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Many people consume both Gatorade and a protein shake regularly around their workout for the benefits the electrolytes and protein provide. But you may be wondering whether you can mix your protein powder with your Gatorade and that’s what I want to answer today.
Can you mix whey protein with Gatorade? Mixing whey protein with regular Gatorade is great around a workout as the carbs will provide energy and assist with recovery. It also provides extra calories without filling you up, best for those struggling to eat enough in a bulking phase. Sugar-free Gatorade is a better low-calorie option if you’re losing body fat.
With that said, before you start mixing whey protein with Gatorade, you should know the pros and cons, and how to do it properly for optimal results.
In this article you will learn:
- Pros and cons of mixing whey protein with Gatorade
- When to consume whey protein and Gatorade
- Who should and shouldn’t mix whey protein with Gatorade
- The best flavour combinations of whey protein and Gatorade
Benefits of Mixing Whey Protein With Gatorade
The benefits of mixing whey protein with Gatorade are:
1. You Can Pick the Type of Gatorade Best Suited to Your Goals
Gatorade comes in many varieties, some with sugar and some without, which allows you to customize your drink to your current nutrition goals.
For individuals that are looking to lose body fat, zero sugar Gatorade is the best choice. Since the calories from regular Gatorade are mostly sugar, these calories won’t fill you up and are therefore not the best choice for anyone with limited calories.
For those that are looking to put on mass, sneaking extra calories into their day is the primary goal. In this case, regular full sugar Gatorade is beneficial in helping to increase the calories within their drink without adding additional food into their day.
The sugar will provide extra energy when consumed before or during the workout and assist with recovery if consumed after. Gatorade also has electrolytes, which are lost through sweat during your workout, providing additional recovery benefits.
Relate Article: Can You Mix Creatine With Gatorade? (Pros & Cons)
2. It Provides a More Palatable Option if You Don’t Like the Taste of Protein Powder
Gatorade provides a strong unique flavour to your protein shake, helping to disguise that protein shake taste that some may not enjoy.
Anyone that consumes protein shakes knows it has a distinct taste, which some people enjoy but many do not. Mixing it with just milk or water will primarily bring out the flavour of the protein powder and do nothing to hide it. However, Gatorade has a strong flavour that will help to mask it.
In particular, if you use unflavoured protein powder, you will find that your shake just tastes like the flavour of Gatorade, a great option for anyone looking to add a protein shake into their day but cannot get on board with the flavour.
Related Article: Gatorade Before or After Workout: Which Is Best?
Drawback of Mixing Whey Protein with Gatorade
The drawback of mixing whey protein with Gatorade is:
1. You’re Consuming a More Processed Food Item
Gatorade is a more processed food item compared to milk or water, which may be a personal preference for some individuals to limit their diet.
Traditional Gatorade contains about 14 ingredients including things like food dye, artificial flavourings and preservatives. Sugar-free Gatorade contains those ingredients as well as artificial sweeteners.
While none of these ingredients is inherently bad or even likely to cause any issues for most, some people have more digestive sensitivities or personal preferences that would lead them to limit these items in their diet.
In these cases, it may be better to limit the times per week you are mixing protein powder with Gatorade and utilize milk or water for the other protein shakes you are consuming.
How Much Whey Protein Should You Add to Gatorade
When mixing whey protein with Gatorade, 1 scoop of whey protein per 10oz of Gatorade will provide the best flavour.
However, if you find that too sweet, using half Gatorade and half water is a great option.
The only downside to this approach is you may reduce the carbs more than what you would like if you are consuming it around a workout.
In that case, unflavoured protein powder is also a great option.
Gatorade & Protein Powder: When to Consume
Is Whey Protein & Gatorade Good For Pre-workout?
Whey protein and regular Gatorade is good pre-workout as the carbs and sugar from the Gatorade will provide an additional boost of energy for your workout.
Since the carbs in Gatorade are from sugar, your body will be able to utilize them quickly for energy. This means it is best to consume about 30 – 45 minutes before your workout. It also makes for a great drink during your workout to provide extra energy and help replenish electrolytes during those long (2+ hour) training sessions.
Is Whey Protein & Gatorade Good For Post-workout?
Full sugar Gatorade and whey protein is great post-workout, it provides a mix of protein, carbs and electrolytes that support recovery.
Adding regular Gatorade is a great way to boost the carbs in your post-workout shake, starting the recovery process quicker than waiting to get home and eat a meal. It’s also fat-free so your body will be able to quickly digest and absorb the carbs and protein.
It’s important to remember that the carbs in Gatorade are not enough to replace your post-workout meal so make sure you are still consuming that within an hour after finishing your workout.
Is Whey Protein & Gatorade Good For Breakfast?
Whey protein and sugar-free Gatorade is a good high protein breakfast option, however, it’s important to add some complex carbs and fat to create a well-balanced meal.
Protein is slow-digesting, meaning it will help us to feel full and satisfied. Sugar plays the opposite role, providing a quick source of energy but leaving us with an energy crash about 2 hours after consuming. Therefore, we want our breakfast to include protein and limited sugar, such as sugar-free Gatorade and whey protein.
Consuming this alone will not be a sufficient breakfast as it’s under 150 calories. I recommend pairing it with some slow-digesting carbs and fat to create a satiating breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. Toast or oatmeal with nut/ nut butter is a great option.
Regular Gatorade and whey protein would be a good option for breakfast if you are headed to a workout and don’t want anything too heavy.
Is Whey Protein & Gatorade Good Before Bed?
Sugar-free Gatorade and whey protein is a good option before bed if you are having trouble getting enough protein into your day.
One of the most common struggles I see with my nutrition clients is getting enough protein in their day. Adding in a protein shake before bed can be a great way to get extra protein in your day.
If you are losing body fat, you may find fitting this protein shake into your day a better option so you aren’t feeling as hungry during the day and reach for snacks. If you are bulking though, this likely isn’t an issue and consuming it before bed can be a great post-dinner sweet treat.
I recommend staying away from regular Gatorade though as the sugar will provide you with a burst of energy, making it more difficult for you to sleep.
Who Should Mix Whey Protein With Gatorade?
Regular Gatorade and whey protein are great for around a workout or for those struggling to eat enough calories. Sugar-free Gatorade and whey are best for those looking to lose body fat.
The sugar in regular Gatorade is a great way to get extra calories in your day, without impacting your hunger for your next meal. It’s also beneficial to provide for energy pre-workout and recovery post-workout.
For those losing body fat, sugar-free Gatorade is a flavourful calorie-free option for mixing with protein powder. This is especially good if you don’t like the taste of protein powder mixed with just water.
Who SHOULD NOT Mix Whey Protein With Gatorade?
Gatorade and whey protein is not a good option for those that digestively struggle with artificial flavourings, sweeteners and/or preservatives.
While a huge plus of mixing whey with Gatorade is the ability to customize the type to your nutritional needs, some ingredients exist in all types of Gatorade that some people find upset their stomach.
If you have any sensitivities to artificial flavourings, sweeteners or preservatives, or choose to reduce your consumption, you may want to consider the frequency of which you’re using Gatorade to mix with your protein.
Will Protein Powder Dissolve in Gatorade?
Yes, protein powder will dissolve in premixed Gatorade. For best results, I recommend 1 scoop of whey protein powder per 10oz of Gatorade.
If you are using powdered Gatorade, it’s best to mix the powder with water first and allow it to completely dissolve before adding in the whey protein. I recommend using a shaker bottle or blender when mixing to avoid any clumps, which are likely to occur if only mixed with a spoon.
It’s also best to go with pure whey protein powder, such as a whey concentrate or whey isolate, as casein-based protein powder doesn’t dissolve as well leaving a grittiness and unpleasant texture.
Best Gatorade and Whey Protein Flavour Combinations (From Best to Worst)
The best Gatorade and whey protein flavour combinations are:
- Orange Gatorade and vanilla whey protein
- Fruit punch Gatorade with strawberry whey protein
- Fruit punch Gatorade with vanilla whey protein
- Strawberry/raspberry lemonade Gatorade with strawberry whey protein
- Orange Gatorade with strawberry whey protein
1. Orange Gatorade and Vanilla Whey Protein
Orange Gatorade and vanilla protein is my personal favourite combination of Gatorade and whey protein as it tastes almost exactly like a creamsicle.
The orange flavour helps to keep your shake fruity and refreshing, which can sometimes be lost with a vanilla protein powder.
2. Fruit Punch Gatorade With Strawberry Whey Protein
Fruit punch Gatorade with strawberry protein creates a very fruity tasting shake that is still thick and creamy.
If you are a fan of a classic strawberry milkshake, this is the combination for you.
3. Fruit Punch Gatorade With Vanilla Whey Protein
Fruit punch Gatorade and vanilla protein taste like a fruity milkshake. The flavour reminds me of the taste of the milk at the bottom of a bowl of fruit loops.
While this shake is not as refreshing, it is quite decadent and would satisfy a sweet dessert craving quite nicely.
4. Strawberry/Raspberry Lemonade Gatorade With Strawberry Whey Protein
Strawberry lemonade Gatorade and strawberry protein is the ultimate refreshing fruity drink.
The lemonade flavour keeps the shake lighter and more refreshing than other flavour combinations and less milkshake tasting. This makes it my favourite option after a workout but may not quite satisfy a sweet craving as well as other combinations.
5. Orange Gatorade With Strawberry Whey Protein
Orange Gatorade and strawberry protein powder is also a more refreshing, fruity flavoured drink. It’s closer in flavour to a fruit smoothie and has less of a milkshake flavour.
This is a great option to switch up your protein shake if you have strawberry protein powder on hand and are unsure how to use it.
Mixing Whey Protein With Other Liquids
About The Author
Laura Semotiuk is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She works with athletes and active individuals looking to improve performance and develop healthy nutritional habits and behaviors. She has a passion for cooking, meal prepping, and creating simple and healthy recipes.
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