As a Lactose Intolerant person I almost always get diarrhea when I drink milk.

But even if my stomach spits it out the other way, is it atleast able to extract the protein from it to build muscle? If so, how much?

1 Answer 1


If you're getting diarrhea, your ability to absorb any nutrients from what you've eaten is severely compromised. Anything you've eaten hours earlier that isn't finished digesting will also leave you with suboptimal nutrient absorption. The irritation to your intestines will also decrease your ability to absorb nutrients from subsequent meals for some time. It's not worth drinking any milk if you're lactose intolerant.

Just get whey protein, that's where most of the protein in milk is anyway. Alternately you could try yogurt, as the fermentation makes it palatable for some people. Also, goat and sheep milk can also be palatable for some people who can't drink cow milk.

  • Deleted my answer. Protein digestion would not be affected per se, but I didn't consider the effects of diarrhea. However, since whey protein is derived from dairy source, it's no guarantee that it will be any more tolerated than milk will be.
    – JohnP
    Jul 6, 2012 at 23:47
  • @JohnP Wait, are you saying that protein would still be absorbed? Or that you said that earlier in your [now deleted] answer in which you didn't consider the effects of diarrhea? Jul 7, 2012 at 0:02
  • @laggingreflex Protein digestion by itself should not be affected by lactose intolerance, lactase doesn't really play into protein digestion. However, due to the diarrhea, the absorption of amino acids (and other nutrients) could be inhibited. That's why I deleted my answer and put the comment here.
    – JohnP
    Jul 7, 2012 at 0:05
  • @JohnP okay I might be wrong here so bear with me, I thought amino acids were what protein breaks down to during digestion. So with that information your answer seems vague to me. Will I be still be benefited from the proteins in milk or not? Jul 7, 2012 at 0:14
  • @laggingreflex Yes, protein breaks down to amino acids. Amino acids get absorbed in the intestines, along with other nutrients. However, with diarrhea, this absorption process can be disrupted. So, you may be digesting the proteins just fine, but not absorbing as much of the end product as you could because of the effects of the diarrhea.
    – JohnP
    Jul 7, 2012 at 0:22

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