cooking with protein powder

Have you ever tried cooking with protein powder?

For those following a higher protein diet aimed at lean muscle growth or fat loss, whey protein (or any high quality protein powder for that matter) is definitely a worthwhile supplement to make use of.

It provides your body with an extremely high quality source of protein for supporting muscle recovery and growth… it’s extremely convenient and will help to streamline your overall meal plan throughout the day… and it’s also incredibly versatile and can be used to make an endless number of different shakes, desserts and other recipes.

Homemade protein bars, high protein pancakes, muffins, cakes, cookies… there’s really no end to the possible options.

A common concern that often comes up, however, is the issue of cooking with protein powder.

Many people are under the impression that excessive heat will denature the protein content, damage its nutritional value, and reduce its positive effects in the body.

But what’s the real truth here? Can you cook with protein powder or should it be kept cool?

“Does Heat Destroy Whey Protein?” – The Simple Answer

heating whey protein

So, does heat denature protein powder?

The simple answer is that yes, it does.

However, this is NOT a bad thing and it does NOT reduce the overall effectiveness of the protein in your body after you consume it.

You see, all proteins are 3D structures that are made up of chains of individual building blocks called amino acids. Any time you consume a protein source of any kind, your body will begin digesting that protein and breaking it down into these individual amino acids to be used throughout your body.

amino acid chain

So yes, when you cook your protein powder over high heat, that 3D protein structure will be slightly broken up and “damaged,” but this is the same thing your body does after you ingest any regular protein source anyway.

Remember, it’s the individual amino acids that your body is making use of here and not the entire protein chain as a whole. Whether the protein is broken up before or after you eat it really makes no difference at all.

In addition, the same thing applies to every regular protein source you might cook and is certainly not limited to whey or other types of protein powder. Throw a steak on the barbecue or an egg in a pan and the exact same process is taking place.

steak on the barbecue

Some of the protein is being broken down as it’s being cooked, and the rest is being broken down through the process of digestion. At the end of the day though, it all ends up as individual amino acids one way or another.

So to sum it up, yes, cooking with protein powder is completely fine. The heat will denature the protein content slightly, but this has no negative impact on the overall functionality of the protein once it enters your body.

If you want to learn more about amino acids, check out my articles on essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids supplements.

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