You can prepare protein shakes or smoothies in the morning and enjoy them later in the day if you store them properly. Cold foods, especially those containing dairy products, should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below to prevent spoilage or bacteria growth. Avoid leaving shakes out at temperatures in the "danger zone" from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. There are several ways you can store your shakes safely.
You can make shakes in the morning and refrigerate them in an airtight container during the day. Shake the container before you open it or stir the contents vigorously after you open it in case the contents have separated.
Immediately after preparing your shake, store it in a chilled insulated container. Insulated containers will keep your shake cold for up to 12 hours, although the precise time depends on the specific manufacturer and model. Shake vigorously before opening to make sure ingredients are fully blended. Use a food thermometer to take the temperature of your shake before drinking. Cold shakes should be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carry Ingredients Separately
If you don't have access to an insulated container or refrigerator, you can pack and non-perishable ingredients and a shaker or blender bottle in the morning and mix your shake in the afternoon. Carry one or two scoops of protein powder in a plastic container. For liquid, carry sealed fruit juice or a small vacuum-sealed carton of soy milk that does not require refrigeration. When you are ready to drink your shake, put the liquid and powder in the shaker or blender bottle and shake for one minute. Try hot coffee and chocolate protein powder for a special winter treat.
Pre-made Protein Shakes
You can buy vacuum-packed pre-made protein drinks in nutrition, drug and grocery stores that can be safely stored at room temperature until opened.
- United States Food and Drug Administration: Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely
- United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: Food Safety: Food Storage, Preparation & Handling
- Genuine Thermos Brand: Recent Media
- Montana Parent Magazine: Back-To-School Thermos Smoothie Recipe
- San Diego Department of Public Health: How to Pack a Safe School Lunch