T Nation

Heating Protein Powder

Hey, i know this has come up a lot on this forum in the past, but having spent the best part of an hour reading the archives, i found many contradicting views and no real evidence supporting either side. i browsed the articles as well, but have not found a definite answer.

does cooking with protein powder, such as LC Grow!, affect the assimilation of the protein?

for example, if i were to make porridge/oatmeal with water and Grow! and heat it, am i damaging any of the ingredients of the protein??

I can’t remember where at T-Nation, but Berardi has already written about this. Basically, you always want to add in the protein after cooking, like stirring it into oatmeal after it’s done.

He said that cooking protein powder doesn’t destroy it totally, but it messes up some of the protein’s unique properties or something like that. This info may have been in the paper version of T-Mag.

I’ve found putting in low carb Grow! after i heat my oatmeal/porridge that it mixes better anyways. It has a better texture to it, just make sure you mix it in well & that you don’t heat it until it is super thick (if you have, add a little cream or milk before adding a protein powder - it helps alot)


Cheers guys!!

Protein is assimilated in the human body as amino acids. How would bringing it to a high temperature, i.e. cooking a steak break down these bonds?

I say there is no problem with cooking protein powder.


This is a good question.

Actually there are data suggesting that protein fractions may indeed be biologically active, so it’s not only the amino acids themselves that are of interest. (How full peptides have biological effects is still being studied.)

There is literature out there that whey fractions do denature at temps lower than that needed to cook oats. Here’s a quote from J Brun and, D Dalgleish (International Dairy Journal 9 (1999) 323}327):

“whey a-lactalbumin and b-lactoglobulin denature when
they are heated at temperatures greater than about 70 degrees C (158 degrees F).”

Because I wanted some quantification, I just did a little microwave experiemnt with my pre-workout oats and protein powder. Here’s the scoop (pun intended)…

1 c. water
0.5 c raw oats

30 sec = 45 degrees C
60 sec = 62 degrees C
90 seconds = 76 degrees C
120 sec (done) = 93 degrees C

Prior to the oats being cooked (at 90 sec), this crosses the denaturation point. Even though microwaves differ, there’s still a concern…

A serving takes 2 minutes to cook (by definition we need to bring the oats to a boil to cook them (100 deg C or 212 F). So, it may be safer to let them cool a bit upon pulling from the microwave.

I also saw that adding 1/2 c. frozen berries brings the temp below the denaturation point in under 30 sec.

Since oats seem to act better than freaking housing insulation regarding temperature retention, this is a great way to get them quickly cool enough to mix in a protein like Grow!.


Wow, thank you for your time Lonnie!

Lonnie seems to say:

  1. Let the Oats Cool.

  2. Add some frozen fruit.

  3. THEN stir in your protein powder.

(Just another “bump”).