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If you don’t like the taste of protein powder, you may be wondering if you can mix it with something like apple juice to make it more appealing. I hear this question quite frequently from my nutrition clients so I decided to answer that question.
Can you mix whey protein with apple juice? Yes, mixing whey and apple juice is great around a workout as the carbs provide energy and assist with recovery. However, apple juice adds calories without keeping you full. Therefore, it’s better for those that struggle to eat enough (bulking phase), not for those losing body fat (cutting phase).
With that said, before you start mixing whey protein with apple juice, 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 apple juice
- When to consume whey protein and apple juice
- Who should and shouldn’t mix apple juice with whey
- The best type of protein powder to mix with apple juice
This article is part of our series on What Can You Mix With Whey Protein (13 Examples)
Benefits of Mixing Whey Protein With Apple Juice
The benefits of mixing whey protein with apple juice are:
1. It Provides Additional Carbs Beneficial Around a Workout
Apple juice is high in carbohydrates and sugar, which provides extra energy and aids in recovery when consumed around your workout.
Around a workout, carbs are key as they provide a quick energy source and help to replenish our energy stores, promoting recovery. If we are mixing our whey protein with water, we are missing out on these additional benefits.
It’s important to remember that the carbs in apple juice won’t replace a meal, however, it is an easy and portable way to add carbs into your pre or post-workout shake.
This is a great option for anyone working out in the morning, especially if you don’t find you’re hungry that early in the day. It can also be a great option to sip on during your workout for a bit of extra energy.
Related: Can You Eat Fruit On A High Protein Diet?
2. It Provides a More Palatable Option for Those That Don’t Like the Taste of Protein Powder
Apple juice can be easily mixed with unflavoured protein, helping to disguise that protein shake flavour that some may not enjoy.
Anyone that’s had a protein shake knows it has a distinct flavour, while some people do enjoy it many do not. If you are mixing whey with milk or water, you will find your shake is completely the flavour of the protein powder. However, apple juice has a flavour that makes it easy to hide the protein taste.
In particular, if you use unflavoured protein powder, you will find that your shake just tastes like apple juice. This is the perfect option for anyone looking to add whey protein into their diet but just can’t stomach the taste on its own.
Drawbacks of Mixing Whey Protein With Apple Juice
The drawback of mixing whey protein with apple juice is:
1. It Is Higher in Carbs and Sugar Compared to Water
Apple juice has carbs and sugar, meaning you are adding extra calories to your protein shake that aren’t likely to fill you up. This is not a good use of calories for anyone looking to lose body fat.
Per cup, apple juice has 117 calories and 29g of carbohydrates, all of which are from sugar. Sugar is the quickest form of energy for our body, so after drinking a glass of apple juice you are likely to get a burst of energy. However, that energy will only last 1-1.5 hours after which you will feel a crash.
If you are trying to lose body fat, this is not a good way to use your calories. Instead, you want to be focusing on calories that will fill you up for a much longer period.
However, if you are looking to gain muscle mass but struggling to eat enough calories, this would be a great option. Liquid calories, especially those that are fast-digesting, will not impact your appetite throughout the rest of the day which can help ensure you are eating a sufficient amount.
- Related Article: 20 Best Fruits For Muscle Gain
Apple Juice and Protein Powder: When To Consume
Is Whey Protein and Apple Juice Good For Pre-Workout?
Yes, whey protein and apple juice is a great choice before a workout. The sugar in the apple juice will provide a quick burst of energy beneficial for your workout.
Sugar is the quickest source of energy for our bodies to use. Since apple juice is primarily sugar, it’s best to drink it 30-45 minutes before your workout. This will ensure you are feeling that burst of energy during the start of your workout. It can also make for a great drink during your workout for some additional energy, especially during long sessions (2+ hours).
It’s a particularly good choice for anyone working out in the morning as it will provide energy without sitting too heavy in your stomach.
- Related Article: Why Is Protein Powder So Sweet? How To Make It Less Sweet
Is Whey Protein and Apple Juice Good for Post-Workout?
Yes, whey protein and apple juice are good post-workout as it provides the carbs and protein necessary for optimal recovery and muscle growth.
Using apple juice is a great way to sneak some extra carbs into your post-workout shake, kicking off the recovery process even sooner than if you waited until you were home to consume a meal. It’s also fat-free, meaning your body can quickly digest and utilize the carbs.
Now it’s important to remember that apple juice won’t replace your post-workout meal so make sure you are still consuming that within an hour after finishing your workout.
Is Whey Protein and Apple Juice Good for Breakfast?
No, whey protein and apple juice is not a good choice for breakfast as the sugar will digest very quickly leaving you hungry again by mid-morning.
If you are a breakfast eater but still find yourself hungry by 10 am it’s very likely because you ate a carb-heavy breakfast. Carbs, in particular sugar, are digested quickly giving you a fast spike of energy followed by a crash about an hour later. It’s quite similar to a sugar crash that you often see kids experiencing.
While consuming apple juice with protein powder will slow down this process slightly, you are still likely to feel hungry within 1-2 hours. Mid-morning snacks are often calorie-dense, like granola bars, so we want to stick to food that will fill us up until lunch. A higher fat option for your protein shake at breakfast such as whole milk is a better choice.
Is Whey Protein and Apple Juice Good for Before Bed?
Whey protein and apple juice are not good before bed as the sugar from the juice will give you a quick burst of energy, likely to disrupt your sleep.
Experiencing a sugar high is not just for kids. Sugar at any age gives our body a sudden quick boost of energy. Apple juice is high in sugar and therefore likely to cause a similar effect. As you can imagine before bed is the worst time of day to experience a sudden burst of energy as it will interrupt your sleep.
Generally, it’s better to consume the majority of our calories earlier in the day when we need the energy. Saving calories right before bed will cause us to feel less energized and more hungry throughout the day, which may lead to more snacking.
With that said, apple juice and whey protein can be a good choice for someone looking to gain muscle but finding it difficult to eat enough. I would recommend keeping this drink 1.5 – 2 hours before bed so it doesn’t get in the way of good night sleep.
Who Should Mix Whey Protein with Apple Juice
Mixing apple juice with whey protein is a good choice for anyone bulking that is struggling to eat enough calories.
Adding whey protein and apple juice into your day will provide extra calories without impacting your hunger for your next meal.
Related Article: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Orange Juice?
Who SHOULD NOT Mix Whey Protein with Apple Juice
Mixing apple juice with protein powder is not a good choice for those trying to lose body fat since calories from the juice will not fill you up.
When you are losing body fat you are eating fewer calories in a day than what you are burning which is likely to cause some hunger. Focus on consuming protein and fat in your meal can help to mitigate this, keeping you full for longer after eating.
Apple juice provides the opposite effect with all sugar and no protein or fat. Your body will quickly use that energy and you will find yourself hungry quickly after eating. This is likely to lead to additional snacking throughout the day which can quickly cause you to go over your daily calories.
Overall, if you are trying to lose weight, there are better food choices that can be made instead of apple juice to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Learn more about staying satiated in these articles:
Will Protein Powder Dissolve in Apple Juice
Yes, protein powder will dissolve in apple juice. I recommend using 1 scoop of protein powder per 8oz of apple juice for the best results. A blender or shaker bottle is also best as it will keep your drink from getting clumpy. Mixing with just a spoon will likely not be effective and will leave you with a clumpy mess.
Best Types of Protein Powder To Mix With Apple Juice
An unflavoured whey protein isolate is best to mix with apple juice as it will be tasteless, dissolve best and provide the best macros.
I recommend MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate for an unflavored protein option. Most flavoured protein powders don’t taste very good with apple juice, and therefore unflavoured is your best bet taste-wise.
Isopure Whey Protein Isolate is also a good choice for an unflavoured protein powder, it is just more expensive than MyProtein.
I recommend a whey isolate instead of a whey concentrate because a whey isolate has a better macro profile.
Whey isolate is a more filtered form of whey protein compared to a whey concentrate, meaning it has the most protein and least carbs and fat per scoop. It also is lactose-free making it much better digestively. While both are good options to mix with apple juice, whey isolate is the best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about mixing whey protein and apple juice.
Can I replace apple juice instead of water with my protein shake?
Yes, you can replace the water in your protein shake with apple juice. Whey will dissolve in apple juice just like water and if you use unflavoured protein powder, it will taste just like apple juice. It’s important to remember apple juice has more calories than water that you need to consider in your daily calorie intake.
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.