8 Creative Ways to Use Protein Powder

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Chocolate protein powder beverage

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Protein powder is a quick and easy way to get in your protein before or after a workout. Add a scoop to a shaker bottle, mix with water, and you're good to go. However, for many of us, drinking the same old protein shake day in and day out can get boring. That's why finding creative new ways to use protein powder can be a game-changer for your workout nutrition habits.

Protein powder is versatile and delicious, making it a great addition to smoothies, bowls, baked goods, oatmeal, yogurt, and more. If you're looking to get more out of your pre or post-workout supplements, read these 8 creative and delicious ways to use protein powder beyond the shaker bottle.

Health Benefits of Protein Powder

  • Promotes muscle growth.
  • Contains all essential amino acids.
  • Promotes satiety and weight loss.
  • Improves athletic performance.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Strengthens immune system.

For more information on the benefits of protein, please refer to Whey Protein Powder Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.

How to Use Protein Powder

While a traditional protein shake can be a quick and easy way to incorporate protein powder into your day, learning to change it up may give you a greater appreciation for the ingredient. From breakfast to snacks, protein powder deserves a place in your menu rotation.


Protein Oatmeal

Adding protein powder to your overnight oats or stovetop oatmeal is a great way to boost your breakfast's protein content. Protein powder mixes well with oats and milk, giving it a thick creamy texture.

Classic Overnight Oats

Combine 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of milk, and a scoop of protein powder in a food container. Top with berries, banana, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, cinnamon, or other toppings of your choosing. Store in the fridge overnight and mix well before eating.

Nutrition per serving: 513 calories, total fat 15g, saturated fat 4g, total carbohydrates 61g, fiber 16g, sugars 12g, protein 36g, sodium 190mg.


Protein-Packed Baked Goods

Protein powder goes well with many baked goods—it's hard to narrow it down to a single recipe. You can try adding your favorite protein powder into brownie, muffin, cupcake, and cookie recipes.

Chocolate Protein Brownies

In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine 1.5 cups rolled oats, 1-2 scoops of chocolate protein powder, 4 tablespoons tahini, 6 tablespoons cacao powder, 1 cup medjool dates, 2 teaspoons monkfruit sweetener, 1.5 cups milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and a dash of cinnamon. Pour into a 9"x9" baking pan and cook at 425°F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into nine equal-sized brownies.

Nutrition per serving: 218 calories, total fat 6g, saturated fat 1g, total carbohydrates 36g, fiber 6g, sugars 20g, protein 9g, sodium 68mg.


Protein Bites

Easy to make and even more enjoyable to eat, protein bites are a simple and creative way to use protein powder. They take less than five minutes to make and require no baking.

No Bake Almond Butter Protein Bites

Using a food processor or high-speed blender, pulse together a scoop of protein powder, 1/2 cup of almond butter, 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup flaxseed, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons chia seeds until well combined. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup shredded coconut then pulse again. Scrape contents out of the food processor and roll into roughly 12 equally sized balls.

Nutrition per serving (3 protein bites): 406 calories, total fat 23g, saturated fat 7g, total carbohydrates 42g, fiber 9g, sugars 23g, protein 13g, sodium 87mg.


Protein Powder Yogurt

Combine your protein powder with yogurt and fruit for a nutrient and calorie-dense breakfast to fuel you throughout the morning. This also makes for a great post-workout snack.

Protein-Packed Yogurt and Fruit Bowl

In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 sliced banana, 1 sliced kiwi, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 2 tablespoon hemp hearts.

Nutrition per serving: 548 calories, total fat 23g, saturated fat 4g, total carbohydrates 52g, fiber 11g, sugars 26g, protein 35g, sodium 345mg.


Gummies (Collagen)

Who knew you could make protein-rich candy? Collagen gummies are a fun and easy way to indulge in candy while getting ample protein.

Collagen Protein Gummy Bears

In a small pan over low heat, warm 1 cup of orange juice with the juice of 1 large lemon. Stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup until dissolved. Remove from heat and slowly add 1.5 scoops of collagen powder until fully dissolved. Add food coloring of choice. Pour mixture into gummy bear molds. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before removing from the mold set and eating.

Nutrition per serving: 285 calories, total fat 1g, saturated fat 0g, total carbohydrates 56g, fiber 1g, sugars 46g, protein 17g, sodium 105mg.


Protein Coffee

Adding protein powder to coffee is an easy way to boost your daily protein. Stir with a spoon for a quick beverage or blend or froth hot coffee with protein protein powder to make a foamy thick liquid that tastes and looks delicious.

Protein Coffee

Blend hot coffee with 1-2 scoops of protein powder. Alternatively, add a scoop or two of protein powder to your coffee and mix with a spoon or frother.

Nutrition per serving: 115 calories, total fat 2g, saturated fat 0g, total carbohydrates 5g, fiber 3g, sugars 0g, protein 25g, sodium 330mg.


Protein Pancakes

Sneaking protein powder into a patch of pancakes is a great way to increase your protein intake, as well as inject some extra flavor into your flapjacks.

Banana Protein Pancakes

Blend 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup milk, 1 large banana, a scoop of protein powder, 2 tablespoons flaxseed, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, and a dash of cinnamon to make about six pancakes. On a large pan, cook pancakes over medium heat for 5 minutes before flipping to the other side for another 5 minutes. Top with maple syrup, berries, and pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition per serving (one pancake): 129 calories, total fat 4g, saturated fat 0.5g, total carbohydrates 16g, fiber 3g, sugars 3g, protein 7g, sodium 66mg.


Protein Pudding

This super easy pudding recipe can be prepared in less than a minute. It's a great option for when you're in a rush but want something more filling than just a shake.

Fruit and Protein Pudding

Toss a scoop of protein powder in a bowl. Add milk one tablespoon at a time while stirring until protein powder reaches the consistency of a thick pudding. Top with sliced banana, kiwi, blueberries, and a tablespoon of peanut butter for an ultra-satisfying, high-protein snack.

Nutrition per serving: 308 calories, total fat 9g, saturated fat 2g, total carbohydrates 30g, fiber 6g, sugars 15g, protein 30g, sodium 161mg.

A Word From Verywell

Whether your goal is to build muscle, maintain weight, or simply get more protein in your diet, protein powder is a simple and effective way to support your nutrition goals. Be sure to choose high-quality organic protein powders that contain all essential amino acids, wholesome ingredients, and no fillers or additives.

Talk to a healthcare provider if you're considering supplementing with protein powder or looking to increase your protein intake. Additionally, speaking with a registered dietitian can help you determine if you're getting adequate protein. They can help determine how much protein you need based on your personal needs, activity, and fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much protein powder should I have a day?

    It's generally safe to consume one to two scoops (between 25 to 50 grams) of protein powder per day. It's a good idea to follow the recommended dosage amount on the product label. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein for a healthy adult is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, regardless of age.

  • How soon after a workout should I drink protein powder?

    Consuming protein within your anabolic window (approximately 30 minutes to two hours after a workout) enhances muscle repair and growth. Consistent protein intake throughout the day is the optimal strategy for enhanced performance, muscle growth, and optimal recovery. Muscle protein synthesis (the process of building muscle) is 25 percent higher when protein intake is spaced evenly throughout the day. For most people, this means consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein every three to four hours. By spacing out your protein in regular intervals, you'll help ensure your body is in an anabolic state (building and maintaining muscle).

  • Do protein shakes have side effects?

    Consuming the recommended amount of protein powder (one to two scoops per day) is generally safe and doesn't have side effects. However, consistently exceeding your recommended daily protein intake can cause unwanted side effects, such as bloating, flatulence, increased bowel movements, acne, nausea, thirst, fatigue, headache, and lack of appetite. Studies have linked excess whey protein supplementation to increased aggression, acne, and disturbance of the gut microbiota.

10 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and plant-based athlete.