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Many of my nutrition clients are looking for new ways to drink their protein shakes. However, they are unsure about whether hot water would be a good option, so I decided to answer that question.
Can you mix whey protein with hot water? Mixing whey with hot water is a great low-calorie option compared with milk or juice. However, whey protein denatures above 100-degrees Celsius, so make sure not to use boiling water. Also, it’s key to mix the protein with room temperature water first to dissolve, or else your shake will be clumpy and not drinkable.
With that said, before you start mixing whey protein with hot water, you should know the pros and cons, and how to do it properly for optimal results.
In this article you will learn:
- 3 pros and cons of mixing whey protein with hot water
- How to mix whey protein with hot water
- Is there a difference between hot and cold protein shakes?
- The best type of protein powder to mix with hot water
This article is part of our series on What Can You Mix With Whey Protein (13 Examples)
Benefits of Mixing Whey Protein with Hot Water
The benefits of mixing whey protein with hot water are:
1. It Is a Lower Calorie Option Compared to Milk
Hot water is a calorie-free option compared to milk, making it a better choice for anyone looking to improve body composition.
Milk can range from 35 – 150 calories per cup depending on the variety (almond vs. regular) and fat percentage (skim vs. whole milk).
For anyone that has tried to lose body fat, you know that saving yourself calories can be extremely beneficial. Especially when these calories are from a drink, which is much less likely to fill you up compared to food.
This benefit may be even greater if you are consuming protein shakes daily or even more than once per day.
By choosing hot water to mix with whey protein you are going to make it easier to eat fewer calories than you are burning in a day leading to more successful weight loss.
Read more about mixing whey protein with milk: Can You Mix Whey Protein With Milk?
2. It Will Give You a Healthy Dessert Alternative
Warm protein hot chocolate is a great high protein but low-calorie dessert alternative great for anyone that is cutting.
When you are trying to lose body fat, it’s important to eat fewer calories than you are consuming in a day. In order to keep feeling full and satisfied with fewer calories, it’s important to prioritize whole foods over sweet treats for the majority of the food we are eating. But what are you supposed to do if you’re left craving sweet treats?
Making a healthier alternative to traditional high-calorie desserts is always a great option. Whey protein and hot water can be a super easy hot chocolate alternative to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Chocolate protein powder on its own is always a classic but my personal favourite is ⅔ of a scoop of chocolate with ⅓ scoop of caramel for an extra tasty option.
- Related Article: MyProtein Impact Whey Review: The Best Value For Money?
3. It’s a Better Way To Drink Whey Protein in the Winter
Mixing whey protein with hot water is a good option to continue to consume whey protein during the winter months.
While an ice-cold protein shake is super refreshing in the summer, many of my clients find it challenging to consume in the winter. Not only are cold drinks less appetizing during the winter, but you may also find you just can’t consume them without getting too cold.
If that’s the case for you, mixing whey protein with hot water is a great option to help you continue to drink whey throughout the winter.
You are also much more likely to hit your daily protein goal if drinking your whey shake is an enjoyable experience. Try chocolate protein powder as a hot chocolate alternative.
- Learn more about Protein Powder With Milk or Water
Drawbacks of Mixing Whey Protein with Hot Water
The drawback of mixing whey protein with hot water are:
It Can Easily Clump Up
Whey protein can clump up when mixed with hot water if done incorrectly, leading you to waste protein powder.
Whey protein will denature at high temperatures, which means if it’s mixed in with hot water in the wrong manner, it can easily clump up. Unsure how to mix whey with hot water to avoid these clumps? Keep reading for a detailed step-by-step guide below.
If you do find yourself with a clumpy drink, you’ll have to pour it out and start again which can be a bit wasteful. This may also be a problem if you’ve taken your protein powder on the go and don’t have any extra.
This can be easily avoided however by following my directions later on in the article.
- Related Articles: Why Is My Protein Shake Foamy? 4 Reasons & Is It Bad?
How to Mix Whey Protein With Hot Water
Adding whey protein directly to hot water will lead to an inedible clumpy mess. It’s important to dissolve the protein first in a room temperature liquid before mixing it into hot water.
If you’ve ever tried to mix whey protein into a hot liquid you know, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Whey protein will denature at higher temperatures meaning you are left with a clumpy mess that is not tasty to consume.
This doesn’t mean you can never add whey to a hot beverage, it’s just important that you follow these simple instructions to do so.
- First off, you need to dissolve the whey protein into a room temperature liquid. I recommend 1-2oz of room temperature water for every scoop of protein powder.
- Stir very well for 1-2 minutes until a smooth consistency is reached.
- Now you are ready to mix the dissolved protein into hot water. Make sure the water is not boiling though, you want a warm liquid that is comfortable to drink.
- For best results, I recommend using a rapid mixer and slowly adding in the dissolved protein powder while it’s running. If you don’t have a mixer simply add it slowly while stirring with a spoon.
If you are still finding your mixture is a little clumpy, try letting the water cool down a bit more before adding in your protein liquid.
Does Hot Water Destroy Whey Protein?
Hot water, below 100 degrees celsius, can cause denaturing which impacts the whey protein’s ability to dissolve in liquid. However, it does not impact the benefits the protein provides when consumed.
If you’ve ever googled why your protein powder gets clumpy in hot water you may have uncovered that heat causes whey protein to denature. This can sound a bit alarming and lead you to wonder whether that whey protein is still just as beneficial to consume. Lucky for you, the answer is no, heat will not destroy the whey protein. Let me explain further.
When whey protein is exposed to high heat, the outside structures of the protein molecules will unfold and aggregate together. This is just a fancy way of saying the molecules will clump together. Research shows that below 100 degrees celsius, these changes are purely cosmetic and do not impact the nutritional benefit the whey protein provides.
Above 100 degrees, there can be some further changes that slightly impact the whey’s nutritional benefits, however, this is nothing to be concerned about. These changes are quite minor and similar to what happens when you cook other protein sources.
It’s also important to remember that you aren’t likely to find your whey heated up to above 100 degrees unless you are baking with it. If you are simply mixing whey with hot water you will be well below this threshold and have nothing to worry about.
- Related Article: Can You Cook With Protein Powder? (Yes, Here’s How)
Hot or Cold Water for Protein Shakes: Are There Differences?
There is no nutritional difference in consuming whey protein in hot or cold water. It’s best to go with the temperature that you prefer most as this will impact how frequently you consume it and how satisfied it leaves you.
Food and drink temperature is strictly a personal preference only and does not impact the nutrition of food in a significant way. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something we should ignore. How much you are enjoying your food will play a part in how often you eat that food and how satisfied you feel, both of which are important to creating a sustainable diet.
We know that whey protein shakes are a great way to help you hit your protein goal, but if you aren’t enjoying drinking it then you are going to quickly start reaching for something else. This is likely to be something that isn’t as high in protein and is more calorically dense.
Is Mixing Whey Protein With Hot Water Better For Bulking or Cutting?
Mixing whey protein with hot water is great for any bodybuilder, however, I recommend it most often for those cutting due to the lower calories.
Mixing whey protein with hot water is a great way to make a delicious, low-calorie protein hot chocolate. This is a great way for someone that is cutting to enjoy a sweet treat without impacting their body composition goals.
This is still a great option for bodybuilders bulking, however, I usually recommend adding in a liquid with more calories, such as whole milk. Those that are bulking usually have trouble consuming enough calories so by using water you are skipping out on an easy way to add more calories into your day.
Best Types of Protein To Mix With Hot Water
A whey protein isolate is best to mix with hot water as it will give you the best taste and texture as well as the best macros. I recommend Legion Whey+ Isolate.
You may be wondering why I recommend a whey protein instead of a vegan option?
Whey will give your protein shake a better taste and texture when mixing with hot water. Vegan protein has a chalky texture and earthy taste, it’s typically better mixed with fruit in a smoothie. Whey protein however is much better when mixed with just water, giving a taste and texture that most people will enjoy.
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 hot water, whey isolate is the best option.
Many of my clients have found this to be the best taste and texture when mixed with hot water, especially the chocolate flavor. It has the added benefit of being sweetened with stevia instead of sugar alcohols making it less likely to cause digestive upset.
If you are looking for a more affordable whey isolate, my recommendations are Bodybuilding.com’s Signature 100% Whey Isolate and MyProtein Impact Whey Isolate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about mixing whey protein and hot water.
Why Is My Whey Protein Not Dissolving in Hot Water?
Your whey protein is not dissolving in hot water because you are adding it directly into water that is too hot. Instead, mix 1 scoop of protein powder into 1-2oz of cool water before adding slowly into warm water while stirring. If you continue to have issues dissolving, you need to continue to cool your water further.
Can You Mix Whey Protein With Tea?
Yes, you can mix whey protein with tea. Dissolve the whey in room temperature water first then add it into warm, not hot, tea. Unflavoured whey is usually best although vanilla is a good addition to earl grey tea and cinnamon is a good addition to chai tea. Skip any milk or sugar if you are adding flavoured whey.
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.