Protein shakes were once the domain of professional athletes and bodybuilders, but it’s become more and more common for everyday people to enjoy them regularly. About two in every five Americans enjoy protein shakes regularly, and this number is only going up.
While some consumers may be forcing down a store-bought protein shakes made ready-to-drink filled with artificial preservatives and unhealthy ingredients, you’re ahead of the pack if you already have an affinity towards unflavored, unsweetened, truly grass-fed whey protein powder ready-to-mix. However, going all-natural ready-to-mix albeit healthier, does come with the annoyance of foaming up every time you are due to consume your protein macros.
Luckily, this is a preventable issue. Today, we’re going to tackle how to make a whey protein shake without excess foam. Read on to learn what makes a natural and hand-mixed protein shake foam and how you can prevent this problem!
Single Ingredient vs. Emulsifier Whey Protein
Before we look into the reasons that protein shakes froth up (and how this problem can be solved), it’s important to look into the ingredients that are necessary for a wholesome and healthy shake that does not require mechanical shearing to disperse smoothly in water. When a protein shake needs a blender or shaker whisker-ball to go into solution without clumping, the forced air that the whey is exposed to as a function of the agitation actually destroys some f the vital and fragile macro-nutrients endemic to natural grassfed whey.
The distinction of Grass-Fed Whey is made later in the article, however, at a high level, Grassfed whey contains some very sought-after nutrients and immune-boosting elements such a lactoferrin and glutathione both of which are highly susceptible to be destroyed (denatured) by a blender.
To avoid foaming your protein to death while yielding the nutrients useless, the secret is to let a natural oil, such as sunflower seed oil, to do the work of dispersion for you, and without effort. Learn the difference between single-ingredient whey protein and whey that incorporates emulsifiers into it!
What’s the Difference?
Single-ingredient whey protein is something that can be commonly bought online and is becoming more and more popular in adults who have the time to cook with it. The problem with single-ingredient whey protein powder is that it’s impossible to mix into liquid smoothly without mechanically denaturing the quaternary protein the structure identified most commonly by the visual indication of “foam.”
Whey protein sprayed with < 1% lecithin (soy or sunflower) emulsifier is incredibly beneficial to most people. Sunflower lecithin is by far the most attractive and healthier alternative when compared with soy. The best Sunflower lecithin is made by cold pressing the seeds to extract the oils mechanically.
When included in whey powder, sunflower lecithin serves as a type of adaptor that has the natural ability to bind chemicals together that otherwise would not be able to form a bond. Protein is naturally hydrophobic, while water is hydrophilic. For these molecules to fit snuggly together without damaging either or force-fitting them together through vigorous blending, an adaptor is needed. Sunflower lecithin at the molecular level allows water and protein to fit together seamlessly.
Does Sunflower Lecithin Stop Foam from Building Up?
Short answer: yes!
Long answer: protein structures are simply just long chains of amino acids that are held together by various bonds. We won’t bore you with all the details, but when you stir whey too much, the bonds that hold these amino acids together come undone. This leads to the protein’s hydrophobic ends moving towards the air and away from the water in your mixture, while the hydrophilic ends remain in said water. The result? Air bubbles.
Sunflower lecithin takes the molecules of these amino acids and binds them more closely to the water molecules. This means that the hydrophobic molecules will have a more difficult time rising to the top of your protein shake and foaming up. They will instead remain in the water, unable to separate from the hydrophilic molecules. Ultimately, this means less foam for you to deal with after your protein shake is blended and a more nutritious shake that’s not denatured but instead loaded with bio-available macro-nutrients.
What Makes a Whey Protein Shake Foam?
It’s crucial to first look into the source of foaming if you want to understand the specific problems that you need to address. Read on to learn the particular reasons that you may be getting a mouthful of foam when you try to gulp your delicious daily shake and how you can solve each of these potential issues.
One reason that you may be seeing a lot of foaming in your protein shake is that you’re using unnatural ingredients. If you’re using whey that isn’t sourced correctly, the mixing of the chemicals and preservatives that are used in it can cause chemical reactions with other things that you’re putting in the shake. If this is the case, then foaming is the least of your worries- putting unnatural ingredients into your body is!
Solving This Problem with Natural Ingredients
The first step to stopping foaming (and other health-related issues) is to find a the best cold-processed grassfed whey that contains only a small amount of sunflower lecithin and nothing else. Harsh flavor systems are used to mask mass-produced unhealthy supplement powders, whereas an authentic grassfed whey sourced from Ireland (known to be the best) will taste very healthy and pure by itself. Whey with zero additives also allows you to make a variety of smoothies.
But what if you’re already using only the best ingredients in your DIY protein shakes? What then?
Since you’re making the protein shakes yourself, you may be stirring them a bit too vigorously. This is a pretty easy thing to do, so don’t beat yourself over it! It’s just as easy to fix.
We talked before about how foam is made because of the separation of bonds in the chain of amino acids that make up whey. When you stir your protein shake too quickly, you force these bonds to be separated faster and more often. This results in foam-forming immediately after you remove your shake from the blender or hand mixing tool that you’re using.
Solving This Problem with Hand Mixing
To fix this issue, put your blender on a lower setting when mixing the shake. It will become just as blended as it otherwise would as long as you leave the mixture in for an appropriate amount of time. The length of time that you leave it in the blender shouldn’t cause your protein shake to foam- the creation of foam is related to the intensity of the blender.
If you prefer, you could just forego the blender altogether and stir your protein shake with a small stir stick. This will take you a few extra minutes, but we highly recommend doing this.
Hand mixing your shake gives you complete control ensuring your fragile whey proteins are all intact and not denatured. Stirring also lets you experiment with different levels of agitation to see what works best for your concoction. You can always simply stop if you notice the mixture beginning to foam, too!
Solve This Problem with Progressive Blending
You can also solve this problem by blending your whey protein powder into your beverage little by little. Don’t scoop your cups of protein powder into your mixture all at once. Instead, ut your water and favorite fruit/vegetable into the blender or other mixing tool before adding the powder.
Comparatively, you’re going to see a lot less frothing when you do this!
Blending with Excess Milk
Another possible reason that your protein drinks are foaming is that you’re using too much milk in them. As you likely know if you’ve ever made a shake before (or added it to tea), milk is an already-frothy liquid that makes any drink froth up.
Whey protein comes from milk, which means that it can froth all on its own. Adding additional milk into your protein shake is a surefire way to make it overly foamy and can create a false positive that the whey is of poor quality when in reality, the milk alone would foam all the same.
Solving This Problem by Adding Water
In addition to adding no excess milk, you might want to try adding a small additional amount of filtered (fewer minerals, less foam causing particles) water to your protein shake. While this isn’t always necessary, some people find that it reduces the amount of foaming that they need to sort out.
Simply add an extra teaspoon or so of water to your natural whey/fruit mixture and hand-stir it in slowly. It might be a good idea to add it in progressively as you mix so that the other ingredients have time to blend with it as effectively as possible. Chances are, you’ll see positive results pretty quickly.
More on How to Make a Whey Protein Shake
It’s essential to get protein in your diet; however, getting the right protein matters. Many brands offer false marketing for a premium price, so steer clear from the 5lb tub whey as a rule of thumb. In summary, there’s no better source of grassfed protein than whey made from grassfed free-roaming dairy farms in Ireland home to the world’s best-grassfed dairy products all around. natural whey shake that you can enjoy every morning
Now that you know how to make a whey protein shake without foam, it’s time to get fit with all-natural grass-fed whey.
We look forward to helping you stay happy and healthy!