If you are looking to optimize your nutrition, you may find yourself trying to figure out healthier ways to eat treats, like ice cream. One idea floating around the internet is to mix whey protein with ice cream.
After reading about that idea, I started experimenting with different ways of mixing whey and ice cream and asked myself whether this would be a good thing to recommend to my clients who crave sweets (I’m a nutrition coach).
So can you mix whey protein with ice cream? Yes, you can mix whey protein with ice cream. For those who are bulking, it’s an easy way to add more calories to your day while also adding more nutrients to your dessert. However, it’s honestly not the best choice if you’re trying to lose body fat as it’s better to prioritize higher volume foods to reduce hunger.
(“Higher volume foods” just means foods that take up a lot of room in your stomach with not a lot of calories. Ice cream is not high volume because in a small portion, you get a lot of calories.)
So before you go ahead and mix whey with ice cream, it’s important to understand the pros and cons, and how to do it properly.
After reading this article you’ll learn:
- Pros and cons to mixing whey protein with ice cream
- 3 ways to mix whey protein with ice cream
- Who should and SHOULD NOT mix whey protein with ice cream
- Which ice cream brands are best to mix with whey protein
This article is part of our series on What Can You Mix With Whey Protein (13 Examples)
Is It Safe To Mix Whey Protein With Ice Cream?
Yes, it is safe to mix whey protein with ice cream.
Ice cream is dairy-based and therefore there is little difference, from a safety perspective, between mixing whey with ice cream or with milk.
If you are lactose intolerant, you’ll want to be mindful of how much dairy you consume, or opt for ice cream brands that are ‘dairy-free’.
Benefits of Mixing Whey Protein With Ice Cream
The benefits of mixing whey protein with ice cream are:
1. It Adds Additional Nutritional Value to Your Ice Cream
Ice cream on its own does not have a ton of nutritional value, however by adding whey protein you can increase the protein content.
While ice cream is a delicious treat, it’s not the best food choice to consume regularly as it’s easy to over consume while not providing a ton of nutritional value.
With that said, by mixing whey protein into your ice cream, you are increasing the nutritional value of ice cream by adding protein.
This can be a good way to satisfy an ice cream craving while still ensuring you are getting enough protein into your day.
2. It Can Help You Not Over-Consume Ice Cream
Adding protein to your ice cream can help you to feel more full and satisfied after eating, keeping you from overconsuming ice cream.
Ice cream is quite high in calories at around 140 – 290 calories per serving, which is usually only about ½ cup, depending on the brand. Ice cream is not overly filling but quite tasty, therefore it’s very easy to consume hundreds of calories in one sitting.
Adding protein into your ice cream will help to keep you feeling more full and satisfied after eating making you far less likely to over-consume ice cream. Think about it like this, would you be more likely to eat a whole pint of ice cream if you had just consumed a satisfying meal or if you were hungry?
Consuming a smaller quantity is very helpful in ensuring you aren’t consuming too many calories in a day and interfering with your body composition.
- Related Article: 6 Best Ice Cream For Bulking (And, The 3 Worst)
Drawbacks of Mixing Whey Protein With Ice Cream
The drawbacks of mixing whey protein with ice cream are:
1. It’s a High-Calorie Way To Consume Protein
Ice cream is very high in calories per serving meaning, along with your protein you are consuming a lot of extra calories which can impact body composition.
While getting enough protein in our day is important for muscle growth, it’s important that we also consider the additional calories we are consuming along with that protein. If we are constantly consuming protein sources that are very high in calories, while we will get enough protein in our day, we will also likely be eating too many calories leading to weight gain.
For someone that is looking to put on muscle mass but struggling to eat enough calories, this would be a great choice. However, if you are looking to lose body fat, you are likely to quickly go over your daily calories if you utilize ice cream and whey protein as a protein source regularly.
If you are losing weight, I recommend opting for a small serving of ice cream and whey then focusing on getting the remainder of your protein that day from relatively low calories protein sources such as chicken breast or fat-free greek yogurt.
2. It May Not Satisfy Your Ice Cream Craving
Adding whey protein into your ice cream can alter the taste and texture making the ice cream less satisfying.
While we know ice cream is not a highly nutritious food, it is important to include it in our diet periodically. This can help us from feeling restricted and deprived which can make it difficult to stick to a diet long term.
However, adding whey protein into your ice cream will change the taste and texture which can make the food less satisfying. If this happens, you are likely to still find yourself reaching for more ice cream, adding even more calories into your day.
If this is the case for you, this can be minimized by using unflavoured whey protein powder.
3 Ways To Mix Whey Protein With Ice Cream
3 ways to mix whey protein with ice cream are:
- Mix whey into store-bought ice cream
- Make homemade ice cream that includes whey protein
- Add whey to a milkshake
1. Mix Whey Into Store-Bought Ice Cream
Mixing whey into store-bought ice cream is the easiest method as it doesn’t require any additional ingredients or cooking.
Simply mix ½ scoop of protein powder per ½ cup of ice cream. To best incorporate the whey protein, let the ice cream get soft on the counter for 5 – 10 minutes. Add the whey slowly, consistently stirring.
One thing to keep in mind with this method is it will change the consistency of the ice cream. Stirring ice cream creates more of a soft-serve texture vs. harder ice cream. If you find the ice cream is melting too much, toss it back in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes before eating.
2. Make Homemade Ice Cream That Includes Whey Protein
Making homemade ice cream and adding whey is more work however it will give you the best texture closest to hard store-bought ice cream.
Whey protein can be easily mixed into your favorite homemade ice cream recipe, I recommend sticking to ½ a scoop of protein powder per serving of ice cream the recipe makes.
My other tip is to ensure you are mixing the whey in right at the end of the process just before churning. Many ice cream recipes involve some cooking before churning but that will denature the whey protein giving it a lumpy and undesirable texture.
Here are some great homemade ice cream recipes I found:
- Banana Chocolate Protein Ice Cream from EatingBirdFood.com
- Vanilla Coconut Protein Ice Cream from TheBigMansWorld.com
Bonus: Both of these recipes are dairy-free, so lower calorie and great for those who are lactose intolerant.
Other Ice Cream Recipes:
- Protein Ice Cream Recipe For Bodybuilding (Easy To Make)
- Ice Cream Protein Shake
- Protein Ice Cream With Xanthan Gum
- Protein Ice Cream Sandwich
3. Add Whey Protein Into a Milkshake
Adding whey into a milkshake is a great way to mix whey protein and ice cream without impacting the texture.
All you have to do is add ½ – 1 scoop of whey into your milkshake and blend as usual. Whey protein can also be a fun way to combine flavors in your milkshake.
One of my favorites is making a mocha milkshake using coffee ice cream and chocolate whey. Vanilla protein and orange sherbert are other great combinations.
What Type of Ice Cream Is Best Mixed With Whey Protein?
The best dairy-based ice cream to mix with whey protein if you are putting on mass is Blue Bunny. If you are looking to lose body fat I recommend Breyer’s delights. If you can’t have dairy-based ice cream, So Delicious Oat Milk ice cream is your best bet.
Here are some other tips to consider:
- When mixing whey with ice cream, to get the best texture, you want to pick very creamy ice cream.
- For anyone that is putting on mass and wants extra calories, full-fat ice cream will provide the best taste and texture.
- If you are looking to lose body fat, many low-calorie ice creams and frozen yogurts are icy in texture which can lead to a grainy consistency when mixed with whey. Breyer’s Delights is the best option to still give you a good texture. They also have the added benefit of being high in protein.
- Make sure you are choosing flavours like chocolate or vanilla that don’t have extra add-ins like caramel swirl or cookie dough chunks as these will also make it difficult to mix the whey in.
Who Should Mix Whey Protein With Ice Cream?
Those that are trying to put on mass and are having trouble eating enough can benefit from mixing whey protein with ice cream as it’s an easy way to add more calories into our day.
A lot of my nutrition clients struggle to eat enough calories when they are trying to put on mass because they no longer feel hungry when eating so much. Since ice cream is very dense in calories, it’s an easy and delicious way to pack extra calories into your day. Adding protein is also beneficial as your protein intake will also be increased.
It is important to remember that ice cream is not high in micronutrients so you don’t want to be getting a large portion of your daily calories from ice cream and whey protein. Ensure you are also prioritizing fruits and veggies to keep your body functioning optimally.
Related ice cream article: Is Ice Cream Good or Bad For Bodybuilding?
Who SHOULD NOT Mix Whey Protein With Ice Cream?
Those that are looking to lose fat should not mix whey protein with ice cream as the additional calories from the ice cream are likely to put us over our calorie goal for the day, negatively impacting our goal.
When you are losing body fat, you are eating fewer calories than you are burning in a day which can often lead to hunger. To reduce this, we want to focus on consuming foods that are higher in volume.
Ice cream, on the other hand, is quite dense and therefore is less likely to fill us up. While adding the whey protein will help to make it more filling, there are many more protein-rich foods that are higher in volume accomplishing this goal more optimally.
A small quantity of ice cream and whey protein occasionally is not a problem, but we want to make sure the majority of our food is from higher volume food sources.
What Else Can You Mix Whey Protein With?
- Can You Mix Whey Protein With Alcohol?
- Can You Mix Whey Protein With Milk?
- Can You Mix Gatorade With Protein Powder?
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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