Wondering how to avoid foam in protein shake?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
Wondering how to avoid foam in protein shake? You have come to the right place. Here are a few easy tips on how to avoid foam in protein shake.
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How to avoid foam in protein shake.
Why does my protein shake foam?
Protein powder has a tendency to foam when hydrated and mixed, which some people do not like. Although the type of protein can affect the amount of foam (whey protein tends to foam more than other types of protein, for instance), foaming largely depends on 3 factors: air, heat, and stabilizers.
Mixing adds air to the protein, which causes it to denature (change shape). The water-loving parts of the protein stay in the water, and the water-fearing parts stick out in the air. These rearranged proteins then bond with each other, creating a network that traps air bubbles and holds them in place. The result is foam.
Temperature can also affect the formation of foam. Protein shakes mixed with warm liquid, for example, foam more easily than protein shakes mixed with cold liquid. This is because heat increases kinetic energy, which causes proteins to denature more quickly.
Stabilizers like sunflower lecithin and xanthan gum, which can be found in most protein powders and shakes, are a third reason why protein shakes foam. Stabilizers are used to improve characteristics like shelf stability and mix-ability. They cause foaming because they are surfactants, meaning they reduce surface tension and make it easier for bubbles to form.
Should I drink the foam in my protein shake?
Drinking the foam in a protein shake is a matter of personal preference, and is perfectly safe. As you just learned, the foam is just air bubbles that have been incorporated into the liquid. While some people may find the foam unpleasant or unappetizing, others may not mind it or even enjoy it. Additionally, the foam contains the same nutrients as the rest of the shake, so there is no downside to consuming it from a nutritional standpoint. That being said, if you prefer not to drink the foam, you can simply scoop it off the top of the shake before drinking.
How to prevent foam in protein shakes.
Foam, whether it is light and airy or frothy and dense, gets in the way. Use the following tricks to get rid of protein shake foam once and for all.
Even a small amount of fat interferes with the formation of foam. Fats weaken the bonds that hold the air bubbles in place, causing them to collapse more easily. Good sources of fat to add to your protein shake include nut butter, avocado, and coconut oil.
Mix slowly, use cold liquid.
If you use a shaker bottle, shake gently. If you have a blender, use the slowest setting. Finally, use cold milk or water, the colder the better.
Avoid food additives.
Again, most protein powders contain stabilizers, which facilitate the formation of foam. Choosing a protein powder without stabilizers will solve most of your foaming problems. Here are a few of the most common stabilizers used in protein supplements:
acacia gum, carob bean gum, carrageenan, cellulose gum, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
Why drink wholesome?
First of all, we add coconut to our protein powders to reduce foaming. Coconut is naturally high in healthy fats, known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which stop foam from forming. Second, our protein powders are stabilizer-free. We do not use food additives of any kind, which helps keep foaming to a minimum. Sick of protein powder foam? Switch to drink wholesome.