Is it safe to mix protein powders with hot liquids like coffee? I did this once a while back and it turned into a rubbery blob that sat on top of the coffee. I tried to look it up but there wasn't much available (at the time anyway, 2007). What I found was claims that the protein breaks down and can become toxic. But I read about body builders who bake with protein powders all the time.

Is it safe to mix protein powders with hot liquids? Does it destroy the value of the protein? Does it matter if the powder contains maltodextrin?

  • I've wondered the same, I wonder what would happen to the proteins when heated. Would it be similar to boiling an egg for instance or is the drink not hot enough for something like that?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jul 29, 2011 at 19:57
  • I put the protein powder in my cup added water and stirred, then I added the coffee and stirred again. It was good.
    – user4502
    Oct 19, 2012 at 15:47
  • I suspect that it may be a question of temperature. A lot of organic compounds start to break down above about 60 celcius. So if you have very hot black coffee you may have different results to cooler white coffee.
    – rthsyjh
    Oct 31, 2012 at 9:52
  • When protein in coffee work well. I am not sure about the other types
    – pufferfish
    Jun 23, 2015 at 14:32

8 Answers 8


If the protein powder is added to hot liquid, it won't mix and it does release a gas as it cooks. I've tried it before in one of those covered shakers with a whisk ball built in. Hot protein mess spewed all over the counter as the cap flew off due to the added pressure.

Now, you can apply the same approach that chefs use to flavor their meringues with chocolate. A meringue is essentially egg white (protein) beaten until it is stiff. The technique is called tempering. Basically you blend in the heated substance (like melted chocolate) a little at a time into the the meringue.

If you want a hot protein drink using coffee (a very delicious combo):

  • Mix the protein so that it is liquid at room temperature (only use enough liquid to dissolve the protein)
  • Slowly add the coffee to the mixture until the mix is the right balance
  • Heat if necessary in the microwave when you are done

An alternative approach is to cool the coffee to room temperature and mix the protein at that time. Heat it back up when you are done.

I personally prefer a chocolate/coffee/protein smoothie which is cold. You can't really taste the protein in there at all, and it tastes like you are being decadent.

  • +1 for the good ideas but is it safe? Also, when I put hot water in my shaker cup it blows the top off. Jul 29, 2011 at 20:36
  • 1
    It's perfectly safe, just make sure the protein is fully mixed before you heat it. The Ideal Protein program I was on had me mix everything from pudding (protein based) to soup. The stuff that was supposed to be hot had to be heated after mixing it. Jul 29, 2011 at 21:01
  • Oh and about blowing the top off, I mentioned that in my answer--happened to me too. Jul 29, 2011 at 21:02
  • 2
    It likely wasn't the protien "releasing gas" but rather the steam and/or hot air from the hot water that blew the top off. I accidentally did the same thing is a shaker to make Jell-O once. I've never heard of protien releasing gas at it's cooked. Jul 29, 2011 at 21:32
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    If you enjoy the taste of coffee, I recommend not reheating it. Reheating coffee increases the bitter taste because it breaks down the oils (same as overheating it in the first place or leaving it on the hotplate).
    – Sean Duggan
    May 8, 2015 at 12:45

I use fit frappe protein powder. It is specifically made to add to hot water (I add one scoop to my morning coffee, delish). Their FAQ states:

Does heating up Fit Frappé affect the protein?

Proteins are chains of large molecules made up of amino acids in different sequences. Denaturation of protein through such methods like heat, acid, or physical agitation is breaking the bonds between the amino acids. It is the amino acids that provide the nutritional benefits. Breaking the bonds can actually be beneficial because the body can access/use the amino acids much quicker than having the stomach acids digest or denature the protein. For example, after a workout, some consume protein to build back the lean muscle mass lost during the workout. Consuming proteins that have been denatured is beneficial because the body will use/absorb the amino acids quicker.

  • 1
    I edited your answer to include more facts about Fit Frappé that answer the question. Thanks for mentioning it.
    – Noumenon
    Jan 3, 2016 at 9:40

I asked a chemistry professor who has actually made his own protein powder. He said that the composition of the egg won't turn into something nasty — it stays the same and to go ahead and put the egg powder into my morning coffee. My only issue now is that the powder cooks in the cup!


Like any other item that cooks, protein will cook when its temperature goes over 130˚. When mixing with any hot items. One should add a little at a time till you have gotten all of the ingredients into the hot mixture, if you see clumping your mixture is too hot and should allow to cool to a lower temp. Been doing it for years with my 21g of powdered protein every morning, chocolate, vanilla and sometimes I mix the together. An excellent start to a good morning.

  • I've been using left over coffee (cold), protien and a bit of milk with ice to make my own version of the rockstar coffee drinks. Not too bad when I get it right. Jun 23, 2015 at 16:33

Bit gross I know but I just add fats to my morning coffee mix It goes a little something like this.

Strong coffee, brews for 10/15 mins (thus cools a bit in the cafetière) In to a blender I add 15 g organic grass-fed butter 1 tbs MCT oil 1tbs coconut oil Organic whey protein 93% 10/20 g 10g collagen protein Dash of cinnomen Blitz hard for a minute and you get a wonderful frothy late. Fats protect the protein from going clumpy.

You get serious macros in and tonnes of vitamin k from the butter, which if you are in northern hemisphere in winter it is perfect if you are supplementing bit d3.

The important thing here is high quality organic products. It is this vital input that dictates bioavailability, stability and flavour.


Don't mix hot liquid with protein powder, from my experience it "cooks" and or becomes very very messy and separates. What I have found to be very tasty is mixing room temperature coffee with chocolate protein powder.


I did it for the first time and it worked perfect.

1 scoop chocolate whey into a glass. Add a bit of milk and water to blend.1/2 cup maybe? Enough that I was going to drink it so it was smooth but instead I added it to my coffee.

Voila! No added milk needed as it cooled the coffee off perfect.



There are protein powders made for heated liquids. I drink bariatric advantage hot chocolate but I know there are tons of unflavored powders for hot liquid.

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