You already know that protein powder is a must-have for any athletic individual who is training hard and looking to reach muscle building, fat loss, or health enhancing goals.

 It’s a fast and reliable source of high quality protein, a nutrient that helps promote muscular repair and rebuilding.

But, what are you mixing your protein powder with? While water is the most commonly used option, there are other beverages that may offer great benefit.

Many people ask "Is it best to mix protein with milk or water?" without knowing there's a couple other options out there!

Let’s look at these options, so you can best determine which liquid to mix your protein powder with.


Water, as mentioned, is the most commonly used mixer and will be calorie free. This makes it ideal for those who are attempting weight loss as you’ll be getting strictly protein with your shake (provided you aren’t adding any other ingredients).

Water is also excellent for hydration purposes and will help to cleanse your body.  The drawback?  It doesn’t add much in the way of creamy taste to your protein powder and will produce protein shakes that are very thin in consistency.


The next option is regular cow’s milk. If you want creamy, this is a better choice. Obviously the higher fat content the milk has, the creamier the taste is going to be.

Milk will also provide some additional protein to the shake, so this can be of advantage if you have a very high required intake.  It’ll also provide some carbs in the form of milk-sugars, so can help to kick-start recovery immediately post workout.

Cow’s milk also provides a good dose of calcium, offering about 1/3 of your daily needs per cup and if fortified, will also provide vitamin D as well.

The problem with milk for many is the lactose it contains, which may cause digestive issues if you suffer from lactose intolerance.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is an alterative to consider.  It’s primarily used by vegetarians, however can be used by those who are lactose intolerant.  Men should tread lightly however.  Soy products can have negative impacts on their body due to their tendency to be estrogen-forming, so they’re better off opting for something else.

Soy milk is typically higher in calories than regular cow’s milk, unless you purchase fat free varieties.  Be sure to also take note of any added sugars it may contain when picking your variety of soy milk as well.  Some flavored varieties will contain just as much sugar as a glass of chocolate milk would.

Soy milk also doesn’t offer as much calcium as regular cow’s milk does, coming in at just 6% of your daily intake.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is another alternative that you might consider.  Depending on the variety you choose, the calorie count can be very low, with just 30 calories per cup if you purchase unsweetened almond milk.

The protein content of this milk is very low, so you won’t get much more protein here, but instead, take in a few grams of fat.  It also packs in some vitamin E, which is important for keeping your skin and hair healthy.

Almond milk will add a bit more of a creamy taste, so is often a great go-to by those who are looking for something other than water.

Just do read labels as not all almond milk varieties are low calorie and low sugar. Choose the wrong one and you won’t be doing your health any favors.

So there you have a closer look at protein powder mixers.  Which one is best for you? Which do you prefer?