Whey Protein Shake – Better with Milk or Water?

This is one of the common debates between those that take whey protein shake with milk and those who prefer water because a bunch of good reasons...


which one is right? What do experts suggest?

Whey Protein Shake with Milk Vs. Water

Whey Protein Shake with Water vs. Milk

Whey Protein Shake with Water vs. Milk

Reading the labels we understand that we should take a whey protein shake with water or skimmed milk, but they don't tell us the difference, so here I just want to take a few minutes and try to clarify pros and cons of each.

Whether you should take it with one or the other it depends on your goal, and I mean whether you're trying to gain lean mass and lose fat, or gain muscle mass and weight in general.

Another thing you should consider is how your body reacts to milk.

I know people that are sensitive to milk, and when they mix it with a whey protein shake they become extra sensitive and can't digest it very well.

Milk Whey Protein Shake

You should consider this solution if you're trying to gain weight and don't care too much about calories. If you are a hardgainer, a skinny guy that needs to put on some weight, then you can go ahead with milk and consider adding in a weight gainer.

A cup of milk can add some more proteins and almost 200 calories that can be useful to your purpose of gaining weight.

But also remember that your body can absorb only a certain amount of protein at once, and if you exceed that amount then your body will just waste it and get rid of it with some...let's say...side effects.

When you take whey protein shake with milk the proteins are absorbed slowly, so it could be a good solution in the morning. But if you take protein supplement after workout you need fast absorption, so water is preferable.

There is something more that I can tell you based on my experience with different brands: some powders mix very easily, others don't.

If your powder doesn't mix very well you should take it with water because it mixes much more easily than with milk.

It is gross to drink your whey protein shake when it doesn't dissolve and it's full of chunks of powder!!

Water Whey Protein Shake

This is the best solution for fast release and absorption, especially for post workout supplements when your body needs immediate proteins to repair the damaged muscle fibers that you broke down during the workout.

Protein powder mixes much more easily with water due to the lower density of the liquid, obviously.

One of the most common reasons why people don't like to take whey protein shakes with water is the taste. I don't like it, there's nothing I can do about it.

With milk it's a whole different story. But hey, with water you are certain that you're taking in fast and lean protein only, and the best kind. Ensuring you have high amounts of lean protein after your workout will help with fat loss while preserving muscle.

Plus, you don't have the classic side effects that come with milk whey protein shakes. Yeah...those...side effects...farting all day and using the bathroom multiple times...ewww!

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar ivan
    hahah thanks man, this post was very helpful for me :) just like your post on the side effects!
  2. Avatar Rahul
    Thanks for post. I am a new guy to Gym, I am working out from last 6 months and this is my first Whey cycle. I was very confused with this water and Milk thing. I am sure about water now :)
    • Cristian Cristian M.
      Yeah water makes it probably easier to digest, especially if you take it before bedtime...
  3. Avatar Rubén
    Hi, I've read a book about optimun nutriton and the author said that the body needs calcium to digest and make the protein intake usefull, because if the body does not have enough calcium, it will use the calcium in the bones. For that reason I thought that the best way to drink the protein shake was with milk ( you give the body proteins and much more calcium than with water). What do you think?
    • Cristian Cristian
      That's a good point. It all depends on how much calcium you take in during the day. If you already eat a bunch of dairy products you probably already have enough, but if you don't well...sure milk can compensate that. Don't get me wrong, I am not claiming that whey protein with water is better than milk, but in general it is easier to digest and causes less bloating. It's strictly personal, if milk doesn't bother you, go for it. Instead of being pure lean protein it will be protein with some fat too (babies get fat drinking just milk don't they?). I love milk, and sometimes drink it with protein too, when I need more calories.
  4. Whey powder already contains a generous amouint of calcium.
  5. Avatar Vijay G
    Can I drink Whey protein miked with water entire day? Because, if I take in the morning about 50gm I feel uneasy and stomach blot. So is it fine to take throughout the day mixing with water sip by all day?
  6. Avatar annie
    Ple guys néed a gym coach,can anybody help
  7. Avatar aman sachdeva
    hello sir i want to know how should i take protein or gainer . whether with milk or water . as said by my coach he said milk will affect much faster than as water . and also i am not at all healthy . please suggest me appropriate way for me.
  8. Avatar Sambhav
    I am an ectomorph, so how should I make protein shake and what should be the frequency to consume it?
  9. Avatar Rolle
    You don't mention the obvious, skim lactose free milk. There's no fat, obviously whey and casein protein, some minerals, and a few carbs. Is that almost like water except for the casein affecting digestion speed? Or does it matter so we're would just be adding calories? I would think the minerals would count for something... calcium, potassium.
  10. Avatar fdsf
    thought "your body can only absorb a limited amount of protein at once" was a myth?
  11. I always recommend taking whey protein with water, but when it is a protein supplement low lactose whey, would be a shame mixed with whole or semi skimmed milk. But if you want to add a few grams of protein (you can always add milk), depending on the particular needs of each athlete and supplement quality. A greeting from Spain
  12. This is very infromative thanks a lot,It fully clarified my doubt. I want to increase 15 kg weight in 3-4 months. I have a question I want to take whey protein in water in the morning after excercise and since I want to take twice so after the first drink (in water) can I take small amounts with milk . I mean will body absorb it coz as I know it is best absorb post workout within 30 miniutes.I have been advised to take twice 2 scoops a day.
  13. Take it with water or milk fullcream or skimmed doesn't matter,what matters u need 2scoops of power powder per day , even if you eat it with a spoon,I've been gyming 6months now and 4days a week and see a ver very big differnce!!!! God bless my doggs
  14. Whey with milk helps me gain weight and whey with water reduces that tendency. Water all the whey!