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Can You Pre-mix a Protein Shake and Store It Overnight?

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 17, 2022

During the years of juggling my schedule between clients and training, I learned mixing protein powders in advance ensures I get the nutrition I need between meals.

Anytime we get the essential nutrients we need quickly and efficiently is a significant health benefit.

So, if you’ve been thinking about making your shakes in advance but wondered if it was worth it, read on to learn from my professional and personal experience, and you’ll pick up some trade tricks to save time.

Quick Summary

  • Mixing powders in advance is a time-saving, convenient way to ensure you have more protein when you need it and usually has little to no adverse effects on flavor or nutritional value.
  • You can premix powders like whey, casein, and soy and successfully store them in the refrigerator or the freezer.
  • High-quality, complete protein powders contain all-natural ingredients and nine essential amino acids necessary to build muscle and support other healthy body functions.

Can You Make a Protein Shake the Night Before?

Top view of protein powder with tumbler

You can make a protein shake the night before. This will save you time and increase your chances of getting the nutrition you need when you need it most.

You can’t go wrong with adding a shake into your fitness routine because the amino acids promote muscle protein synthesis, and many body functions are dependent on them [1].

I’ve outlined the methods to make and store protein drinks in advance with no negative effects on nutrients or flavor, so let’s take a closer look.

Refrigerating Protein Shakes

You can make shakes in advance and store them refrigerated in an airtight container. Keeping them cool at 40 degrees Fahrenheit ensures no bacteria growth and also an improved taste.

When you are ready to consume, you will need to give your drink a vigorous shake until the ingredients are fully blended, as the contents have likely separated during storage.

You can store protein shakes in the fridge overnight or for 72 hours.

Freezing Protein Shakes

Pouring protein shake from a blender

If prepping in advance is your thing, freezing protein shakes is an easy, doable option.

Place them in a freezer-safe container and fill, being sure to leave room for expansion. Your protein shakes should be suitable for up to three months in the freezer.

For best results, when making your shakes with fruits, milk, or vegetables, freeze immediately.

Blend all the ingredients until smooth and pour into the freezer-safe containers—place in the freezer.

How Do You Correctly Thaw a Protein Shake?

You have a couple of options to thaw your protein shake.

You can pre-mix the protein powder and leave it in the refrigerator a couple of hours before drinking it. Doing this should avoid any issues and preserve the taste. You will want to give it a vigorous shake to blend all the ingredients and return it to that smooth consistency for drinking.

You can grab your shake right out of the freezer as you head out for a workout. After you complete your exercise session, you will have a nice cold shake to kickstart the recovery of those muscles.

Do not try to speed up the thawing process by microwaving your shake; this will adversely affect the taste and texture and leave you with a wildly different product than you were expecting.

Is the Content Affected by Freezing?

A man drinking a cold protein shake

The nutrition content of your protein shake is usually not affected by freezing. When you mix your powder with fruit, vegetables, milk, or other liquids, you will have the same nutrition as freshly made shakes.

Insulated Containers

Insulated containers are an excellent option for mixing your powder in advance for same-day use.

Chill your insulated container ahead of time, and you should have a nice cold shake for up to 12 hours. The time will vary depending on the manufacturer and model of the container.

Again, when you are ready to consume, you’ll want to give the container a vigorous shake to get all the ingredients mixed up and creamy. Enjoy!

“Consuming protein shakes and powders as part of a high protein diet may help control your appetite, increase the calories you burn, and lose belly fat, indicating they may be effective for weight loss.”

-Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA.

Carry Ingredients Separately

If you don’t have an insulated container or access to a refrigerator or freezer, you can pre-measure ingredients and carry them separately. Simply pre-measure one or two portions, whatever you will use that day. Resealable baggies work great for this.

Sealed juice, an unopened carton of soy milk (no refrigeration required), and water are great options for mixing later in the day.

Pre-made Products

Protein powder in a bowl

You can take all the work out of getting added nutrition by purchasing pre-made protein supplements.

Though more expensive than mixing your own, they do offer some advantages, including being able to store unopened containers at room temperature until ready to drink.

Like powders, there are countless options and flavors available from pre-made shakes, and I have tried the gamut from traditional chocolate to more adventurous citrus carrot, from whey or casein to plant-based.

Make sure to read the label of pre-made protein drinks and look for unnecessary additions like fillers and added sugars.

I avoid pre-made shakes because I like to tailor my drinks to my preferences, needs, and tastes on any particular day.

Some days I want to mix my protein shake with yogurt and frozen fruit to make a smoothie; other days, I need a protein-loaded boost with banana, peanut butter, and chocolate protein powder.

FAQs

How Long Does A Protein Shake Last In The Fridge?

A protein shake will last approximately three days in the fridge. After this, bacteria may grow in the powder.

Also, the taste of any fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables may degrade over this time. The 72-hour rule applies to all shakes mixed with water, milk, or other beverages.

Why Does A Protein Shake Separate?

The liquid and solid in a protein shake will likely separate due to sedimentation (the process of setting), but the nutritional value, like the benefits from amino acids, remains intact. Shaking the container just before consuming quickly returns the creamy texture.

So, Should You Make Protein Powder in Advance?

Whether you are making a protein powder fruit smoothie in advance or need to encourage your body to recover after exercise, pre-mixing shakes is a great way to get the nutrition you need on the go.

There are many options on the market to accommodate your dietary needs and preferences. We at TotalShape have tried and tested hundreds of tasty protein powders, freshly made or pre-mixed and stored, and with some outstanding long-term results.

Go through our guide, find the one that best suits your needs, and save time both finding and preparing it.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381813/

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