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How Much Water per Scoop of Protein Powder? (From a Trainer)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 1, 2022

As a personal fitness coach, I make sure that all my clients take protein powder after a tough workout session. And one question that always comes up is if there’s an ideal amount of water to mix with the protein.

To be honest, I always just used a standard shaker, but I wanted to find out if there is a generally recommended amount.

So, I got together with my dietitian to do some research, and I also contacted other fitness coaches through a survey to find out what they recommend.

Here’s what we found out.

Quick Summary

  • Mixing protein powder with the right amount of water has mainly an effect on the consistency of the shake.
  • Using too much or too little water can make the drink quite unpleasant, but there’s no real health problem if you don’t mix the ideal amount.
  • Keep in mind that taking a protein shake after training should also maximize your rehydration efforts, so you might be surprised how much water to use.

How Many Ounces of Water Should You Mix With Protein?

A person holding a glass of water and a tumbler

You should mix one scoop of protein with 15 to 20 ounces of water.

There is no exact scientific proof of this, so let me explain how I got to that figure.

First of all, I took a look at dozens of different protein products and wrote down how much water they recommend using.

This varied a lot depending on the amount of protein per serving, but it was usually around 15 ounces.

Secondly, my dietitian set up a survey that she sent out to a private group in the fitness industry.

Most responses we got were also around the 15-ounce mark.

So why do I say 15 to 20 ounces?

The reason for that has to do with hydration. Studies have shown that rehydration immediately after exercise is a vital part of recovery [1].

And while the amount of water you need will depend on your body size and how much you sweat, 20 ounces is a very good starting point for immediately after training.

What Happens if You Add Too Little?

When you add too little water to protein powder, then you can end up with a clumpy mess that is very difficult to drink.

For example, if you add a full scoop of protein to just eight ounces of water, then it will be difficult for it all to dissolve. 

Unless you use a blender, you’ll probably struggle to mix it fully, even in a shaker.

You’ll also end up with a very thick protein shake that is a lot more like a soup or heavy smoothie. That’s not the most pleasant thing to drink after a workout.

Related: How Many Tablespoons in a Scoop of Protein Powder?

3 Tips for Getting a Tastier Protein Shake

Getting a tablespoon of protein shake

Do you want to know how to make protein powder taste better? Here are three simple tips that you should try.

1. Experiment With Volume Of Water

Start with the recommended amount on your protein supplement instructions. Then see if adding some extra water improves the consistency and makes it less clumpy.

Alternatively, if you prefer a creamy shake, then reduce the amount of water slightly.

2. Use A Shaker

Get yourself a decent shaker with a mixer ball. I find they dissolve the powder much faster, and it also gives it a much creamier texture. This is particularly important if you find that your chosen protein powder doesn’t fully mix with water.

3. Mix With Plant Milk

And finally, you can gain some benefits from mixing protein powder with plant milk. Some of these contain more electrolytes and provide some added protein and very little fat [2].

“Dairy-alternative milks tend to have fewer calories, less fat (except for coconut-based milk), more water content (for better hydration), less protein (except soy).”

- Sanae Ferreira, Contributor at Nutrition.org. 

FAQs

Does Whey Protein Dehydrate You?

No, a typical whey protein shake won’t dehydrate you. However, if you take in very large volumes of protein in one go, then some mild dehydration is possible [3].

Does Protein Powder Taste Better With Water Or Milk?

Protein powder generally tastes better with milk, but this is a personal preference. Most powders will mix into a frothy and creamier texture with milk, and you get the added bonus of some extra protein.

Get Your Protein Mixture Right

If you stick with the 15 to 20 ounces of water guideline, then most protein powders will mix into a great-tasting shake.

You should also try experimenting with some plant milk and even increase the volume of liquid you use.

And if you need some help in finding the highest-quality protein powders, then check out our detailed guides:

We tested these products extensively and have seen amazing results for exercise recovery times.


References:

  1. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00745.2016
  2. https://nutrition.org/going-nuts-about-milk-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-plant-based-milk-alternatives/
  3. https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/signs-eating-too-much-protein

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