If you’ve ever wondered if cooking with protein powder destroys or denatures it, is safe, or have needed another reason to make protein cheesecake more apart of your life then you’ve come to the right place! By the end of this article you’ll (hopefully) have the simplified answers to all of these questions!
The question I get asked the most is that if heating up the protein powder destroys it. Whether baking, microwaving, or sunbathing with it, leaving it in a hot car, or anything else short of lighting it on fire…the short answer is (drum roll) NO!
Now you might be asking “why?”, so let me do my best to simplify this answer. To understand why you must first understand what protein powder is. Whatever type of protein powder you use whether it’s whey, casein, egg, soy, and so on, it’s all going to be the same thing. For example, whey protein comes from the by-product of the cheese making process, egg protein is made from pasteurized egg whites that have been dehydrated, soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean, and the list goes on. So what is this same thing? They are all REAL digestible food. I think some people quickly forget this! It’s a supplement so they think that it’s some type of magical food that’s not real, which isn’t the case at all. Protein powder is real food just like chicken that we bake, meals we microwave, and jerky or dehydrated foods we leave in the car. Heating up protein powder does not destroy it at all.
Another popular question I get asked a lot is if cooking with protein powder denatures it at all. This one is a bit more complicated so before I give you the answer I’ll do my best to help you understand it. First off, denaturing here is basically the changing of the protein structure which YOUR BODY DOES ANYWAYS. Imagine your protein as a rope with various knots in it and the knots are your amino acids Those knots becoming untied means they are becoming denatured. If the protein powder was a rubix cube and you “denatured” it then you would essentially be rearranging the colors. In this case, cooking protein powder DOES denature it, the structure changes when the protein powder is heated. Is this bad? No, not at all! The same thing happens to meat, eggs, soybeans, and so on. Even though the structure has changed, the nutritional value remains the same. If your protein powder is 129 calories per serving with 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of protein then it’s going to be exactly that even after cooking it. The only factor that’s going to change is sometimes digestion. When protein powder is mixed with water it’s going to digest much faster than when baked with something like rolled oats that take much longer to digest but at the end of the day you’re not losing ANY nutritional value. Imagine denaturing is a slinky of amino acids and it becomes untangled. You can still eat the slinky (don’t actually eat a slinky!) and you’re still going to absorb it all.
So is cooking with protein powder safe? Now that you hopefully understand the simplified answers to if cooking with protein powder destroys or denatures it I think we can be certain that cooking with protein powder is 100% safe. If you can bake meats or cook eggs on the stove top, you can without question cook protein powder.
To sum everything up…cooking with protein powder doesn’t destroy it, it does denature it, and it is 100% safe! So go bake some protein bars, cheesecake, cookies, make some protein oatmeal, or anything else your sweet tooth desires.