T Nation

Mixing Protein Long Before Usage


is it bad to mix protein, lets say, a day before youre going to use it? Just in a big jug of milk or the such.

If so, why exactly is this bad?
Ive heard its bad from some people and was wondering why.


I suppose once mixed the protein starts to break down though it's just a guess


what about milk? ther is protein in there and it isn't destroyed from being wet for a long time lol!


oxidation. it eats your car, it eats your food, it eats eats eats everything.

you have a couple options : remove water and the oxygen can't attack so easily: dried fruit, beef jerky, oats, pasta etc all last a long time relatively unprotected.

or, if it's wet, you remove the oxygen: vacuum packed/canned food etc.

once you mix your protein the exposure has accelerated a ton. a cast iron pan will last forever but leave it overnight with adrop of water on it and that drop will oxidize. you can slow it down in the fridge. and you can limit exposure by filling a sealed container like a screw cap bottle ALL THE WAY to the top and then putting it in the fridge. that'll buy you some time.

bacteria are of concern also once you get stuff wet. make sure your containers , utensils, and hands are clean.


So that pretty much sums it up then? I guess its a no-no?


well, if you put it in a screw cap bottle filled to the tip top (no air) and kept it cold, i bet it'd be okay for a few days. i wouldn't think the same if you mixed it all up in a gallon jug and hit it periodically. just guessing though, i'm no scientist.


the oxidation doesn't come from the air. It comes from the hydroxides in the water. So screwing it on tight without air in the bottle wouldn't prevent oxidation.


hmm...then why does vacuum packaging work ?


I think we're talking spoilage here. A protein drink is going to be something like meat or milk.

Either is okay in the fridge for a while, and out of the fridge for shorter periods of time, but neither will stay good for all that long.

However, unless it goes off, it's still just food.


hey vroom i'm kinda canadian too but what the hell are you saying when you say "something like meat or milk " ?

nothing about meat resembles milk. nor the other way around... and you're saying a protein drink is something like both of them ?

is this one of those things like where charlie sheen and emilio estevez look nothing like each other but somehow they both look exactly like their old man ?


he was talking about spoilage man, you dont keep meat and milk too long(well, they can stay totally different periods of time) but thats all he was saying. and it makes sense to me too.

thanks guys.


anytime rudy !

i still don't understand how the "oxidation" comes from the water though.


What i do is i use the empty big gatorade bottle and make a protein shake with milk before going and bring it to the gym to drink post workout. You can buy the special shaker bottles but i find that the gatorade bottle works just fine because of the big opening. Also i dont see why you would need to make a gallon of protein shake, it only take me 1 minute to make a shake.

To answer the question: Water is H2O which means two hydrogen atom and one oxygen molecules. The oxygens from the Water reacts with the chemcials in side what ever it touches slowly through a process called oxydization, example rusting. And btw sealing up a bottle of milk wont keep it from spoiling.....vacumming process helps delay spoiling because of the moisture in the air and oxygen.


i still don't get it. is the o2 from the water in the food or the o2 from the water in the air, or both ? vacuum pack and/or canning seems to do more than simply delay spoilage...canned stuff lasts along time...i guess not forever but i've never tried...

... bottled milk is for sale on store shelves. yes unrefrigerated...the mystery continues...



I'm thinking the "oxidation" answer was a guess.

I mean, you know how apples turn brown, that may be an oxidative process.


Spoilage, going rancid, is not the same as oxidation. Bacteria, mold and mildew find our food yummy too, that's why it is canned or otherwise sterilized to improve shelf life.

Heavily spicing, as in salting for example, can also keep the bugs at bay.

Putting food, milk, meat, whatever, in the fridge keeps the spoilage at bay for a while because it is somewhat cold for the microbes. It slows them down.

Don't they teach anything in school anymore? The human race is destined to die of food poisoning or something.


yeah me too. the more i think about the more i realise i was just guessing. but i'd still like to understand this.

i understand about spoilage due to bacteria. but assuming food is clean from foreign microorganism, like canned food is, is it then still "oxidizing" unless it's dried ?

and yes i'm with you that spoilage is not the same as oxidation . however neither is spoilage the same as going rancid. rancid is in fact the same as oxidation when applied to fats. a quick google just told me that oxygen is 8 times more soluable in fat than in water... getting closer.

btw i was just f'ing around w/ that charlie sheen stuff.


No offense guys but mixing your protein a day ahead will do little in terms of destroying the protein. Go any further than 24 hours and you are looking to open up a mixture of sludge.

I have mixed and drank protein up to 24 hours after that it becomes more like mush and the texture becomes disgusting but the taste after reshaking was almost the same.

I know of atleast three guys that I work with now who mix there protein the night before work as they work from 0600 through 1800 and have no time to stop. So they mix their protein in a gallon jug and sip on it throughout the day.

I think most people assume that protein is all the same when in fact it is not. Meat and eggs contain more bacteria then a processed powder as would milk.

So best bet would be (atleast safest) protein powder with water and leave in refrig until ready to drink. And if you aree going to be running around do as the guys I work with do, put it in a cooler on ice.

Just my two cents!



Okay, yeah, different foods or macronutrients can go bad in different ways, I'm down with that.


looking shredded in the new avatar vroom.
nice work !