Can You Freeze Protein Shakes or Protein Powder?

Are you ever in a hurry and thinking about freezing your protein shake or powder for later? Can you freeze these things, or will it ruin the protein content?

These questions may come to mind often, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Some would say that when you freeze them, it ruins the content, and some may say that it doesn’t. So, what’s the honest answer?

It can be a little tricky to determine whether freezing protein shakes or powders will affect the quality of the protein. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not freezing them is a good idea and what the consequences may be. 

If you’re interested, keep reading below to find out!

Is it OK to Freeze Protein Powder?

Generally, you shouldn’t keep it in the freezer as it causes the protein to clump together. Doing this will make it harder to mix and affect the protein’s quality. In addition, freezing it can also cause the powder to become less potent.

The continuous process of freezing and heating protein powder can affect the quality of the protein. However, if you must freeze it, it’s best to store it in an airtight container and use it.

Also, if you’re going to freeze and de-ice it, there’s a possibility that it can affect the shelf life. So, if you want to keep it for a long time, it’s best not to freeze it.

Why Do Protein Shakes Say “Do Not Freeze”?

Who doesn’t want a frozen protein shake that comes with almond milk or even greek yogurt? It sounds like a dessert, but it’s not.

Protein shakes that come in a bottle have a disclaimer that says, “Do not freeze.” The main reason is that it takes a toll on the smoothie or protein powder when you freeze it (similar to freezing protein powder). Such as the texture, taste, and even the amino acids can have a chemical reaction.

When you place them in the freezer, the liquid will start to expand, and when you go to drink it, there might be ice chunks, or the smoothness might not be there.

Moreover, whey protein is often a fast-digesting weight loss protein in your protein shake. When you freeze whey protein, it changes its structure and makes it harder to digest. So when you have a frozen protein shake, remember to let it thaw out or else you might not be getting all the benefits of the shake.

What Happens When You Freeze Protein Powder or Protein Shake?

Can You Freeze Protein Shakes or Protein Powder?

There are a lot of speculations, whether when you freeze protein shakes or powder. However, you don’t need to worry about your protein shake going wrong. You’ll still acquire the same nutrients and benefits.

Protein powder or smoothie isn’t allowed to be frozen because protein powder doesn’t react well to moisture, especially when it comes to freezing and thawing.

If you’re looking for physical changes in your protein powder once frozen, here are some of the changes you might see:

1. Clumping

You’ll notice that when you try to mix your protein powder, it might be difficult as the powder will start to clump together. Just like an old milk powder or any expired powder, it’s difficult to mix because the particles aren’t flowing as freely.

You’ll notice it once you scoop and mix it with milk or water and have difficulty making it smooth.

2. More challenging to mix

In this case, it’s not only about the clumping, but you’ll notice that it will have difficulty mixing in with the liquid. It’ll take longer, and you might see some chunks left behind.

A well-mixed drink should be smooth, and you shouldn’t see any chunks left behind. If you do, that means your protein powder didn’t mix properly.

3. Change in texture

When you do manage to mix your protein powder, you’ll notice that the texture has changed. It might not be as smooth as before, and you might see lumps in your drink.

The change in texture is due to the clumping of the protein powder, making it harder for the powder to mix evenly in your drink.

4. Change in taste

When you scoop out some protein powder, you might notice that the taste is slightly off. It might not be as sweet or have the same flavor as before. Freezing protein powder changes the amino acids’ structure, affecting the taste.

So if you want a delicious protein shake, it’s best not to freeze your protein powder.

5. Might lose potency

You’ll notice that when you freeze protein powder, the amino acids might change in structure. This structure affects how potent the protein powder is, and you might not be getting all its benefits.

6. Shelf life will be shorter

A protein powder that’s been frozen will have a shorter shelf life than those that haven’t. The constant freezing and thawing can degrade the intact protein quality.

However, if you still want to freeze your protein powder or shake, store it in a moisture-free environment. You’ll have to put it in an airtight or freezer-safe container to prevent your protein powder from clumping together. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can whey powder be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze pure whey powder, but it might not be as effective as before. However, be quick to use it, as the potency of the amino acids might be lost over time.

How long does protein powder last in the freezer?

We do not recommend keeping it in the freezer for more than three months. After that, the quality of the powder will start to degrade, and you might not be getting all the benefits from it.

Can you make a protein shake and save it for later?

Yes, as long as you plan on consuming it within 24 hours. After that, you might taste a change in taste and texture, which harms your gut. Protein shakes are a great way to get your daily dose of protein, but it’s best to consume it fresh.

Can you put protein powder in freezer smoothies?

You can add it to your smoothie and then freeze it. However, be aware that the taste and texture might change after being frozen. If you’re looking for a delicious and smooth protein shake, it’s best not to freeze your protein powder.

Final Thoughts

Can You Freeze Protein Shakes or Protein Powder?

It’s best not to freeze protein powder or protein shake and keep it in a humid-free environment. If you still choose to freeze it, you can use a freezer-safe container to prevent clumping. However, be aware that the texture, taste, and potency might change after being frozen.

Although there’s no change in the nutrients, you might not be getting all the benefits from your protein powder if it’s been frozen. So, consuming your protein powder fresh for optimal results is best.

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Nathan Lloyd, MSc

I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.

If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.