Protein: Mixing with hot liquids
Is it safe to mix protein powders with hot liquids like coffee? I did this once a while back and it turned into a rubbery blob that sat on top of the coffee. I tried to look it up but there wasn't much available (at the time anyway, 2007). What I found was claims that the protein breaks down and can become toxic. But I read about body builders who bake with protein powders all the time.
Is it safe to mix protein powders with hot liquids? Does it destroy the value of the protein? Does it matter if the powder contains maltodextrin?
I've wondered the same, I wonder what would happen to the proteins when heated. Would it be similar to boiling an egg for instance or is the drink not hot enough for something like that?
I put the protein powder in my cup added water and stirred, then I added the coffee and stirred again. It was good.
I suspect that it may be a question of temperature. A lot of organic compounds start to break down above about 60 celcius. So if you have very hot black coffee you may have different results to cooler white coffee.
If the protein powder is added to hot liquid, it won't mix and it does release a gas as it cooks. I've tried it before in one of those covered shakers with a whisk ball built in. Hot protein mess spewed all over the counter as the cap flew off due to the added pressure.
Now, you can apply the same approach that chefs use to flavor their meringues with chocolate. A meringue is essentially egg white (protein) beaten until it is stiff. The technique is called tempering. Basically you blend in the heated substance (like melted chocolate) a little at a time into the the meringue.
If you want a hot protein drink using coffee (a very delicious combo):
- Mix the protein so that it is liquid at room temperature (only use enough liquid to dissolve the protein)
- Slowly add the coffee to the mixture until the mix is the right balance
- Heat if necessary in the microwave when you are done
An alternative approach is to cool the coffee to room temperature and mix the protein at that time. Heat it back up when you are done.
I personally prefer a chocolate/coffee/protein smoothie which is cold. You can't really taste the protein in there at all, and it tastes like you are being decadent.
+1 for the good ideas but is it safe? Also, when I put hot water in my shaker cup it blows the top off.
It's perfectly safe, just make sure the protein is fully mixed _before_ you heat it. The Ideal Protein program I was on had me mix everything from pudding (protein based) to soup. The stuff that was supposed to be hot had to be heated after mixing it.
Oh and about blowing the top off, I mentioned that in my answer--happened to me too.
It likely wasn't the protien "releasing gas" but rather the steam and/or hot air from the hot water that blew the top off. I accidentally did the same thing is a shaker to make Jell-O once. I've never heard of protien releasing gas at it's cooked.
I wonder if mixing protein with hot liquids, or baking with it, would cause it to denature? If so, would its denatured form still be metabolisable?
Thanks for your response. I enjoy putting my chocolate protein in warm milk. (I also like to dissolve a candy peppermint in with the milk.)
If you enjoy the taste of coffee, I recommend not reheating it. Reheating coffee increases the bitter taste because it breaks down the oils (same as overheating it in the first place or leaving it on the hotplate).
Some say, mix well before heating up. So when you mix milk and protein, then add hot coffee and let it cool again in the fridge. Would that mess up the shake? Will the protein clutter up ( when leaving in fridge untill cool, lets say 30 minutes)? EDIT: I ask this because coffee is free on my workplace, but the machine can only serve hot coffe, not iced.