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Can you mix protein powder with water?

Yes, you can mix protein powder with water. This is one of the most common and convenient ways to consume protein powder, especially for those looking to supplement their diet without adding extra calories from other mixers like milk or juice.

Mixing protein powder with water is particularly beneficial for those who are monitoring their calorie intake or seeking a quick and easy protein source before or after workouts. Water does not add any fats, carbohydrates, or significant calories, making it an ideal choice for maintaining a lean diet or for those on calorie-restricted diets1.

When mixed with water, protein powders—whether whey, casein, soy, or a plant-based blend—dissolve easily and can be quickly digested, allowing for rapid absorption of amino acids into the bloodstream. This can be particularly important post-exercise when there is a need to initiate muscle repair and growth2.

However, it’s important to consider personal taste preferences and nutritional goals when deciding whether to mix protein powder with water. While mixing with water provides a low-calorie option, some might find the taste too bland compared to mixing with milk or a milk alternative, which can make the shake creamier and more flavorful. Additionally, those looking to increase protein intake might choose milk for its added protein content3.

References:

  1. Hulmi, J. J., Lockwood, C. M., & Stout, J. R. (2010). Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7, 51.
  2. Phillips, S. M. (2014). A brief review of critical processes in exercise-induced muscular hypertrophy. Sports Medicine, 44(S1), S71-S77.
  3. Pasiakos, S. M., Lieberman, H. R., & McLellan, T. M. (2015). Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 44(5), 655-670.
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