This is a question that gets asked all of the time, do you use water or milk in your protein shake?
There are many different answers and reasons for choosing either water or milk.
One of the main key factors in selecting to use water or milk in your protein shake are your personal goals.
If you are looking at losing weight, gaining muscle or simply aiming to gain weight you may not want some of the extras you get with using milk.
So this is the choice you will have to make when deciding on what to use.
I might start with a few key features of each if you used them and you might see a pattern emerge.
Water with your Protein Shake
- Quicker absorption
- Mixes easily
- Convenience, readily available
- Protein shakes have a thin consistency
- You sacrifice a bit of taste
- You get the nutrients listed on the panel
- No bloat
- Less Fats
Here I’ll explain quickly some of the points above.
Having a protein shake with water gives you a quicker absorption rate as your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the nutrients.
Protein powder mixes a lot more easily with water because it is generally a lot thinner than milk (although some skim milks are pretty thin).
The convenience of water over milk is immeasurable. Think to yourself when you saw a milk cooler in a gym where you can have a drink during your workout.
If you use water in your shakes they will have a thin consistency to them. Unless you are using a weight gain protein powder and the serve size is large. Then your protein shake will be thick no matter what you mix with it.
Water hasn’t got the extra nutrients and richness in taste compared to milk. This means some of your shakes could be watery. And down on flavour if the protein was formulated using milk to finalise the best taste and flavours.
More often, when you mix water with your protein you are getting the same levels of nutrients that is on the label. Most manufacturers use water in their testing. As water has limited variance in nutrients. It’s safe to say you are getting the same levels as the label claim.
The term “No Bloat” gets used a lot. Especially for people who have sensitive stomachs and find it hard to break down protein. With water as your base for your shake you have less chance of getting bloat and the extra discomfort associated with the side effects of bloating.
As I have said above in-regards to nutrients levels, if you use water for your shake you end up with less fats in your diet than you would using milk.
So as you can see there are many benefits to mixing your protein powder with water.
Milk with your Protein Shake
- Adds calories
- Slows absorption
- Hard to carry around milk
- Makes shakes taste great
- Additional nutrients
- Extra protein
- You may feel bloated
- Extra gas emissions
- More Fats
By having milk you are adding more calories, fats, and other nutrients. This is usually over what is listed on the label. This includes protein too. If you add milk to a protein shake you are increasing the protein level. This maybe great if you want to gain weight, but if your goal is to lose weight it may be something you have to consider not doing.
Milk is hard to get hold of throughout the day unless you work at home or have a fridge in your office. This makes using milk in your protein shake a little bit of a harder task. You will have to plan to take milk with you if you need it, especially for your post workout shake.
Another good thing about using milk in your protein shake is they taste great. The richness and flavour of milk (even skim milk) can most times mask the most putrid tasting protein powder. And also enrich the best tasting protein powders too.
Bloating, gas, violent toilet explosions and mild discomfort maybe some of the side effects of having milk with your protein shake. Some of these may be enjoyable to some, but most won’t like it. So if you are looking into using milk have a trial first, at home, close to the toilet. There’s nothing worse than having nature call during your last set of squats when you can hardly walk to the toilet. Let alone run there.
So, Water or Milk in your Protein Shake?
Whether you use water or milk in your protein shake can come down to your goals and also taste.
I use water when having protein shakes myself, either in my shaker and also in when using a protein blender.
I use only water now because it is easy to get at the gym after training and if travelling.
Milk is harder to carry around, the only way I use milk was to pre-mix my protein shake before gym.
Then put the pre-mixed shaker into a cooler bag to keep it cool for after training.
Or I would have milk on hand in the fridge at work ready to go.
You do sacrifice a small amount of taste, calories, and also thickness / texture when using water.
But most companies these days are doing their taste tests with water when formulating their supplements in the initial stages.
So the choice is yours.
Try them both and see what works, you will certainly know the difference yourself after a few tries.
Water or Milk in your protein shake? I prefer water thanks.