Should you mix your Protein with Water or Milk​?

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Can protein powder be a good start?


For a lot of gym-goers, protein is essential and that’s where protein powders and shakes come into use for a lot of vegetarians. Whey protein, in particular, is a good source of natural nutrition derived out of whey, which is the liquid part of milk left behind during the production of cheese. Since it contains all nine essential amino acids and is fairly low on the lactose content, it can be a convenient way to replace whole foods. Whether you’re a serious athlete, a bodybuilder or simply an average person looking to lose some weight and gain muscle, introducing more protein into your diet can help you achieve your goals. While protein can be found naturally in many foods like meat, eggs, beans and cheese, protein powders are a convenient, quick, and tasty way to get more protein into your diet and can be a good start. But when it comes to how you prepare your protein shake, there are some debates as to whether it’s better to make your protein shake with water or milk. Ultimately, the decision you make will all depend on your own personal goals.


Should you mix your protein powder with milk or water?

According to experts, the real difference between protein shakes mixed in water or milk lies in your own personal preference and the fitness goal you want to achieve- whether you want a bulked-up body, gain muscle mass or simply lose weight, flab and build on lean muscles.


Factors to Consider When Deciding to Mix Your Protein Shake with Water or Milk


Do Calories Matter?


One of the main differences between making a protein shake with water or milk is the calories. A cup of low fat milk has 120 calories, whereas a cup of water has zero calories. 

If your main goal is to cut calories or lose weight, mixing protein with water as opposed to milk is the way to go. On the other hand, if you need to increase up your calories or want to gain weight , using whole milk would provide the most calories. 


Milk Increases Your Protein


Does milk have protein?

 Yep!  While there is already a good dose of protein in protein powder, choosing to blend it with milk will boost your protein even further.  

Milk contains 8 grams of protein per cup. If you are concerned about getting enough protein in your diet, whey protein with milk may be a great option to boost your overall intake.


Milk Has Carbohydrates


Once again, whether you choose to mix your protein with milk or water will all depend on your desired results. Milk contains carbohydrates, in the form of lactose or milk sugar. One cup of milk has about 12 grams of carbohydrates. If you are trying to cut down on your carbohydrates, mixing whey protein with water will be the obvious choice for you.

Of course, on the flip side, carbohydrates provide your body with needed energy.  Consuming carbohydrates along with protein after a workout can help aid in muscle recovery.

Also, after a workout you need to replenish the stored glucose you have used up. Therefore, if you are planning on drinking your protein shake after a workout, it may be better to mix whey protein with milk. 


What About Fat?


Milk is high in fat. Most of the fat found in milk is saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels. Whole, reduced fat, and low fat milk all have varying quantities of fat. Non-fat milk does not contain any fat. If you are trying to reduce your fat intake, mixing whey protein with water or non-fat milk is the best option. 


Muscle Recovery


Another benefit of mixing protein with milk rather than water involves the rate of muscle recovery. Milk is made up of a blend of liquid whey and casein protein; this combination of whey and casein helps muscles recover faster after a tough workout. When muscles recover faster, this allows you to get back to the gym sooner, so you can continue to work on your goals.


Some people are allergic to milk or are lactose intolerant. If that is the case, choose water or lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk to mix with your protein powder instead. 


Sometimes you can be so focused on the health benefits of a particular food that you can forget about taste. Taste matters! Mixing your whey protein with milk will usually taste a lot richer than if you simply blend with water. Milk adds a smooth, rich flavour to the shake, which you may not get with just water alone. Even more, the added carbs and calories from the milk can help you feel fuller longer which can help with hunger cravings. The better and more satisfying you make your protein shake, the more likely you are to drink it regularly.

Whether you choose to mix your protein shake with milk or water depends greatly on the reason you are taking the protein. To sum it up, if you need to limit your calories, carbohydrates, and/or fats, then mix your whey protein with water. If you are aiming to build muscle, boost post-workout recovery, or satiety, choose mix your whey protein with milk. 

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