Is it ok to freeze protein shakes? Looking for a scientific answer (and not opinions)

on 3/12/09 1:00 am
Does anyone know for a fact whether it's ok to freeze protein shakes?

I'm looking for an answer based on something concrete (i.e. expert's advice, scientific article, etc.) and not hearsay or anecdotal evidence. Sorry if that sounds a bit unfriendly, but I'm a bit of a skeptical guy. Thanks!
on 3/12/09 1:03 am - Baltimore, MD
If you want a block of ice milk, yes you can freeze your shakes.  Some folks put them into the freezer until almost frozen and then break them up.  I throw mine in the ice cream maker and make ice cream occasionally.  Look a couple of posts below mine for Eggface's post about malt...she makes protein ice cream.  Her blog post today has the different machinery she uses with pros/cons and some recipes.  If you search her blog for "ice cream" the recipes are all made from protein shakes.

I hope that was an objective enough answer for you but I would feel remiss to omit my grandmother's very favorite saying..."you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar..."  In that're dousing vinegar just a bit.  I'll leave it at that.

RNY Gastric Bypass 1-8-08 350/327/200 (HW/SW/CW). I spend most of my time playing with my food over at Bariatric Foodie - check me out!

on 3/12/09 1:08 am
Thanks! I know that many people do it, which doesn't necessarily mean that the protein is not affected by the freezing...

I was wondering if anyone knows for a fact whether the protein is affected chemically or not by the low temperatures.
on 3/12/09 1:37 am - Sunny Southern, CA
My degree is in Political Science (LOL so a science hehe)

You freeze and cook beef, fish, chicken... all protein.

Where is Alton Brown when you need him?


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(deactivated member)
on 3/12/09 1:42 am, edited 3/12/09 1:48 am - CA

From what I have found whey protein is unstable to heat. 

Freezing of whey protein concentrate solutions and its effect on protein functionality indicators

Solutions (15% protein) of a whey protein concentrate (WPC) at pH 6.8 or 5.0 were subjected to fast, intermediate or slow freezing at −17 °C and −30 °C, with an unfrozen control held at +4 °C for 24 h. After thawing at 20 °C, selected physicochemical and functional properties were compared; these included solubility index, heat stability, viscosity, gel strength, freezing point, as well as observations by cryomicroscopy. It was concluded that there was no major detrimental effect of the freezing process alone on any of the WPC solutions studied at either pH. Minor changes in viscosity, microstructure and possibly heat gel strength observed at pH 5.0 may indicate that long-term storage at this pH could lead to development of quality defects. To assess whether freezing might be a suitable alternative method for preservation of concentrated whey protein solutions, the effects of frozen storage must be studied further.

on 3/12/09 1:59 am - Sunny Southern, CA
Cool. Figured as much... I mean that would put a damper on frozen food sales if it degraded the nutrients.

We'd all be out hunting again.

Word of warning: No hunting with Dick Cheney


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FastFingers ~*~
on 3/13/09 4:15 am
It's whey based protein, meaning it is derived from milk.  Since it is safe to freeze milk products - thin**** cream, frozen cheese on pizza, frozen yogurt, etc. - I'm sure it's equally safe to freeze the protein shake.  The proteins themselves

I would suggest, however, that without Cleopatra Nik's brilliant idea of using an ice cream maker, you might get a grainy, clumpy mess as a finished product.  It would be perfectly safe to eat, but it wouldn't necessarily be appetizing - unless you perhaps put it through a blender again.

                                   Flying Spagetti Monster

"Doubt everything.  Find your own light."
Last words of Gautama Buddha, in Theravada tradition

Dave Chambers
on 3/12/09 1:34 am - Mira Loma, CA
From 3 year of support groups, I've heard many discussions on protein usage. I'd examine the label of your protein. Some protein brands state "consume within 60 minutes" or something like that. Some of the ingredients in the protein drinks only offer maximum benefits if consumed in a timely manner, instead of either sipping on them all day. Your reference to freezing--is it to make it "slushy" to suit your taste, or do you plan on making several servings and freezing them to thaw them out over the next week or two?  The answer to your question will depend on the brand, type of protein, and any added supplements. For the optimum answer, I'd write or call the manufacturer of your preferred protein supplement for their answer. DAVE

Dave Chambers, 6'3" tall, 365 before RNY, 185 low, 200 currently. My profile page: product reviews, tips for your journey, hi protein snacks, hi potency delicious green tea, and personal web site.
                          Dave150OHcard_small_small.jpg 235x140card image by ragdolldude

on 3/12/09 1:42 am - IL

This was one of the first questions I asked my nut. She told me it was fine so long as the container doesn't specifically state not to freeze it. (Atkin's shakes for example say DO NOT FREEZE) I haven't made any protein ice cream.. yet.. but I plan to make some protein popsicles with my nectar later today :)



Melody L.
on 3/12/09 1:51 am - Keizer, OR
So, do we know why Atkin's shakes say to not freeze?  EAS containers do as well.   I've stuck them in the freezer to get slushy even though they state that and it hasn't affected the taste, I had done it before I noticed that on the label, so I was wondering WHY? they aren't supposed to be frozen.  ???
~Melody~  5'6" Tall, 42 years old

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