Why does protein powder taste bad

Why Does Protein Powder Taste So Bad?

5 min read


11 Oct 2023

Grab your cheat sheet

  • Does protein powder taste bad?
  • How can I make my protein powder taste better?
  • The Different Types of Protein Powder
  • How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Great

  • Protein powder has become an essential part of millions of people’s health and fitness plans. 

    Why? Well, because It’s an easy way of boosting your protein intake, promoting muscle growth, and helping recovery while keeping calorie consumption to a minimum. 

    But, as wonderful as it is, there’s one common complaint—the taste. Protein shakes have a reputation for being less than palatable, but is this really the case? And with so many varieties, do they all taste the same or are some easier to sip than others?

    Here, we’re going to investigate how protein shakes taste and discuss some ways to improve them.

    Let’s dive in.

    Does protein powder taste bad?

    Before we explore the reasons behind the less-than-desirable taste of protein powder, it's essential to acknowledge that not all protein powder tastes bad. 

    Taste is subjective, and what one person finds unpleasant, another might enjoy (even love). Nevertheless, there are some common factors that can contribute to the perception that protein powder tastes bad.

    Let’s take a look.

    The protein source

    You can buy protein powder made from various sources including whey, casein, lentils, peas, mixed plant, egg, beef and more. The taste and the texture usually varies based on the source of protein.

    Artificial sweeteners


    Many protein powders use artificial sweeteners to improve their taste without adding extra calories. While these sweeteners can provide, well, sweetness—they sometimes leave a strange aftertaste that some people find unpleasant.

    Protein concentration

    The higher the protein concentration, the more intense the taste! So the shakes that really pack a punch are more likely to have an overpowering flavor.

    The different types of protein powder

    Protein powder comes in various forms, each with its unique taste profile and nutritional characteristics. Here are some of the most common types.

    Whey protein shake

    Whey protein is one of the most popular protein sources. It's derived from milk and is known for its high-quality protein content and rapid absorption. Whey protein typically has a creamy and slightly milky taste, making it pretty easy to flavor. Whey is described by many as the best-tasting option which is part of the reason it is consumers’ most popular protein.

    Casein protein shake

    Casein protein is another milk-derived protein, but it differs from whey in that it's absorbed more slowly. It has a thicker consistency and a milder taste compared to whey.

    Plant-based protein shakes

    Plant-based protein powders, such as those made from pea, hemp, rice, or soy, are an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans. 

    Their taste can vary significantly depending on the source, but they often have earthy or nutty undertones. Some find the grainy texture a little unpleasant.

    Egg white protein shake

    egg whites

    Egg white protein is derived from egg whites and has a fairly neutral flavor. It's often considered a good option for those looking for a clean, simple protein source.

    Blend proteins shakes

    Some protein powders combine different protein sources to create a balanced amino acid profile. These blends can offer a more complex flavor.

    Now that we understand the types of protein powders, let's look at how you can make your protein shakes taste better.

    How to make protein shakes taste great

    Improving the taste of your protein shakes doesn't require a culinary degree or fancy ingredients. Here are some simple yet effective ways to make protein powder taste delicious.

    Tastebuds at the ready.

    Choose the right flavor

    While you can purchase unflavored protein powder, most protein powder has added flavoring. So start by selecting a protein powder flavor that matches your taste preferences. 

    Popular flavors include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and even more unique options like cookies and cream or mocha. Yum.

    Use a blender

    We always recommend mixing your protein in a blender as this improves the texture and ensures the protein powder is thoroughly mixed into your shake.

    Liquid mixes

    The easiest way to consume protein powder is by mixing it with liquid. But, the choice of liquid you use can significantly impact the taste of your protein shake. 

    You can use water, milk (dairy or plant-based), or even fruit juice as a mixing agent. Experiment with different options to find the one you like best.

    Add natural sweeteners

    If you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, consider adding natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, cinnamon or cocoa powder to your protein shake. 

    These can provide a pleasant sweetness without the chemical aftertaste.

    Blend with fruits

    a large variety of fruits

    Adding fresh or frozen fruits like bananas, berries, or mangoes can infuse your protein shake with natural sweetness and a burst of flavor. Plus, it adds essential vitamins and fiber to your shake.

    Mix with coffee or tea

    For a caffeinated twist, try blending your protein powder with brewed coffee or tea. This can create delicious coffee-flavored or chai-flavored protein shakes.

    Explore spices and flavorings

    Experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract to level up the taste of your protein shake. A pinch of salt can also help balance flavors.

    Nut butter

    Adding a spoonful of almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter can provide creaminess and depth of flavor to your shake—just make sure to use a blender!

    Ice and texture

    Adjusting the texture can also impact the taste. Add ice cubes to make your shake colder and thicker.

    Buy high-quality protein powders

    Invest in a high-quality protein powder from a reputable brand. Quality protein powders often have a smoother texture and better taste.

    How can I make my protein powder taste good?

    Protein powder doesn't have to taste bad. By understanding the factors that can affect taste, exploring different protein sources, and using creative methods to improve flavor, you can transform your protein shakes into delicious, satisfying treats. 

    This will make you much more likely to drink them, helping you stay consistent and reach your body goals.

    Tingle your taste buds with Crazy Nutrition

    If you’re looking for a top-quality protein powder to weave into your daily routine—one that tastes amazing—try our 100% Tri-Protein

    It's a premium whey blend that not only provides all of the amino acids you need to succeed but also offers great taste and quality. Go get it.