So I've been working out for about 6 years, and probably drinking various protein shakes for about the last 5 years, rarely more than 1 a day though, sometimes two. I've been having this issue probably at least the past couple years, maybe longer, but I'm not sure since I never really started pinning it on the protein drinks till recently. Never wanted to pin it on them since I consider them healthy and without them I'd never get adequate protein.
But heres the deal, I usually drink optimum whey, sometimes syntha 6, sometimes muscle milk. And I've noticed it seems like 90% of the time I drink a protein shake, without eating a large amount of food, I end up feeling real sh*tty. The most dramatic example is when I drink a protein shake in the evening, either right before bed or sometimes a couple hours before bed, it seems like 9 out of 10 times I wake up with a very bad headache that is extremely difficult to get rid of, as well as a bit of nausia, etc. It just ruins my day. Its happened today, and I've taken ibuprofen, tylenol, caffeine, ginko biloba, and although its better than when I woke up, I still have a headache and feel pretty sh*tty, and its 1:35pm. Its my day off, and its half wasted because I literally haven't done anything except sit around feeling bad, taking headache medicine's etc. to try and feel better.
I always thought it must be something else wrong with me, however I'm very healthy, only 27, and the days this happens are always after drinking a protein shake the night before. And by the way, no I'm not lactose intolerant, I can eat all kinds of dairy. And it seems to happen with any brand, not sure if its the artaficial sweeteners or what.
Now another example is during the day, occasionally if I feel I haven't had enough protein in the morning or afternoon or something I'll drink a protein shake, usually along with a small snack like a couple slices of wheat bread or some nuts or something. You'd think it would be a healthy combo, however usually I feel pretty sh*tty after a couple of hours. Not as bad as when I go to bed after drinking one, but nevertheless pretty bad.
The one time it doesn't seem to happen is if I eat a very large amount of food after drinking one. Like say I know i'm going to eat a pretty big amount of something like mashed potatoes, or spaghetti, or something else that doesn't have alot of protein, I can drink a protein shake beforehand, and as long as I eat a large amount of food, I usually feel fine. I just can't always have the time to eat a large amount of food afterwards, especially if its after my evening workout before bed.
I'm just wondering does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone have a solution? I want to keep drinking protein drinks since I know they are beneficial to my muscles, but i'm sick and tired of how much time is spent feeling sh*tty.
01-14-2010, 02:46 PM #1
Anyone else get sick or headaches from protein shakes?
01-14-2010, 03:44 PM #2
01-14-2010, 05:52 PM #3
well I've only been having the headaches for a couple years, don't have the money for a doctor (especially since when it comes to headaches usually you get bounced around all sorts of different doctors, and rarely do any find a solution). The weird thing is its not just that I get headaches, it pretty much 90% happens after drinking a protein shake the night before, rarely every any other time. And its a unique feeling headache, along with a sick feeling to go with it. Its not like a tension headache, it has a unique feeling of its own.
04-14-2010, 03:28 AM #4
I'm so glad I found this forum.
I just had to leave work early, because I have a migraine, feel I'm going to puke, and having not a fun time "the other end" either.
This has happened the past 2 days, and coincides specifically with drinking a protein shake in the morning before I leave for work.
I've also been taking tylenol and aspirin this morning to try to counter the effects, caffeine too. But nope - I'm about to got for another lie down.
I'm almost sure it's the protien, because this has never happened before; during the rest of the day and evening I'm absolutely fine; and I only started on this protein yesterday. It's a very good quality "pure" (ahem.) brand, only mixed with water. Also, the barfing feeling really feels like it's the protien wanting to come back up.
If anyone has any suggestions how to counter the effects, I'd be pleased to hear. I don't want to stop taking it... but until I know I can take it without having to take a day off work, I have to stop.
08-09-2011, 04:11 PM #5
Hey man, I am 16 and my grandma always gives me sugar free mints when I go to her house! The artificial sweetener or what I assume is the artificial sweetener ALWAYS gives me diareea. So I have always just stayed away from them assuming that I was allergic to it! I have been doing protein shakes for about a week now and the first time was the worste. It felt exactly like a hangover..Got the whole nausea and kind of gnarly headache you get. It seems to be getting better with everytime I do it but just somthing to think about :P Might try eating some sugar free mints and see what it does to you...They are lifesavers mints get them at Wal-Mart. But hope this was some help..Prob just minor allergic reaction to the sweetener.
08-09-2011, 04:30 PM #6
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08-09-2011, 05:20 PM #10
12-16-2011, 03:06 PM #11
07-24-2014, 10:58 AM #12
I realize this thread is OLD, but I am experiencing the SAME thing you are/were. On my workout days, i drink a whey shake before AND after workout and i am ok. On OFF days though, when i drink a whey shake, i GET A HEADACHE an hour or so afterwards, IF i don't eat enough. I don't know if the headache is caused by TOO MUCH PROTEIN intake, in RELATION to carb intake? Or maybe in relation to overall caloric intake? Not sure. But, in general, i try to limit carbs, and go high on protein, everyday. But either way, there is definitely some type of correlation between the whey and my headaches.
Anyone got any new thoughts?
05-25-2015, 03:52 AM #13
Has anyone shed any light on this situation? It happens to me as well. I place the highest correlation on the nighttime protein and then waking up with these damned headache/nausea/migraine bouts like I am going through right now. It's the worst... Extreme headache/migraine and nausea tied to the urge to eliminate from either end-I usually end up on the toilet while nervously holding a trash bucket in case I have to puke while trying to use the toilet. My thoughts were always that it was dehydration- not enough water for that amount of powdered protein. I usually make my shakes with almond milk and do estimate that I'm getting "Enough" water during the day, but think it might be too much concentrated protein before going to bed. I also am a regular ZMA user and have also always wondered about that being a possible culprit. I'm in the same boat where I know this stuff is good for me, and my current protein is all natural, non-GMO, no artificial colors or sweeteners or any other junk; on the contrary, it has a whole lot of real "super foods" in it. I also only take one scoop so it's really only about 25 g of protein before hitting the sack. The brand or type of protein doesn't seem to matter, as this has happened to me over the years and many different brands...
06-19-2015, 02:31 PM #14
Hi, i had the same experience when i started drinking 1 protein shake daily, i thought i was okay as it was vegan so no milk and i belived it was a clean protein shake compared to many others, however, I started getting the worst headaches ever, even lasting till the next day! I then went and check the ingredients list, in which it included a sweetener called 'aspartame' !!!! Aspartame is one of the main chemicals known to cause cancer, in fact i read up that this girl died via cancer sadly, and they think the reason was due to aspartame as it is in chewing gums and she had them nearly everyday...! Anyways, i decided to swap my protein shake, making sure there was no aspartame and my headaches have completely gone, which seems like the two must be linked....! Other chemicals are bad for you, similar spelling to aspartame so maybe check the list and if present then id recommend purchashing a new protein shake! If you have protein shakes with milk in them, sadly milk contains other chemicals that would not be mentioned, could be something to do with that...?
06-20-2015, 03:35 AM #15
12-29-2015, 12:42 PM #16
I came across this post while googling for this problem.
I have the same problem. My protein don't have artificial sweeteners, so I don't think that's the issue. I have the problem with whey protein as well as plant based protein. I suspect that the excess protein without carbs causes a sugar crash of sorts (as another poster also mentioned). Adding some honey to the protein shake minimized the problem, though didn't eliminate it altogether.
No definitive answer, unfortunately. I do have a blood glucose kit - I should test myself when this happens, but I hate pricking myself.
06-09-2016, 09:59 AM #17
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