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17 Quick Answers About Protein Shakers (For Beginners)

Protein shakers are one of the most popular gym accessories.

In this article, we answer many common questions regarding protein shakers. Let’s get started.

What are protein shakers for?

Buckle up here, because this is going to blow your mind.

Protein shakers are for shaking protein!

Specifically, the protein you shake is a powdered supplement, mixed with water.

Protein shakers are designed to blend protein supplements with water into a consistent texture, with as little mess as possible.

Protein shakers can be used to prepare many different types of protein drinks, but they can also be used for mixing up other things like pancake batter, smoothies, and more!

Are protein shakers worth it?

Protein shakers are a staple with gym-goers everywhere, and with good reason.

If you intend to use a protein supplement, I would argue that a shaker is essential. Protein supplements don’t tend to mix very easily without vigorous shaking.

If you try to use a large glass and a spoon, you’ll end up with a clumpy mixture that’s not pleasant to drink. A glass/spoon combo also isn’t practical in a gym setting, where most protein supplements are consumed post-workout.

A protein shaker allows you to vigorously mix the supplement with water, to allow 

for a smoother texture.

Why do protein shakers smell?

The number one reason protein shakers smell is because the owner didn’t rinse it out immediately after use!

Protein supplements are typically made from whey, which is a product of milk. We all know the smell of milk that’s gone off. Protein supplement residue, when left in a shaker for too long, exhibits the same rotten milk smell.

Residue from protein supplements can be sticky and cling to the inside of the shaker. If you leave the used shaker in your gym bag for a prolonged period of time, it will stink. This process is accelerated on hot summer days.

Don’t be an amateur gym bro – rinse your shakers thoroughly as soon as you’re finished drinking the protein supplement!

Do metal protein shakers smell?

Any protein shaker will smell if you leave protein supplement residue in there for long enough!

Over a long enough period of time plastic shakers will tend to take on the smell of the protein supplement. Even after washing, the rotten smell just won’t shift. This low level whiff can be nauseating.

Not so with a metal shaker. Metal is less reactive, which means with proper care, they will last much longer without taking on any smell.

A metal shaker is a better long term investment if you’re concerned about odors.

How do you deep clean a protein shaker?

It’s important to inspect your shaker before putting it in the dishwasher. Dishwashers generally have a hard time shaking loose and clumps of congealed protein supplement stuck to the shaker.

Use a scourer and dish washing detergent to scrape loose any clumps, then wash the shaker on a high heat program in the dishwasher.

If you put a used protein shaker into a dishwasher without removing the clumps, you may find the drying function bakes the clumps into a hard crust. This crust is tough to remove, and gross.

If you have a metal shaker, you have the additional cleaning option of using a metal scourer to be extra thorough. The abrasiveness would be damaging to plastic shakers.

Why do protein shakers leak?

The lids on protein shakers aren’t designed to be airtight. This is because you want some air in the mixture along with the powder and water. This helps break down the mixture into a smooth liquid with a milkshake-like texture.

It is a very bad idea to pre-mix your protein supplement with water and put it into your gym bag. The shaker will leak and all your gym gear will be soaked. You will only make this mistake once!

Bonus tip: when shaking your protein supplement, smart gym bros always hold on to the top of the lid to avoid spillage.

Are metal protein shakers better?

Assuming you have a metal shaker with a good design, yes.

Metal shakers are more durable than plastic shakers, so the material is less likely to get warped, discoloured or dented.

Metal shakers are also better from a hygienic standpoint. Over time, plastic shakers can gradually take on odors. These odors don’t smell great, and you will notice them as you consume your protein supplement. This means you’ll need to replace a plastic shaker more frequently.

Aside from the cost of replacement over the long haul, plastic shakers are worse for the environment than metal shakers.

Why are protein shakers so big?

A scoop of protein powder will typically net you 20-40g of protein per serving. Gym-goers generally use 1-2 scoops per shake.

The amount of water required to mix the powder into a drinkable liquid requires a fairly large shaker.

The size of the shaker isn’t a bad thing. It’s important to stay hydrated. If you’re training hard, you’re going to be sweating. A large shaker allows you to replenish a lot of fluid during and after your workout. 

Are protein shakers microwavable?

Although you could probably microwave a plastic shaker without damaging it, this would damage the protein supplement and defeat the whole purpose. Protein supplements are best consumed at room temperature.

Leaving the lid on whilst microwaving can also cause pressure to build up which could damage your shaker, or spray the contents all over the inside of your microwave.

A metal shaker, like everything else that is metal, should not be microwaved. This would be an electrical hazard and could cause a fire.

There is no benefit to microwaving a protein shaker. We strongly advise against it! Just don’t do it.

Are protein shakers dishwasher safe?

Most protein shakers are dishwasher safe.

Dishwasher status is usually listed on the packaging or the bottom of the product. If you’re not sure, check the packaging before purchase.

You may also wish to consider always washing the lid by hand, as protein supplement residue can get caught inside the small crevices in the lid.

Are protein shakers recyclable?

Yes, most shakers are recyclable. Protein shakers are typically made of either plastic or steel, both of which are recyclable.

A metal protein shaker is the more environmentally friendly choice, as these have the potential to last much longer. This creates less waste.

If you are environmentally conscious, check with the manufacturer or on the packaging before purchase.

Are protein shakers BPA free?

These days, most plastic protein shakers are BPA free. BPAs can be harmful to your health, and consumers are wise to this. Manufacturers will often display the BPA-free status of their product prominently.

All metal protein shakers should be BPA free, but it is still worth checking the packaging before purchase. Some metal shakers have plastic components used as a seal between components.

BPAs are bad news and most shaker manufacturers don’t use them. If in doubt, be sure to check the product listing or packaging before purchase.

Why do protein shakers have a spring?

Some, but not all protein shakers come with a small spring. Sometimes it looks more like a ball than a spring.

The spring assists in dissolving the lumps in the protein powder as you shake it.

When cleaning your protein shaker, pay attention also to the spring, as small clumps of protein supplement residue can also get caught up here.

The spring is small and easily misplaced. If you lose your spring, that doesn’t mean your whole shaker is useless. You can still mix protein drinks effectively. Think of the spring as a nice to have, rather than an essential.

There’s no need to remove the spring before drinking.

How do you store a protein shaker?

A protein shaker can be stored like any other cup in your home. They are hardy and can be thrown into your gym bag.

Whatever you do, don’t fill the protein shaker with liquid then put it into your gym bag! Protein shakers are usually not airtight and don’t travel well. You don’t want a protein supplement to leak into your gym bag, trust me.

To avoid bad smells, it’s a good idea to rinse your shaker thoroughly and then dry it, before returning it to your bag.

Some people choose to transport their dry protein powder in the shaker that they keep in their gym bag. This is certainly more convenient than transporting a large unwieldy tub of protein. Just be aware that although the powder is unlikely to leak in the same way liquid can, the lid can still become loose.

Can you make cocktails in a protein shaker?

You can! Some people even do the opposite – they use metal cocktail mixers to mix their protein supplements.

Protein shakers make for versatile mixing tools in the kitchen.

One advantage a protein shaker has over the traditional cocktail mixer is the accompanying spring. It assists in frothing and foaming the mixture.

Most protein shaker lids also come with a mesh, but these are quite wide and probably won’t be very effective for cocktails that require straining.

Come to think of it, it may be the case that the cocktail mixer was the inspiration for the design of all protein shakers.

Can you whip cream in a protein shaker?

This sounds pretty weird, but is actually very effective!

Beware that cream can double in size when whipped. Take care to only fill your shaker to 50% capacity or less. Otherwise, you may not get the desired texture.

Shake the cream vigorously for one minute, then spoon out the whipped cream.

This method can be less physically intensive than whisking by hand, which is a win.

Where can you buy a protein shaker?

Protein shakers are fairly easy to come by these days.

The most common places you will find them available for purchase are:

  • Supplement stores
  • Gyms
  • Dedicated online supplement vendors
  • Health food shops
  • Large online stores that sell everything, like Amazon