How To Make Protein Shakes Thicker: 8 Easy Fixes

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A protein shake in a mason jar, with two slices of banana pushed onto the rim

There’s nothing worse than a watery protein shake, but what’s the best way to make a protein shake thicker?

The short answer is that you can use the following common kitchen ingredients to thicken up your protein shake really easily:

  • Xanthan Gum
  • 0% Greek Yoghurt
  • Fruit
  • Oats
  • Ice
  • Double Cream
  • Coconut Cream
  • Soft Cheese

That’s the very simple answer, but if you’d like to learn more about using each ingredient, just read on.

(You can also read my guide to buying a protein shake blender if you need a shortcut to making better protein shakes!)

#1 Add Xanthan Gum

This is by far and away the most popular way to make a protein shake thicker. 

If you’ve not come across this stuff before, it’s a white powder that’s nothing but fiber. It’s worth having some of this gum around the kitchen in general, as it’s useful for thickening up all kinds of cooking jobs.

Start with a small amount – approximately ¼ teaspoon – and add it after you’ve finished the main mix. See how the consistency feels at that point, then add another ¼ teaspoon if you feel like it needs a little extra.

You shouldn’t need any more than that, and you’ll have a significantly thicker protein shake.

#2 0% Greek Yogurt

You can consider this a solid runner-up option, and you’ll find it easier to find in your local grocery store as well.

Not only does this thicken a protein shake nicely, it’ll also add additional protein to the drink in the process.

As with the Xanthan Gum, start small and work your way up to find the right consistency. A tablespoon to start with is a good measure.

#3 Fruit (Fresh or Frozen)

Unsurprisingly, you can add extra thickness to your protein shake by adding whatever fresh or frozen fruit is suitable and available at home.

Depending on the type of fruit you use, you’ll also be adding extra nutritional value to the protein shake.

#4 Oats

Oats are a great way to not only quickly thicken up a protein shake, but also add a whole extra dose of essential vitamins and minerals.

They’re cheap to buy in bulk, but you don’t need to add an awful lot to your protein shake to make a big difference.

If you’re not sure if this is for you, smaller packs are readily available in pretty much every grocery store.

A man placing two slices of banana onto the rim of a mason jar filled with a protein shake

#5 Add Ice

Ice is a go-to, readily-available ingredient for thickening up all kinds of drinks, not just protein shakes.

It’s also good for keeping your protein shake as close to the original recipe as possible, and chilling it down as well when the weather’s hotter.

The flipside? You only have a relatively small window of opportunity to enjoy the drink if you use this method.

Once the ice melts, the shake will not only lose its thickness, it’ll also become more diluted with the ice water. That might make the protein shake quite unpleasant to drink, so don’t hang around.

#6 Double Cream

You’ll want to be careful with this stuff if you need to limit your carbs and calorie intake

With that said, a couple of tablespoons of double cream does a nice job of making a protein shake thicker, without going too far.

#7 Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is often preferred to double cream, mainly because of the pleasant flavor it adds at the same time as thickening your protein shake. Obviously you need to actually like that flavor…

You can make this method easy by buying a can of coconut milk. If you leave it out on the side for a day or two, the milk will separate from the cream. The cream itself rises to the top of the can.

Open the can, and simply spoon the cream off the top. Just be careful not to move or shake the can at all in the process, or you’ll mix the contents up all over again.

#8 Soft Cheese

I’ve put this one last because it’s a very divisive way of thickening any shake – protein or otherwise. 

The problem, as you’ve likely already guessed, is the taste.

If you decide to try this one out, find the mildest option available at the store. I wouldn’t make a big batch with this method. Just try a sample first before potentially wasting your shake.

This will either be a big hit or a major miss, so I would suggest making this the last option you try!

Wrapping Up

Hopefully that’s given you enough inspiration to start making your protein shakes much thicker.

If you’d like to learn more about this side of kitchen life, go and have a look through my juicing and blending archive.