Let’s be honest, a chunky, lumpy, protein shake is one of the worst things ever. You’re having a nice time sipping your shake (never chug - that’s how you get the protein farts) and suddenly there’s a powdery mess caking your teeth and coating your tongue. Plus, no one wants to feel like they should be eating their shake with a spoon. Unless it’s part of a yummy smoothie bowl, but I digress.
If you’re tired of lumpy shakes and having to down chunks of congealed powder in the gym, here are some tried and tested methods of making yourself a smooth protein shake which is silkier than a very silky thing.
Here are the answers to some common questions about how to get rid of lumps in your protein shakes, tried and tested by yours truly in the hope that it betters your protein powder experience!
Why is my protein powder lumpy?
There are a number of reasons why your shake might not be reaching the desired consistency. It might be the way in which you’re making your shake that causes lumps, which we’ll address in a minute. However, if you’re not storing your powders in the best way, then this can make the powder clump before you’ve even started.
We have spoken before about the ways in which protein powder can spoil if it isn’t stored correctly. If your powder is not sealed in an airtight container or bag, there is a chance that moisture might enter the product, causing it to clump. Now, when this happens, there is likely nothing wrong with the powder itself, but it will become harder to reach that desired consistency in your shake - you can see more tips about how to store your protein powder for best performance in this guide.
Will a blender get the lumps out of my protein shake?
Using the right tools to make your shake is super important. A high speed blender is the best way to achieve a smooth consistency with a bit of frothy goodness, but what if you don’t have one? A shaker bottle can be just as effective, and it can really help to get the heart pumping before your workout.
Giving your powder an extra shake for a minute or two not only gives your arms a bit of a pre-workout, but it also ensures that your lumps are shaken up until they’re gone. This is much more effective than using a spoon or a fork, and gives you the opportunity for a bit of a warm up!
When should I add protein powder to my shake to stop it clumping?
If you’ve ever baked a cake, you might have noticed how you’re often encouraged to add the dry ingredients into any wet ingredients to avoid forming lumps in your mix. It’s the same with protein powder.
If you’re making your shake in a shaker bottle, then add the liquid BEFORE you add the powder. This tip also applies to blenders, but isn’t as vital because the blades break up a lot of the powdery lumps for you.
When you pour liquid onto protein powder, the top layer is saturated, but the liquid doesn’t penetrate further down, leaving lumps. Not only is this harder to shake into the perfect consistency, it can also leave powdery residue at the bottom of your shaker. Not ideal!
Can I just add the powder straight from the packet?
Now, I’ve just talked about baking, so this tip follows on nicely! Essentially, if you don’t put any lumps into the mixture, then you won’t have any lumps in the end product, am I right? It may be more time consuming, but sifting or sieving your powder before you add it to your liquid will massively improve the texture, and reduce the amount of time you have to spend shaking!
Whether you choose to attempt this or not, always add your protein powder to your shake slowly. This is much less likely to cause clumping overall.
Can I put anything in my shaker to reduce protein powder lumps?
You might have seen those little metal wire balls that people often have in their shakers, and their main function is to even out the consistency of your shake, removing most of the lumps. But did you know you can do the same thing with a few ice cubes? Ice will help to break up lumps during shaking and although it might not be 100% effective, a cold protein shake can be especially refreshing!
However, if you’re after a hit of protein in the morning, stirring some into a hot liquid (such as coffee) should also dissolve quite nicely - check out this guide to find out if adding protein powder to coffee might be for you.
What if I don’t have any tools at all?
Okay, so I normally reserve this one for Hot Chocolate or Chai Lattes, but it works just as well with a protein shake. If you don’t have a shaker or blender to hand, but you do have a fork - listen up!
Add most of your liquid to your glass, but keep a little back. Add the protein powder to the smaller amount of liquid and mix thoroughly with a fork until it forms a sort of loose paste consistency with no lumps! You can then slowly add that to the rest of the liquid and mix. Done and done!
So, there you have it, my top tips for a tantalisingly smooth protein shake. Try each one by itself or mix and match to create your own personal method for your ideal consistency.