Protein shakes are supposed to be convenient. So, it’s no wonder you get frustrated when your protein powder doesn’t mix into a perfectly creamy drink or – worse – contains giant chewy clumps.
Luckily, we have you covered. Read on for best practices in getting the smoothest protein shake, every time.
In this article, you will learn:
- Why does protein clump in the first place?
- The top 5 ways to make perfectly smooth protein shakes every time
Why Does Your Protein Powder Clump?
The best way to banish the clumps is to understand where they’re coming from in the first place.
Most protein powders contain protein and/or fat molecules that attract a certain amount of water. That’s it. When you don’t store your protein powder in a cool, dry place, it’s bound to clump up a bit. This also explains why the powders sometimes clump when you add your liquid. The molecules are just doing their thing – the molecules are hydrophilic, so attracting and holding onto moisture is kind of their thing.
It’s likely that this will be even more of an issue if you use a whole food-based, organic protein powder like Natural Force Organic Whey Protein, which doesn't contain any anti-clumping additives like lecithin and silicon dioxide. Moisture absorption can make for some annoying clumps, but it certainly doesn’t affect the efficacy or quality of your protein powder. However, it does make it hard to drink. Read on for our top tips to keeping your protein shake silky smooth.
Top 5 Tricks to Making the Perfect Protein Shake Every Time
1. Use the Right Tools
A high-speed blender is your best bet, but the shaker bottle is another great option. If you’re using a blender, simply add all of your ingredients (protein powder on top of the liquid!) and blend until smooth. If you’re using a shaker bottle, add half your liquid, protein powder on top, then shake. Once the powder is smooth, add the rest of your liquid and shake a little more.
We recommend either of these options over adding your powder to a cup and stirring with a spoon. But if you are sans tools, the best way to get the clumps out is to add about ¼ liquid to your cup, add the powder and stir vigorously until the clumps are gone. Smash any remaining clumps with your spoon. Then, add the rest of your liquid and stir.
2. Add Your Powder on Top of Your Liquid
This is subtle but effective. It won’t ensure a completely clump-free drink, but it certainly helps.
3. Add Some Ice to Your Shaker Bottle
This is especially effective for you shaker bottle users. Most shaker bottles include a small plastic or metal “blender ball”, but a little ice to smooth the clumps won’t hurt. Plus, cold smoothies taste better.
4. Shake, Sift, or Otherwise Break Up the Clumps Beforehand
Most protein and pre-workout powders are susceptible to some clumping, especially if you store them for long periods of time. It doesn’t mean they’re bad or that you need to throw them out. Instead, shake your container or break up large clumps with a fork. You can also sift the powder before you add to your shake.
5. Keep Your Powder in a Cool, Dry Place
This is something we read on nearly every dry food container, but not something we always abide by. Heat and moisture will totally change the consistency of your protein powder. If you live in a really humid area, you may also want to consider keeping the little silica packet in the bottom of your powder container.
Most of all, don’t get discouraged. Getting the perfect protein shake consistency may take some trial and error, but the convenience of getting high-quality protein right when you need it is totally worth the effort!
What are your secrets to keeping out the clumps? Let us know in the comments below!
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