Whey protein for lactose intolerance
Whey protein - the whey protein from milk - is one of the most popular and effective proteins among athletes. Like all proteins, Whey Protein contributes to an increase and maintenance of muscle mass.
Since Whey Protein is nothing but whey and is derived from milk, it naturally containslactose. Therefore, Whey consumption is problematic for people with intolerance at first sight: about 15 percent of people in Germany do not tolerate lactose[¹], which manifests itself in stomach and intestinal problems after consuming dairy products.[²]
In our guide you will learn everything about the topic of Whey Protein and lactose and which lactose-free whey protein products are an alternative.
Stomach problems after Whey Protein Shake? Lactose suspected!
You had a delicious protein shake after your workout and a short time later your stomach rumbled? The reason could be lactose intolerance[³]:
Healthy people can break down lactose in the small intestine into the sugars galactose and glucose by the enzyme lactase, which is produced in the body. However, people with lactose intolerance can no longer do this, or can do so only inadequately, because they produce no or too little lactase.
The lactose then reaches the large intestine without being broken down, where it is fermented by intestinal bacteria. This process produces gases such as methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which can lead to flatulence, bloating, diarrhea and intestinal cramps.
People who suffer from this intolerance therefore refrain from eating products with milk or take lactase in addition to their meals. But what does this mean for the body's supply of protein, since dairy products are usually a good source of protein in the daily diet? Affected individuals can turn to alternative sources of protein, such as specially prepared lactose-free foods, protein powders or other products that contain protein. Many athletes rely on protein powders with Whey in their workouts to help build muscle with the amino acids they contain. However, Whey or whey is a dairy product that contains lactose and is therefore problematic for people with an intolerance - which is why alternative and lactose-free options have been developed.
Is Whey Protein lactose free?
Whey Protein is whey protein, a dairy product, and therefore contains lactose. However, there are certain filtering processes that can be used to produce what is called Whey Protein Isolate. Whey isolate contains little to hardly any lactose and is a good alternative for people with lactose intolerance.
Are there alternatives to whey protein with lactose?
For certain groups of people, pure Whey is out of the question, e.g. people who suffer from a cow's milk allergy. In addition to lactose, they also cannot tolerate the animal protein in milk.[⁴]
The same applies to athletes who eat a purely plant-based diet: Whey protein isolates without lactose are also not an option here. Nevertheless, there are also alternatives for them, e.g.. vegan protein powders.
Whey without lactose: Whey Protein Isolate
Whey protein isolate is a protein powder with very low to no lactose content. It is therefore the ideal alternative for people with lactose intolerance.
The isolate contains between 90 and 96 percent protein and is obtained through a microfiltration process. As a result, it contains less lactose, fats and carbohydrates, is suitable for a low-carbohydrate diet and makes it possible to consume Whey Protein if you are lactose intolerant. In addition, isolate has shorter protein chains and is available to the body and muscles within minutes.[⁵]
Also at ESN you can find Whey Protein Isolate products without lactose:
- ESN IsoWhey Hardcore: Our high quality, microfiltered Whey Isolate with very little lactose and fat while maintaining a very high protein content. It is rich in all essential amino acids with high biological value and wonderfully creamy - you can enjoy it like a milkshake.
- ESN Fruity Whey Isolate: Fruity Whey is a fruity Whey with extremely low fat and carbohydrates and a low lactose content. The shake ready mixed with water tastes like a refreshing juice - while providing an optimal supply of high-quality proteins.
- ESN ISOCLEAR Whey Isolate: ESN Isoclear® is a patented whey protein isolate. It tastes fruity delicious and refreshingly light like a soft drink. The ideal alternative to creamy protein shakes. With ESN Isoclear® the problem-free intake of Whey Proteinis possiblewith lactose intolerance: The lactose content of the isolateis less than 0.1 grams per 100 milliliters.
Vegan protein instead of Whey: Without lactose and purely vegetable
Whey protein is still the most popular protein powder among strength athletes. Nevertheless, purely vegetable proteins are gradually gaining in importance, for example because more and more people are deciding to consciously do without animal products. And also people with cow's milk allergy or lactose intolerance can use vegan protein powders without Whey.
Therefore,muscle building and vegan nutrition do not have to be mutually exclusive. Protein powders made from soy, pea, hemp or rice protein usually have an identical or comparable composition of amino acids and provide the body with sufficient protein.[⁶]
Looking for a dairy-free protein powder? You'll find it at ESN:
- ESNVegan Designer Protein: The ESN Vegan Designer Protein is THE vegan protein that does not taste bland and also does not bring a floury consistency. It consists of pea, hemp and sunflower protein. The Vegan Designer Protein convinces with a creamy consistency and an incomparably delicious taste .
- ESN Soy-Pro Isolate: Our ESN Soy-Pro Isolate is a vegetable protein from high quality soy Protein Isolate. It is easily digestible and scores with a high protein content. Our high quality protein powder does not contain genetically modified soy and is without Lactosesince it does not contain whey protein contains
- ESN Vegan Pro Complex: Our vegan 2-component protein powder consists of valuable rice and pea protein. With ESN Vegan Pro Complex you can expect no harsh taste as you may know it from other vegan protein powders. It's delicious and creamy with comparable value to Designer Whey Protein. The vegan protein naturally contains no lactose.
Conclusion: You can also cover your protein intake with Whey Protein without lactose.
As you can see, even with lactose-free whey protein, a sufficient protein supply and effective muscle building is possible. Filtered whey protein powders such as whey protein isolate do not contain lactose, but they contain the protein from milk and therefore the same composition of amino acids that your muscles need.
Pure vegetable proteins such as soy or pea protein also have a comparable or even identical amino acid profile to protein powders with Whey.[⁷]
The dairy-free or lactose-free alternatives to Whey protein also successfully support muscle building and nutrition-specific goals. Thus, people who cannot tolerate lactose, and therefore the whey protein in Whey protein powder, do not have to worry about meeting their protein needs.