Wondering how to get protein powder to dissolve?
How to get protein powder to dissolve. Here are 5 tips to make a smooth, creamy protein shake every time.
How to get protein powder to dissolve.
Why is protein powder hard to dissolve?
Before I get into how to make your protein powder mix better, it is important to acknowledge that being hard to mix, although annoying, might be a good thing.
Most protein powders are made with are protein isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. Isolates, because they no longer contain many if any carbohydrates, are easy to dissolve. When I say carbohydrates, what I really mean is insoluble fiber, a type of fiber that does not dissolve in water.
I will not go into the details, but protein isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food.
The long term implications of eating processed foods like protein isolates are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, and lead to permanent damage to your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that help you digest food, protect against pathogens, and educate your immune system. Disruptions to the balance therein have therefore been linked to the development of many chronic diseases. Basically, that a protein powder mixes easily may not be a good thing, as it may mean that your protein powder is heavily-processed and bad for your gut.
Now back to the original question. As you just learned, some protein powders are easier to mix than others because they contain less insoluble fiber. All plants contain insoluble fiber, which is the main reason why plant-based protein powders tend to be the hardest to mix. The solubility of plant-based ingredients affects animal-based protein powders too. Many chocolate-flavored whey protein powders, for example, contain cocoa powder, a derivative of cocoa beans. Natural cocoa powder contains insoluble fiber and make your protein powder hard to mix.
Another reason why some protein powders are harder to mix than others is they are less processed and therefore have a larger particle size. Large particles have a smaller specific surface area (surface area ÷ mass) than small particles, and therefore take longer to dissolve. Think about how long it would take to dissolve a sugar cube in water versus how long it would take to dissolve and an equal amount of granular sugar. A sugar cube would dissolve slower because the combined surface area of all of the sugar granules is much greater than the surface area of the sugar cube (more surface area means more contact with water molecules).
A final reason why some protein powders are easier to mix than others because they contain food additives. The problem with food additives is that, like protein isolates, they look nothing like real food. They therefore sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. Over time, food additives can add up (especially if you drink a protein shake every day), and disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine. Eventually, this can lead to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
How to dissolve protein powder.
Here are 5 ways to make your protein powder mix better.
1. Use a blender. A blender is hands down the best way to make a protein shake, especially if you want to add ice or ingredients like fresh fruit or yogurt. Most blenders make quick work of clumps so you can make a creamy protein shake every time. If you do not have a blender, you can also use a hand-held electric mixer. Just be sure not to fill the glass all the way to the top, or else you will make a mess.
2. Use a shaker bottle. A shaker bottle – is a plastic bottle with a small metal whisk inside. The whisk helps to break up the clumps of protein powder as you shake. Shakers are considered by many to be an essential for making a protein shake on-the-go.
3. Use a water bottle or travel coffee mug with a tight fitting lid. Add the protein powder, your liquid of choice, and a handful of ice cubes. The ice cubes will act like a whisk and help to break up the clumps of powder as you shake.
4. Mix the protein powder in a small mixing bowl using a balloon whisk. Keep in mind that the warmer the liquid is, the easier it will be to dissolve the protein powder. You can always add ice cubes later if you prefer a cold protein shake.
5. If you only have a glass and spoon, add the protein powder slowly, stirring constantly. Wait until each spoonful is completely dissolved before adding another.
Looking for a new protein powder? Try drink wholesome. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk.
Now you know how to dissolve protein powder!