Constipation is a common digestive problem and affects everyone at some point. But having to deal with it because of your meal replacement shakes is the last thing you want. Is it your meal replacement supplement that has been messing with your bowel health lately? With the help of the information below, you can find it out.
Why Meal Replacement Supplements Can Cause Constipation
In and if themselves, meal replacement supplements don’t cause constipation. But many of them contain the ingredients that can lead to it. The common culprits are:
Most people are intolerant to lactose in one way or another, and constipation often results from lactose intake. Yet, many meal replacement supplements use casein and whey protein concentrates as their sources of protein.
These usually retain considerable amounts of lactose and may expose you to the adverse effects of consuming it.
Lactose is not the only thing about dairy that may cause constipation. Casein, the type of dairy protein present in many meal replacement supplements, can also contribute to the problem.
Taking hours to digest, casein slows down the work of the digestive tract, causing stools to harden and triggering constipation.
Soy is another contributor to constipation that is often overlooked. Frequently included in meal replacements as a non-dairy form of protein, soy is a phytoestrogen that can slow down digestion.
The slower the work of the digestive tract gets, the more difficult stools become for the bowel to pass efficiently.
Many meal replacement supplements available on the market today contain considerable amounts of sodium. In excessive amounts, sodium causes body wide retention of fluids, depriving the digestive tract of fluids to perform its functions.
As a result, the digestive tract takes missing fluids out of stools, causing them to harden and leading to constipation.
Serving as sources of carbohydrates, oats and dextrins are a mainstay of many meal replacement supplements. Both, however, are prone to contamination by gluten during the manufacturing process. Since gluten is a known allergen that disrupts the work of the entire gastrointestinal tract, it can easily cause constipation.
Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols is what gives so many meal replacement supplements on the market rich flavors. Sadly, these compounds are capable of undermining the health of the entire gut flora over time. As a result, popular sweeteners like sucralose and sugar alcohols like sorbitol are often direct contributors to constipation.
Your Meal Replacement Supplement May Not Be the Problem
If your meal replacement supplement doesn’t seem to contain the above ingredients, you need to address other factors. Not eating enough fiber and foods rich in probiotics, dehydration, and lack of movement are all popular causes of constipation.
Often, maintaining control over these subtle causes of constipation can be enough to prevent this digestive problem from occurring, and allow you to enjoy your meal replacement shakes without ever having to go through the trouble of experiencing it.