Is Cooking Protein Powder Bad?

cookingwithproteinLet’s face it: Protein powder doesn’t taste great. In fact, it’s pretty awful.

It’s no wonder that people try to disguise the taste of protein powder by hiding it inside other, more delicious foods like smoothies, yogurt and so on. But what about baked foods like protein powder muffins, pancakes, cookies or cakes? Does cooking protein powder change the chemistry and render it useless?

Believe it or not, this is actually a widely-held protein powder misconception. It’s true that cooking protein powder does change the structure of the protein powder’s amino acids through a process called denaturing. But this same process happens in all the other protein-containing foods we eat including cooked eggs, beef or chicken. Cooked or not, our bodies absorb the same amino acids - and can put them to work.

In short, cooking protein powder doesn’t impact its effectiveness.

As such, try incorporating protein powder into some of your favorite foods. For example, I add protein to a healthy blueberry muffin recipe that I love for an extra nutritional boost. Explore and have fun.

In the comments below, share some ways that you’ve incorporated protein powder into your favorite recipes.

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  1. Of course, protein powder pancakes are the most common way to incorporate the powders, but the texture can be tricky. My favorite is to use Greens protein powder and mix it at a 1:1 ratio with a packet of Muffin mix (I prefer Blueberry Cheesecake flavor) and mix with water (because I am not partial to milk). It has a great consistency (no chewy or gummy texture) and the flavor is out of this world! No need for butter or syrup! Another thing I have done is protein Jello using UnJury unflavored protein. It’s made for Bariatric patients and has 20+ grams of protein per scoop. It dissolves completely without any grittiness! I put it in the Jello mix when it has reached a warm (not hot or it curdles) temperature. It’s a great addition to Jello Shots as well!

  2. if youre going to add whey protein powder to oatmeal, add it AFTER the oatmeal is cooked.

  3. How about artificial sweeteners? My Whey Protein has sucralose in it and I’ve been reading a few things about it on the internet that had me thinking. Most Whey proteins have artificial sweeteners in their composition. The most common are Acessulfame-K and Sucralose. I’ve read that too much of them are bad for you, specially if you heat them up to a certain temperature. Please let me know what you think about this topic. I like reading your posts and also your job, videos…and I would really appreciate reading what you have to say about this. Thanks in advance. XOXO

  4. This conclusion is not exactly accurate. Yes the process of denaturation along with the process of coagulation does not affect the concentration of dietary protein. This is fairly straight forward as neither process affects the primary structure of the protein nor its amino acid composition. However these are not the only processes that occur during the heating of a protein. The maillard reaction ,which is responsible for the development of flavour during certain cooking processes, evolves the reaction between amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and sugars, under heat, to form certain flavours chemicals which are at best non-nutritionally significant. When you cook chicken or beef, there is very little sugar present in that reaction particularly in relation to the high protein content. If however you are baking cookies, breads, or other carbohydrate containing foods, there will be inevatable reduction in the protein efficacy from these foods as the protein is consumed in this reaction. The take away is that if you are going to cook with protein and want to ensure the protein remains intact, you should do so in foods with low levels of simple sugars and try to cook them for as short a time and low a temperature as you can.

    As a side note, mannitol and Surcalose are not reducing sugars and as such do not contribute to this reduction in protein, but they’re also super gross.

  5. Every one need protein other, women, men and kids. Thanks

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  7. It’s nice to learn that. Great post

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  9. Thanks for clearing that up davey. Well put!