Adding raw oats to protein shakes has become an increasingly popular way to boost the nutritional value of the drink. Oats are highly nutritious, providing protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, some people wonder if it is safe or advisable to blend up raw oats and drink them in shake form.
Benefits of Putting Oats in Protein Shakes
There are several potential benefits that make adding raw oats to protein shakes an appealing option for many people:
- Increased protein – Oats contain about 17 grams of protein per 100 grams. Adding oats boosts the protein content of the shake.
- More fiber – Raw oats are high in fiber, containing about 10 grams per 100 grams. Fiber helps support digestive and heart health.
- Extra nutrients – Oats supply manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, folate and B vitamins.
- Added calories – The calories from raw oats can help those looking to gain weight or bulk up.
- Thicker texture – Oats give protein shakes a thicker, smoother consistency that some people prefer.
- Enhanced flavor – Oats have a naturally nutty flavor that complements the taste of many protein powders.
Overall, adding raw oats to protein shakes is an easy way to pump up the nutritional value and improve the consistency. Many bodybuilders and athletes use this trick to increase their calorie and nutrient intake.
Potential Downsides of Raw Oats in Shakes
Despite the benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider when adding raw oats to protein shakes:
- Texture – Some people dislike the thick, gluey texture of raw oats in liquid. It can make the shake harder to drink.
- Digestion issues – Since raw oats contain fiber, blending and drinking them raw may cause bloating, gas or abdominal discomfort in some individuals.
- Grainy taste – The grainy flavor of raw oats can overpower the taste of the protein powder and create an unpleasant chalky or dry taste.
- Oat chunks – Bits of dry oats may be left stuck in your teeth or the straw if not fully blended.
- Heavy feel – Large amounts of raw oats can leave you feeling overly full and sluggish.
These drawbacks are important to keep in mind if you choose to add raw oats to your shakes. Start with small amounts and adjust the quantity and ingredients until you find a combination that works for you.
Recommended Amount of Raw Oats Per Serving
A good rule of thumb is to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of raw oats per protein shake serving. This amount provides a significant nutrition boost without overpowering the texture and taste.
Here are some more specific serving recommendations based on your goals:
- For extra calories – 1/2 to 1 cup oats per shake
- For thicker texture – 1/4 to 1/2 cup oats
- For better digestion – 1/4 cup or less
- For nutrient boost – 1/4 to 1/2 cup oats
Keep in mind that using larger oats or steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats will change the volume needed. Adjust the serving size accordingly.
Tips for Putting Raw Oats in Protein Shakes
Here are some tips to help you get the best results when adding raw oats to protein shakes:
- Use rolled or instant oats – They blend more smoothly than steel-cut or large flake oats.
- Grind the oats first – This prevents clumping and improves consistency.
- Add liquid to blend – The extra liquid helps achieve a smooth, drinkable texture.
- Use a high-powered blender – Blenders like Vitamix or Ninja work best to pulverize oats.
- Chill before drinking – Letting shakes sit in the fridge improves taste and texture.
- Start small – Add just 1/4 cup oats at first to see how your body handles it.
- Adjust taste – Add vanilla, cinnamon or fruit to improve the flavor.
- Strain if needed – Pouring the shake through a mesh strainer will remove any oat chunks.
Experiment to find the optimal shake ingredients and oat serving size for your preferences and goals.
Best Protein Powders to Use
You can use raw oats in shakes made with whey, plant-based or other protein powders. However, certain proteins pair better with the flavor and texture of oats.
Here are some of the best protein powders to use:
- Whey protein – Smooth and neutral-tasting. Works well blended with oats.
- Casein protein – Thick texture complements oats’ consistency. Delicious vanilla flavor.
- Plant protein – Pea and hemp proteins have an earthy, nutty quality that matches nicely with oats.
- Egg white protein – Light powder that blends smoothly. Won’t overpower the oats’ flavor.
Stay away from strongly flavored or artificial-tasting protein powders, as the odd flavors may clash with the oats. Unflavored or lightly flavored whey or plant proteins are your best bet.
Are There Any Health Risks?
For most people, adding raw oats to protein shakes should not pose any major health risks. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Allergies – Those with gluten intolerance or oat allergies should avoid oats entirely.
- Digestive issues – Some individuals may experience bloating, gas or stomach pain from raw oats.
- Choking hazard – Insufficiently blended oats could potentially cause choking if large pieces are swallowed.
- Contaminants – Raw oats may contain trace amounts of pesticides, heavy metals or other contaminants.
- Foodborne illness – There is a minor risk of foodborne illness when consuming raw oats, especially for those with compromised immune systems.
Following proper food safety protocols, like thoroughly washing raw oats and cleaning blenders, can help minimize risks. Introducing raw oats slowly and watching for any digestive issues is advised.
The Bottom Line
Overall, adding raw oats to protein shakes can be safe, convenient and healthy for most individuals. The fiber, vitamins and minerals in oats provide nutritional benefits. Just be mindful of taste preferences, digestion and safety when incorporating raw oats.
Here are some key tips to remember:
- Start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup oats per shake
- Use rolled or instant oats for smoother texture
- Grind oats and blend thoroughly to avoid clumping
- Pair with neutral protein powders like whey or plant-based
- Monitor digestion and adjust oat amount as needed
- Drink immediately or chill shake to improve texture
Always consult your healthcare provider with any concerns about adding new foods to your diet. But for most, raw oats can be a beneficial and nutrition-packed addition to protein shakes when consumed in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will raw oats make protein shakes taste bad?
Raw oats on their own can have a bitter, grainy taste. But when blended into shakes along with flavors like fruit, vanilla or chocolate, they typically complement the taste nicely and don’t make shakes taste bad. Starting with small amounts of oats helps prevent any unpleasant flavors.
Do you need to blend the oats first?
It’s highly recommended to grind or blend the dry oats into a flour before adding them to your protein shake. This prevents clumping and allows the oats to integrate smoothly into the liquid for a drinkable texture. Using a small blender or food processor makes it easy to grind up the oats first.
Can raw oats cause digestive problems?
Raw oats contain insoluble fiber that may irritate the digestive tracts of some individuals, especially in large amounts. Abdominal discomfort, bloating and diarrhea are possible side effects. Start with small amounts of oats and discontinue use if any digestion issues occur.
Are raw steel-cut oats okay in shakes?
You can use steel-cut oats, but they may not blend as smoothly into shakes. Soak the oats first or use a very powerful blender to break them down fully. For easier digestion, stick to rolled or instant oats which soften up more when blended.
Do you need to strain the oats out of the shake?
Straining is optional and comes down to personal preference. If you notice oat chunks in the shake even after thorough blending, pouring it through a fine mesh strainer can help remove them. But if your blender fully pulverizes the oats, straining is not necessary.
How long do oats last in protein shakes?
The oats will cause shakes to spoil more quickly compared to protein powder alone. For best quality and safety, drink shakes made with raw oats within 24 hours. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days.
Sample Oat Protein Shake Recipes
Here are two delicious shake recipes using raw oats:
Vanilla Oat Protein Shake
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup ice
Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Garnish with an extra banana slice if desired.
Berry Oat Protein Shake
- 1 scoop unflavored pea protein powder
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup mixed berries
- 1 tbsp.nut butter
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup spinach
- 5 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until fully combined and frothy. Top with extra berries before drinking if desired.
The Nutrition Profile of Oats
Here is a detailed nutritional breakdown of oats per 1/2 cup dry serving (40g):
|Nutrients||Amount||% Daily Value*|
*Based on a 2000 calorie diet
Oats provide a significant amount of protein and fiber. They also contain some vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The Benefits of Oats
Including oats and oat-based foods in your diet provides many health benefits:
- Lower cholesterol – The beta-glucan fiber can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels.
- Regulated blood sugar – The fiber in oats causes a slow, steady rise in blood sugar compared to refined carbs.
- Aid digestion – The fiber increases bulk in stool and may help relieve constipation.
- Curbed appetite – Oats are satiating and may help you feel fuller longer between meals.
- Heart health – Compounds in oats may reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
- Weight control – The fiber expands in the stomach, helping decrease calorie intake.
Oats are especially praised for their dietary fiber content. Just 1/2 cup of oats provides 14% of the recommended daily fiber intake. Fiber offers many proven health benefits.
Potential Drawbacks of Oats
Oats are well-tolerated by most people and do not have many drawbacks. However, there are a few things to be aware of:
- Allergy risk – Oats contain avenin protein which can trigger an immune response similar to gluten for those sensitive.
- Digestive issues – Excessive fiber from oats may cause gas, bloating or stomach discomfort in some people.
- Higher carbs – The carbohydrate content of oats needs to be accounted for, especially for low-carb diets.
- Safety risk – Raw oats may contain contaminants and consuming them uncooked poses a minor risk.
As long as you tolerate oats well and control portion sizes, adding them to your diet is likely safe. Those with gluten sensitivity should opt for certified gluten-free oats.
Adding raw oats to protein shakes and smoothies can be a smart way to increase the nutrition of your drink. Oats provide protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and beneficial fiber.
When blended thoroughly and consumed in moderation, oats make a healthy addition to shakes with few downsides. Just be mindful of avoiding digestive issues and use plain protein powders for ideal flavor.
At 1/4 to 1/2 cup per serving, raw oats can take your shakes to the next level nutritionally. Just be sure to find an amount and recipe your body can handle and enjoy.