Why Does Protein Powder Make Porridge Watery? (5 Runny Oats Facts)

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Do others also find it perplexing, “Why Does Protein Powder Make Porridge Watery?”

You would think that adding protein powder to your morning oats would soak up any excess liquid and give a nice, thick, creamy texture.

However, each and every time you add powder to your porridge you’re left with a liquid the consistency of soup.

What gives?

Allow me to end your runny protein powder oats nightmare?

Why Does Protein Powder Make Porridge Watery?

Whey protein powder is far more likely to make your porridge watery than casein. You should also cook your oats on the stove, as this allows you far more control over consistency and texture. A quick hack is to mix your protein powder first with a small amount of your desired liquid to produce an almost yoghurt-like consistency, and then add this to your porridge. Adding protein powder at the start of the cooking process will produce far thicker oats, although you need to be wary of denaturing the protein.

1. Use Casein Not Whey

Whey vs. Casein

It appears that adding whey protein to your morning porridge is far more likely to produce a watery mess.

So, the most obvious solution would be to use casein protein powder if you wish to up the protein content of your oats.

Whey protein is sometimes viewed as the better muscle-builder, as it is digested within 20 minutes.

It will also be absorbed into the bloodstream, metabolized by the bodily tissues, and used for protein synthesis within an hour.

Basically, whey protein doesn’t muck about.

Conversely, casein protein powder will steadily release amino acids and uses protein synthesis over a period of 3-4 hours.

However, this will help to delay muscle tissue breakdown.

As long as protein synthesis is greater than muscle tissue breakdown then you will build muscle.

So, in effect, both whey and casein achieve this.

It’s just one (whey) is digested quicker than the other (casein).

Even though casein and whey are both dairy-based proteins there are other subtle differences.

All dairy products contain both whey and casein.

As an example, milk is approximately 80% casein and 20% whey.

Now, we know that milk will typically produce a creamier consistency than water when mixed with oats.

And this is typically down to the casein content.

So, it stands to reason that if you want a thicker and creamier protein porridge that you should use casein powder.

Something else to consider is the carb and fat content of your protein powder.

Some protein powders typically have a high percentage of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

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This is especially true of protein powders that also provide a high-carb amount per serving.

Now, when it comes to traditional baking, sugar is viewed as a “wet” ingredient, i.e. it will make something less thick.

So, the same thing could be happening with a highly sugared protein powder when added to hot oats.

2. Cook on the Stove Not in the Microwave

I’ve always personally preferred to cook my oats on the stove, as opposed to the microwave.

For me, it provides far more control over the outcome.

I typically find that it can be too easy to add too much or not enough liquid.

So, by the time the microwave dings your oats are pretty much “cooked” (if you get my meaning).

However, when cooking on the stove you have the option to continually stir, while also getting immediate feedback on consistency.

So, by the time you add your protein powder the oats should be gently simmering.

As you continue to stir you’ll immediately know whether your porridge requires more dry or wet ingredients.

I know we live in a world where we want everything as quickly as possible, but sometimes using “old-fashioned” methods produces the best results.

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3. Mix the Protein Powder Together First

Something else that tends to work quite well is to not simply dump your protein powder directly into your porridge.

Once again, this requires a little more effort, but not a great deal.

Basically, you’ll want to add a small amount of liquid to your protein powder, and then stir rather than shake.

The aim here is to produce a paste that is similar in consistency to yogurt.

At the same time cook your oats as normal, whether you prefer the stove or microwave.

Then once they’re cooked you add your protein paste.

You should then continue to stir rather than allowing the mixture to simply settle.

After a while you should be left with oats that are creamy and have the perfect consistency.

Now, I’m just going to throw this out there.

If you’re going to go through the process of mixing protein powder in the first place, why not just have the two ingredients separately?

I know you’re trying to make protein oats, but there are no “rules” on how you should consume this.

If you’re a porridge fan, and you enjoy your oats a certain way, then go ahead and make them how you like.

Then simply have a protein shake to the side.

This way you can actually enjoy your oats, while getting an extra shot of protein while downing your shake.

Just an idea.

4. Try a Protein Smoothie

If you’re all about simply getting the ingredients into your body then a protein smoothie is definitely the way forward.

In fact, you’ll be surprised at just how great this tastes.

My preference is to add the following ingredients:

  • Banana
  • Frozen strawberries and blueberries
  • Milled Nuts & Flaxseed
  • Coconut milk
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Oats
  • Protein Powder
  • Spinach

I would simply then whizz all these ingredients up in the blender and enjoy the perfect breakfast smoothie.

And before you say it, you will not taste the spinach, but still get all the goodness from it.

You do need to be wary of consistency here, and you actually require a lot less liquid than you think.

I believe this comes down to the frozen fruit producing more liquid when blended.

So, I would literally add less than 100ml of coconut milk to my shake.

I urge you to give a protein smoothie a go.

You may find that you never go back to eating porridge the traditional way.

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5. Should You Add Protein First?

Now, a way to ensure that your protein oats remain thick is to add the protein powder at the beginning.

So, literally add your oats, protein powder, and liquid all at the same time.

However, many people who try this typically complain of the opposite happening.

Basically, their oats come out too thick, hard, and about as easy to stir as glue.

You can of course add more liquid and then continue to stir as you reach the right consistency.

With that being said, I do worry about the protein powder becoming denatured through this process.

Protein powder typically loses much of its effectiveness when added straight to hot ingredients.

Due to the fact that protein powders are built out of amino acids they should be kept away from high heat.

Excessive heat will break down the acid structure, so this will in effect “denature” your protein powder.

So, high heat will literally defeat the object of taking protein powder in the first place.

I know you’re probably thinking of all the various recipes that include protein powder.

But, in truth, the best way to get your hit of protein is to simply mix it with your desired liquid and drink it.

Final Thoughts

So, as you can see there are various reasons that protein powder makes porridge watery.

Firstly, if you are going to mix your protein with oats you’ll find that casein powder works far better than whey.

You should also cook your oats on the stove, as this gives you far more control over consistency than using the microwave.

Furthermore, you could try making a separate paste with your protein powder and then adding this to your oats.

Then again, you can also completely change the way you consume all your breakfast ingredients and make an incredible tasting shake.

Finally, adding protein powder prior to heating your oats will always produce a thicker consistency, sometimes too thick.

However, be wary of potentially denaturing the protein powder.

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