Nothing is more disappointing than buying a new protein powder, getting home, and realizing you've left your unwashed protein shaker in the car (which renders it completely useless due to the deathly smell).

It results in using whatever you can find to mix your protein powder.

Throughout this article, you’ll discover how to mix protein powder without shaker and some useful tips & tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Using Kitchen Utensils: Spoon, Fork, Whisk, or Butter Knife

This is the most common way to mix protein powder without a shaker and is pretty old school. There are several ways to use this method; kitchen utensils like a spoon, fork, whisk, or butter knife are perfect if you're on the go.

However, it's worth noting that some protein powders will dissolve faster than others, so it's important to keep this in mind when mixing your protein shakes.

I've used this method to mix many types of protein powders (mainly whey protein powder and milk protein).

I've found that certain brands will often mix better than others, and it can be difficult to achieve a completely clump-free drink.

Adding Protein Powder To Drink

However, these brands often left clumps while using a protein shaker bottle too, so I guess it was down to the quality of the protein powder.

On the other hand, I've had certain brands mix perfectly, giving you a smooth shake.

Follow these steps to mix protein powder without lumps using kitchen utensils:

  • Grab a glass and fill it with room-temperature water.
  • Add protein powder mixture to the glass.
  • Place the chosen kitchen utensil (spoon, fork, knife) into the glass and stir vigorously.
  • Keep stirring until you’ve got a clump-free protein shake.
  • (Optional) Leave in the fridge to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Drink your protein shake.

Tips From A Trainer!

When mixing your protein powder, you might find it mixes better with room-temperature water. Warmer liquids combine far easier with protein powder and rarely results in clumping.

While this method might prevent clumping, drinking a room-temperature protein shake isn’t the nicest experience. I tend to prefer much cooler shakes.  

2. Use a Travel Coffee Mug

Ever been to a bar and watched a cocktail shaker do its thing? It’s an impressive sight. By using a travel coffee mug and a few scoops of creativity, you can mix your protein powder with all kinds of ingredients.

I like to think of it like a “healthier” cocktail…kinda. They have been shown to enhance muscular hypertrophy in trained individuals.[1]

Before you start, please check that the coffee mug is spill-proof. The last thing you need is to throw your lovely chocolate-flavored whey protein all over your kitchen or, worse, your car.

Once you’ve ensured your coffee mug is spill-proof, you can shake away until the protein powder is fully dissolved.

Using a travel coffee mug is one of the best ways to make a protein shake without a shaker, especially if you’re on the go. It’s convenient and requires less effort than using a fork, spoon, whisk, or butter knife.

Don’t have a coffee mug? A water bottle can also be used as a way to mix your protein powder without a shaker bottle.

To mix your protein powder in your travel mug, follow these steps:

  • Add half your liquid to your travel mug.
  • Add the protein powder.
  • Push the lid firmly down and keep your fingers on the top.
  • Begin shaking your mug for a minimum of 10 seconds to ensure all of the dry ingredients are absorbed.
  • Add more water (to taste) and reshake.
  • Your protein shake is now ready to enjoy.

It’s important to always put the liquid in the container before adding dry ingredients. Adding the protein powder first will make it clumpy, and nobody enjoys a clumpy protein shake.

Tips From A Trainer!

To get a smooth texture from your protein powder without any clumps, try combining this method with the next one.

3. Add Ice To The Mix

Adding ice to your shake…how does that help?

Adding ice to your protein powder and liquid mix not only chills your protein shakes (which is the optimal way of consuming them, in my opinion) but also plays a vital role in the overall texture of your shake.

The added ice helps to break up any clumps while it’s being shaken. This eliminates any remaining clumps, so you don’t need to face the dreaded lumpy protein shakes.

You can combine this method with the travel mug, where the ice will help to give you the silky smooth protein shake you’ve been after.

Follow these easy steps for a smooth protein shake without a shaker bottle:

  • Grab your travel mug or sealed container.
  • Pour some water (or chosen liquid) into the mug.
  • Add the protein powder.
  • Put some ice into the protein powder mix.
  • Ensure the lid is secure and shake.
  • Once each protein powder clump has dispersed, enjoy your drink.

4. Add Dry Ingredients First, Then The Wet Ones

No matter what container you’re using to mix your protein powder, you should always add any dry ingredients last. The wet ingredients should always be the first item in your container.

If you don’t do this and add the wet ingredients to the dry, you will be left with a solid lump of dry protein powder at the bottom of your container, resulting in less protein and fewer gains. You don’t want to affect your fitness goals, do you?

This rule is relevant for any type of container, even shaker bottles.

This happens as the top layer of the protein will quickly absorb any liquid it comes in contact with. It then creates a barrier, making it difficult for any other liquid to reach the bottom of the protein powder.

To avoid this from happening, follow these steps:

  • Place the liquid into your chosen container.
  •  Add any dry ingredients such as protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, powdered oats, and others.
  • Shake or stir the mix until all the lumps have been removed.
  • Enjoy your protein shake.
Mixing A Scoop Of Protein Powder With Other Ingredients

5. Use a Blender or Electric Hand Mixer

Using a blender or food processor is my personal favorite way to make a protein shake without needing a shaker cup.

By using a high-speed blender or blender bottle, you can pretty much wave goodbye to any clumps in your protein shake. It's far superior than using a spoon, fork, or to-go coffee mug.

To mix your protein powder without lumps using a blender, follow these steps:

  • Put some liquid in your blender bottle (you can use water, milk, almond milk, plant-based milk, or other).
  • Add your protein powder to the mixing cup.
  • Turn the blender on and begin to mix your protein powder.
  • Mix the protein powder until all of the lumps are gone.
  • Pour your protein shake into a glass and enjoy.

To make one of my all-time favorite protein shakes, use a blender, add protein to water, and then include greek yogurt, fresh fruit, maca powder, and chocolate chips. Some people mix chia seeds, coconut oil, raw treats, and other nutritious foods into their shakes.

Mixing protein with other ingredients is the best way to blend protein powder; it gives your shake a totally different dynamic, adding a boost of vitamins and flavor, and it tastes incredible.

6. Grab a Whiskey Shaker

Using a whiskey shaker or cocktail shaker is a pretty handy way to get a smooth shake without needing a shaker.

While this method might not be as good as using a blender or food processor, it’s an incredibly convenient way to mix your protein without shaker.

Follow these steps for a smooth protein shake on the go.

  • Grab a whiskey shaker and fill it with water.
  • Simply add the protein powder.
  • Close the lid and hold it tight.
  • Shake the shaker for 10-15 seconds.
  • Pour your drink and enjoy your protein shake.

Why Is Protein Powder So Hard To Mix?

There are several reasons why protein powder can be challenging to mix. Firstly, protein powders are made up of small particles clumped together. When these are combined with liquid, it can cause them to form larger clumps.

It’s pretty annoying, but this problem can be solved by using some of the methods mentioned above, such as using blenders.

I’ve often found many gym-goers struggle to make a protein shake as they don’t use the right methods. One of the biggest problems is placing the protein in first; this is a HUGE no-no.

Luckily, there are a few ways to make a protein shake without a shaker bottle.

Another reason why some protein powders are hard to mix is that they aren’t being stored correctly. A major issue is moisture absorption, causing small lumps to form while the protein is still inside the packaging.

This is often why some powders include a little silica packet which helps keep moisture out.

Other anti-clumping additives are sometimes added, such as silicon dioxide or lecithin. Other agents such are artificial flavors, are also added, which can either make clumping worse or better depending on the type used.

Is your protein powder hard? You likely haven't sealed the powder container correctly, and moisture has gotten in. This will happen to most protein powders over time.

Temperature also affects the shelf life of your protein, which was proven by a 2016 study.[2]

Can You Dry Scoop It?

Are you wondering if you can take protein powder without liquid? - You can; it’s called dry scooping.

However, even though you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

Dry scooping protein powder can increase your risk of choking (if a protein lump forms in your throat), and you can easily miss your mouth when you toss the scoop towards your face.

If you've got no other option but to dry scoop, here's how to do it:

  1. Throw a scoop of protein in your mouth.
  2. Chase it up with some liquid.
  3. Relax and enjoy your protein gains.

Or if you want to go deep with dry scooping, you don’t even need to use liquid at all. Yet this rarely ends well…

…I once coughed a scoop of protein powder all over my kitchen; I wasted protein and had to clean it up too.

I much prefer mixing protein powder using blenders or a whisk.

Man Dry Scooping Workout Powder From Tub

Can You Drink Clumpy Protein Powder?

Yes, there’s no problem with drinking lumpy protein powder, but it’s not the best experience and doesn’t taste nice, especially when a protein lump bursts in your mouth, filling it with dry powder.

So long as you drink the protein powder, you’ll still get the same benefits from it regardless of whether it’s clumpy or not. The main issue is the poorer taste and unpleasant consistency.

Mixing Protein Powder FAQs

How long can you keep the protein shake after mixing?

You can keep a protein shake after mixing for up to 24 hours so long as it’s stored in the refrigerator. However, you might see some separation during this time.

What are the best ingredients to mix protein powders with?

The best ingredients to mix protein powders with are fresh fruit, powdered oats, yogurt, and most nutritious foods.  

So, Is It Necessary To Have A Shaker To Mix Protein Powder?

No shaker? No problem; there are many ways to mix your protein powder without a shaker, so you can keep your protein intake high no matter where you are. After all, it’s one of the most essential supplements for any weight lifter. 

Get creative when making protein shakes; don't be afraid to experiment.

However, whether you use a whisk, blender bottle, water bottle, whiskey shaker, or other method, always ensure you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients to prevent lumps from forming.

Use the above methods to mix your protein powder into a silky smooth consistency daily.

References: 

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030216000187
Miloš Lepotic

Miloš Lepotic

Meet Miloš, a certified sports nutritionist and self-taught supplement expert whose pharmacological background and nearly a decade of gym experience make him the perfect guide for optimizing your health and athletic performance through supplement reviews and practical advice rooted in factual, science-backed information.