Does Mixing Whey Protein Isolate in a Blender Make It Less Effective?
Dear Fitness Nerd,
I’ve been drinking whey protein isolate for a couple of years. Usually I mix it up in a blender with some juice or milk after I workout or for a smoothie in the morning. But a guy at the gym recently told me that it’s better to mix your whey in a shaker bottle and not in a blender. He said it has something to do with the blender messing up the whey proteins and interfering with absorption. I’ve never heard that before. Is there any problem I should know about with mixing whey in a blender? Tony — Staten Island, NY
Tony, I’m always fascinated by how myths like this get started.
After looking at hundreds of these types of questions, I’ve come to the conclusion that 90% of them start with some “guy at the gym.”
Of course, that guy heard it from another “guy at the gym” who probably heard it from some “guy on a bodybuilding message board” who heard it from a “guy at the gym” who probably thought he read it in a bodybuilding magazine.
Guys at the gym talk a lot. Unfortunately, they’re often wrong.
That’s not to say there aren’t knowledgeable trainees and bodybuilders out there that you can learn from, but you just have to be careful to always vet their claims. And if it sounds off-the-wall or they can’t explain why, I’d be suspicious. They problem got their info from “some guy at the gym” as well.
Can You Mix Whey Protein Isolate in a Blender?
Bottom line: Your guy at the gym was wrong about mixing whey protein isolate in blender.
Mixing whey in a blender does nothing meaningful to alter the proteins.
Whey isolate is already in a highly-refined, purified state. If it includes hydrolyzed whey peptides (which many powders do) it’s pretty much broken down into the smallest protein chains available to your body. Running it through a blender for a few minutes isn’t going to chemically alter the whey protein, or physically damage the proteins. It’s just going to make a tastier, smoother, more well-mixed protein shake. This applies to other forms of protein as well, like soy protein isolate, whey concentrate and egg and casein proteins.
If anything, a blender will help increase the rate at which you can absorb nutrients, because it physically breaks down other ingredients like fiber and cellulose in fruit into smaller fragments which are more easily digested when consumed.
So go ahead and keep mixing that protein isolate in a blender. And going forward, be wary of gym rats who get their nutritional knowledge from some unnamed “guy at the gym.”
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