How to mix protein powder without a shaker?

Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition

Wondering how to mix protein powder without a shaker? Here are 5 tips to ensure that you never have to drink a lump protein shake again. 

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This is how to mix protein powder without a shaker.

Sick of lumpy protein shakes?

No shaker bottle? 

Why is protein powder hard to mix?

Why drink wholesome? 

Sick of lumpy protein shakes?

Wondering how to mix protein powder without clumping? Unless you are using a blender, mixing protein powder without a shaker is a nightmare. Using a spoon, for example, will leave you with a lumpy mess that looks nothing like the milkshake that you were hoping for. A shaker – also known as 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. 

No shaker bottle? 

If you do not have a shaker bottle, do not despair. Here are a 5 ways to make a protein shake without one:

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. 

2. Grab 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. Skip the protein shake altogether and add protein powder to oatmeal, yogurt, or baking. Here are some great high protein recipe ideas.

Why is protein powder hard to mix?

Some protein powders, especially plant-based ones, are hard to mix because of their insoluble fiber content. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve is water, and the more insoluble fiber a protein powder contains, the grittier your protein shake will be. Some protein powders are also less processed (refined) than others, and therefore have a coarser consistency. Although this is not a necessarily bad thing, no one likes a gritty protein shake. In order to make protein powder easier to mix, most companies add emulsifiers like sunflower and soy lecithin. You want to steer clear of products made with ingredients like these. 

Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are hard to digest, and 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, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.

When buying protein powder, one ingredient to avoid in particular is artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful food additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria), and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!

Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:

acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol

When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

the alternative:

Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate,  Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids,  Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.

*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome 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 with gut issues and sensitive stomachs, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

For the best results, mix protein powder in a blender.


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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.