How To Mix Protein Powder In A Smooth, Lump-Free Treat

If you want to learn how to mix protein powder without lumps, or you want to learn how to make a protein shake without a shaker bottle, you are in the right place.

The best way to mix protein powder for a smooth texture without lumps is to use water as your base, add the powder on top of the liquid, and have something - like ice cubes - to break the lumps. Most shaker bottles come with a "blender ball", so if you are using one, you won't need the ice cubes.

This is the answer in a nutshell.

Keep reading to find out:

  • Our 7 tips to make a smooth protein shake
  • How to mix protein powder without a shaker bottle
  • And more

If you are ready for a delicious and smooth protein shake, let's get started.

How to mix protein powder

How to mix protein powder

The most frustrating part of making a protein shake is when it gets all lumpy and gross.

Fortunately, through trial and error, we found the 7 most important things you have to consider if you want to mix your protein powder without lumps.

Choose the right tool for the job

The best option for smooth protein shakes is to use a blender.

However, I understand that it may not always be possible. Sometimes you feel too lazy to go through all the trouble of using and cleaning a blender, while other times you may actually be on the road.

The second best option is to use a shaker bottle with a "blender ball".

A blender ball is a ball made of stainless steel meant to help you whisk your shake, by whipping around the inside of the bottle, breaking any protein lumps.

And the third best option is to use a thermal cup.

With the thermal cup you will want to use a few ice cubes, to act as a blender ball.

Start with dry tools

We have noticed that a lot of lumping happens because the tools we were using have been recently washed and not dried properly.

If the walls or the inside of the lid of your shaker bottle are wet…

Your protein powder will stick to them and not mix properly. If you want to avoid lumps and have a smooth protein shake, start with dry tools.

Use water as the base

Glass of protein shake made with water

The best way to avoid lumps is by mixing your protein supplement with water.

As we have previously covered in our article regarding what to mix protein powder with, water is a great base to use if you want to avoid lumps and keep a low flavor profile to your shake.

The reason behind it is simple.

As opposed to milk, water will not thicken your shake, so the chance of lumps forming is minimal.

Shake or sift your protein powder beforehand

Most supplements, ranging from protein powder, to pre-workout, and even creatine, are predisposed to some light lumping. Especially if they've been stored for long periods of time.

What we always do before taking our supplements is give a shake to the tub.

Alternatively, you can open the lid and use a fork to stir the powder around to break apart any lumps that might have formed.

Add the powder on top of the liquid

Some people put their powder on the bottom of the shaker.

This is not necessarily wrong but a better way is to add the liquid first. Doing so will prevent any powder getting stuck on the bottom of the shaker bottle…

As well as prevent lumps from forming when the liquid makes contact with the powder.

Consider adding ice cubes to the mix

If your shaker bottle doesn't have a sieve or a blender ball, use ice cubes.

Adding 2-3 ice cubes to your shaker can help break down the protein lumps when you are mixing. And as a nice bonus, it cools everything down making your protein shake taste better.

Store your protein powder properly

Even if your protein supplement hasn't expired yet, it can still lump and go bad if stored improperly.

In our article discussing the question on whether protein powder expires, we talked about the optimal storage conditions to prevent protein powder from going bad.

Protein powder can last from 12 to 19 months if stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) and 35% humidity, according to a 2005 study. (1)

Protein powder that has gone bad will have a bad smell, taste, different color, and get lumpy.

The best way to have a smooth shake without lumps is to have your supplement without lumps to begin with.

How to mix protein powder without a shaker bottle

Picture of a protein shake mixed with a spoon

Missing a shaker bottle? Not an issue!

Here are our top tips on how to mix protein powder without a shaker bottle.

  • Use a blender. This is the most obvious choice, and even better than a shaker. Add your base, protein powder, and any other ingredients to the blender and start blending.
  • Use a water bottle or coffee mug with a lid. This may result in a lumpy protein drink so add a couple ice cubes if possible, to counteract the effects of not having a sieve or blender ball.
  • Mix in a bowl with a whisk. Kind of an odd solution but you can mix protein powder in a bowl using a whisk. Warm liquid will make mixing easier but too hot of a liquid will result in lumps.
  • Mix in a glass using a fork. This option is not great but it's good enough. If you have to resort to this option, add the protein powder gradually. Make sure it's fully mixed in before you add more.
  • Use another base. You don't have to make protein powder into a shake. If you don't have a shaker bottle, you can still get your protein supplement by mixing it with yogurt or oatmeal.

We won't sugar coat it. Most of these options are less than ideal. You would be better off just getting yourself a cheap shaker, instead of mixing your protein supplement in a glass with a fork.

Nonetheless, these are all viable options if you don't have access to a shaker.


Now that you know how to mix protein powder to avoid lumps and what to do when you don't have a shaker bottle…

Let's have a look at the most common questions in regards to this topic.

What is the best way to mix protein powder?

If you ask us, the best way is to use a blender.

However, that is not always possible - either from a case of convenience or lack.

Therefore, the most convenient way to mix protein powder, and one that most people will have access to, is by using a shaker bottle.

Can you stir in protein powder?

Yes, even though you may experience some lumping here and there.

To avoid this issue, we recommend you to use a fork when stirring and to add the powder slowly to let it dissolve.

What is the ratio of water to protein powder?

There is no golden standard in terms of water to protein powder ratio.

That being said, we like to add anywhere between 6 and 12oz (180-360ml) of water to our protein shakes. However, we can't be bothered to measure that, so we always eyeball it.


After reading this you should know how to mix protein powder without lumps.

There are a lot of things you can do to "optimize" this process but it doesn't have to be this difficult. Just get a dry shaker bottle, add the liquid first, and make sure that you have a sieve or blender ball.

The rest will take care of itself when you start shaking.

If you don't have a shaker bottle though, there are several options from stirring your protein powder in, all the way to using a blender.

Over to you.