Protein powder won’t mix?
Protein powder won’t mix? Here are 5 tips to make a smooth, creamy protein shake every time.
Why doesn’t my protein powder dissolve?
Before we 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.
Whereas most protein powders made with are heavily-processed protein concentrates and isolates, some protein powders are made with minimally-processed, naturally protein-rich ingredients. Our protein powders, for example, are made with egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are just dried and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these still contain fats, carbohydrates, and fiber, all of which decrease their solubility (ability to dissolve). A plant-based protein like peas, for example, contains lots of insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in liquid, and if it is not stripped away before the plant becomes protein powder, the protein powder will be hard to mix.
The solubility of plant-based ingredients affects animal-based protein powders too. Chocolate flavored whey protein powders, for example, contain cocoa powder, a derivative of cocoa beans. Cocoa powder, depending on how it is processed, can make protein powder hard to mix. Raw cocoa powder, for instance, is not very soluble. Alkalized (Dutch) protein powder, on the other hand, dissolves more easily because it undergoes more processing (an alkaline solution like potassium carbonate is added to the chocolate liquor).
Minimally-processed proteins are also harder to mix because they have a larger particle size than protein concentrates and isolates. 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 the water molecules, which allows the granular sugar to dissolve more quickly.
Finally, most protein powders companies use food additives to increase mix-ability. The problem with food additives, protein isolates, and other processed ingredients is that your stomach can tell the difference between real food and an imitation. Processed ingredients can resist digestion, meaning they sit in your gut for longer than they should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to eat, and as they eat, gut bacteria produce gas, which can cause 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.
Protein powder that is hard to mix might be better for you than protein powder that mixes easily, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Using a blender or shaking a little longer is therefore a small price to pay for a protein powder that will not cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects.
If you are using a minimally-processed protein powder like drink wholesome, and are having a hard time mixing it in liquid, here are a few tips.
5 ways to make 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.
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.
Our protein powder, because it is minimally-processed and additive-free, is not the easiest to mix. We therefore recommend using a blender to make a protein shake. Keep in mind that you can also add protein powder to oat meal, yogurt, and other recipes if you are sick of protein shakes.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.