Why You Should Try Half and Half in Your Protein Shakes

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Texture is make-or-break with protein shakes, and it varies so drastically from brand to brand that trying something new can be disastrous. But if you eat dairy, try keeping some half and half in the fridge—a little bit can make any beverage a little creamier and more delicious, and it’s affordable to boot.

As coffee drinkers know, half and half adds creaminess in even very small quantities. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what it does for protein shakes. Whether you prefer yours thin and chuggable or thick and milkshake-like, adding a splash of half and half makes for a noticeably creamier beverage without changing the overall consistency. A little goes a long way; you may even find that a little half and half makes even water-based shakes taste better.

The obvious benefit to using concentrated ingredients is that they last a long time, and that’s definitely the case here. You really don’t need much half and half to make ultra-creamy shakes, so it goes a lot further than milk, making it a surprisingly budget-friendly (and fridge space-conscious) option. I usually make my shakes with a cup of cold water and a quarter cup of half and half per 40-gram scoop of protein powder, and a half-gallon jug lasts me at least two weeks. If I were using milk or a vegan alternative, I’d blow through them three or four times faster, leaving less room in my grocery budget and my fridge for other items.

Of course, there’s no law saying you have to use the absolute minimum amount of half and half every single time. While using it straight-up is probably richness overkill for most people, upgrading from “a splash” to “a generous pour” isn’t the worst idea—especially if you’re chasing gains. Protein powders tend to be formulated to be as low-calorie as possible, and half and half has considerably more calories than milk, milk alternatives, and water. Depending on your training program and goals, upping the calorie count on your protein shakes is an easy way to meet your daily calorie requirements.

 

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