Out of all the possible liquids, can you mix whey protein with juice?
I’m sure, much like myself, you’ve probably tried to “pimp” your whey protein shake.
Let’s face facts, whey protein (even flavoured) doesn’t always have the best taste.
And I know there are many people who simply can’t stand the thought of mixing protein powder with water.
So, is juice a suitable alternative?
Let’s find out.
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Can You Mix Whey Protein With Juice?
Yes, it’s absolutely fine to mix whey protein with juice. In fact, many manufacturer’s suggest mixing whey protein with water, milk, or juice. Furthermore, mixing whey protein with juice will also provide a hit of carbohydrates. This can be ideal pre, intra, or post workout for most individuals. However, this will also spike your blood sugar levels, which may leave some people feeling sick or nauseous. Plus, don’t forget that juice will add extra calories to your protein shake, so this is something to be wary of.
1. You Can Mix Whey Protein With Any Liquid You Want
I am actually amazed and somewhat perturbed by what I have read online about mixing whey protein with juice.
In fact, there are those who strictly forbid it and say it should be avoided at all costs.
Their reasoning is that it will ruin the whey protein and therefore it will no longer be effective.
Nope, absolute rubbish.
Firstly, most manufacturers provide suggestions on their packing of what to mix whey protein with.
And most typically you will see that it is recommended that you mix whey protein with water, milk, or juice.
However, in truth, it doesn’t end there, as you can pretty much mix whey protein with any liquid of your choice.
Plus, it really doesn’t make any difference if that liquid is hot or cold.
The main reason that you’ll hear that mixing whey protein with juice is bad is because it will denature the protein.
But, this doesn’t actually mean that it’s ruined, but rather that the protein has changed its chemical structure.
Therefore, the whey protein has NOT lost its nutritional value.
All it means is that the protein molecules have been broken apart or unfolded.
If you think about it, this is exactly what your body does to protein anyway once you’ve ingested it.
Your body will break down protein into amino acids and then digest the protein.
Therefore, if one scoop of protein powder provides you with 25g of protein, no matter what you do with that powder, it will still contain the same 25g.
In fact, it’s much the same as placing two large chicken breasts into a blender and then converting it from a solid into a liquid.
The chicken breasts will have changed in chemical structure, but they will still contain the same amount of protein
So, you can mix your whey protein with any liquid you wish.
It’s your protein powder, it’s you who has to consume it, so you can mix it with whatever tickles your taste buds.
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2. The GOOD Carb Effect of Mixing Whey Protein with Juice
The most obvious time to take whey protein is immediately following your workout.
Basically, you’re looking to get a quick hit of fast-digesting protein and some amino acids into the bloodstream.
This makes a lot of sense, as it will help to promote muscle recovery, as well as muscle growth.
However, I also feel that one of the biggest mistakes that many people make is to solely rely on protein after their workout.
Whereas, they should actually be consuming carbs and healthy fats as well.
During your workout it’s likely that you will have depleted your stores of muscle glycogen.
Glycogen will typically fuel your workout (along with other nutrients and energy sources), and once your stores are depleted you’ll usually start to feel fatigued.
This is usually when your workout comes to an end.
However, it actually makes great deal of sense to “top up” your glycogen stores following your workout in order to get the maximum benefits.
In fact, if you’re not taking carbs and healthy fats after your workout, you may notice some adverse effects.
Furthermore, even though whey protein is usually taken after a workout, there’s nothing to say you can’t take it before or even during your training sessions.
If you choose to consume your protein shake, mixed with juice, before your workout you’ll generally notice a spike in energy.
This will be from the carbs in juice, as well as the fact that you’ll probably feel fuller with some protein in your system.
The exact same can be said for taking your protein and juice during your workout, especially when you’re starting to lag and perhaps feel devoid of energy.
So, there are certainly a great number of benefits to mixing whey protein with juice.
The Importance of Carbs Post-Workout For Muscle Growth
3. The BAD Carb Effect of Mixing Whey Protein with Juice
Okay, I have to be honest and say it’s not all good news when it comes to mixing whey protein with juice.
However, this will very much depend on you, your digestive system, and of course, your training goals.
What I mean by this is that firstly drinking juice, whether with whey protein or not, will typically spike your blood sugar levels.
Initially, this will give you a burst of energy, so perfect for training.
However, if blood sugar levels rise then they eventually also have to fall.
This is actually why you’ll usually find that you’re quite energetic after consuming some form of sugar, but then feel tired and lethargic soon after.
So, in effect, juice probably isn’t the best source of carbs to fuel your workouts (or recover from them).
Furthermore, this spike in blood sugar levels can also leave some people feeling sick and nauseous.
In fact, it’s actually fairly common for people to feel sick after taking supplements, but this can often be attributed to what they’re mixing it with, as opposed to the supplement itself.
Something else to take into consideration is the additional calories you’ll be consuming with juice.
As an example, if you mix your whey protein with the standard 400ml of liquid, let’s say orange juice, you have just added another 189 calories to your post-workout shake.
Now, this may not be an issue for many of you, but if you’re taking a diet whey protein, and you’re watching your calorie intake, this is best avoided.
In fact, you could quite easily be consuming an additional 1,000 calories a week without realising it.
So, I hope you understand that it’s perfectly fine to mix whey protein with juice.
And if you’ve heard otherwise, then I urge you to ignore it.
You’ll typically hear that juice, and even other liquids, may denature protein powder.
However, this simply means that the protein loses its chemical structure, but this doesn’t mean that it loses its effectiveness.
In fact, whenever we consume protein, we automatically “denature” it anyway, by breaking protein down into amino acids.
Additionally, the carbs in juice can provide energy, whether taken before, during, or after your workout.
With that being said, this will cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which may leave some people feeling ill.
Furthermore, don’t forget about the additional calories that you’ll be consuming by mixing whey protein with juice.
Further Whey Protein Reading
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.