If you are into weightlifting, bodybuilding, or fitness in general, then you are familiar with whey protein. It is the most popular supplement taken in the fitness world and that’s for a very good reason. It helps build lean muscle mass while promoting recovery after intense workouts. However, have you ever wondered what to mix whey protein with to maximize its benefits or to take the flavor to a higher level? Let’s dive in so you can make the most out of your protein supplements.
What to Mix Whey Protein With?
Protein derived from whey is famous for many who want to gain muscle, lose weight, or live a healthier lifestyle. But drinking the same old protein shake every day might get tedious and dull pretty quick. Let’s find fun and nutritious ways to mix your milk protein.
What to Mix With Whey for Muscle Gain
You must consume a suitable amount of protein to gain muscle growth. And while studies vary on the optimal amount of protein needed (somewhere between .8 and 1 gram per lean pound of body mass) there is no question that adequate protein intake is a must when it comes to building muscle.
Whey is a fantastic protein source that, when coupled with additional ingredients, can help you reach your fitness goals. And while there are a number of different types of whey protein to choose from, all of them contain all nine essential amino acids.
So when it comes to deciding what to mix your protein powder with, you will want to consider your macronutrient needs, as well as the flavor combination that suits your taste best.
Whey protein powder is most often mixed with water or dairy milk. And while both are great options (I use them the most myself) they are far from being the only liquids you can use to mix up your protein shakes.
Some less traditional liquids to use include almond milk, coconut milk, or even fruit juice to add some flavor and additional micronutrients to your mixture.
What to Mix With Protein Powder to Make a Shake
If you are interested in a thicker style of protein shake, then Greek yogurt is an excellent base for mixing a protein smoothie. It produces a thick and creamy texture while adding flavor and increasing the satiety of your mix.
You can also up the thickness and flavor by adding a nut butter such as peanut, almond, or cashew. It tastes amazing with the added benefit of increasing the total protein content of your mixture.
Bananas and berries are another great addition to mix in with your protein powder. They are also a perfect ingredient to mix with protein powder and milk for a nutritious shake that will hit all your macros.
- Greek yogurt
- Nut butters
- Fruit and berries
- Dairy or non-dairy milk
Whey Protein Shakes on a Keto / Low-Carb Diet
If you follow a keto or low-carb diet, you must be careful what you mix with your whey protein. Chocolate protein powder is an excellent choice for a keto-friendly shake because it is low in carbs and protein.
You can mix it with water or almond milk and chia seeds because they are rich in fiber and healthy fats. Adding protein rich mix-ins like nuts, seeds, and coconut oil to the protein shake will also provide additional amino acids and healthy fats.
Avocado is a great yogurt alternative that gives whey shakes a thick, creamy texture, adding healthy fats and a few digestible carbs.
Half an avocado has about five grams of net carbs and 200 calories. Blend half an avocado with one scoop of whey powder and your choice of keto-friendly bases like almond milk.
What to Mix With Whey Protein for Weight Loss?
Milk protein supplement is an excellent option for those looking to lose weight, as it can help reduce appetite and increase satiety without a lot of added calories.
Unsweetened coconut milk, high in healthy fats and low in calories, is one of the best options to add to your protein shake. Simply add two cups of coconut milk to a scoop of your favorite protein powder and shake for a low calorie, protein rich, no fuss option.
Mixing it with water, unsweetened almond milk, frozen fruit for flavor, vegetables, chia or flaxseed, and Greek yogurt are other alternatives available to get all the benefits of out of your protein shake while you keep caloric intake low.
And while mixing your protein with water is the lowest calorie option, you can opt for skim or low-fat milk to keep the calorie content low while improving the texture and flavor of your whey protein shake. Use one to one and a half cups of skim or low-fat milk per scoop of whey powder.
- Fruit and berries
- Unsweetened non-dairy milk
- Skim or low fat dairy milk
- Greek yogurt
Whey Protein Mix to Improve Gut Health
Protein powders can also improve gut health since they include amino acids that help repair and maintain the gut lining. Mix powdered milk protein with kefir or yogurt to produce a gut-healthy protein smoothie, both are high in probiotics and can help build a healthy gut microbiota.
Add some ginger, turmeric, or cinnamon for additional anti-inflammatory properties. Another excellent alternative is to combine protein from milk supplements with bone broth, which is high in collagen and can benefit gut and joint health.
The flavor might not be for everyone, but I’ve found mixing a scoop of unflavored protein powder in a cup of homemade bone stock to be an amazing addition to my fitness nutrition routine. It’s particularly good during those cold winter months.
Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, which is essential for digestive health and improving gut function. Fiber also helps keep you feeling full. Adding one to two tablespoons of chia seeds to your whey shake will provide extra protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Bone stock
How to Pick the Right Mixer for Your Goals
When combining protein supplements, you have numerous alternatives, such as a shaker bottle, blender, or even a spoon or whisk. Your taste and goals will determine the best mixer for you.
A shaker bottle is an excellent choice for quickly and easily mixing protein supplements. They are portable and handy, making them ideal for mixing up protein at the gym or on the road.
I’ve been using mixer bottles for decades, and it is the most convenient method for mixing protein powder with just a liquid. I’ve found that bottles with a metal whisk work the best, as they tend to do a better job not leaving any clumps of protein.
But when mixing together a thick protein smoothie that contains ingredients like yogurt, berries, or nut butters, then a blender is the way to go.
It has the power to mix together multiple ingredients, something a mixer bottle just cannot handle.
If you don’t already have a blender or mixer bottle available, don’t worry. You can still mix together a simple protein shake in a cup with a spoon or whisk. While you won’t be able to mix up peanut butter or other thick mix-ins, if you need a quick and easy protein shake made with milk and water, it will work in a pinch.
Best Things to Mix With Protein Powder
The mixes that can be made with powdered protein are endless. You can mix it with any known of your favorite ingredients. My goal is to provide you with some great-tasting ideas that I’ve used over the years to get you started. Let’s take a look at some popular options:
- Milk: If you want a creamier texture and extra protein
- Water: If you want a low-calorie, low-carb option. However, it may not provide the same creamy texture as milk.
- Yogurt: Greek yogurt is an excellent choice for improving gut health and adding extra protein and flavor to your shakes.
- Oatmeal: Add fiber, carbs, and texture to your shakes
- Coffee: If you need a caffeine boost and extra energy. This mixture is a simple and low-cost pre-workout mix to use before heading to the gym.
- Nut butter: Nut butters are high in healthy fats and can provide a crunchy texture to smoothies while increasing the protein content of your mixture.
- Seeds: Seeds like chia, flax, and hemp are high in fiber and can help regulate digestion
- Fruit: Fruits like bananas, berries, and mangoes can add natural sweetness and essential vitamins.
- Coconut oil: It is high in good fats and can provide a natural sweetness to protein shakes. The flavor compliments many other mix-ins making it a versatile addition to any protein shake.
It may also be combined with vegetable or bone broth, seasonings.
Some Final Tips
There are several ways to mix protein supplements, both from the standpoint of how you mix it, and what you mix it with. Here are the best four ways to mix it, taking into account both approaches:
Shake It Up
Shaking is the easiest and most convenient way to mix protein powder. Simply add the powdered protein and your mixer of choice (water, milk, or yogurt) to a shaker bottle and shake vigorously. This method is excellent for on-the-go protein shakes and is easy to clean up, making it my preferred way to mix up my protein.
Blending is another popular method for mixing protein supplements. You can use a blender or a food processor to mix your protein powder with other ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and nut butter. Blending creates a smooth and creamy texture and can provide a more satisfying meal replacement.
Adding powdered protein to your oatmeal is a great way to start your day with a high-protein breakfast. Simply cook your oatmeal as usual and stir in powdered protein and other ingredients like nuts, seeds, and fruit. This method provides a filling and nutritious breakfast that can keep you full until lunchtime.
Serve with Coffee
If you need a caffeine boost in the morning, mixing protein from milk with coffee can provide extra protein and energy. Simply mix your powdered protein with coffee and add milk or other mixers as desired. This method can provide a quick and convenient breakfast on the go.
Should I Mix Whey Protein With Milk or Water?
Mixing whey protein supplements with water can enhance your protein consumption without adding too many calories. To this day, water is the primary way I mix up my protein powder. It’s quick and easy, and when using the right powder, tastes great.
However, combining powdered whey protein with milk is a fantastic alternative if you want to enhance your caloric intake while adding a creamy texture to your mix. Milk is high in protein and might help you feel fuller longer.
What Not to Mix With Whey Protein?
While there are several things you may mix with protein from milk supplements, there are a few you should avoid. One of the most important things to avoid is combining protein powder with sugary drinks or meals, which can negate the protein’s effects and contribute to weight gain.
Mixing powdered protein with acidic liquids, such as citrus juices, should also be avoided since it can cause the protein to break down and lose its potency. Finally, combining powdered protein with alcohol can interfere with protein synthesis and result in muscle loss.
Can You Mix Whey With Anything?
Whey protein supplements are fantastic for increasing the protein you already consume from whole foods. They can be blended with many other ingredients, making it a flexible supplement for any diet. Almond milk, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, fruit, and even coffee are excellent milk protein powder mixers. When choosing what to mix with your protein powder, consider your specific nutritional needs and flavor preferences.
Whey protein is a great supplement that you can mix with other foods, including almond milk, whole cow’s milk, chia seeds, or Greek yogurt, whether you want to lose weight, increase your muscle mass, or improve your gut health.