The low FODMAP diet is a common elimination diet used in the treatment of IBS. You can read more about the low FODMAP diet in our guide to the low FODMAP diet

We’re rounding up low FODMAP protein powder options because protein powders have and always will be a big part of the nutrition field. They are useful in many different populations and health concerns but are most commonly used in the sports nutrition field. Protein consumption goals can be difficult to reach, and even harder when you are on a restricted diet such as the low FODMAP diet elimination phase. Protein powder is vague, so what exactly is protein powder made of? 

person scooping protein powder into a blender; photo by kelly sikkema via unsplash

What are protein powders made of?

Protein powders are typically made from nuts/seeds, rice, hemp, pea, soy, whey, egg white, or casein. The most abundant protein powder base on the market is undoubtedly whey protein but plant-based options are sneaking up behind, particularly pea protein products. Whey and casein-based protein powders contain dairy and sometimes lactose depending on the processing involved. Remember, high lactose foods are avoided on the low FODMAP diet!

On the other hand, collagen peptides are derived from animal collagen meaning they don’t inherently have dairy/lactose in them but they are not vegan.

The plant-based protein options are derived from the remaining foods mentioned above, primarily pea, and rice which automatically makes them vegan/dairy free.

Because protein powders are not extensively studied YET from a low FODMAP standpoint, shopping can be difficult. What we do know is that whey protein isolate and brown rice are considered the safest low FODMAP protein powder option. Pea protein isolate and hemp protein are in the early stages of research but are also expected to be low FODMAP as Monash University has added certified products to their list that contain pea and hemp protein.

What is the difference between isolate and concentrate on protein powders?

There are 2 main forms of whey, casein, and soy protein powders—concentrate and isolate. Whey and casein proteins are derived from cows’ milk but the major difference is that isolate proteins undergo more processing making them high in protein and lower in lactose, carbohydrates, and fat. Whey/Casein concentrates can be suitable on a low FODMAP diet IF they are labelled lactose free.

The same holds true for soy, but this protein source is derived from soybeans. Soy protein isolate undergoes more processing which removes excess galactans (high FODMAP food group) making it lower in FODMAPs. So, if you are shopping for either of these protein types, opt for the isolate form.

No matter what protein powder source you choose from, there are ingredients you will want to look out for if you decide to try products that aren’t certified by Monash University of FODMAP Friendly.

Ingredients to avoid on labels:

  • Artificial sweeteners ending in -ol such as xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol
  • Prebiotics such as inulin, FOS, chicory root fiber
  • Sweeteners that use high fodmap fruits
  • Honey, agave, and high fructose corn syrup
  • Wheat

Let’s talk about brands of products so you can make your next shopping trip a little less stressful!

If need some more ideas for low FODMAP snacks, check out our low FODMAP protein bars blog and our low FODMAP snacks blog! 

Low fodmap smoothie

Low FODMAP Animal Based Protein Powders (Whey, Casein, Collagen, Egg)

Whey protein powders are the most abundant on shelves, but the recent interest and research into collagen-based proteins has caused a boom in their production. Below are low FODMAP certified products by Monash University or FODMAP Friendly.

Certified Low FODMAP Animal Based Protein Powders

  • Better Blends Collagen Protein: Chocolate or Vanilla
    • Collagen protein
  • Casa De Sante Protein: Chocolate or vanilla
    • Whey protein and collagen peptide protein
  • Drink Wholesome: Unflavored is the only certified option
    • Egg white protein
  • Stellar Labs Whey Protein: Chocolate, vanilla, or salted Carmel
  • Superflora Protein from Noisy Guts: Vanilla, strawberry, chocolate
    • Whey protein

If you are having trouble finding the certified low FODMAP animal based powders, there are some that are  likely to be safe that may be more easily accessible.

Non-Certified Whey Protein Isolate Powders

  • Alani Nu Whey Protein
    • Confetti cake
  • Biochem Whey Protein Isolate
    • Vanilla, chocolate, and natural
  • Body Tech Whey Protein Isolate
    • Chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, salted caramel and many more
  • Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate (they also have a whey and casein mixture to try!)
    • Original, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry
  • ISO100 Hydrolyzed Protein
    • Fruity pebbles, birthday cake, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, peanut butter, cinnamon bun, cocoa pebbles.
  • Isopure Whey Protein Isolate
    • Unflavored
  • Isotope Whey Protein Isolate
    • Cake Batter, Peanut Butter Chocolate
  • Jay Robbs Whey Protein Isolate
    • Chocolate, vanilla, and unflavored
  • Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate
    • Unflavored
    • Be sure to choose the flavors that use whey protein isolate as they also offer products from whey concentrate.
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
    • Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, banana cream, rocky road, chocolate mint, cookies and cream
    • This is a mixture of all 3 types of whey protein, but since the lactase enzyme has been added, it should be tolerated well.
  • Transparent Labs Whey Protein Isolate
    • Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, unflavored, strawberry
  • 365 Whole Foods Whey Protein Isolate
    • Chocolate, vanilla, or unflavored

Additional Animal Based Protein Powders

If whey protein is not your first choice of a powder base or you’re looking for a dairy free
alternative, collagen or egg white protein may be for you. These proteins below will be derived primarily from collagen, and casein. They are not certified low FODMAP but are likely tolerable on the elimination phase based on ingredients.

  • Better Blends Collagen Protein
    • Chocolate or vanilla
  • Dymatize Elite Casein
    • Chocolate and vanilla
  • Gold Standard 100% Casein Protein
    • Chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, chocolate, and banana cream
  • Garden of Life Collagen Protein
    • Vanilla
  • Now Foods Micellar Casein
  • Orgain Keto Collagen Protein
    • Chocolate
  • Transparent Labs Casein Protein
    • Chocolate
  • Vital Nutrients Collagen Protein
  • 365 Whole Foods Collagen Protein

Plant Based Low FODMAP Protein Powders

The plant-based protein powder options differ on which food they are derived from (i.e. pea or rice). All are suitable for a vegan diet so if you have that additional limitation, look no further! The addition of pea protein to the low FODMAP list of foods made it much easier to locate suitable products. Pea protein is considered low FODMAP at a serving size of 75 grams. This is a generous portion considering most protein powder servings are around 32 oz.

Certified Low FODMAP Plant Protein Powders

  • Better Blends Vegan Protein: Chocolate or vanilla
    • Pea protein isolate
  • Casa De Sante Vegan Protein: vanilla
    • Pea and hemp protein
  • Owyn Protein Powder: chocolate, cookies and cream, vanilla
    • Pea and pumpkin protein
  • Tumlove: Chocolate, vanilla
    • Pea and rice protein
  • Vitessence Pulse 1803: All flavors
    • Pea protein isolate
  • HUM Core Strength Protein: Vanilla
    • Pea and hemp protein
  • Stellar Labs Vegan Protein Powder: chocolate or vanilla
    • Pea protein, brown rice protein, quinoa

Additional Low FODMAP Plant Based Protein Powders

These products are not certified low FODMAP but are likely tolerable on the elimination phase of the diet based on ingredients. There are many different protein powder bases included!

  • Bob’s Red Mill Protein Powdee
    • Hemp Protein
    • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Naked Brand
    • Naked Pea
    • Naked PB
    • Naked Rice
  • Now Foods
    • Brown Rice Protein Unflavored
    • Pumpkin Seed Protein Unflavored
  • Nutiva Hemp Protein Unflavored
  • Nutribiotic Rice Protein—vanilla
  • Orgain Plant Based Protein
  • 365 Whole Foods Protein
    • Pea Protein—unflavored
    • Hemp Protein—unflavored
    • Soy Protein Isolate—unsweetened vanilla
  • Sunwarrior Plain Brown Rice Protein

Whatever the reason may be to look for a low FODMAP protein powder, there is a safe and suitable option for you! There are many protein powder products on the market that may be tolerable outside of the ones mentioned above. I provided products that are widely available with enough flavor varietals. If you are wondering about a different product, ask your dietitian!

Check out our low FODMAP resources!

Kathleen Tabb is a registered dietitian based in Maryland. She specializes in digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and has extensive training through her master’s degree in integrative and functional nutrition. She is passionate about looking at her clients holistically to illuminate the root cause of their concerns in order to improve health and quality of life