Most protein powders are hard to get down alone, especially when unflavored. They are either gritty or chalky and tend to have a nutty taste.
Still, there are many benefits to choosing the unflavored protein powder over the flavored ones. They often don’t contain artificial sweeteners, unwanted sugar, artificial coloring, and cheap flavorings.
With that said, here are easy ways to make it taste better without screwing up your macros.
9 Ways to Flavor Unflavored Protein Powder
1. Make It a Smoothie
To sweeten things up a bit, make it into a smoothie or a protein shake. If done right, protein smoothies pack satisfying ingredients, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and other health-protecting substances.
And the best part is that there are plenty of healthy smoothie recipes you can follow. My favorites include mixing a cup of fresh or frozen fruit or vegetables. If you don’t mind the green color, mixing kale or spinach can bring more antioxidants to your drink.
2. Add Cocoa
Chocolate protein shakes taste good, but some contain a bit of sugar. As a result, it can mess with your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. So, why not mix unflavored protein powder with cocoa instead?
Simply mix the cocoa with either milk or water. Some cocoa powder dissolves easily in room temperature water, which is good. But if it doesn’t, heat the liquid first, then add the cocoa powder after it has cooled down a little.
Raw or unsweetened cocoa powder is a much healthier choice than chocolate because the latter may contain milk and other substances.
3. Mix Plain Protein Powder With Yogurt
One of the best ways to flavor unflavored protein powder is by mixing it with yogurt. What makes it better is that the taste is truly at home. I mean, it tastes good and is an easily digestible pre-workout snack.
To make a protein yogurt, you only need a scoop of protein powder, some yogurt, and a bowl. Don’t expect to mix the two in the small yogurt cup.
If you prefer Greek yogurt, as I do, mixing it with protein powder may seem impossible. But just keep stirring, and after 10 to 15 seconds, you’ll be left with a creamy mixture.
The unflavoured protein powder mellows out the flavor of yogurt a bit, but it’s less tangy and creamier. Try it for your next snack or breakfast.
4. Add It to Food
Another way to make your unflavored protein powder taste better is to add it to food through cooking or baking. Whey protein powder is better because it’s very stable in heat. So, cooking or baking with it will not denature the protein content like other protein powders.
There are many options to do this. You can include it in oatmeal, pudding, soups, dips, yogurt, or sauces. If you’re looking for good baking examples, consider bread, crepes, waffles, protein bars, pancakes, and cookies.
Pro Tip: When adding it to foods as shared above, pre-mix it with a bit of water or liquid of your choice. Next, pour the mixed it into your food afterward. Remember that they are made to be dissolved in liquid.
5. Use It As a Coffee Creamer
You can add it to your coffee. Unflavored whey protein powder tastes like powdered milk, so they make great coffee creamers. However, it’s better to premix the protein powder before directly pouring it into the coffee.
Whey protein normally clumps up when mixed directly into a hot coffee. This is because it’s natural, like raw eggs that turn into solid form in heat. Moreover, the same can occur to whey protein molecules.
6. Add a Frozen Banana or Other Frozen Fruits
If, despite your best efforts, you still can’t make the protein shake taste the way you want it to, adding a frozen banana or other frozen fruits may be the solution.
Homemade protein smoothies are a great way to keep you full until your next meal and an easy method to get all sorts of protein. Every morning for breakfast, I enjoy drinking this kind of protein smoothie because it is delicious and healthy.
Toss the protein powder and banana into the blender to prepare a banana protein shake. Next, mix them well and add cinnamon. This goes well with plain pea protein powder too.
7. Create a Milkshake
Make your flavored protein powder by creating a milkshake out of an unflavored protein powder. You can use dairy milk or almond milk for this recipe.
Some research revealed that consuming dairy products is linked with a lower prevalence of metabolic-related disorders. However, it can also increase your fat and calorie intake. Therefore, using sugar-free almond milk is a good option.
Adding almond milk creates a nice consistency with your protein shake than water. But of course, if you get a high-quality protein powder that mixes well with water, it’ll be more pleasant to drink.
Other liquid alternatives
If you’re looking for milk alternatives, try hemp, rice, or soy milk. Mixing unflavored protein drinks into coconut water also tastes good.
8. Stir a Drop of Extract
Adding a drop of extract to your unflavored protein powder can make a difference. Since plain protein powder is neither savory nor sweet, adding a drop of extract creates flavor.
It’s a simple choice. You can pair it with cinnamon, lemon, anise, orange, lemon, or coffee extracts. All of these are tasty. Some prefer to stir extract with the dry powder before blending. You may also sweeten your protein shake by adding coconut sugar.
9. Spice It Up
Jazz up the taste of your unflavored protein powder by adding dried spices. For instance, sprinkle a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon into the powder and stir it well. Pumpkin pie and apple pie spices are additional options to achieve a sweet flavor.
But if you want a kick to your protein smoothie, add curry or cayenne powder.
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of unflavored protein powder but still want flavor variety, those options above are the ways to go.
Whatever option you decide, I wish you good luck achieving your best self. Keep going, and your effort will soon pay off.
Want more fitness tips and ideas? Check out our other posts at ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
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.