Strong: Whey

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Heartburn is often caused by GERD

Protein. Why might a protein shake cause heartburn? For most trainees, protein shakes are tolerable.
But for some,
the milk content
or sugar might cause discomfort.

Whey protein helps build muscle

Types. First, there are many kinds of protein shakes. One type is the meal replacement shake. This shake often contains many different ingredients and calories.

Man with big arms wearing t-shirt

Replacements. If you are using a meal replacement shake such as Met-RX, you might be reacting to the sugar or carbohydrate—or another additional ingredient in it.


Carbohydrates. Many of us are carbohydrate-sensitive. If you are having problems with a meal replacement, try another brand or switch to a simpler kind of protein shake.


Weight gainers. Next, there are some weight-gainer protein shakes that are sold. These are mainly targeted to young males who want to bulk up quickly. These are sometimes a bad idea.


Fat and carbs. Weight-gainers contain fat and carbohydrates—not just protein. These tend to be tastier than the pure protein shakes. You could switch to whey protein isolate shakes.

Man wearing muscle shirt: strong arms and chest

Whey protein isolate. The simplest kind of protein shake is a whey protein isolate shake. I find these cause the least amount of gastrointestinal problems. They are simple.

Optimum Nutrition Protein

Low-calorie. Protein shakes are fairly low-calorie. They are almost pure protein. But if you are having problems with your brand of whey isolate, it might contain some additives.

Milk helps with muscle growth

Milk. Trainees add extra ingredients to protein shakes. For example, you might be adding milk to your shakes. This could bother you if you are lactose intolerant.

Muscular man with bulging pecs

Lactose. If you have lactose problems, you can still add milk to your protein shakes. You can use a lactose-free brand of milk such as Lactaid milk.

Water is important for physical health: H2O

Just use water. Alternatively just use water in your protein shakes. This is what I prefer. Typically people can tolerate whey isolate protein shakes mixed with water.

Muscle man wearing jeans

Focus on food. Whey protein shakes are useful and nutritious. But everyone in weight training should focus primarily on their overall nutrition, mainly their diet.


Priorities. Drinking whey protein shakes while eating a poor diet is beneficial. Far better would be to drink protein shakes while eating a clean, mass-building diet.

Strong body, posterize muscle effect

Story. Protein shakes used to cause me heartburn. I learned to avoid green tea when using them. And I use water (not milk) to make them. Shakes no longer bother me.

Tea, Bodybuilding

Causes. Protein shakes are usually healthy to drink. But there are many reasons why they might give you heartburn.
extra ingredients
and carbs are often to blame.


Lifting. Protein shakes cause heartburn. But for a weight lifter, the excess pressure on the abdomen is proven to also cause heartburn.

Bodybuilding, Heartburn