavy hit of more or less 'pure' protein. I have no allergies that I'm aware of - I've read that lactose intolerance can lead to adverse effects with certain whey proteins but I have zero reaction to any dairy products in my daily life so I doubt that's the issue.


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Whey Protein is a derivative of milk so if you have problems with milk, you might have problems with whey. You might also be feeling nauseous because your drinking the shake too quickly. Maybe you should try just drinking half. Personally though I would recommend you do away with this shake and simply eat more protein rich foods that actually satisfy your food cravings! Hard Boiled Eggs, Free-Ranged Red Meats, Fish of all types, Poultry Breasts - All these things can be made and stored easily for your convenience after a work out. 

Thanks for the reply giasbash :) Per my original post though, I have no issues with any dairy products so the fact that whey protein is derived from milk seems like an unlikely cause for the weird guts & zapped energy. I am a notoriously fast eater as well so having a rapidly filled stomach is literally a 2-3 times per day occurence, something I'm very used to. Protein shakes are the only thing that cause these after-effects.

Is an 'adaption period' often experienced when starting out on protein shakes?

Your body is telling you something, listen to it and stop drinking the shakes if they are making you sick.

If you are really fond of the idea of shakes maybe try another type of powder/mix.  There are many made from things other than whey: soy, hempseed (my fave) and other mixes of vegetable protein.  Also take a look at what the ingredients in your powder/mix are.  A lot of them are loaded with refined sugars and artifical sweeteners which could very easily be contributing to you feeling awful. 

3 Replies