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TOPIC: Nausea & Vomiting after protein shake!

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May 11, 2012 12:37 PM
**I know this is long but I'd really appreciate the help**

About a week ago, I spoke with personal trainer friend of mine, telling him how after four months at the gym, I had barely seen results, but I can feel it. He suggested supplementing a protein shake into my diet, at least for a month, and see if I can SEE a difference.

A few days ago I started using ON 100% Whey protein (vanilla ice cream flavor), 1 scoop w/ 8oz water after a workout. The first couple of days went fine. I even added a tablespoon to my non-fat yogurt at night if I felt I was at a protein deficit.

Then today, after my workout, I had my shake as usual. About two hours later I felt a bit nauseous, almost in a fog, and light-headed. I typically eat every few hours, so I believed the lightheadedness was due to a skipped meal. I made myself a small grilled chicken salad.

It couldn't have been more than 30 minutes after I ate that I vomited, twice.

I didn't go particularly hard at the gym. As a small female, on back day, I don't really do much (as compared to other isolated area days). 5-6 exercises on moderate but increasing weight, 12 reps, 3 sets. Since my legs still were sore from the day before (leg day), I only did 20 minutes of cardio instead of 30-40.

I kept myself hydrated during and after the workout (about 4 bottles of water from 10 am-2 pm), had a good night's rest, didn't push myself too hard, and ***I do NOT have a lactose intolerance.***

The first threee days using ON Whey Protein went fine. I was wondering if anyone could give any insight as to why I may have gotten so nauseous and vomitied?

I am 98 lbs (no I'm not anorexic, I'm trying to build mass, I'm 5'1" and have a small frame), 22 years old. Maybe 1 scoop (24 g of protein) is too much for my body weight?

Also, the salad I had (which was 1 breast piece of grilled chicken, 4 almonds, 4 black olives, 2 artichoke hearts and of course lettuce), had 32 g of protein (as according to the M.F.P app).

Is it possible that consuming both 24 g of protein from the shake and 32 g of protein from the salad within a two hour span could have caused a... protein overdose?

Either way, I'm freaked out. Please help!

<3 Laura
Edited by lbord125 On May 11, 2012 12:43 PM
May 11, 2012 1:14 PM
That is a lot of protein for your size. You should get 1gm of protein per KG so for the day you should be around 45gms and you had that all at once. If you are going to eat protein (such as your salad) there is no need to add shakes. I would back off on them and eat real food or try only 1/2 scoop. I do use the powder but my protein goals for the day are over 100 so I find it to reach some days. High levels of protein can be hard on your kidneys so make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
May 11, 2012 1:24 PM
It could be that's its too much protein, though I started at 97lbs (am now up to 102) and I have been eating 100+ g protein per day for 5 weeks, I believe that if you are trying to gain muscle, 1-1.5g of protein per lb of lean body mass is totally acceptable, and so far, the worst thing that has happen to me is that I had awful gas (Satan's breath!!) when I over did it. What I think it might be is that the particular shake didn't agree with you, so maybe you need to try taking a half portion, or changing brands, or changing protein types (a blend instead of a straight whey type)

But if you were fine the first few days on it, I kinda think something else could have caused it the vomiting.

May 11, 2012 1:34 PM
I also want to add, if you really want to see result at the gym and muscle gain, you need to be eating a surplus, and it doesn't look like you are doing that.
May 11, 2012 1:39 PM
@ Janet, I'm going to start using only half of a scoop of protein instead of the full amount. Thank you.

@Cocos_mum, like I menioned, going to start using only half a scoop and gradually add a little more. Also, as far as eating goes, I've never been one to have a huge appetite. I know I have to eat more, and I have been as of lately. But I have a hard time hitting my caloric goal for the day while trying to still eat relatively healthy. If I miss the goal now, it's only by a small margin of maybe 50-100 kcal. Thank you!
Edited by lbord125 On May 11, 2012 1:40 PM
May 11, 2012 3:24 PM
Is there any chance you're lactose intolerant? Even if it's not on the label, a lot of powders do have lactose in them.
May 11, 2012 3:48 PM
Its weird but I had the nauseous feeling too a few times after using EAS 100% Whey Protein Powder..I loved it tho! I would put it in smoothies and whatnot and even finished the whole thing.. Some days I would feel icky and other days just fine.. I never really thought too much about it.....I never threw up tho, just felt kinda nauseous.. Didnt know if it was me or just my stomach couldnt really handle it.. Either way, for the most part I would just chug it down..
May 11, 2012 3:59 PM
Certain whey proteins make me uh....flatulent with upset tummy. Not all of them, but a few. I took one of them and on the 3rd day, got sick..I finally figured out what it was on day 5 of being sick.

That being said, only 2 have made me sick, all the others are fine..and I've tried a lot. Maybe the particular one you're using just doesn't agree with your body :)
May 11, 2012 4:17 PM
Check your ingredients list again, the whey used in it may be "100% whey" but you did say you had vanilla flavoured, which means there's more than just the whey in there, the scoop you're using isn't "100% whey" in that case, though the whey portion could well be.

Always pays to check your labels, such as the protein drink section at my local convenience store.... most of the drinks available there "labelled" as protein drinks are more accurately "meal replacement drinks" as they have more carbs than they do protein.
May 11, 2012 6:10 PM
Off topic, but I have to ask.. If you are trying to gain muscle mass.. Why do you only eat 800 calories a day?
May 12, 2012 9:25 AM
**For everyone who is criticizing me about not eating enough calories in order to gain muscle mass, here is what I have to say.
*** Yes, I am trying to gain weight. Yes my caloric intake says I have about 800 calories for the day.
***** What you can't see is that there are many days (most, actually) that I forget to put in what I had for dinner, or a snack or something. I don't feel the need to log every single ****ing item that I eat because I'm TRYING to go over the amount of calories that I need.
******** I also press the "complete entry" every time I log because otherwise it doesn't save on my app. So right now it says I'm 738 calories under what I should be for the day. ***This is only after breakfast.**
********* I also eat EVERY TWO-FOUR HOURS. And there are things I eat that aren't available for logging on the app. For instance, today is my cheat day. And I'll probably end up getting a quesadilla from a franchise fast food place (planet wings) and there is no item log for that, but I can tell you it is at LEAST 800 calories for the entire quesadilla, probably a lot more.
************ And lastly, I started using this app to lose weight at first (107-97), because I wanted to lose FAT, So I could then build up muscle mass... instead of building up muscle under fat. I KNOW THE WAY THAT MY OWN BODY WORKS, and also I thought this was a motivational community... not somewhere where I feel I have to defend myself over being criticized.

@wobb No I am not lactose intolerant. I love cheese too much :D

@spontaneous I cut the amount of protein in half for today and sipped it slowly, so far no problems! It's been almost an hour now. Hope you find one that doesn't make you nauseous!

@happyfeet Excess protein will give you terrible smelling gas, haha. I hope it's not the protein I am using because I actually like how this one tastes.

@Pandorian Thank you for the tip! This one is a protein drink, and there are a few extra ingredients (vanilla flavouring, etc) but no casein, or creatine, which I know from past experience has hurt my stomach.
May 12, 2012 11:22 AM
It could be the protein shake itself. I can't stomach certain shakes. They make me vomit. I also find if I make it in a smoothie it is easier on my stomach than with just water.
May 12, 2012 7:40 PM
@missprincess today I did half a scoop with some yogurt. No nausea or anything! I think cold dairy actually helps. Thanks for the tip!
May 13, 2012 3:41 AM
If you are already thin (which it looks like you are) and you aren't getting enough calories it is physically impossible to be getting results at the gym. Those fast food binges wouldn't help either I wouldn't suspect, at least not compared to real food.

As for why a shake makes you throw up, look at how those shakes are made.
May 13, 2012 3:50 AM
If the protein shake did not make you feel ill the first few times you've had it, why are you blaming it for making you feel ill on the third day?

Far more likely to be a caused by a stomach bug, than a reaction to a new food that's somehow been delayed for three days!

What was the use by date on the yoghurt you mixed in with it?

EDITED TO ADD: The incubation period for some stomach bugs is several days, it could have been something you ate or became infected with days ago!
Edited by TourThePast On May 13, 2012 3:52 AM
May 13, 2012 4:18 AM
I would check the protein ingredients. It takes at least one exposure to a substance to develop an allergy to it, so if this is an allergic reaction, it makes sense that it didn't strike earlier.

Also, go easy on the people mentioning the calorie intake; you're asking us why you are throwing up, and we're looking into what you're eating. Since your log isn't complete, then it is harder for us to help. And if your log had been complete, then knowing you are under-eating could have been a piece of the puzzle (not eating enough > lightheaded >nauseous >puke, for example).
November 15, 2012 3:32 PM
November 15, 2012 3:52 PM
Your not eating enough
November 15, 2012 4:00 PM
There are certain brands that i cannot drink. I have no clue what it is in them that makes me hurl/upset stomach, etc, but alas, some I cannot drink. Muscle Milk is one of them. ABB I can have and Costco sells one called Premier Nutrition that i can drink. You may want to try ready-made ones as well. They are more expensive, but more palatable IMO. And that way you can see if they upset your stomach or not withlut investing in the tub of powder. Or buy the individual packets to try of the powder. I'd try taking the tub of the one that makes you sick back to the store if you still have the receipt. If they won't refund you, call the company and see if they will reimburse you, etc.
November 15, 2012 4:06 PM
Perhaps it wasn't the shake but the chicken was not cooked properly. Also the two together could be protein overload.
November 15, 2012 4:18 PM
I'd say the shake could do it. I was in a similar situation. I started drinking UN Iso Sensation to boost my protein. First 3-4 days were fine. When I drank it after that, I'd have spotting. I cut back on exercise, thinking I was pushing myself too hard, but I kept spotting. When I quit drinking it, the spotting stopped.

If you want to drink it, try half a scoop or mix with something other than water.
January 9, 2013 3:26 PM
There is no scientific proof anywhere that says how much protein you can digest in one sitting. You may want to visit a bodybuilding forum for advice in the future. Often the different types of protein are digested at different rates anyway and can take 3 hours or more to clear your system depending on what it was that you ate. If this was a one time thing I would say you got some "contamination" in your food and your body responded by vomiting which is typical for food poisoning. I am lactose intolerant and suspect that I have a degree of allergy to lactose as well ( I cant remember what the disorder is called). Depending on what I eat whey products will make me vomit. (this only happens with shakes). Because of the bloating and gas I encounter with the concentrates I only use whey protein isolate which has almost none of the compounds that cause a reaction and make me vomit. I use Natures Best Isopure. Its one of the most expensive whey proteins you can buy but has very little in the way of byproducts of whey that make me sick. I will only get gas and bloating if I use a low quality whey or concentrated whey (which is kind of what I expect you are using) that is blended and not shaken.. I don’t know why this is, but I never get sick when I use my shaker at work. I always have bloating and gas unless I use a whey isolate. Its very strange as I can eat cottage cheese all day and go home and blend up a protein drink and be sick so I am always paying top dollar for the whey protein isolate powders. I have also tried putting cottage cheese in my protein drinks and it makes me vomit as well. I never have issues with vomiting when I eat cottage cheese on its own, and I only vomit when I blend it. I am 45 and have had your problem maybe 5-8 times in my life almost always am trying a new product. I have re-learned this over and over as sometimes I can handle a concentrate just fine so I forget and then eventually get sick and relearn my lesson.

I recently switched to drinking raw egg whites and now I don’t have the bloating or the occasional nausea, vomiting. There are a couple of companies that I can think of that make the egg whites for raw consumption. (Organic, and pasteurized and tested for bacteria) The other is from a company called egg whites international (not tested for bacteria). I am blending that into my protein drinks and will hopefully be able to stomach drinking it without blending at all since blending "supposedly" damages the protein. There doesn’t seem to be a limit of the amount of raw egg whites I can drink. I have read of bodybuilders drinking over 360 grams of protein a day in this manner. Which I find encouraging because no matter the quality of Whey protein I can only take in about 150 grams a day and that is still uncomfortable. I have a bit of an aversion to eating raw foods so I am taking my time and getting used to the product. Currently drinking 205 grams worth of raw egg white and I have no issues what so ever its totally awesome.

My suggestion is to change the brand of your shake. Upgrade to an isolate, or consider switching to soy (which can have issues as well), or another protein type or try using a raw or liquid egg product designed for consumption without cooking it.

Oh and Soy also has an isolate version which has fewer cabs. There is an even higher quality whey isolate forgive me but I dont remember the name it starts with an H... hydrolized or something that is supposed to be even more pure than isopure, and has the fewest whey by products in it.
January 9, 2013 3:30 PM
It's completely hard to judge after just one day. Also, the fact that it happened a couple hours later there could be a number of other factors that is affecting it. I would keep on it for a few more days and see if things change then if not go ahead and change things up.
February 1, 2013 9:26 AM
Most protein shakes have artificial sweeteners!!! Sucralose can wreak havoc on your system!!! As well as Aspartame.

You should give Vegan Shakeology a try. It is sweetened with Stevia. No whey and no soy.
February 1, 2013 10:50 AM

Most protein shakes have artificial sweeteners!!! Sucralose can wreak havoc on your system!!! As well as Aspartame.

You should give Vegan Shakeology a try. It is sweetened with Stevia. No whey and no soy.

Shakeology is a meal replacement... it will not give nearly the amount of calories or protein the OP needs.

Artificial sweeteners don't always wreack havoc... only some people have issues with it.

To the OP, it might of just been a coincidence. If the shake didn't make you feel sick the first few times you had it I doubt it is the shake causing you to feel ill. You may of drank it too quickly, had it too quickly after your workout (it makes me sick if I drink it too fast or drink it too soon).

If it didn't make you feel sick today I would imagine you are fine. If you are trying to build muscle you really need that protein and those calories from the protein shake. Try having the full scoop again and if it causes you to feel sick than just slowly increase the amount you put into your shake. Or have half a scoop before, half a scoop after.


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