WHY does PROTEIN powder make porridge WATERY?!

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It has taken me YEARS to master protein-oats, but once you crack it they make an awesome breakfast or even evening treat. An issue I was having was that my protein oats were simply TOO WATERY – regardless of how I cooked them and how much liquid I used! Here’s how I got around it:

WHY does PROTEIN powder make porridge WATERY?!

At a glance…

  • Try casein protein powder: it makes things less watery than whey
  • Add protein to your oats AFTER they are cooked to make them less watery
  • Try different brands and flavours of powder – the additives in the powder recipe can play a HUGE role in the texture of your oats
  • Experiment with other ingredients: Chia seeds absorb water like nothing else – try mix those in!

Casein protein powder is less watery

Caesin protein mixes with a thicker consistency and therefore with the same amount of liquid it will be a thicker, creamier shake than a whey equivelant.

This can be pretty handy if you find your porridge made with regular whey protein is too watery – simply swapping to a casein powder can be the quickest and easiest solution and therefore what I recommend if you’re in a position to order another bag of protein.

Add your protein AFTER you’ve cooked your oats!

If you’ve tried porridge with protein before and found it went CLUMPY and hard it could be because the powder is not mixing through the oats properly.

In this situation mix your protein with your mixer of choice (milk, water, plant based milks etc) THEN add it to your porridge mix. Mixing it up before adding it to the oats reduces your chances of clumping dramatically.

Preparing them separately THEN combining avoids them going grainy

Shake up your powder (with milk or water) separately from cooking your oats – combine the two at the END of the process.

While this seems like an extra step it allows you to fine tune how watery (or cement-y!) your porridge becomes. Add you protein shake SLOWLY to the porridge and mix thoroughly.

Only add more protein shake IF your porridge is too dry – if it’s just right or too wet then neck the rest of the shake and eat the oats as they are!

OR: Try mix in powder SLOWLY after cooking

If you prefer thicker porridge then mixing a shake and combining to cooked oats may be too watery for you regardless.

In this situation cook your oats with less mixer than normal then, once cooked, slowly add your protein powder and mix thoroughly. Keep adding protein powder until you get the consistency you like. It’s really important to mix PROPERLY before adding more protein – otherwise we might get the dreaded clumps back!

Microwaving your oats with protein powder CAN be a disaster

Cooking oats with protein powder added can be a bad move as if overheated the protein powder can curdle. The heat from cooking can break down the protein (sometimes called ‘denaturing’) and trigger some weird and wonderful results. 

Personally I’ve cooked porridge oats with protein and milk in the microwave and come back to find it has risen like a soufflé! This would not be so bad – but in the process it has become quite tough and rubbery to eat.

Not a great experience at all.

Be conservative with protein

In my experience you will NOT be able to mix a ton of protein powder in to a small bowl of porridge. Your options are to have a bigger portion of oats, OR mix in a bit less powder.

Managing your expectations here can be helpful – I was wedded to the idea of putting a lot of powder in to my oats to get around 40g of protein in a serving and it turned it in to a watery, sludgy soup as I wasn’t prepared to increase the volume of oats to match the protein.

Holding back with around HALF what I was doing before made them much more palatable.

Add chia seeds to absorb moisture!

Chia seeds are AWESOME for you – a great source of fibre and packed full of micronutrients. The downside is they are a royal pain to clean up if you let them dry out on your utensils 🙂

One of their properties is that they absorb water like crazy! Stir some of these in to your watery porridge and they will soak up a colossal amount of the fluid.

Just don’t leave them TOO long or they will go too far and turn it a little sludgy!

Still struggling? Try different brands and flavours

If you’re still struggling with watery protein-oatmeal then simply try another type of powder. Different manufacturers use different recipes, and different flavours can contain different levels of additives.

Things like sugar and sweeteners can affect how watery porridge comes out – so sweeter tasting brands such as MyProtein may trigger MORE watery results. You may want to deviate away from your usual brand here to try something new.


Watery oats are rubbish – they don’t feel NEARLY as good as deliciously creamy ones! There is no excuse for a poorly made bowl of protein oats now, try the few hacks above to make sure yours turn out perfect every time! Just remember to rinse your bowl IMMEDIATELY after eating – otherwise the leftover oats will cement themselves to the inside of it!

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